Author Topic: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?  (Read 30539 times)

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Offline Sammy

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2014, 03:26:05 PM »
Frankly, and not to be a snob about it either, I don't buy big boxes. the Haydn Brilliant Big Box. There are a few disks in there which were worth the cost of the entire set. Like the Hugo Ruf lira concertos, for example. I hard-to-find used copy was selling for over $100 at the time! Plus the individual boxed sets inside of it; net result was a great value for $150. That said, this is the only box set I own. I'm more like Gordo, I prefer individual disks, even if it means having 4 or 5 instead of a box of 4 or 5. I seem to listen to them more intently and enjoy them more that way. :-\

8)

I never buy big boxes; the biggest I've bought had about 13 discs (Bach's organ works from Jacobs).  Usually, I already have a few discs that recycled into a large box; I never buy the same disc twice (except by accident).  Essentially, these big boxes just don't beckon me.

Offline Pat B

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2014, 04:37:19 PM »
Mercury Living Presence 1 & 2: I have listened to about half of the first one, and all of the second one. I'm happy with them. Like most of the big boxes these have a lot of standard repertoire, but there is a fair amount of music that was new back then and not often recorded these days (e.g. Hanson), giving a bit of a time-capsule vibe, especially in the second set. There's also some proto-crossover stuff and some wind band music. I don't think there is any vocal music, and only a bit of solo and chamber music. As performances go, I'm not a huge fan of Paul Paray but I do like Dorati, Kubelik, Janis, and especially Starker. I haven't yet listened to much of the Bachauer or Szeryng, but I can say that the latter's Mendelssohn concerto here is better than the later one with Haitink on Philips. Sound quality is good for its day, but maybe not as good as the hype, even though I do appreciate their philosophy of recording and mastering. Presentation is fine but nothing fancy.

Living Stereo 1: I have listened to about half of it. It's mostly standard Romantic-era repertoire (more so than the Mercury sets). There is a fair amount of vocal music including 5 large-scale works. Only 2 solo piano discs (both Rubinstein) and no chamber music. Aside from Heifetz (I prefer his earlier recordings), I like what I have heard so far. The box and sleeves are relatively sturdy. Some discs are in original album format; others are filled up. I like it enough to have pre-ordered the second set (though at a good price). In hindsight I might have preferred the Rubinstein and Reiner sets -- but both of those have since gone way way up in price. (Also, I have some of their separate issues to complement the Living Stereo boxes, and a few more on the wishlist, so I'll end up with good collections of both.)

Toscanini: I have listened to about a third of it. Before getting this I had a single disc of highlights, which probably set my expectations for the performances at an unrealistic level, basically setting me up for disappointment. I knew not to expect modern sound, but I had hoped that the later (1953-1954) recordings from Carnegie Hall would sound better than they do. Despite these reservations I am still very satisfied with the purchase for its price.

Lumières: I have listened to all of it. My only quibbles are that it partially, but not fully, duplicates discs I have or want, and that the box is physically larger than necessary. Performance and recording quality are mostly at a very high level, and the price is certainly right -- my cost was less than Jacobs's Marriage of Figaro by itself. I even like the color gradient on the tops of the sleeves. :)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 04:38:57 PM by Pat B »

Offline Artem

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2014, 05:09:15 PM »
Having an easy access to CDs at a relatively good price I don't see the need for big boxes, because often they don't replicate the original cover design and they don't include original liner notes, which is important for me when discovering new music. There's also the issue of time.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2014, 05:10:00 PM »
Well, not sure what a 'big box' means, i.e. a definite number and/or a 'complete' set of a composer's or a performer's works? 

I own a lot of 'boxes' but many contain a dozen or less discs or a couple of dozen CDs - my boxes tend to be limited to a composer and a specific genre - e.g. I suspect my largest one is Fischer doing the Haydn Symphonies (33 discs), and have a number boxes closer to two dozen or so discs, mostly Haydn & Bach (e.g. organ & keyboard works).  I've been happy w/ these purchases but how many times can one listen to all of these discs?  :) Dave

