Author Topic: Box Blather  (Read 290380 times)

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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1140 on: September 25, 2021, 02:30:50 PM »
Karl has listened to almost two-thirds of the box and he is going in order - go through his comments in the listening thread. I've listened to 28 CDs in full and parts of 6 more (including, on the Saint-Saens cello album with Mischa Maisky, everything except "Le cygne"). Generally speaking, everything has been fabulous. The worst performances I've heard aren't bad, they're just normal, this-is-fine type performances. (Cough, Rodrigo, cough.) The best...well Orpheus has several amazing qualities. One is the precision and energy which they achieve without a conductor. The playing on albums like Rossini overtures, all things Stravinsky, and the Bartok Divertimento/Dances is totally virtuosic, exciting, witty, and fun, without any leader "whipping them into shape."

Generally speaking their Haydn has incredible wit and sparkle and sensitivity. It sings and chuckles and although the playing is much too professional and American to be described as "rustic" or "rough and ready" or similar, it also never becomes genteel or fuddy-duddy. Probably my favorite performance of 80 ever, and 80 is my favorite Haydn symphony. The Mozart recordings have totally rejuvenated my interest in Mozart. I listened to the disc with the two Sinfonias concertante today and holy cow - absolutely the best in modern instrument Mozart. Somehow they strike the same balance as in Haydn, avoiding the sleepy "baby loves Mozart" preciousness and hero-worship of some performers while playing the music with absolutely ridiculous beauty.

What else...the Gil Shaham album has me thinking I should get the Gil Shaham complete box. (Naturally, the price tag on that has shot up.) The Weber/Rossini clarinet disc is total joy, and Patrick Gallois is absolutely amazing in the Vivaldi flute concertos. The Kodaly Summer Night and Hungarian Rondo were total amazing surprises to me. Their Copland is correctly legendary. There is some debate about the Handel recordings since they are decidedly not HIP, but they are stylish, tasteful, and showcase all the soloists well. Plus I already have Savall for Water/Fireworks Music and Pinnock for Op. 6. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the disc of premiere recordings of music from the 1980s. As mentioned, the Rodrigo is eh-whatever, as are the English and French albums.

 Whoa! That was fast, and a sweet summary.  A cautious thumbs up, then? :P  I've seen some of Karl's comments, which is part of what put (and kept) it on my radar. I'm a Karl fan, but was interested in corroboration.  I have more-or-less sworn off buying anything new til I buy a house with a listening room, but the Orpheus does seem like a must buy.
    Interesting that you mention Gil Shaham. I've been playing his Prokofiev PC disk (with Previn) lately. 
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1141 on: September 25, 2021, 02:40:22 PM »
Whoa! That was fast, and a sweet summary.  A cautious thumbs up, then? :P  I've seen some of Karl's comments, which is part of what put (and kept) it on my radar. I'm a Karl fan, but was interested in corroboration.  I have more-or-less sworn off buying anything new til I buy a house with a listening room, but the Orpheus does seem like a must buy.
    Interesting that you mention Gil Shaham. I've been playing his Prokofiev PC disk (with Previn) lately. 

Or, overall a thumb's-up with the understanding that there will perforce be a bit of dross.  Brian is absolutely right viz. Haydn and Mozart, it's all energetic, clean, gracious and witty.  I knew what I was getting into viz. Haydn, and the fact that all the Mozart & Mendelssohn is up to the same standard has been gravy by me. I've not yet reached the "meh" content, so I'm simply "happy as a tick on a dog's ear."
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Offline JBS

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1142 on: September 25, 2021, 04:54:01 PM »
I'll add my concurrence to Karl and Brian. I too am going in order, at a slightly slower pace than Karl, so I have yet to reach Rodrigo. (The box is mostly but not completely alphabetical by composer.)

Some of these are in sets you have: the Schumann CD (with Maisky in the 'Cello Concerto) is also in one of the DG Argerich boxes (original jacket style, so everything on the original release is included; in this case it's the Schumann chamber works she recorded with Maisky). Some of the Stravinsky was included in DGs Complete Stravinsky. Etc.

But there's only one CD I haven't liked so far, and that's because of the composer: I'm a non-fan of Ives.

