Author Topic: Opera Box Sets  (Read 11747 times)

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Offline Bogey

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Opera Box Sets
« on: March 08, 2009, 05:43:17 PM »
Need a couple of opera plunges to get my feet a bit more wet.  What box sets do you enjoy....even if they are not the best single performances within to be had.
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Offline Anne

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 08:01:31 PM »
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Carlos%20Kleiber&tag=lascenamusicale&index=classical-music&link%5Fcode=qs

This box set of 5 operas (Shakespeare at the Opera) received a rating of 5 stars at amazon and is not extremely costly.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 08:04:39 PM by Anne »

Offline jhar26

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 01:14:00 AM »
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Carlos%20Kleiber&tag=lascenamusicale&index=classical-music&link%5Fcode=qs

This box set of 5 operas (Shakespeare at the Opera) received a rating of 5 stars at amazon and is not extremely costly.
No librettos though.
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Offline Que

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 01:18:38 AM »
No librettos though.

And all live recordings, which might be unsuitable as an introduction into opera.

Q

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 02:15:56 AM »
The lack of librettos is a real drawback to most of these sets.  I have bought a few, mostly because I already had librettos with other recordings:  Colin Davis's Berlioz Box (not cheap, but I see some sellers have used copies available).  Decca has two Britten boxes: I bought volume one, though I already had the Billy Budd on CD.  I skipped volume two, since I have (and love) those recordings individually.  There's Mackerras's wonderful Janáček cycle (I don't have the box set, but I have all the individual recordings).  4 discs of DG's 8-disc Alban Berg Collection contain Boulez' Lulu and Abbado's Wozzeck recordings, my favorite recordings of those works.

I recently got the 70-disc EMI set of Maria Callas ~ Complete Studio Recordings.  This does have complete texts (as .pdf files on disc 70), and, of course, the operas included are more basic repertory than Berg, Berlioz, Britten, and Janáček.  Of course, some absolultely hate Callas, so caveat emptor.  Currently, amazon.com's selling it for $99.97, less than $1.50 per disc.  I just got it a few weeks ago, and am still working my way through (today will be La Bohème, discs 34 & 35), and I'd consider it a bargain if it only contained what I've listened to so far.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 02:19:34 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 04:21:38 AM »

I recently got the 70-disc EMI set of Maria Callas ~ Complete Studio Recordings.  This does have complete texts (as .pdf files on disc 70), and, of course, the operas included are more basic repertory than Berg, Berlioz, Britten, and Janáček.  Of course, some absolultely hate Callas, so caveat emptor.  Currently, amazon.com's selling it for $99.97, less than $1.50 per disc.  I just got it a few weeks ago, and am still working my way through (today will be La Bohème, discs 34 & 35), and I'd consider it a bargain if it only contained what I've listened to so far.
Alapage.fr were selling it for 28 Euros recently. Vat deducted, and with a 10 E free coupon, it cost me all of 15 E + 12 E p&p.

Offline Que

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 04:28:21 AM »
Alapage.fr were selling it for 28 Euros recently. Vat deducted, and with a 10 E free coupon, it cost me all of 15 E + 12 E p&p.

Incredible bargain! :o  :)

And I hope the example of a CD-R with the libretto & liner notes is followed suit by other companies, it's obviously the way forward for bargain issues and possibly all issues in the future.

Q

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 05:37:52 AM »
I also ment to mention this EMI box of Poulenc's Œuvres Lyriques, which includes the recordings of Dialogues des Carmélites, Les mamelles de Tirésias, and La Voix Humaine, all with Denise Duval.  The booklet does have texts, but in French only IIRC.  Pretty expensive at the amazon.com link I'm giving, I bought it for a lot less from Berkshire Record Outlet, but they don't have it any more.  Worth searching for, if you're interested.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 10:27:59 AM »
Have a look at EMI's Karajan Vocal box set. It has no paper librettos, but there is a separate disc with all of them on it. You go from the early sets including Callas in Butterfly and Trovatore, a live Meistrsingers, through classics such as the famous Rosenkavalier and Gobbi in Falstaff to stereo versions of Peleas and Melisande, Don Carlos, Aida, Fidelio, Tristan.....and so on. Altogether 72 discs. In addition, two Missa Solemnis, The Seasons, an early and lively Bach B Minor Messe, Brahms German Requiem.....a real treasure trove, I have hardly scratched the surface.

http://www.amazon.com/Karajan-100th-2-Opera-Vocals/dp/B000ZBPQEE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236623206&sr=1-5

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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 07:12:59 AM »
Need a couple of opera plunges to get my feet a bit more wet.  What box sets do you enjoy....even if they are not the best single performances within to be had.