kishnevi

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 05:44:25 PM »
My big boxes:  EMI Eminence, Rubinstein, Great Choralworks--all untouched,although what I have of Rubinstein I like.
Perahia--untouched, but I have half of it already as singles, and like what I have. 
Almost done with a first runthrough of
Brilliant 100CD Symphonies box.  Bought as an economic choice (it has both Barshai's DSCH and Fischer's Haydn) and no regrets even if it has a couple of misfires
DRD Haydn and Lumieres liked although much of the Lumieres I already have. 
EMI France 50 CD Beethoven excellent, and I am now about halfway through
Which leaves the Battle Of The Bachs.  Hanssler and Teldec.  At the moment, Hanssler (Rilling) wins the vocal, and Teldec wins the rest (I am currently voyaging in the Hanssler keyboard works, and then the chamberworks to completely traverse the box.
Opera :  Solti's Strauss Wagner and Mozart remain unheard,  although some of those I owned on vinyl or early CD.   ditto Karajan's Ring, and complete Mozart and Haydn opera boxes that were started but not finished.
Boxes I regret not having:  Mercury Living Presence, especially the first.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:51:21 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline Brian

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 06:35:12 PM »
Big jumbo box sets that I hope will happen someday:

George Szell - The Complete Columbia/RCA/Other Labels Now Owned by Sony Recordings
Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings

I'd buy those up way too quickly.

Offline Todd

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 06:40:53 PM »
Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings


While this will probably never happen, and if it does, it will probably be an Asian market release, you can take some solace in the complete HMV recordings, slated for release in June.  It includes recordings from 1947-1983.  Don't know the contents yet.  (I'd also take a complete CBS/Sony set, and/or a complete Orfeo compilation.)

I'm also hoping for a Warner box of all of Joseph Keilberth's recordings for Telefunken.  Fingers crossed.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Offline Holden

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2014, 12:08:15 AM »
I've chosen my sets as carefully as I can mainly because I want value for money. Looking at my collection I am surprised at how much I've collected.

Radu Lupu Complete Decca recordings.
Richter in Prague
Arthur Rubinstein complete set
Shostakovich symphonies Barshai
Cziffra 40 CD set from EMI
Brilliant 100 CD set Russian Legends
Haskil set from Brilliant
Youri Egorov EMI set

I haven't included sets like complete sonatas/symphonies/etc apart from the Barshai

I contemplated the Toscanini set but let it slide.

I am very happy with all these sets, the Rubinstein being the standout!
Cheers

Holden

Ken B

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2014, 12:35:05 PM »
I am happy with all I have, especially the HM boxes, DHM big and little boxes, Vivarte, Chandos 30, Decca Sound, Living Stero 1, Hogwood Haydn, Ross Scarlatti.

That's a lot of especially! I'm not big on Boulez's Schoenberg box, Rubinstein's Chopin.

Offline Holden

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2014, 02:17:36 PM »
This thread has prompted me to go back to the Russian Legends box and I will do what I did with the AR set, start at the beginning (with Richter) and go forward from there.
Cheers

Holden

Offline stingo

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2014, 02:39:30 PM »
Brilliant Russian Legends, 100 CDs: I don't listen to this as much as I ought. This trove of live recordings from approx. 1940-1980 is typically in not very good sound, but the performances contained are frequently spectacular. Some are great no matter your taste: Richter's Beethoven, Leonid Kogan's matchless Tchaikovsky concerto, Grieg sonatas with Oistrakh, Rostropovich's collection of Soviet cello concertos (highlighted by Weinberg). And others are items of interest to the connoisseur, like Daniil Shafran's scandalously vibratolicious Bach cello suites. Really a treasure chest.

I wholeheartedly concur. Like you, I've not listened to as much as I should, but each disc I've listened to has been great.

On an unrelated note, I do also like the Fischer Haydn symphony set.

DavidW

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2014, 04:11:48 PM »
Well, not sure what a 'big box' means, i.e. a definite number and/or a 'complete' set of a composer's or a performer's works? 


Loads of cds in a box, doesn't have to be complete.

Offline Moonfish

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2014, 07:18:18 PM »
Big jumbo box sets that I hope will happen someday:

George Szell - The Complete Columbia/RCA/Other Labels Now Owned by Sony Recordings
Rafael Kubelik - The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings

I'd buy those up way too quickly.

I wish for a re-release of Great Pianists of the 20th Century...   Pls pls pls pls!

and a giant 100 cd Solti collection!     

and, and....

a large poster of Hilary Hahn!     ;D
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 07:21:41 PM by Moonfish »
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Ken B

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2014, 07:59:12 PM »


a large poster of Hilary Hahn!     ;D

Ibragimova!

