Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

$10.49

Classical - Released January 1, 1977 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Solo Piano - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While Glenn Gould's 1955 debut recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations has attained legendary status, there are many devoted fans who rank the 1981 recording just as highly, even though it offers a dramatically different interpretation. This album was made shortly before the pianist's premature death at age 50, so it is significant for being his last recording; indeed, the opening measures of the Aria are carved on Gould's headstone, in final recognition of the work's importance to him, so these two recordings may be regarded as bookends to the pianist's extraordinary career. Gould's tempos are slower and more measured in the 1981 performance, and the observance of some repeats here also differs from the earlier version. On the whole, the 1981 performance is reflective and carefully considered, in contrast with the technical brilliance and impulsive energy of the first. Gould's background humming is common to both Goldbergs, and even though the technology existed at the time of this recording to remove it, Gould kept it in, for fear of losing the piano's full sound. This eccentricity may be off-putting to some listeners, but there are so many fine points in Gould's playing that it must be overlooked to appreciate the true value of his playing and his understanding of Bach, which is original by any standard. Columbia's reproduction is crisp and clear, in keeping with Gould's wishes.
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Classical - Released October 1, 1993 | La Dolce Volta

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released October 1, 1999 | La Dolce Volta

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released October 8, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released May 1, 1991 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Cantatas (sacred) - Released July 31, 1996 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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$29.49

Classical - Released August 28, 2009 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 29, 2006 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released April 6, 2009 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released April 7, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 1987 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Helmut Walcha's 1956 recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's The Art of Fugue was the first stereo outing for Deutsche Grammophon, rightly regarded as one of the crowning achievements of the blind German organist who memorized Bach's entire catalog of organ works. Walcha performs on the 1725 Franz Casper Schnitger organ at the Laurenskerk in Altmaar, The Netherlands, one of the best preserved of all Baroque organs; its soundboards, keyboard, and most of the pipes are original to the 1720s. Deutsche Grammophon didn't have a way to issue this stereo recording in 1956, but had the foresight to utilize the technology anyway, as relatively few others did at that time; the stereo LP of The Art of Fugue finally made its bow in 1960. It has always been included in the various incarnations of the big Walcha box set of Bach's complete organ works available throughout the digital era. This separate issue in Archiv Produktion's Original Masters series, Helmut Walcha -- Bach: The Art of Fugue, is published to observe the centenary of Walcha's birthdate in 1907. There are numerous recordings of Bach's valedictory masterwork and nearly as many realizations of its "open" score ranging from the harpsichord that Bach likely intended to realizations for full orchestra. Nevertheless, for a long, long time critics generally considered Walcha's recording the gold standard for The Art of Fugue, and there are compelling reasons why this performance stands apart from the rest. Walcha favored the ordering of the 1927 Bärenreiter edition of the work prepared by Wolfgang Graeser; indeed, Walcha may have attended the first public performance of The Art of Fugue, given in Leipzig in Graeser's orchestral arrangement that same year. Graeser's was the first practical performing edition of the piece, and the concern about making Bach's jumbled score musically sound in practice appears here to override any other concerns. Walcha's use of registration renders all of Bach's sometimes knotty and frequently criss-crossing contrapuntal lines in this work completely clear. As Walcha plays from memory, the emotional content of the performance is natural, unforced, and of great depth. The sound of the Original Masters issue, though analog, is not dated and almost of digital quality in itself; clearly, this master tape has not been handled much, as it comes through clear as a bell, minus the tape hiss and gritty sonics that sometimes plague Deutsche Grammophon's 1950s recordings. This two-disc package is filled out with two trio sonatas, the C major Prelude and Fugue, BWV 547; the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV 564; and the famous D minor Toccata, all works recorded at the same 1956 sessions that produced The Art of Fugue. Some unscrupulous record labels have taken advantage of the long period in which this recording was unavailable as a separate performance in issuing Walcha's The Art of Fugue in a cheap, inferior package derived from an LP. Don't be fooled! Archiv Produktion's release is the real deal and should be the only one listeners pursue in order to experience this historically important, and in every way remarkable, recording.
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Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$38.49

Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$25.49

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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$12.99

Solo Piano - Released August 24, 2004 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Angel Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography