George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess. Willard White (Porgy); Cynthia Haymon (Bess); Harolyn Blackwell (Clara); Damon Evans (Sporting Life); Bruce Hubbard (Jake); Cynthia Clarey (Serena); Marietta Simpson (Maria); Gregg Baker (Crown). Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, conduced by Simon Rattle.
I'll never give up my fondness for the old Leontyne Price-William Warfield highlights album -- on which Price not only sings Bess's arias but also Clara's "Summertime" and Serena's "My Man's Gone Now" -- but this complete version is undeniably one of the great opera recordings. The cast is superb and the choral and orchestral work outstanding, but the real genius lies in Simon Rattle's conducting. Seriously, if you don't own this one, you should. (The video below is from a made-for-TV version available on DVD, with Haymon and White, conducted by Rattle.)