Author Topic: Box Blather  (Read 290380 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #660 on: November 22, 2015, 06:32:02 AM »
Are any of those boxes the 'complete editions' of Rachmaninov on Brilliant Classics or Decca per chance?

 Yeah, I have the Decca box. I also have the Brilliant, but only on my hard drive--a friend of mine ripped it and gave me a copy to try out.  Embarrassingly, I have not heard a single disc of either one :-[
   If you want to know something about the boxes or tracks I can tell you, but nothing about the relative quality of the discs...
   By the way, I'm working my way through the Rattle CBSO box--about half way so far.  20th century city.  Seems right up your alley :) (Or, like a lot of folks, are you not much of a Rattle fan?)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 06:36:54 AM by Mookalafalas »
It's all good...

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #661 on: November 22, 2015, 08:57:13 PM »
Yeah, I have the Decca box. I also have the Brilliant, but only on my hard drive--a friend of mine ripped it and gave me a copy to try out.  Embarrassingly, I have not heard a single disc of either one :-[
   If you want to know something about the boxes or tracks I can tell you, but nothing about the relative quality of the discs...
   By the way, I'm working my way through the Rattle CBSO box--about half way so far.  20th century city.  Seems right up your alley :) (Or, like a lot of folks, are you not much of a Rattle fan?)

Very nice. You should definitely lend your ear to those Rachmaninov sets at some juncture. Truth be told, I actually prefer the Brilliant Classics set as I think the Decca set contains some strange choices for performances. If you want me to get into specifics, then I'll be happy to PM you about it. Anyway, yes, I'm a Rattle fan actually. 8) I know a good many people think he's overrated and not a good conductor or whatever, but I've always been a fan. I'm not completely onboard with many of his recordings, but his CBSO years are his best years IMHO. His Szymanowski, Shostakovich, and Britten have impressed me the most of anything he's conducted. Not a fan of his Mahler or Sibelius and think he's not really a good conductor of Romantic (whether early, mid, or late period) music in general.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Another Carlos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #662 on: November 23, 2015, 03:17:23 AM »
Now I'm regretting "only" getting the 11-disc Decca set of the Rachmaninov piano works.  I gather this is just a piece of the truly complete Decca box.  I've been very pleasantly surprised by the Ashkenazy I've heard but I might have to at least get the Wild/Horenstein performances of the concerti separately. 

What do people think about the RCA 10-disc set of the great man playing his own and others' works?  I have an mp3 version of the big old box from the 90s, and the resulting compression of the sound bothers me.  (I'm fine with the age of the sound; in fact I usually listen more to historical recordings than modern.  Utterly charming by the way to hear Mr. R's Bach transcriptions.)  So the other day I was glad to see the set has been reissued (again on RCA and much cheaper) -- so I'd like to buy these discs, but one review says that they've been subjected to a bad noise-reduction process (more so than the 90s version it seems). . . . Decisions decisions!  And at risk is not only the monetary investment but also the hours of precious listening time!

Cheers and happy listening.

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #663 on: November 23, 2015, 06:36:33 AM »
Very nice. You should definitely lend your ear to those Rachmaninov sets at some juncture. Truth be told, I actually prefer the Brilliant Classics set as I think the Decca set contains some strange choices for performances. If you want me to get into specifics, then I'll be happy to PM you about it. Anyway, yes, I'm a Rattle fan actually. 8) I know a good many people think he's overrated and not a good conductor or whatever, but I've always been a fan. I'm not completely onboard with many of his recordings, but his CBSO years are his best years IMHO. His Szymanowski, Shostakovich, and Britten have impressed me the most of anything he's conducted. Not a fan of his Mahler or Sibelius and think he's not really a good conductor of Romantic (whether early, mid, or late period) music in general.

  You are definitely right about the Rach boxes. I'm actually a big fan, and know I would like them, but they just haven't made it into the queue.  I just got the Ansermet Russian box for a great price from Amazon.IT -- Should program an "all Russian" couple of weeks and just start soaking this stuff up.  However, still have a lot in the hopper just now...
   Speaking of, I am listening to Rattle's Sibelius now.  It's not the best, but it's still Sibelius.  I'm enjoying it well enough.  I really want to play every disc of this box before moving on. 

