Author Topic: Box Blather  (Read 291737 times)

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Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #440 on: December 31, 2014, 07:40:26 AM »
Well, when I say 2-3 new CDs a day that leaves some time to listen again to those you love. At least that works fine with me. According to what I read, I think we have approximately the same boxes :)

I'm jealous of your time! Usually after coming home from work, eating dinner, and doing chores, I do have time to listen to two CDs (or two hours, anyway). But I still have a great big stack of free CDs to be reviewed, which are a blessing and a curse. They're free, and they're often very good, but all of a sudden listening to them is required. ;D

Aside from four "super duper cheap bargains" (Lumieres, Liszt/Sony, Fiorentino, Bernstein/Sony II), I have not ordered any CDs since January. At first, it was strange to stop myself from buying everything I wanted. When you own something, it is less appealing than when you do not own it yet! But time and patience cured this: I spent a series of weekends going through the Perahia box disc by disc, put on Rubinstein while cooking, and went through Bernstein/Sony II like a tornado. (It's close to being my favorite big box ever.) I've been enjoying myself very much! I even got halfway through the DRD/Sony Haydn box before, alas, stalling out. Records indicate there are still 22 Haydn symphonies I've never heard. Hmmm, a new project...

Anyway, in the new year I will be ordering more CDs, but after that, I'll stop again. Consider it a refueling. :) In terms of Big Box Blather, these are the ones I'm thinking about buying for 2015:
- the Debussy Edition (DG)
- the Ravel Edition (Decca)
- Abbado Brahms (DG)
- Biber Sacred and Profane (Archiv)
- Sviatoslav Richter (Universal and Sony both)
- Milhaud: Une Vie Heureuse (Erato)
- Berlioz: Complete Orchestral and Sacred Works (Decca, Colin Davis)
- Schumann: Symphonies (John Eliot Gardiner, Archiv)
- Janacek: The Operas (Decca)
- Martinon in Chicago (Sony, pre-order)
- Beethoven Sonatas (Heidsieck [EMI] and Gulda [Eloquence])

Most of my shopping cart is single, un-boxed discs I really want. After buying some or most of that list, however, I would definitely not need to buy anything else until 2016! In fact, because of the prices I'm already forgoing Boulez/Sony and the big Monteux and Reiner boxes.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 07:42:31 AM by Brian »

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #441 on: December 31, 2014, 07:43:27 AM »
Aside from four "super duper cheap bargains" (Lumieres, Liszt/Sony, Fiorentino, Bernstein/Sony II)

Both the Lumières and Liszt/Sony boxes are wonderful . . . and I've only scratched the surface (not the metaphor one wishes to use with CDs, of course) . . . .
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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #442 on: December 31, 2014, 07:55:11 AM »
And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a big box!

  And a Happy New Year! (It's 24 minutes to midnight here in Taiwan). 

   Bigshot, we had a mild disagreement in another box thread ["what do you think of those big boxes" or some such] about the Brilliant Classics box sets.   As I recall, I suggested they were solid "B grade" sets, and you felt that my designating them as such was both pejorative and inaccurate. After getting the Haydn, Bach, and Schubert sets, I have completely come around to your view.  I am consistently amazed and delighted with the quality, both in playing and SOTA recording, every time I put them on.  (For some reason all of the sleeves on my Bach set open from the wrong side, but other than that minor quibble, I've nothing but the highest praise.)  The Bach Cantatas aren't the very best, IMO, but the keyboard works (harpsichord and organ--forte-piano in the case of Haydn) can go toe-to-toe with anything else in the market. 

   I don't have a Brahms set.  The DG Brahms looks excellent, and is cheap, but I have heard nothing but raves about the Brilliant set.  If anyone has both and can compare, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts.   
{whoa! While typing this two new posts have come up, even though it has been a couple of weeks since the last...}
It's all good...

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #443 on: December 31, 2014, 08:02:17 AM »
I'm jealous of your time! Usually after coming home from work, eating dinner, and doing chores, I do have time to listen to two CDs (or two hours, anyway). But I still have a great big stack of free CDs to be reviewed, which are a blessing and a curse. They're free, and they're often very good, but all of a sudden listening to them is required. ;D

  Yeah, but I suspect you really sit and listen, the way I watch a movie (if someone asks a casual question while we are watching a movie, I pause it).  I actually play 8-10 CDs a day, but I'm always doing other stuff while I listen (like right now).
It's all good...

Ken B

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #444 on: December 31, 2014, 08:05:15 AM »
  And a Happy New Year! (It's 24 minutes to midnight here in Taiwan). 

