Who would have thought 2020 would be the Year of Living Dangerously? As workplaces, theatres, bars and concert halls shut down for an indefinite period and social distancing is the new black, we may each find ourselves in home detention with time on our hands. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-acquaint – or introduce – ourselves to some of the great recordings of ‘all time’.

Phillip Scott Limelightcritic Phillip Scott

You will have your own list. Here’s mine. All these recordings were the talk of the town on their first appearance, and have continued to impress pundits and public ever since. Look for them on YouTube or Spotify. (Or heck: buy them!)

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Soloists, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg Solti cond.
Decca 4788370

Solti Ring Cycle

Not the first recorded Ringcycle (Fürtwangler’s Italian radio version precedes it), Solti’s traversal of the four operas came along at exactly the right time. They were taped between 1958 and 1965. This was the dawning of stereo, and recording techniques were maturing at a great rate. Soprano Birgit Nilssonwas at her peak,...