BusinessEvolution wrote:........Currently on my list to look for is:
Dmitri Shostakovitch and Peter Tchaikovsky, which I think I saw there thought they were recorded by the USSR Symphony Orchestra (how random old are these recordings lol)
Dvorak (my father was listening to a few of these cds... 6 years ago, so possibly they are there)
Someone recommended Haydn but I don't think i've ever seen any of those cds in the collection.........
From my experience with classical I find to appreciate the newer stuff such as Shostakovitch you really have to go through it in historical order. But that's just my opinion of course. What you've got listed there is roughly in reverse order (you can go further back to baroque and further to renaisasance) but starting at the bottom of your list, give Hyden a wide berth (boring as bat shit) and go for his pupil, Mozart. I'm sure there will be something in the collection but on the whole I found his later stuff to be the best. He wrote an unbelievble amount and it does get very samey after a while. His later piano concertos, violin concertos, wind concertos if you're after orchesteral stuff. His most amazing misic I find to be his last three string quartets.
Brahms is one of my favourite composers. His piano concertos and string concerto are amazing. His chamber music is fantastic too. While you're there in that time period (Romantic) try some Beethoven. Piano concertos, string concerto and of course his symphonies (no 8 is my favourite). His string quartets, particularly his last ones are the most amazing bits of music ever written.
Don't know much about Shubert. Mahler is huge, not my cup of tea but highly regarded. Everything he wrote was three hours long and very loud and heavy.
I've got a fair amount of Dvorak, mainly his string quartets. His cello concerto is stunning.
I have to be in the right mood to listen to Shostakovich. In a way, for a modern composer he's pretty old fashioned in that he'll have easily recognised themes and movements going through his compositions but at the same time it's discordant and complicated which makes it hard to listen too. Thaivosky's a bit meh in my opinion.
As for the age of your recordings, that's a bonus. I gave up trying to find stuff that was recorded in the last 30yrs. If I'd present the dude at the counter of the classical CD shop (alas there are none left here in Perth) with three recordings of a piece and plead with him to recommend me something recent he'd just smile, shake his head point to the 1954 recording. In the end I just gave up. A lot of stuff I've got sounds like it was recorded in a brick shit house with a microphone strapped to the toilet bowl but it doesn't matter. On the other hand some recordings even the 1950 ones sound absolutely flawless. Good luck and have fun. You've got at least a decades worth of listening to do.