Author Topic: Vaughan Williams box set?  (Read 8026 times)

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Offline Air

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Vaughan Williams box set?
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:36:52 PM »
I need some help - I don't know which one to get.  Any suggestions?  :)
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 05:51:22 PM »
I need some help - I don't know which one to get.  Any suggestions?  :)

Well, if the Symphonies are what you are after, then I have the box below w/ Vernon Handley - good luck in your choice!  :D


Bulldog

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 06:03:42 PM »
Previn/RCA and Boult/EMI would be my picks; the Previn is less expensive.

Conor71

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 06:42:41 PM »
I like the Boult/EMI set - Great versions of the first 3 Symphonies (the others are all good too!) and a generous selection of Orchestral Music as well! (this is a big selling point as some of this is excellent).
The other set I own is the Haitink/EMI set which is also great and has better sound than the Boult but not as complete a package.
I agree it is a difficult decision  :).

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 06:59:23 PM »
Handley, for performance, price and extras. Boult/EMI comes close for all of these criteria as well. Previn is also no slouch, but I marginally prefer the former two.
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Dana

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 08:25:26 PM »
I like the Boult/EMI set - Great versions of the first 3 Symphonies (the others are all good too!) and a generous selection of Orchestral Music as well! (this is a big selling point as some of this is excellent).

      Yup, that's the big "everything" box. I bought Boult's first go round with the symphonies - many of the late ones (from 6 on, I think) are world premiere recordings. There are two brief speeches included too - the first one given by Vaughan-Williams concerning his 6th symphony, the second one given by Boult, telling the orchestra that the composer of the work they were about to record had died hours earlier. The mono sound is another terrific surprise - it puts many of today's sound engineers to shame.

      And I know that it technically isn't a box set, but I feel like I wouldn't really know Vaughan-Williams at all without this double-disc set. I'm pretty sure that I read that early in his career, Vaughan-Williams declared that he would never write a symphony. The works on this disc are a good representation of his non-symphonic output, which represents a different kind of Vaughan-Williams - a little more informal, perhaps, and more personal in a lot of ways. Many of Vaughan-Williams later symphonies (say, from 6 onwards) tend to make me feel more like an observer. This orchestra music makes you feel a little more invited, if that makes sense.

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 03:02:17 AM »


Includes the Handley symphony cycle and a heck of a lot more goodies.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Dana

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 06:12:22 AM »
:o **Starts salivating**

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 06:52:08 AM »


Includes the Handley symphony cycle and a heck of a lot more goodies.

I've read reports that the recording quality on this set is very variable and often poor. Is that correct? (If it isn't, then I'd be very tempted.)

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 09:02:24 AM »
I've read reports that the recording quality on this set is very variable and often poor. Is that correct? (If it isn't, then I'd be very tempted.)

There's no problem with any of them, really. There is a noticable difference between the old recordings and the modern ones, as should be expected, but perhaps the people in question simply don't like old recordings, or are unable to deal with the combination of the two.
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Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 11:24:52 AM »
There's no problem with any of them, really. There is a noticable difference between the old recordings and the modern ones, as should be expected, but perhaps the people in question simply don't like old recordings, or are unable to deal with the combination of the two.

This is great news! Thank you! I'm sufficiently acquainted with Elgar's own recordings for age, per se, not to be a problem in sets of this sort; so suddenly this set moves a good few notches up my 'to buy' list.

Offline Guido

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 02:13:08 PM »
I've read reports that the recording quality on this set is very variable and often poor. Is that correct? (If it isn't, then I'd be very tempted.)

Absolutely not.
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karlhenning

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 02:35:33 PM »
I find the box tempting, even though I've already got the Handley set of the symphonies

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 11:22:30 PM »
I find the box tempting, even though I've already got the Handley set of the symphonies

I think now, after these reassurances about the recording quality, it's become a 'must-have' for me. I have some of the Handley symphonies too, but not all; and even though I'm a long-time RVW fan I've tended to listen mostly to a small range of works (eg the contents of the EMI Boult box) - so there's a lot of stuff in this 30CD box that I don't have.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 02:37:11 AM »
I think now, after these reassurances about the recording quality, it's become a 'must-have' for me. I have some of the Handley symphonies too, but not all; and even though I'm a long-time RVW fan I've tended to listen mostly to a small range of works (eg the contents of the EMI Boult box) - so there's a lot of stuff in this 30CD box that I don't have.

The thing I was most pleasantly surprised by (as an existing RVW fan) was how much of the content of the box was gold. From the way its (mild) detractors talk about it, you would think that there were a dozen discs of miscellaneous minor choral works/songs, but actually there are only a couple and those do not outstay their welcome. The rest is just dynamite.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 03:42:04 AM »
Depends what you want-.  if you don't mind historic recordings I'd go for the Boult LPO set on Decca. Otherwise I'd recommend the Boult EMI box or the Previn on RCA.  The Naxos recordings and Vernon Handley's sets are good bargain options. I also liked Bryden Thomson's Chandos box, but that may no longer be available.
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Offline Grazioso

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2009, 03:43:14 AM »
Anyone who wants that big EMI box should snap it up. EMI's comparable Elgar box is already OOP, as far as I can tell.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2009, 05:10:17 AM »
Anyone who wants that big EMI box should snap it up. EMI's comparable Elgar box is already OOP, as far as I can tell.

Not OOP just yet, I think - it's still around on Amazon, still listed on the EMI website, and at the Elgar Birthplace Museum shop.

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 05:12:56 AM »
The thing I was most pleasantly surprised by (as an existing RVW fan) was how much of the content of the box was gold. From the way its (mild) detractors talk about it, you would think that there were a dozen discs of miscellaneous minor choral works/songs, but actually there are only a couple and those do not outstay their welcome. The rest is just dynamite.

Every time you post in this thread, you send this RVW box hurtling further up my priority list of purchases! My credit card number-typing finger is itching unbearably.

Offline Guido

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2009, 02:45:41 PM »
I find the box tempting, even though I've already got the Handley set of the symphonies

Definitely get it Karl - I just gave my Handley box of the Symphonies only to my dad who treasured the gift. I wonderful thing to share!
Geologist.

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