Author Topic: Vaughan Williams box set?  (Read 8029 times)

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Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2009, 07:30:32 AM »


I finally ordered one. Thanks to those here who helped me decide.

DavidW

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2009, 07:37:37 AM »


I finally ordered one. Thanks to those here who helped me decide.

Cool beans! :)  I was looking at another big emi box recently-- the Elgar one, but don't know how the recordings stand... it's such a tempting bargain. :)

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2009, 07:45:24 AM »
Cool beans! :)  I was looking at another big emi box recently-- the Elgar one, but don't know how the recordings stand... it's such a tempting bargain. :)

The only reason I don't have that set is because when I checked through its contents I found that I already had almost all of the recordings as separate CDs and box sets. If they were stolen by an Elgar-obsessed burglar, and I had to replace them, I'd buy the big Elgar box straight away, day one, no reservations at all. Many of those recordings are classics. I presume the documentation is minimal (as with the RVW box), but that's the only downside I can think of.

DavidW

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2009, 07:47:26 AM »
Aha I should buy with confidence then! :)

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2009, 07:53:14 AM »
Aha I should buy with confidence then!

Well, if that box set is rubbish, then a very large chunk of my Elgar collection is rubbish too!

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2009, 04:38:51 AM »
Cool beans! :)  I was looking at another big emi box recently-- the Elgar one, but don't know how the recordings stand... it's such a tempting bargain. :)

Here's a detailed review: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2007/Oct07/Elgar_Collectors_5036032.htm

 
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DavidW

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2009, 04:58:17 AM »
Thanks Grazioso, very indepth review.  I like that Barbirolli is highlighted alot in that set.  His cello concerto with Du Pre and Sea Pictures with Baker is top notch, I would imagine that his other recordings would reach that level too. :)

Elgarian

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2009, 05:33:00 AM »
Thanks Grazioso, very indepth review.  I like that Barbirolli is highlighted alot in that set.  His cello concerto with Du Pre and Sea Pictures with Baker is top notch, I would imagine that his other recordings would reach that level too. :)

Barbirolli and Boult are fabulous Elgarians.

I forgot to mention earlier that there is one clear downside to this 30CD set: it contains the wrong version of the wonderful, incomprehensibly neglected major work, The Spirit of England. The one you get is Hickox/Felicity Lott. The one you want (no, need) is Gibson/Teresa Cahill.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2009, 10:43:23 AM »
Just wanted to add that one of the advantages of the Handley cheapo CFP box is that it comes with a great performance of 'Job' - one of the composer's best works. Actually I think that the performance of Job is the best performance in the set.  The symphonies are well played but none are top choices (many would disagree about nos 5 and 6). The harps at the end of the valedictory ( ;D) Ninth Symphony, however, come over more clearly than in any other performance.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2010, 07:43:17 AM »
Previn/RCA and Boult/EMI would be my picks; the Previn is less expensive.

But the Previn suffers from terrible audio. Not a first choice and just because it's got a lower price doesn't make it that much more attractive.
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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2010, 07:48:48 AM »
I also liked Bryden Thomson's Chandos box, but that may no longer be available.

It's still in-print, but now it comes with a pretty hefty price tag:
 
http://www.amazon.com/Vaughan-Williams-Brian-Rayner-Cook/dp/B000000AQ2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1281545115&sr=1-11
 
I personally find Thomson's cycle to be one of the most satisfying. I own all of the symphony cycles and Thomson, Andrew Davis, and Boult (EMI) have impressed me the most in terms of performance and audio quality, but I do have some favorite performances outside of these cycles as well.
 
 
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2010, 12:58:51 PM »

It's still in-print, but now it comes with a pretty hefty price tag:
 
http://www.amazon.com/Vaughan-Williams-Brian-Rayner-Cook/dp/B000000AQ2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1281545115&sr=1-11
 
I personally find Thomson's cycle to be one of the most satisfying. I own all of the symphony cycles and Thomson, Andrew Davis, and Boult (EMI) have impressed me the most in terms of performance and audio quality, but I do have some favorite performances outside of these cycles as well.

Yes, I own all the box sets too (now, there's a surprise  :D). I think that Thomson's Vaughan Williams and Bax sets are underrated. I actually prefer Thomson to the much lauded Vernon Handley set of Bax symphonies. I think that Previn's is by far the best  A Pastoral Symphony on RCA and I would not be without Wood or Hickox's versions of A London Symphony or Berglund's recordings of 4 and 6, Barbirolli's No 5 (EMI) or Stokowski's No 9 (Cala).
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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2010, 01:15:50 PM »
Yes, I own all the box sets too (now, there's a surprise  :D ). I think that Thomson's Vaughan Williams and Bax sets are underrated. I actually prefer Thomson to the much lauded Vernon Handley set of Bax symphonies. I think that Previn's is by far the best  A Pastoral Symphony on RCA and I would not be without Wood or Hickox's versions of A London Symphony or Berglund's recordings of 4 and 6, Barbirolli's No 5 (EMI) or Stokowski's No 9 (Cala).

