If you want a good sampling of Copland's orchestral works, then this 2-CD compilation comes highly recommended, with excellent performances of works such as Appalachian Spring, Quiet City, El Salón México and others. (Presto Classical)
There can be few more complete examples of a corpus of music fulfilling its practical function with the greatest sum of pleasure and art than the Haydn Masses. True, some Puritan souls for whom seriousness is incompatible with being seriously joyful have found them a problem. Yet even non-believers can accept their liturgical structures as vessels for exquisite music, like opera enjoyed for its beautiful tunes, divorced from plot and staging…
Barcarole: Favourite Orchestral Pieces is a generous collection of Romantic gems performed by Neville Marriner and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, including popular selections by Georges Bizet, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Charles Gounod, and Benjamin Godard. Because the music is mostly taken from famous operas and ballets, the album offers a mix of highly colorful and serenely beautiful pieces, though all of them are extremely tuneful and memorable.
There are many apocryphal stories in the classical-music world, but the one in which Frederick the Great challenged Bach to improvise a six-part fugue on a theme of the king's own invention is true, and The Musical Offering was, after a period of further reflection, the result. As with all the works of Bach's later years, the work is both great art and a "teaching piece," which shows everything that he thought could be done with the king's theme. The Trio Sonata based on the theme is the only major piece of chamber music from Bach's last decades in Leipzig, and that makes the work and essential cornerstone of any Bach collection. This performance, led by Neville Marriner, is both polished and lively, and very well recorded. At a "twofer" price, coupled with The Art of Fugue, it's the preferred version of the work on modern instruments.