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2014, 03:34:23 AM »
I've been buying boxes like mad for the last year.  The only one I regret buying is the Furtwangler--just because they sound like someone recorded them off old VHS tapes with using their cell phone. Even that one I expect I will grow into, eventually (as many people who's opinions I respect swear by him).  The Byron Janis box is sort of a rip--many of the discs are very short.  I also bought almost all the Klemperer boxes. He was my first favorite, but there are equally good performances of most of this repertoire in better sound.   Really and truly, however, concerning almost everything I had doubts about (the archiv box, for example), after I started playing the stuff, I was delighted.  I am home a lot, though, and can play music about 10 hours a day, sometimes more. That makes a difference...
 
It's all good...

Offline bigshot

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2014, 08:11:04 AM »
I don't think you're likely to find performances that sound like Klemperer in better sound. Klemperer was a very unique interpreter. No one else does it like he did... same with Furtwangler

The point to conductor boxes isn't the compositions or composers, it's the style of the conductor.

Offline springrite

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2014, 04:49:26 PM »
I only have three box sets that are really big (I don't count the EMI Verdi set as it is too small):

Furtwangler the Legend: Great!
Rubenstein: Likewise!
Mercury: Almost likewise, but not quite. More than good enough though!
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2014, 05:57:16 PM »
In my mind there are two kinds of big boxes: The super cheap, super comprehensive "180 disc Bach/Haydn/Mozart" etc that introduce a lot of music for well under a dollar a disc, but most of it is only "Pretty good" quality wise, and the "brand-name show-off" boxes, or "famous conducter" ouvre boxes, that are usually $2-3 a disc and are mostly 4-5 star quality level, at least by some judges standards (say, penguin or gramophone, or whatever).  If you regularly buy music and are actually going to listen to them, I think both are simply common-sense purchases (although I only get the second type). 
    To me there is something unreasonable in saying "I don't buy big boxes" and yet buying tons of full priced singles of the core repertoire.  My father grew up during the depression and is very tight with money. I remember how angry he used to get at my brother, who was a pretty heavy smoker, for buying cigarettes a pack at a time at the convenience store.  "If you're going to smoke, at least don't throw your money away! Wait til their on sale and buy cartons!".   I buy boxes of CDs. My father would be proud (Maybe. He loves a bargain, but thinks buying music is a waste of money when you can just turn on the radio). My brother, by the way, died of cancer (pancreatic, not lung--but he still would have been wiser to buy boxes of cds than cigarettes). 
  PS: the post man just dropped off the 60-disc baroque box--lots of lovely Kuijken and Leonhardt)--and I mean minutes ago ;D ;D
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 06:00:29 PM by Baklavaboy »
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Offline bigshot

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2014, 09:00:13 PM »
In my mind there are two kinds of big boxes: The super cheap, super comprehensive "180 disc Bach/Haydn/Mozart" etc that introduce a lot of music for well under a dollar a disc, but most of it is only "Pretty good" quality wise

Well, I don't know what boxes you're referring to, because all of the Brilliant Classics boxes that I've picked up are a lot better than just pretty good. In particular, I think Derek Han's Mozart is excellent. A lot of old timers remember the days when inexpensive box sets were the domain of no name orchestras with conductors working under a psudonym. Most of those boxes stunk to high heaven or never rose much above interesting. That isn't true of the Brilliant Classics boxes. Some stuff is better than others, but more often than not, the only just good stuff is lesser works where the problem may be the composition itself, not the performance.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2014, 12:25:34 AM »
Well, I don't know what boxes you're referring to, because all of the Brilliant Classics boxes that I've picked up are a lot better than just pretty good. In particular, I think Derek Han's Mozart is excellent. A lot of old timers remember the days when inexpensive box sets were the domain of no name orchestras with conductors working under a psudonym. Most of those boxes stunk to high heaven or never rose much above interesting. That isn't true of the Brilliant Classics boxes. Some stuff is better than others, but more often than not, the only just good stuff is lesser works where the problem may be the composition itself, not the performance.

  OK.  The brilliant big boxes are excellent.  So what do you think about, say, the DG Mozart 111 box? It has lots of stuff conducted by Karajan, Bohm, Gardiner, Levine, etc, and lots of the top soloists as well.  Must we call it super-excellent? Or is it just about equal to the Brilliant boxes?  In my opinion it is "really good".  That is why I called the other boxes just "pretty good" with quotes.  I used the quotes so as not to offend anyone who liked them.  Sorry that my ranking still bothered you.     
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