I just can't get onboard with Previn's RCA set (or Vernon Handley's but for different reasons), because of the audio quality. I just can't get past it. Slatkin in mediocre. The Naxos set with Bakels/Daniel isn't that great. Haitink misses the mark too often and doesn't get the kind of emotion I would like to hear from the music. Both of Boult's accounts are really good with the EMI set winning easily for me mainly because of my audiophile nitpicking.
 
I really enjoyed Thomson's Bax recordings (the symphonies and various orchestral works), but comparing his RVW performances with other RVW performances, I find that, overall, he wins for me. His pacing of the music is so assured. Thomson's reading of A Pastoral Symphony is one of the best I've heard of any set. Andrew Davis is another that just really recorded a consistent cycle of high-quality performances.
 
Of individual releases outside of the box sets, Berglund's 4th & 6th, Barbirolli's 5th (EMI), Menuhin's 5th, Previn's 5th (Telarc), Bernstein's 4th, Hickox's London Symphony, and Spano's A Sea Symphony.
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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2010, 04:57:24 AM »
 :'( I wish Thomson's RVW went down in price, as at the moment it is surely the only non-budget RVW set out of almost a dozen available, and at the same time it is the one that intrigues me the most. I've heard low quality snippets here and there, but it's a shame that Chandos seems to have forgotten about it. Part of the reason of the success of Handley's Bax cycle was its great price.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2010, 05:18:00 AM »
:'( I wish Thomson's RVW went down in price, as at the moment it is surely the only non-budget RVW set out of almost a dozen available, and at the same time it is the one that intrigues me the most. I've heard low quality snippets here and there, but it's a shame that Chandos seems to have forgotten about it. Part of the reason of the success of Handley's Bax cycle was its great price.

     I'm well provided for in RVW symphonies with the Boult/EMI set and various singles like Barbirolli 2, 5, and 8, Thomson 4, Berglund  4, Abravanel 6, Bakels 7 & 8, and Handley 1. There are others as well. So I'm not exactly pining for more versions. If I did get another complete set it would be the Thomson.

     I'm also interested in Thomson's Bax set. The thing with Handley is that he has a deadpan approach that works well in some pieces and less well in others. Sometimes he skates over details that should be highlighted. His mentor Boult was far better at underlining detail in a subtle manner. This is wildly OT but Boult's Everest recording of Hindemith's Symphony in E flat is superb!
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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2010, 05:36:59 AM »
:'( I wish Thomson's RVW went down in price, as at the moment it is surely the only non-budget RVW set out of almost a dozen available, and at the same time it is the one that intrigues me the most. I've heard low quality snippets here and there, but it's a shame that Chandos seems to have forgotten about it. Part of the reason of the success of Handley's Bax cycle was its great price.

I bought my Thomson set last summer and got it around $35. I felt at the time that this was going to be as low the set will probably get and so far I'm right.
 
I will say, however, that the set is worth every penny. It is one of my favorite RVW sets and the companion 2-CD set of concertos is also a must-own. There's also a single recording of some of other RVW orchestral works outside of the symphonies and concerti that I also had bought during this time.
 
My biggest question is why don't Chandos just re-release all of the RVW/Thomson recordings and put them in a box set? This would be ideal for the collector, but it just seems, in general, that Thomson's recordings aren't getting fair treatment and it's a shame considering all of what he has done for English music. His Bax symphony set is out-of-print as are his Nielsen recordings. I mean is the kind of treatment this great conductor deserves? I don't think so.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2010, 05:30:22 AM »

I bought my Thomson set last summer and got it around $35. I felt at the time that this was going to be as low the set will probably get and so far I'm right.
 

     That was a good move. I've never heard a bad word about the Thomson set, and based on his reading of the 4th I want to hear more.

     I have the giant RVW box set with the Handley symphony cycle which is sitting on my HD as yet unexplored. I really should get on with it.

 
My biggest question is why don't Chandos just re-release all of the RVW/Thomson recordings and put them in a box set? This would be ideal for the collector, but it just seems, in general, that Thomson's recordings aren't getting fair treatment and it's a shame considering all of what he has done for English music. His Bax symphony set is out-of-print as are his Nielsen recordings. I mean is the kind of treatment this great conductor deserves? I don't think so.

     Hickox and Handley get priority, and I imagine they want the investment made in these conductors to pay off now. Later they will prepare new releases of Thomson when it won't interfere with newer recordings. Someone who resembles an insurance actuary or an intelligent insect of some kind is busy calculating the optimum scheduling of these events.

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Offline Omicron9

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2018, 07:15:05 AM »
Reviving an old thread.  Since these posts, any new thoughts on RVW box sets that have been released in the past 8 years or so?  I'm tempted by the Haitink set.  Thoughts/opinions/knock-knock jokes welcomed.

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2018, 07:30:01 AM »
I am a great fan of the Haitink set.
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Offline Omicron9

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Re: Vaughan Williams box set?
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2018, 07:31:04 AM »
I am a great fan of the Haitink set.

Many thanks, Dr.

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