KlassikNet: 101 Best Classical CDs
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101 Best Classical Music CDs:
Building The Ultimate Record Collection

By Hugues Mousseau and Joseph E. Romero

Just as great wines have their great years, so works of music have their "vintage" recordings which are of major historical significance and establish the standards by which all other recorded performances are judged.

The comparison stops there because the shelf-price of a great recording is most often the same as a mediocre one. Over 500 new releases come on to the market each month. Unless you are a specialist, who knows the real value of what's in the bins?

Building a coherent record library can therefore be a daunting task, not to say very expensive if you get it wrong! KLASSIKNET's 101 Best proposes a collection of vintage recordings worthy of the most demanding connoisseur.

Here's our first pick. To explore our others, choose from the list on the left.

NEW YEAR'S CONCERT IN VIENNA, 1989 (Johann Strauss and Family).

Wiener Philharmoniker
Carlos Kleiber, conductor
Sony Classical

This really isn't as corny as it looks. Carlos Kleiber and his Viennese band knock the socks off these dances. Strauss waltzes and polkas were the Saturday Night Fever of Imperial Vienna. Today, this is a big Eurovision event watched by millions of Europeans nursing hangovers on New Year's Day.

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