  And my local shop finally got this one in:



 A must buy.  I finished a proof-reading job yesterday and the guy is supposed to wire me the fee tomorrow.  By coincidence, it is the exact same as the box costs :P
It's all good...

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #664 on: November 23, 2015, 07:33:36 PM »
Now I'm regretting "only" getting the 11-disc Decca set of the Rachmaninov piano works.  I gather this is just a piece of the truly complete Decca box.  I've been very pleasantly surprised by the Ashkenazy I've heard but I might have to at least get the Wild/Horenstein performances of the concerti separately. 

What do people think about the RCA 10-disc set of the great man playing his own and others' works?  I have an mp3 version of the big old box from the 90s, and the resulting compression of the sound bothers me.  (I'm fine with the age of the sound; in fact I usually listen more to historical recordings than modern.  Utterly charming by the way to hear Mr. R's Bach transcriptions.)  So the other day I was glad to see the set has been reissued (again on RCA and much cheaper) -- so I'd like to buy these discs, but one review says that they've been subjected to a bad noise-reduction process (more so than the 90s version it seems). . . . Decisions decisions!  And at risk is not only the monetary investment but also the hours of precious listening time!

Cheers and happy listening.

Hello Another Carlos,

The Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov set is of historical value only for me. I rarely spend money on these kinds of sets, but, from what I understand and have read, they're quite good for their time. Let your own ears be the judge here.

The Earl Wild/Horenstein performances of the PCs are in the Brilliant Classics Rachmaninoff Edition, which is a MUST BUY! No joke. One of the best box sets I've ever bought and certainly this set will be added to my "Favorite Purchases of 2015" list. Anyway, the Wild/Horenstein set is outstanding (I've only heard the 3rd, 4th, and Paganini Rhapsody from the cycle so far). I prefer these performances to either Ashkenazy cycle. My next listening task is to tackle the Stephen Hough/Litton cycle on Hyperion. Getting back to the Brilliant Classics set, I think there are stronger performances in this set than the Decca, but this is all a matter of subjectivity. There are several negatives I have about the Decca set in terms of choices in performances. First of all, Decca chose Walter Weller's Symphony No. 2 over Ashkenazy's. ??? I don't get it. Ashkenazy's performance is much better and the other two symphonies already have Ashkenazy conducting so why skip over his 2nd? The same thing happens in Decca's Scriabin The Complete Works box set where they chose Inbal's 2nd over Ashkenazy's and Ashkenazy is already conducting the 1st and 3rd (The Divine Poem) symphonies. Okay...back to the Rachmaninov Decca set, secondly, the choice of the Beaux Arts Trio in the Piano Trios wouldn't have been my first pick. Ashkenazy had recorded these works and they should have been included instead of the BA Trio's performances, which have an awfully dry sound quality --- not among the better performances I've heard. And my third, and last, point about the Rachmaninov Complete Works set on Decca is that they could've picked a better performance of Spring than Dutoit! Oh what a lethargic performance! The only thing good about that Dutoit performance is baritone Sergei Leiferkus.

Okay....rant over. Takes a deep breath. :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 07:45:42 PM by Mirror Image »
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #665 on: November 23, 2015, 07:58:35 PM »
  You are definitely right about the Rach boxes. I'm actually a big fan, and know I would like them, but they just haven't made it into the queue.  I just got the Ansermet Russian box for a great price from Amazon.IT -- Should program an "all Russian" couple of weeks and just start soaking this stuff up.  However, still have a lot in the hopper just now...
   Speaking of, I am listening to Rattle's Sibelius now.  It's not the best, but it's still Sibelius.  I'm enjoying it well enough.  I really want to play every disc of this box before moving on.

