As I really have no idea to start with blogging, but want to get posting as soon as possible, I thought I'd begin with something easy...a list of my favorite classical music CDs. I actually have a LOT more CDs than this (literally hundreds) but these are the ones that I listen to most frequently because they are the most relevant to the music I play or am interested in. I might add to this list as I discover more CDs I love.
By the way, I strongly reccomend any of the CDs on this list to anyone interested in classical music, especially the piano repertoire (which is mostly what they are). I've included links to where you can buy each of these discs.
Glenn Gould: Bach - The well-tempered Clavier II (2 discs)
Glenn Gould: Bach - Partitas 1, 2 & 3
Glenn Gould: Bach - Two and Three Part Inventions
As you can probably tell I am a big fan of Gould, at least when he plays Bach. I don't really feel the need to write something separate about each of these CDS. Suffice to say that Gould plays Bach the way I understand Bach. I hope to extrapolate on how I feel about Bach in a future blog post...after all, he is an incredibly important composer!
Beaux Arts Trio: Ravel & Chausson - Piano Trios
I first heard the Ravel Piano Trio in SIPCA 2008. I didn't know what it was then, although it struck me as being beautiful and completely unlike anything I'd ever heard. My mother dug this CD out of her collection and I have listened to it many times since. The Beaux Arts Trio are incredible musicians and play this trio better than anyone. The Chausson trio is also a beautiful piece of music and I think it complements the Ravel.
Robert Casadesus: Ravel - Complete Piano Works (2 discs)
I don't even know what to say about this CD. It's the music of my favorite composer in the whole world, played absolutely perfectly. I have listened to this too many times to count. Although I prefer other pianists playing certain piano works of Ravel (for instance, Pogorelich is the only pianist who I feel does Gaspard de la Nuit justice), I still always return to this CD when I'm learning a piece. It's the definitive Ravel piano works recording.
I feel I should mention that Gaby Casadesus, Robert's wife, makes an appearence on this CD, playing the piano duet works. She is also an incredible pianist.
Orchestre de Paris (conducted by Jean Martinon): Ravel - Orchestral Works
A couple of times I have heard Ravel's Bolero played on the radio, and the version they play has always been the only version I really liked. I decided to find out who was performing it. It was the Paris Orchestra conducted by Jean Martinon. When I found out there was a whole CD of the Paris Orchestra playing Ravel's orchestral works I immediately had to get it. Apart from the Bolero - which, no matter what your opinion may be, I think is beautiful - my favorite track on this CD is the orchestrated version of the Forlane from Le Tombeau de Couperin.
Quartetto Italiano: Ravel & Debussy - String Quartets
I quite randomly picked this CD up for $10 at JB Hi-Fi one day. I'd heard some of the Ravel string quartet in the film Mrs. Carey's Concert, and really wanted to hear the whole thing. This turned out to be a great CD and it was interesting to also hear the Debussy quartet. I'm always fascinated by how different Debussy is to Ravel (more on this in a future blog post?)
Nelson Freire: Debussy
I've had this CD for quite a while and used to love listening to it in the background during the day. I don't listen to much Debussy any more, but this is a stunning recording. Nelson Freire really understands Debussy and plays superbly. I would definitely reccomend this CD to anyone wanting a collection of Debussy's well known works (preludes, clair de lune, children's corner.)
Alexander Gavryluk & SSO: Prokofiev - Piano Concertos 1, 2 & 4
In case you don't know about him, Alexander Gavrylyuk is a brilliant young Ukrainian pianist. He's one of favorite pianists - his playing is just perfect. I've been to 2 of his recitals and bought this CD at one of them (I got an autograph!)
I first heard Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto played by Yefim Bronfman and fell in love with it then, so I was incredibly excited when I found out Gavrylyuk had recorded it.
Ingrid Haebler: Schubert - Piano works (boxed set)
I was given this by my piano teacher and it's just beautiful.
Vladimir Ashkenazy: Chopin - Complete solo piano works (boxed set)
Nobody can play Chopin like Ashkenazy. Actually, nobody can play like Ashkenazy. Enough said. I think I've probably played the Etudes discs from this boxed set more than any of the other 7 or so discs.
Vladimir Ashkenazy: Rachmaninov - Preludes
I heard a few tracks off this disc played on the ABC a while ago and immediately had to get it. I wasn't very familiar with the Rach Preludes, and I just fell in love with them when I heard this CD.
Martha Argerich: The Art of Martha Argerich (3 discs)
I picked this up at my local bookshop because I love Argerich's playing and didn't have any CDs of hers. This set includes a heap of concertos as well as solo works, and comes with a beautiful booklet full of photos of Martha and previous album covers. It's really special.
Bach Collegium of Japan: Bach - St John Passion
I'm currently learning this so it's getting listened to a lot. The soloists are beautiful, as are all the other performers...and the music.