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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1143 on: September 25, 2021, 10:03:16 PM »
Thank you, all, for the nice feedback. I knew I could count on you...to convince me to buy another box of CDs :D

  Turns out I have a disk of them playing Haydn 78 & 102.  Playing that now. [edit: and enjoying it quite a bit...]
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 01:46:46 AM by Mookalafalas »
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1144 on: September 25, 2021, 10:14:22 PM »
Hurwitz apparently has a 90 minute video praising the new Ormandy Giant Mono Box. That is really testing the limits of how much YouTube I will watch.

Ugh, kindly keep that idiot contained in his own thread, thank you. 🤨😀

Offline Jo498

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1145 on: September 25, 2021, 11:27:25 PM »
I like most of what I heard of the Orpheus CO but I have not and will not get the box and from what I have listened to would only give a qualified recommendation. Firstly, I already have most of the few of their recordings I was interested in. My two favorite discs are the ones with Haydn 80/22/63 and Bartok divertimento/Stravinsky Pulcinella etc. (I do not have the original couplings). If I didn't already have their clarinet concerto, the Mozart wind concerti collection would be another one somewhat enticing to me but I cannot muster too much enthusiasm for the other wind concerti to need another recording.

Secondly, overall their repertoire is an odd mix of standards I am well provided with and niches/bonbons I am hardly interested in.

Thirdly, I think they are in fact most of the time (at least a bit) too neutral, impersonal, whatever. This aspect is of course disputed (some people don't care at all for most of what they recorded) but even their fans will edit: NOT completely deny it. (This is IMO enhanced by the dryish sound, at least in their earlier (1980s) recordings.)
I have not heard their Haydn 102 (which was considered far too small scale by some) but I found the 48+49 too tame and it's their only disc I got rid of again.

Finally, despite owning only one or two of their discs back then, I have a considerable nostalgia for their DG discs. They were desirable but unaffordable (or not important enough to justify the expense) for me as a teenager in the late 1980s coming new to classical music and for me are one representation of that first age of tidy, shiny silver compact discs in perfect sound in plastic jewel cases with slightly cheesy covers. This is purely aesthetic nostalgia, I have it for Abbado's Mahler recordings with the "Feather" covers although I never owned any of these discs and even today the only one I have is a later issue with a Klimt cover of the 7th. So IF I wanted them, a box would not do but only the original discs.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 02:04:28 AM by Jo498 »
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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1146 on: September 30, 2021, 11:35:46 PM »
This is now about $110 from Amazon.  A super-duper cheap bargain at $2 a disk for this level...I'd list it over there, but am too lazy. 

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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1147 on: October 03, 2021, 10:14:55 AM »
I took it for granted I am getting this pair:




Now I'm getting concerned. The Deutsche Grammophon volume is showing "out of stock" everywhere I look in North America and disappeared from importcds.com. Can it be out of print already? Some European internet sellers say it is releasing on October 15, but I thought it was already released. What's the deal? Did I miss it, or is it not released yet?


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1148 on: October 03, 2021, 11:11:54 AM »
Now I'm getting concerned. The Deutsche Grammophon volume is showing "out of stock" everywhere I look in North America and disappeared from importcds.com. Can it be out of print already? Some European internet sellers say it is releasing on October 15, but I thought it was already released. What's the deal? Did I miss it, or is it not released yet?

Amazon UK shows a release date for the DG set of October 15th, you might as well take this as a sign that you didn't miss it. ;)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Igor-Markevitch-Deutsche-Grammophon-Legacy/dp/B09FYBDRM3/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Igor+Markevitch&qid=1633288241&s=music&sr=1-2
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1149 on: October 03, 2021, 11:40:27 AM »
Going through the Markevitch listings I apparently managed to get almost all I am interested in separately (or in smaller older boxes, like DG original masters or the Philips Tchaikovsky), the main missing desired item being Haydn 103/104 (which was with Beethoven 1 available once in France and Japan on disc) Maybe with many people buying the boxes one will get some older single issues more easily or maybe some people will split up boxes and sell the contents separately.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 12:11:23 PM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1150 on: October 03, 2021, 11:48:47 AM »
Amazon UK shows a release date for the DG set of October 15th, you might as well take this as a sign that you didn't miss it. ;)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Igor-Markevitch-Deutsche-Grammophon-Legacy/dp/B09FYBDRM3/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Igor+Markevitch&qid=1633288241&s=music&sr=1-2

Yes, Amazon UK was one of the European internet retailers I saw listing an October 15 release date. (I guess with Brexis Amazon UK is "European" anymore.) What struck me as peculiar and somewhat worrying is that Amazon.com did not list it as pre-order, but out-of-stock, which usually implies that the item has already been released. Also, importcds.com had previously had it for sale and now does not list it. And of course Deutsche Grammophon's web site does not list the release at all (because it is an Eloquence release, I suppose). It amazes me that record labels like DG can't even provide a reliable listing of the products they offer for sale.



Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1151 on: October 03, 2021, 12:33:13 PM »
Yes, Amazon UK was one of the European internet retailers I saw listing an October 15 release date. (I guess with Brexis Amazon UK is "European" anymore.) What struck me as peculiar and somewhat worrying is that Amazon.com did not list it as pre-order, but out-of-stock, which usually implies that the item has already been released. Also, importcds.com had previously had it for sale and now does not list it. And of course Deutsche Grammophon's web site does not list the release at all (because it is an Eloquence release, I suppose). It amazes me that record labels like DG can't even provide a reliable listing of the products they offer for sale.

It seems strange to me what has been happening on Amazon US for the past year or so (perhaps even longer). They've had box sets, single recordings, etc. listed one day only to find that they're no longer available or appearing to be OOP the next day. I don't know what is happening at the Amazon HQ, but they're certainly dropping the ball in their current classical listings. Like for example, I preordered the new Martinů recording on Supraphon and I was supposed to get it two days after its initial release, but it's now showing up like it's OOP. ??? I just have no idea what the hell is going on over there. As for the European Amazon sites, which, yes, I do include the UK, it seems they're a pretty good indicator of what is going to come out. I use either Amazon DE or Presto Classical in finding new releases --- they seem to be the most reliable.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 12:35:25 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1152 on: October 03, 2021, 06:18:16 PM »
It seems strange to me what has been happening on Amazon US for the past year or so (perhaps even longer). They've had box sets, single recordings, etc. listed one day only to find that they're no longer available or appearing to be OOP the next day. I don't know what is happening at the Amazon HQ, but they're certainly dropping the ball in their current classical listings. Like for example, I preordered the new Martinů recording on Supraphon and I was supposed to get it two days after its initial release, but it's now showing up like it's OOP. ??? I just have no idea what the hell is going on over there. As for the European Amazon sites, which, yes, I do include the UK, it seems they're a pretty good indicator of what is going to come out. I use either Amazon DE or Presto Classical in finding new releases --- they seem to be the most reliable.

I've never found the listings at Amazon to make much sense, even for books, which are supposed to be their signature product. For anything but a new release I find myself unsure of what I am buying (a deluxe hardcover edition and a $1.99 trade paperback from 30 years ago will be conflated together). Where they excel is in their fulfillment. I've frequently ordered things in the afternoon and had them arrive the next day for free shipping.

I regret that internet retailers that actually focus on classical recordings been largely marginalized or put out of business entirely, due to inability to compete with Amazon. The latest tragedy seems to be arkivmusic.com. Their drill-down listing system was invaluable, but now it seems like their databases have become corrupted and the results are garbled.


« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 06:23:22 PM by Spotted Horses »

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1153 on: October 03, 2021, 06:22:41 PM »
Going through the Markevitch listings I apparently managed to get almost all I am interested in separately (or in smaller older boxes, like DG original masters or the Philips Tchaikovsky), the main missing desired item being Haydn 103/104 (which was with Beethoven 1 available once in France and Japan on disc) Maybe with many people buying the boxes one will get some older single issues more easily or maybe some people will split up boxes and sell the contents separately.

What I am interested in is the stuff that has not been widely available and the whole point of the complete sets is the avoid the lifelong wild goose chase of trying track down all those releases individually.

My gripe is that I want both of them, not just one, and I don't want to buy one and find out that I'm not going to be able to get the other. I want them to both be available at the same time. And the things that makes me nervous is that importcds.com, my preferred non-amazon retailer, listed both at one time and now the DG volume has disappeared. By the time the DG volume appears the Philips volume may be out-of-print, or I might buy the Philips volume to find out that the DG volume is not coming back. Perhaps I should save myself some money and forget about both of them.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 06:37:33 PM by Spotted Horses »

Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1154 on: October 03, 2021, 07:13:36 PM »
I want them to both be available at the same time.
I could buy myself two copies each and then when I visit Houston in February, bring the extras to you so that they are arriving in your own life at the same time. This is only partly a joke!