Yes, I know all too well what it's like to have 'too many irons in the fire' so to speak. In fact, this expression was coined about people like me. ;) Yeah, just take your time. This Russian music will definitely have an effect on you and will leave you wanting more and more. Yeah, Rattle isn't that great in Sibelius as several others seems to think he is, he's certainly no match for the Finns: Vanska, Segerstam, or Berglund (to name a few who excel in Sibelius).
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22657
    • Brian's blog
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #666 on: November 24, 2015, 05:48:32 AM »
Apparently the new DG Sibelius Edition contains recordings that DG licensed from...Naxos!

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #667 on: November 24, 2015, 07:32:24 AM »
Hello Another Carlos,

The Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov set is of historical value only for me. I rarely spend money on these kinds of sets, but, from what I understand and have read, they're quite good for their time. Let your own ears be the judge here.

The Earl Wild/Horenstein performances of the PCs are in the Brilliant Classics Rachmaninoff Edition, which is a MUST BUY! No joke. One of the best box sets I've ever bought and certainly this set will be added to my "Favorite Purchases of 2015" list. Anyway, the Wild/Horenstein set is outstanding (I've only heard the 3rd, 4th, and Paganini Rhapsody from the cycle so far). I prefer these performances to either Ashkenazy cycle. My next listening task is to tackle the Stephen Hough/Litton cycle on Hyperion. Getting back to the Brilliant Classics set, I think there are stronger performances in this set than the Decca, but this is all a matter of subjectivity. There are several negatives I have about the Decca set in terms of choices in performances. First of all, Decca chose Walter Weller's Symphony No. 2 over Ashkenazy's. ??? I don't get it. Ashkenazy's performance is much better and the other two symphonies already have Ashkenazy conducting so why skip over his 2nd? The same thing happens in Decca's Scriabin The Complete Works box set where they chose Inbal's 2nd over Ashkenazy's and Ashkenazy is already conducting the 1st and 3rd (The Divine Poem) symphonies. Okay...back to the Rachmaninov Decca set, secondly, the choice of the Beaux Arts Trio in the Piano Trios wouldn't have been my first pick. Ashkenazy had recorded these works and they should have been included instead of the BA Trio's performances, which have an awfully dry sound quality --- not among the better performances I've heard. And my third, and last, point about the Rachmaninov Complete Works set on Decca is that they could've picked a better performance of Spring than Dutoit! Oh what a lethargic performance! The only thing good about that Dutoit performance is baritone Sergei Leiferkus.

Okay....rant over. Takes a deep breath. :)

 ;D ;D
  It's all good.  With both boxes we'll have a deeper pool to plunge into.  I'm curious if I'll feel the same about the performances you don't care for.  I often like a less dynamic performance--instead of getting swept up in the excitement of the piece I end up listening more to musical lines or harmonic interplay.  It often sounds like something else altogether.  We are lucky to have both! (or X10). 
  I'm glad to hear you are a fan of Ashkenazy in this music.  I really like him, in general.  He's getting long in the tooth, but his recent Bach and Scriabin are both, IMO, exceptionally good.  I like his conducting, too. And I like him.  Like Ma, Perlman, Abbado, and Giulini, I just feel like he is a good guy that loves music and wants to make people happy. It colors the way I hear his (and the others') music. What a big, warm, open, embracing smile he has! 
It's all good...

Offline Another Carlos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #668 on: November 24, 2015, 09:09:06 PM »
Quote
The Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov set is of historical value only for me. I rarely spend money on these kinds of sets, but, from what I understand and have read, they're quite good for their time. Let your own ears be the judge here.

Thanks Mirror Image.  Well it turns out there's yet a third iteration of the R Plays R box, so I sprang for the most recent of the three this evening and will report back:



It's so true that the historical sets are less satisfying sonically -- but I've deeply enjoyed some of them for the sake of the greater individuality that some of the performances carry.  Which reminds me, another recent piano/historical arrival in my living room (haven't explored it yet but I've loved some other Cortot Chopin discs):



Only rather recently did I get some decent speakers in my living room, and as a result I'm freshly now discovering the joy of high-quality jump-in-your-lap sonics!  Heartily concur that this is a joy too, and certainly on the orchestral rather than solo front it's almost indispensable to have rich sound reproduction.  Can't wait til my Bernstein arrives!