   Bigshot, we had a mild disagreement in another box thread ["what do you think of those big boxes" or some such] about the Brilliant Classics box sets.   As I recall, I suggested they were solid "B grade" sets, and you felt that my designating them as such was both pejorative and inaccurate. After getting the Haydn, Bach, and Schubert sets, I have completely come around to your view.  I am consistently amazed and delighted with the quality, both in playing and SOTA recording, every time I put them on.  (For some reason all of the sleeves on my Bach set open from the wrong side, but other than that minor quibble, I've nothing but the highest praise.)  The Bach Cantatas aren't the very best, IMO, but the keyboard works (harpsichord and organ--forte-piano in the case of Haydn) can go toe-to-toe with anything else in the market. 

   I don't have a Brahms set.  The DG Brahms looks excellent, and is cheap, but I have heard nothing but raves about the Brilliant set.  If anyone has both and can compare, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts.   
{whoa! While typing this two new posts have come up, even though it has been a couple of weeks since the last...}

Get the DG. It's better.

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #445 on: December 31, 2014, 08:05:28 AM »
  And a Happy New Year! (It's 24 minutes to midnight here in Taiwan). 

   Bigshot, we had a mild disagreement in another box thread ["what do you think of those big boxes" or some such] about the Brilliant Classics box sets.   As I recall, I suggested they were solid "B grade" sets, and you felt that my designating them as such was both pejorative and inaccurate. After getting the Haydn, Bach, and Schubert sets, I have completely come around to your view.  I am consistently amazed and delighted with the quality, both in playing and SOTA recording, every time I put them on.  (For some reason all of the sleeves on my Bach set open from the wrong side, but other than that minor quibble, I've nothing but the highest praise.)  The Bach Cantatas aren't the very best, IMO, but the keyboard works (harpsichord and organ--forte-piano in the case of Haydn) can go toe-to-toe with anything else in the market. 

   I don't have a Brahms set.  The DG Brahms looks excellent, and is cheap, but I have heard nothing but raves about the Brilliant set.  If anyone has both and can compare, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts.   
{whoa! While typing this two new posts have come up, even though it has been a couple of weeks since the last...}

The only negative I can suggest about the Brilliant Brahms Box is, that chances are high you will want other, finer accounts of the Symphonies (and, arguably, the Requiem).  But then, the chances are good you already have recordings of those which you like very well in your library.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #446 on: December 31, 2014, 08:16:02 AM »
Ken and Karl, thanks.

  And yeah, regarding the symphonies (and requiem), I have maybe half a dozen famed versions of each ??? I know DG used quite a few famous discs for the chamber stuff, but I already have a number of them, which is why I am kind of leaning towards the Brilliant. Probably should have both, but am trying not to be such a glutton ;)
It's all good...

Ken B

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #447 on: December 31, 2014, 08:25:23 AM »
Ken and Karl, thanks.

  And yeah, regarding the symphonies (and requiem), I have maybe half a dozen famed versions of each ??? I know DG used quite a few famous discs for the chamber stuff, but I already have a number of them, which is why I am kind of leaning towards the Brilliant. Probably should have both, but am trying not to be such a glutton ;)
The Brilliant chamber stuff is very good. DG is better but not a blow out. It's in the lieder, piano music, orchestral that the DG has a clear edge. I have not heard the Brilliant choral stuff, but the DG is top notch.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #448 on: December 31, 2014, 08:34:10 AM »
The Brilliant chamber stuff is very good. DG is better but not a blow out. It's in the lieder, piano music, orchestral that the DG has a clear edge. I have not heard the Brilliant choral stuff, but the DG is top notch.

 Yeah, I should go with the DG.  One thing that irks me is they didn't do original jackets >:( I know it's the music that counts, but such famous discs, and they make them seem unnecessarily cheap and generic...).
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Offline Todd

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #449 on: December 31, 2014, 08:38:39 AM »
Anyway, in the new year I will be ordering more CDs, but after that, I'll stop again. Consider it a refueling. :) In terms of Big Box Blather, these are the ones I'm thinking about buying for 2015:

- Abbado Brahms (DG)
- Biber Sacred and Profane (Archiv)
- Sviatoslav Richter (Universal and Sony both)
- Berlioz: Complete Orchestral and Sacred Works (Decca, Colin Davis)
- Janacek: The Operas (Decca)
- Beethoven Sonatas (Heidsieck [EMI] and Gulda [Eloquence])


These are all sure bets.  My only caveat with the Janacek box is that it has no libretti, so hope you have those otherwise. 
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Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #450 on: December 31, 2014, 08:44:14 AM »
  Yeah, but I suspect you really sit and listen, the way I watch a movie (if someone asks a casual question while we are watching a movie, I pause it).  I actually play 8-10 CDs a day, but I'm always doing other stuff while I listen (like right now).
Usually I listen to music while either reading or writing. At work, I always have music playing, but (unlike you? I think?) I have to actually go to a shared office, so my work listening is streamed online through cheap headphones.