Hurwitz might actually be a good source of knowledge here. There may be a production delay of some kind, like they spotted an error? (He says still waiting on a replacement CD from the Grumiaux box.) Last year there was a big DG box that was delayed for like 4-5 months but eventually did come out...I think the Kempff edition. (Which still ended up leaving out a recital.)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1155 on: October 03, 2021, 07:49:01 PM »
I've never found the listings at Amazon to make much sense, even for books, which are supposed to be their signature product. For anything but a new release I find myself unsure of what I am buying (a deluxe hardcover edition and a $1.99 trade paperback from 30 years ago will be conflated together). Where they excel is in their fulfillment. I've frequently ordered things in the afternoon and had them arrive the next day for free shipping.

I regret that internet retailers that actually focus on classical recordings been largely marginalized or put out of business entirely, due to inability to compete with Amazon. The latest tragedy seems to be arkivmusic.com. Their drill-down listing system was invaluable, but now it seems like their databases have become corrupted and the results are garbled.

Yes, you're quite right. Amazon's websites are riddled with mismatched listings and, in general, dead end links. Also, in many cases, they'll have the same recording under three or four different listings, which makes for much confusion as you don't know exactly what version of the recording you're buying. But I must say that even with all of these complaints, they've been pretty reliable for me and are really one of the only sources for classical recordings I've encountered. It does seem like Arkivmusic's website isn't as "friendly" as it was in the past. I have had much better luck with Presto Classical the last few times I've used them. They seem to have stepped up their game big time, which is always nice to see as they're one of the only reliable classical webstores that are left that provide good service. JPC is another one I've used several times, but, honestly, their shipping times make a turtle look like a roadrunner. ;D
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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1156 on: October 03, 2021, 08:35:48 PM »
I could buy myself two copies each and then when I visit Houston in February, bring the extras to you so that they are arriving in your own life at the same time. This is only partly a joke!

Hahaha, I won't take you up on that. But if you're rolling down i-45 in February maybe you can drop me a line and make a pit stop somewhere between Conroe and Spring and we can grab a coffee. :)

I'll probably get the Philips box now that it's around and keep fingers cross on the DGG volume.

Quote
Hurwitz might actually be a good source of knowledge here. There may be a production delay of some kind, like they spotted an error? (He says still waiting on a replacement CD from the Grumiaux box.) Last year there was a big DG box that was delayed for like 4-5 months but eventually did come out...I think the Kempff edition. (Which still ended up leaving out a recital.)

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1157 on: October 03, 2021, 08:39:16 PM »
Yes, you're quite right. Amazon's websites are riddled with mismatched listings and, in general, dead end links. Also, in many cases, they'll have the same recording under three or four different listings, which makes for much confusion as you don't know exactly what version of the recording you're buying. But I must say that even with all of these complaints, they've been pretty reliable for me and are really one of the only sources for classical recordings I've encountered. It does seem like Arkivmusic's website isn't as "friendly" as it was in the past. I have had much better luck with Presto Classical the last few times I've used them. They seem to have stepped up their game big time, which is always nice to see as they're one of the only reliable classical webstores that are left that provide good service. JPC is another one I've used several times, but, honestly, their shipping times make a turtle look like a roadrunner. ;D

I end up getting a bunch of household items items from Amazon just because you can get free shipping even on a small purchase. For classical music it is mostly marketplace orders of used items from thrift shops and goodwill locations, which can be very good value.

I still fondly remember some of the retailers I used to frequent before amazon became so dominant, cdworld.com, cdnow.com, crotchet.co.uk, mdt.co.uk. I've done some substantial trade with prestoclassical, but almost exclusively lossless downloads (as well as eclassical.com).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1158 on: October 03, 2021, 08:53:08 PM »
I end up getting a bunch of household items items from Amazon just because you can get free shipping even on a small purchase. For classical music it is mostly marketplace orders of used items from thrift shops and goodwill locations, which can be very good value.

I still fondly remember some of the retailers I used to frequent before amazon became so dominant, cdworld.com, cdnow.com, crotchet.co.uk, mdt.co.uk. I've done some substantial trade with prestoclassical, but almost exclusively lossless downloads (as well as eclassical.com).

I just miss being able to go into a CD store and converse with people about music. Not to go on a tangent, but everything is just so impersonal nowadays. Unfortunately, it was heading in this direction long before COVID disrupted things.
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Offline Artem

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1159 on: October 04, 2021, 02:24:21 AM »
I wonder how North America compares to Europe in relation to CD shops. In Helsinki, for instance, there're plenty of music shops where you can find interesting stuff.