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #669 on: November 25, 2015, 01:59:21 AM »
  Can't wait til my Bernstein arrives!

 Say what?! Last I heard you couldn't find the Columbia and didn't know what to do.  So, which are you awaiting?
It's all good...

kishnevi

  • Guest
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #670 on: November 25, 2015, 06:47:02 PM »
Thanks Mirror Image.  Well it turns out there's yet a third iteration of the R Plays R box, so I sprang for the most recent of the three this evening and will report back:



It's so true that the historical sets are less satisfying sonically -- but I've deeply enjoyed some of them for the sake of the greater individuality that some of the performances carry.  Which reminds me, another recent piano/historical arrival in my living room (haven't explored it yet but I've loved some other Cortot Chopin discs):



Only rather recently did I get some decent speakers in my living room, and as a result I'm freshly now discovering the joy of high-quality jump-in-your-lap sonics!  Heartily concur that this is a joy too, and certainly on the orchestral rather than solo front it's almost indispensable to have rich sound reproduction.  Can't wait til my Bernstein arrives!

Be warned that the concerto recordings in the Rachmaninov box have some serious cuts.  I think they wanted to keep the playing time under a certain limit, since the original issues were on 78s.

The sonics are, er, historical.  Which is why I have no interest in the non concerto recordings.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #671 on: November 25, 2015, 06:53:28 PM »
;D ;D
  It's all good.  With both boxes we'll have a deeper pool to plunge into.  I'm curious if I'll feel the same about the performances you don't care for.  I often like a less dynamic performance--instead of getting swept up in the excitement of the piece I end up listening more to musical lines or harmonic interplay.  It often sounds like something else altogether.  We are lucky to have both! (or X10). 
  I'm glad to hear you are a fan of Ashkenazy in this music.  I really like him, in general.  He's getting long in the tooth, but his recent Bach and Scriabin are both, IMO, exceptionally good.  I like his conducting, too. And I like him.  Like Ma, Perlman, Abbado, and Giulini, I just feel like he is a good guy that loves music and wants to make people happy. It colors the way I hear his (and the others') music. What a big, warm, open, embracing smile he has!

Quality Control Report -

I'm a bit hesitant to report this BUT I have received two bad sets of Rachmaninov Complete on Brilliant Classics from Amazon. There is a digital glitch on The Isle of the Dead (Disc 6) around the 17 minute mark. Both sets had the same defect, so please check your own set. I haven't read any reviews about any defects, but I'm going to do a bit more research. This is very disappointing, but it is what is. As a result of getting a full refund and having to send the box set back, I went ahead and bought the recordings in their original issues from the box. I thought at first that I wasn't going to send the set back and just see if I could get a partial refund, but I've decided that I can't accept a box set that has this kind of issue, especially twice in a row. I probably spent $20 more than I paid for the set trying to acquire the original issues, but I suppose that's the price you pay when something goes wrong and you really want these recordings in your collection.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 06:58:32 PM by Mirror Image »
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Another Carlos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #672 on: November 25, 2015, 06:54:09 PM »
Quote
Say what?! Last I heard you couldn't find the Columbia and didn't know what to do.  So, which are you awaiting?

Oops, misleading message on my part:  the Bernstein I'm awaiting is Columbia/Sony's "volume 2" with the concerti and other non-symphonic stuff. . . .  I admit to being slightly embarrassed that I'm actively on the prowl for the volume 1 when I don't even have volume 2 in my clutches yet.  But Nature abhors an incomplete set!  (Doesn't she?)

