Classical music for beginners. Below is an essential listening guide for those new to classical music. Including a Spotify playlist of the highlighted works. Clicking on the CD cover will take you to the respective post.

Elgar Cello Concerto
This recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto is one of the greatest achievements in recorded history. On this recording a number of greats converge, including Jacqueline du Pre, London Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli. If ever there was an essential CD to know, then this is surely it.
Holst The Planets
You'd be forgiven for thinking of British composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934) as a bit of a "one hit wonder" and indeed it is likely that you may never encounter another work by him. Nevertheless, The Planets, featured in this post (incl Spotify link), is certainly a hit worthy of it's popularity and especially suitable and appealing to those new to classical music.

Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf Dame Edna Everage
Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf (Narrated by Dame Edna Everage)
If you are new to classical music, then Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (narrated by Dame Edna Everage) is a great piece to discover. This piece is suitable for all ages and is extremely entertaining, especially in this charming, whimsical recording.

Brahms Symphony no.1
Brahms Symphony no.1
Excellent recording of Brahms Symphony no.1 played by Cleveland Symphony conducted by George Szell. This is essential listening for beginners.
Barber Adagio for Strings
Barber Adagio for Strings
Incredible recording of the Barber Adagio for Strings. This piece has been used in the past to accompany moments of public mourning, including the funerals of Albert Einstein, John F Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.
Mozart Symphony no.40
Mozart Symphony no.40
One of the best recordings of Mozart symphony no.40 brilliantly played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Charles Mackerras. This CD won many awards in 2008/2009.
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.2
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.2
One of the best recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto no.2 played by Sviatoslav Richter. Music this good deserves to be known, loved and shared.
Dvorak Symphony no.9 New World Symphony
Dvorak Symphony no.9
One of the finest recordings of Dvorak Symphony no.9 New World Symphony conducted by Kertesz, played by the London Symphony Orchestra. The performance is thrilling and the remastered sound excellent.
Shostakovich Jazz Suites
Shostakovich Jazz Suites
The Jazz Suites by Dmitri Shostakovich are wonderfully tuneful little gems brilliantly played here by Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1
One of the best versions of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1 brilliantly played by Martha Argerich, passion, speed, fury and excitement.
Vittorio Grigolo Arrivederci
Vittorio Grigolo Arrivederci
Excellent tenor Vittorio Grigolo sings Italian arias and songs in this excellent CD Arriverderci.
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Vivaldi The Four Seasons
One of the best versions of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons played by Fabio Biondi and Europa Gallante. These performances are packed with excitement, focus and energy throughout, with playing that is crisp and articulate.
Beethoven Symphony 5
Beethoven Symphony no.5
One of the best versions of Beethoven's most popular symphony no.5 played by Gewandhausorchester conducted by Riccardo Chailly.  Crisp, energised playing and sheer excitement from beginning to end.

Spotify playlist: Classical music for beginners (essential listening guide)