  If you are looking to drown in Wagner  0:) I'd say this COMPLETE set of the 4 operas of the Ring Cycle is essential (If you can afford it that is  $:)!):

 

  If you are looking to drown in Janacek 0:) I can recommend this set (beware though that translated libretti are NOT included):

 

  I do not know of any good box sets of Verdi 0:) operas as I have purchased most of Verdi's operas individually, the same holds true for Puccini  0:) and Richard Strauss  0:)....is there one out there I wonder??

  marvin
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 07:54:23 AM by Que »

ChamberNut

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 09:44:43 AM »
  If you are looking to drown in Wagner  0:) I'd say this COMPLETE set of the 4 operas of the Ring Cycle is essential (If you can afford it that is  $:)!):

 
 

I'm just waiting for my second mortage to get approved, then I'm pressing the click button!  ;)

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 10:42:28 AM »
I do not know of any good box sets of Verdi 0:) operas as I have purchased most of Verdi's operas individually, the same holds true for Puccini  0:) and Richard Strauss  0:)....is there one out there I wonder??

EMI, Decca, and BMG/Sony all have Puccini boxes:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=puccini+operas&x=0&y=0

I know at one time Decca had a box of the Strauss operas Solti recorded for them, but a quick search didn't turn them up.  Probably out of print, anyway.  Edit: found it used (and expensive) at amazon.co.uk:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/R-Strauss-Operas-Richard/dp/B000024366/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236969444&sr=1-21

DG had a series of Böhm conducting Strauss operas, but I don't recall if they were ever boxed together.

Speaking of Wagner, there's that Decca Bayreuth box:

http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Great-Operas-Bayreuth-Festival/dp/B00159679S/ref=pd_sim_m_1

« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 10:44:14 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 11:07:48 AM »
I'm surprised no one is mentioning the Decca "50 Greatest Operas" box (50 operas on 100 discs). For my taste, there's far too much Fischer-Dieskau in it. But as far as general introductions to opera go, it would be difficult to find a better one-box bargain.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 11:20:16 AM »
For Handel, there's this set:


Offline The new erato

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 11:25:18 AM »
And for Vivaldi, there's these 27 discs:


Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 11:40:43 AM »
I'm surprised no one is mentioning the Decca "50 Greatest Operas" box (50 operas on 100 discs). For my taste, there's far too much Fischer-Dieskau in it. But as far as general introductions to opera go, it would be difficult to find a better one-box bargain.

I've never seen that box, maybe it hasn't made it to the U.S.  I know we shouldn't take the "50 Greatest Operas" thing too seriously, but I had to laugh when I saw that Cyrano de Bergerac, Mireille, and La Wally make the cut, while Manon, Roméo et Juliette, and Tristan und Isolde don't!
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Offline bricon

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2009, 03:00:31 PM »
  If you are looking to drown in Wagner  0:) I'd say this COMPLETE set of the 4 operas of the Ring Cycle is essential (If you can afford it that is  $:)!):

 

 

Solti's Ring (fine though it is) is a mere paddle into Wagner - the drowners should try this set:



All of the operas from Holländer to Parsifal - for around $50.

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2009, 08:31:48 PM »
All of the operas from Holländer to Parsifal - for around $50.

And all those operas are oldies! There isn't one contemporary production, even getting into the vicinity of contemporary. I don't want to insist you buy anything directed by Katharina Wagner - even I ain't buying that one, - but anything with Siegfried Jerusalem would be a great experience. 

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2009, 02:40:56 AM »
And all those operas are oldies! There isn't one contemporary production, even getting into the vicinity of contemporary. I don't want to insist you buy anything directed by Katharina Wagner - even I ain't buying that one, - but anything with Siegfried Jerusalem would be a great experience. 

Since that Wagner box, like most (all?) of the recordings mentioned in this thread, is on CD, I'd think that whatever the productions looked like is completely irrelevant.   ::)
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: Opera Box Sets
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2009, 08:39:10 AM »
But Wendell, there are CDs available with Bryn Terfel, Placido Domingo, Poul Elming, Struckmann, et al. in opera performances.  :)