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #673 on: November 25, 2015, 08:11:02 PM »
Quality Control Report -

I'm a bit hesitant to report this BUT I have received two bad sets of Rachmaninov Complete on Brilliant Classics from Amazon. There is a digital glitch on The Isle of the Dead (Disc 6) around the 17 minute mark. Both sets had the same defect, so please check your own set. I haven't read any reviews about any defects, but I'm going to do a bit more research. This is very disappointing, but it is what is. As a result of getting a full refund and having to send the box set back, I went ahead and bought the recordings in their original issues from the box. I thought at first that I wasn't going to send the set back and just see if I could get a partial refund, but I've decided that I can't accept a box set that has this kind of issue, especially twice in a row. I probably spent $20 more than I paid for the set trying to acquire the original issues, but I suppose that's the price you pay when something goes wrong and you really want these recordings in your collection.

  I got the most recent Brilliant Complete Bach, and it was a mess.  All the CDs opened from the wrong sides of the sleeves, and I have had two bad discs already--and I haven't played all that many of them.  The box is such an insane bargain (less than $1 a disc) that I didn't squawk.  Plus, as I am in Taiwan, the logistics of replacing something are quite a pain in the neck.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 09:41:42 PM by Mookalafalas »
It's all good...

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #674 on: November 25, 2015, 08:58:07 PM »
  I got the most recent Brilliant Complete Beethoven, and it was a mess.  All the CDs opened from the wrong sides of the sleeves, and I have had two bad discs already--and I haven't played all that many of them.  The box is such an insane bargain (less than $1 a disc) that I didn't squawk.  Plus, as I am in Taiwan, the logistics of replacing something are quite a pain in the neck.

Hmmm...okay so this isn't just one isolated incident then, it's Brilliant Classics, in general, not creating quality products. Yes, I can understand how you being in Taiwan would be difficult to deal with Amazon or any online retailer for that matter.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #675 on: November 25, 2015, 09:42:53 PM »
Hmmm...okay so this isn't just one isolated incident then, it's Brilliant Classics, in general, not creating quality products. Yes, I can understand how you being in Taiwan would be difficult to deal with Amazon or any online retailer for that matter.

For the record, I meant the Brilliant Bach, not Beethoven. 
    I got it when it just came out, so presumably they made some improvements in the interim.
It's all good...

Offline Another Carlos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #676 on: November 26, 2015, 03:51:02 PM »
Quote
two bad sets of Rachmaninov Complete on Brilliant Classics from Amazon

The Brendel Vox/Vanguard collection is also on Brilliant, and my copy of this arrived with TWO copies of disc 27 which is devoted to the four non-posthumous Schubert Impromptus and the Moments Musicaux.  Both copies jammed into the same paper sleeve.  I think this must mean that someone else's sleeve for disc 27 is empty. 

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58095
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #677 on: November 26, 2015, 08:36:49 PM »
For the record, I meant the Brilliant Bach, not Beethoven. 
    I got it when it just came out, so presumably they made some improvements in the interim.

Yes, but regardless there's some quality control issues happening at Brilliant that need to be looked into.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Pat B

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2139
  • A=430
  • Location: USA
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #678 on: November 26, 2015, 11:56:15 PM »
Oops, misleading message on my part:  the Bernstein I'm awaiting is Columbia/Sony's "volume 2" with the concerti and other non-symphonic stuff. . . .  I admit to being slightly embarrassed that I'm actively on the prowl for the volume 1 when I don't even have volume 2 in my clutches yet.  But Nature abhors an incomplete set!  (Doesn't she?)

I don't share the completist urge apparently felt by many GMGers. Enjoying volume 7 of something doesn't make me feel like I necessarily need to go out and get volumes 1-6. But in this case, no need for embarrassment. Bernstein was one of the greats. Get that box if you can find a decent price. (I don't have it, but I have enough of its contents to be confident about this.)

If you can't find a decent price on it, the Mahler and some of the other contents are available in different packages.

I've heard less of the DG stuff and done very little head-to-head comparison. With that disclaimer, I'd say it is pretty great but in a different way (and not just in slower tempi). It's not a substitute if the Columbia/Sony set is what you want.

As for the Rachmaninov, the amazon reviewer of the new release claims the sound is not changed from the '90s box. He does not consider that a good thing, but you might.

Online Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 19665
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Re: Box Blather
« Reply #679 on: December 12, 2015, 05:26:43 AM »
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 05:29:27 AM by Que »