Karl and Todd, thanks. (And Karl, you're right about those boxes.)

Offline Jo498

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #451 on: December 31, 2014, 11:37:16 AM »

- Biber Sacred and Profane (Archiv)
- Schumann: Symphonies (John Eliot Gardiner, Archiv)
- Beethoven Sonatas (Heidsieck [EMI] and Gulda [Eloquence])
I find the Gulda all around still a very strong set. Especially in the earlier sonatas, but also op.106 and 111, although some find him "shallow". I got the Heidsieck in EMIs big Beethoven box, but only listened to some bits, it's a more controversial set I think.
I highly recommend the Biber as you probably do not know most of the music (only the Rosary sonatas are frequently recorded). The Schumann has been reissued cheaply with Paradies und Peri (this is probably the issue you have in mind). I only know the symphonies, but they are also very good and even more commendable because they recorded both versions of the 4th and the fragment of an early ("Zwickau") symphony.
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #452 on: December 31, 2014, 02:04:33 PM »
Yeah, I should go with the DG.  One thing that irks me is they didn't do original jackets >:( I know it's the music that counts, but such famous discs, and they make them seem unnecessarily cheap and generic...).

But you still favor the "Das Alte Werk", "Erato" and "Teldec" boxes...   :o :o   ;)
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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #453 on: December 31, 2014, 06:02:09 PM »
But you still favor the "Das Alte Werk", "Erato" and "Teldec" boxes...   :o :o   ;)

  Doesn't seem consistent, I know. But those sleeves are quite classy, IMO, designed with love.  The DG Brahms and Schumann really scream "Generic".  I expect them to have "Romantic Classical Music Inside" stamped on the back.

  And an emphatic agreement on the Biber set mentioned above.  What a wonderful surprise.  Like Rebel, he was a "gloves off" composer.  Real blood and testosterone in his stuff.
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Offline North Star

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #454 on: January 06, 2015, 08:04:34 AM »
Anyway, in the new year I will be ordering more CDs, but after that, I'll stop again. Consider it a refueling. :) In terms of Big Box Blather, these are the ones I'm thinking about buying for 2015:
- the Debussy Edition (DG)
- the Ravel Edition (Decca)
- Schumann: Symphonies (John Eliot Gardiner, Archiv)
I have the Sony Debussy, but wouldn't mind owning both. The Decca Ravel & Gardiner's Schumann are essential.
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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #455 on: January 23, 2015, 09:29:13 PM »
Just saw that the big Horowitz original jackets box is $102 at ImportCD.  I won't be getting it myself, but that's a super-bargain price for folks who are interested (I was going to put this in the bargain thread, but saw this thread first...).
It's all good...

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #456 on: January 24, 2015, 11:42:11 AM »
Just saw that the big Horowitz original jackets box is $102 at ImportCD.  I won't be getting it myself, but that's a super-bargain price for folks who are interested (I was going to put this in the bargain thread, but saw this thread first...).

That should tempt me. But Horowitz never tempts me.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #457 on: February 13, 2015, 03:56:30 AM »
I'm making a project of the Chandos box.



   A classy box from a classy label.  I love the way the discs are not related to one another at all.  Each one is a wonderful and unexpected surprise when it follows on the heels of the last.   I expect to make a lot of new discoveries.  (Already have, in fact, and am only on disc 3).  I bog down in some boxes by getting bored by the consistency.  Maybe the best way is to line up several boxes and work through them all simultaneously (unless they are grab bag, like this Chandos, or the Erato). 

   Played Mozart Concertos (22&26), Larocha on piano, from the big Colin Davis box last night and this morning (bedroom stereo). 


 Of course there are a million high-quality Mozart PCs, but I was in heaven.  When my wife wanted to sleep, I played it again wearing the headphones. 

By the way, this has been at my local shop for a while.  It's about $115.



  Just looking at the back, it seems to have a higher percentage of "standard repertoire" stuff than the Sony--lots of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky.  Although, like Ken, I think the young Boulez was a big prick, I really like his Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky.   Are people interested in this?
It's all good...

Offline North Star

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #458 on: February 13, 2015, 04:05:14 AM »
I have Boulez's DG Stravinsky, Bartók, Berg (at least what's in the DGG Berg box), and Varèse, and have heard the Ravel. Top-notch stuff mostly, very highly recommended.
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #459 on: February 13, 2015, 04:07:56 AM »

  Just looking at the back, it seems to have a higher percentage of "standard repertoire" stuff than the Sony--lots of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky.  Although, like Ken, I think the young Boulez was a big prick, I really like his Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky.   Are people interested in this?

I am going to get it so I can use the cd covers for my 20th century music dartboard! Hmm, Ligeti or Boulez in the center?
That is the question....    ::)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 04:09:39 AM by Moonfish »
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