Daniel Barenboim: 10 essential recordings


Winner of the 2022 Gramophone Lifetime Award, a look back at 10 of Daniel Barenboim’s greatest recordings

Brahms The symphonies

Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim (DG)

Editor’s Choice – 2018 Awards Issue

“These are not ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ performances, like so many Brahms recordings of the last days are. They embody deeper memories and search for broader horizons, as Brahms himself did when he created these amazing works.

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Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin concertos

Lisa Batiashvili vn Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim (DG)

Recording of the month – January 2017

2017 Gramophone Awards Finalist – Concerto

“Everything feels ‘in the moment’, an improvisational quality like the music created by playing it. Its musicality always comes with an element of surprise… It’s concerto playing of the highest order …Each familiar phrase somehow manages to sound both authoritative and newly discovered…a delight from start to finish.’

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Elgar Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55

Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim (This side)

Recording of the month – May 2016

2016 Gramophone Awards Finalist – Orchestra

“Barenboim’s long association with Elgar and his love for Elgar has made it an integral part of his musical DNA…And because he is a master, he has somehow communicated all of that, both in practical terms and witty, to an orchestra for which he is relatively little known. That’s the truly startling achievement here, and it manifests in playing that’s as exciting as it is nuanced.

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Verdi Requiem

Anja Harteros coax / Elīna Garanca me / Jonas Kaufman Ten /Rene Pope low / Orchestra and coro del Teatro alla Scala, Milan / Daniel Barenboim (This side)

Editor’s Choice – November 2013

‘This performance, exciting and at times enthralling as it is, is not remotely Italian… It is a performance linked ‘through the composition’, punctuated by a dramatic curve that even makes even the more impactful led by Italians… opera number… The non-Italian soloists are fearlessly good-voiced and aurally well integrated into this concept.’

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JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume 2

Daniel Barenboim (Warning)

Editor’s Pick – October 2005

“There is no sense of received wisdom, only a vital act of recreation that captures Bach’s masterpiece in all its raw glory and magnitude; no simplistic notions of period style or strict parameters but a moving musical sense of timeless truthfulness.

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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 17

Berlin Philharmonic / Daniel Barenboim pf (Teldec)

“These records place Barenboim alongside them in the highest class of performers of Mozart’s piano concertos, and beg to be owned even if you already own other versions.

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bruckner Symphony No. 1 & Te Deum

Jessye Norman coax / Yvonne Minton versus / David Rendal Ten /Samuel Ramey low / Chicago Symphony Choir / Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Barenboim (DG)

“In the symphony, Barenboim is witty, affectionate and vital and Chicago’s playing is sumptuous without being bland or suffocating… we understand Deutsche Gramophone’s desire to give a new airing to the best of this Barenboim cycle Bruckner.”

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Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios

Daniel Barenboim pf / Jacqueline Du Pre cv / Pinchas Zuckerman vln (Warning)

“Throughout the set, the game is exceptionally musical and lively, responding to that glorious music as generously as one could wish.”


Beethoven: complete piano concertos

Daniel Barenboim pf / New Philharmonic Orchestra / Otto Klemperer (Warning)

“Rarely on record has the slow movement of the Concerto in C major been played with such a natural feeling of concentrated calm, all deeply recollected on a spiritual level. One of the joys of the Barenboim/Klemperer cycle is its occasional unpredictability: rock-solid readings that nonetheless incorporate a sense of “today we try this way.”

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Daniel Barenboim Play Chopin, the Warsaw Recital

Daniel Barenboim (DG)

‘The Barcarolle ebb and flow…featuring the patient unraveling of the densely populated inner voices of the sublime coda. The… Lullaby has also had a flexible and poetic makeover… the resonant vibe of engineering communicates a palpable sense of occasion and flatters Barenboim’s huge, colorful sound.

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