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The NPR Classical 50

Critic Ted Libbey and radio host Fred Child recommend 50 recordings any fanatic or first-timer should not be without.

Recent The NPR Classical 50

Leonard Bernstein Conducts 1960

June 30, 2009 Leonard Bernstein performs American music with mid-century flair in this 1959 recording.

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In the final movement of his Fourth Symphony, Johannes Brahms releases a pent-up tide of emotion.

August 11, 2009 Hear conductor Carlos Kleiber bring out all the pent-up emotions in Brahms' final symphony.

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Carol Lawrence (right) sings "I Feel Pretty," along with (left to right) Elizabeth Taylor, Carmen Gutierrez and Marilyn Cooper, in the 1957 original Broadway cast recording of West Side Story.

September 1, 2009 The original Broadway cast recording still sounds fresh more than 50 years after the show opened.

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Conductor Fritz Reiner at a 1950 rehearsal.

December 1, 2009 The Chicago Symphony, playing as if it had been set on fire, set a standard for Bartok back in 1955.

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Pianist Van Cliburn

June 2, 2009 Hear the lanky Texan's iconic Tchaikovsky recording, made just after his historic Moscow victory.

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Cellist Jacqueline Du Pre records Elgar's Cello Concerto with conductor John Barbirolli at Kingsway Hall in London, 1965.

November 10, 2009 Cellist Jacqueline Du Pre exposes both the tenderness and pain in Elgar's late-career concerto.

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liszt main

October 13, 2009 Franz Liszt's multi-layered sonata can spark a powerful emotional experience in the listener.

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The original poster advertising the premiere of The Magic Flute on Sept. 30, 1791, is on display at the birth home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

July 28, 2009 Ted Libbey recommends an all-star cast performance of Mozart's last opera, The Magic Flute.

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Soprano Jessye Norman.

September 22, 2009 Hear the extraordinary opulence soprano Jessye Norman brings to Strauss' final songs.

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Monteverdi's Poppea.

December 15, 2009 Monteverdi's set of Vespers illustrated a mastery of blending Renaissance and Baroque styles.

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