Classical music fans: favorite video recordings of famous works

For those who find that a good video production enhances the enjoyment of classical music, what are your favorite performances on YouTube? I don’t necessarily mean your favorite work as such – I mean your particular favorite video recording of a well-known piece, or not so well known for that matter.

How about this slightly quirky performance of Mozart’s Requiem? This is not perfect but it’s a charmer, and is my go-to version of the Requiem every time.

Yuja Wang playing “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

This is my favorite Magic Flute performance. Lots of people can hit the notes and say the words of the Queen of the Night. But this one can actually act and convey the sheer pissed offedness of the character while doing so…

The whole thing is great though, but I’m too lazy to find the whole link.

Speaking of The Magic Flute, I absolutely love Nathan Gunn as Papageno. He puts so much energy into that role, other than his voice.

Loved it!

Loved the performance by Hillary Clinton there, just wish it was a better recording.

Sadly I got errors trying to play that.

This video of Barry Douglas playing a couple movements from Pictures at an Exhibition makes me marvel at how he can contort his hands the way he does.

Ok, try this:
Nathan Gunn as Papageno

Since the pandemic started, the Metropolitan Opera has been showing free streams of their operas. Each performance is available for 24 hours, starting at about 6:30 each evening. Just scroll down to Nightly Opera Streams.

They have other performances available, that you have to buy tickets to.

The best and most authentic version of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah:

  • 18th century musical instruments and style of playing
  • A highly trained choir of men and boys
  • The right tempo.

This is a 1994 recording with Sir Stephen Cleobury, the Brandenburg Consort, and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

The full live recording is also online. Here’s a link to For Unto Us a Child is Born.

That worked. And it was delightful!

From the Last Night of the BBC Proms 2017 (the centenary of Finnish independence) - the full choral version of Sibelius’s Finlandia, with the BBC choirs singing in Finnish, conducted by Sakari Oramo (himself a Finn):

(I blush to remember how we must have murdered even a simplified version in my school orchestra!)

Yikes! I was one big goosebump all the way through that! I never tire of Handel’s Messiah. I’ve sung it with a chorus several times and at one point owned 12 recordings of it. I love these authentic, fast, light versions. The ones with mammoth choruses and ginormous orchestras seem very ponderous to me now (lookin’ at you Norman Aberschnacle Choir).

Also spectacular.

This whole thread is goosebump-inducing!

I’m about as far from a Christian as you can get but have always loved that piece of music. (I do hate that some people feel the need to stand for it, though.)

My contribution to the thread; this 2001 performance of the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by the Metropolitan Opera.

Um… it’s not “some people” – it’s most literate, tradition-observing audience members. (If you don’t want to be seen as one, so be it. No need to hate the practice. :roll_eyes:) They don’t stand for religious reasons, BTW.

5. King George II stood during the “Hallelujah” chorus… or maybe not

An often repeated legend about Messiah tells the story of King George II who was so moved by the “Hallelujah” chorus during the London premiere of Messiah that he rose to his feet and then everyone in attendance followed suit as not to be sitting when the king stood.

Thus we believe the regularly debated tradition of standing during the “Hallelujah” chorus came to be — also giving birth to countless passive-aggressive battles of concert decorum between the sitters and standers.

However, according to various experts, there is no truth to this story. In fact there is no evidence King George II was even in attendance, and it is unlikely the newspaper writers that were in the audience would have overlooked mentioning a royal presence. The first reference to this story was a letter written 37 years after the fact.

Just where that leaves us in the annual stand-versus-sit showdown though is still very much up for debate.

The other stuff on this page is pretty interesting, too.

Georg Friedrich Händel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749), performed on period instruments that no doubt included crumhorns and sackbuts.

This London Philharmonic version of Beethoven’s 9th (fourth movement only, here) was a revelation to me in its tempos. I’m so used to Berlin Philharmonic, which by comparison is almost ponderous. But in London, they dance.

Gustav Holst’s The Planets, at the BBC Proms.