Author Topic: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection  (Read 1369 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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I’m not sure if this thread idea has been done before nor do I know exactly where to put this thread either here or ‘The Polling Station’. In the meantime, I’ll just leave it here and if a moderator wants or decides to move it, then I have no issues with that. Anyway, for those of you that still have the physical media (LPs and CDs), what would your ‘Top 10’ most prized possessions be? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a game of picking favorite composers or box sets/single issues just because you like all of the music, but this could be something that’s valued highly (price wise) that you ended up with or simply wanted to have in your collection. I’ll have to think of my own answers but I’d love to hear from all of you.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline JBS

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2020, 08:29:25 PM »
Complete Arthur Rubinstein set
Murray Perahia 40 years set
Menuhin Century set
The Sviatoslav Richter  Complete DG/Philips set
Teldec Bach box
The 44 CD set of all Mozart's operas originally issued on Philips.
EMI RVW Collector's Edition
The Complete Seon box.
Slots 9 and 10 would go to the Mercury Living Presence and  L'Ouiseaux Lyre sets. Technically they are each a series of 3 smaller boxes, but each is a uniform series that I think of as one set.

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 08:38:45 PM »
Nice, Jeffrey. Thanks for playing. ;)
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 09:05:03 PM »
I love to play ;), but my best collection issues are actually… priceLESS. :)

Maybe Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Solti et al, would fit this bill.
I bought the set full price when I was a studento povero, after saving money for weeks. I just needed to have it because I had listened to the LPs before, borrowed from the library, and fell in love with the music, the story and the voices of Lucia Popp, Frederica von Stade and Kiri Te Kanawa, but also of those gorgeous baritones Thomas Allen and Samuel Ramey, not to mention tenor Robert Tear. So many beautiful voices, and everyone brought true personality to their characters.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 09:05:52 PM »
Okay, I’ve given my own list some thought and here it is (in no particular order):




















« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 09:15:18 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline JBS

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 09:07:17 PM »
I love to play ;), but my best collection issues are actually… priceLESS. :)

Maybe Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Solti et al, would fit this bill.
I bought the set full price when I was a studento povero, after saving money for weeks. I just needed to have it because I had listened to the LPs before, borrowed from the library, and fell in love with the music, the story and the voices of Lucia Popp, Frederica von Stade and Kiri Te Kanawa, but also of those gorgeous baritones Thomas Allen and Samuel Ramey, not to mention tenor Robert Tear. So many beautiful voices, and everyone brought true personality to their characters.

Don't blame you. That performance may be the best Nozze ever set to record.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline JBS

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 09:10:43 PM »
I did consider three of those for my list: the Debussy, the Boulez works, and the Stravinsky.

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 09:18:14 PM »
I did consider three of those for my list: the Debussy, the Boulez works, and the Stravinsky.

Of course, doing a ‘Top 10’ is incredibly difficult when you have a large collection. I edited my own list to include something else while regretting deleing DG’s Complete Webern from my list.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Daverz

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 09:18:52 PM »
We had a thread "Your Top 10 Favorite Classical Purchases Of All-Time " that was similar.  Anyway, my choices were all box sets:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,26574.msg1125585.html#msg1125585




Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2020, 09:40:05 PM »
We had a thread "Your Top 10 Favorite Classical Purchases Of All-Time " that was similar.  Anyway, my choices were all box sets:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,26574.msg1125585.html#msg1125585

Ah, I had forgotten about that thread. :)
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Offline j winter

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 08:57:58 AM »
I missed this topic the last go around... this is pretty tough, but limiting myself to 10 box sets that I own:

1) George Szell Columbia Recordings set



2) Bruno Walter Columbia Recordings set



Those two big sets cover a huge amount of ground, including top shelf sets of Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart symphonies and concertos (with Serkin, Leon Fleisher, Casadesus, Isaac Stern...), plus wonderful Schubert, Wagner, Mahler, Dvorak... honestly, in the proverbial "your house is on fire, what do you grab?" scenario, I'd probably tuck one of these under each arm and call it good (assuming I'd already saved other important items, such as the children... :) )

Assuming I had time for another dash into the flames, if I'm judging by how much long-lasting influence a box has had on my listening tastes...

3) Chopin - Arthur Rubinstein Original Jacket   Simply wonderful.  Still my top choice for a lot of Chopin. 



4) Bach -- Glenn Gould Original Jacket   I've got tons of Bach in my collection, in many styles, but Gould was the one who first introduced me to Bach, and I still come back to it often, eccentricities and all. 



5) Mahler -- Bernstein DG   This is what turned me on to Mahler many moons ago.  My high school chorus teacher was in the choir for the recording of the 2nd, and recommended it to me.  Thankee kindlee, wherever you are....



6) Beethoven piano sonatas -- Brendel III.  I could have easily put Gilels or Backhaus here; going with Brendel as I often use him as a reference for these works, and the box is a sentimental favorite since my mom gave it to me for Christmas several years ago.



7) Haydn symphonies -- Marzendorfer.  These are marvelous recordings, more modern in approach than their age would indicate.  A lifetime's worth of discovery in this box.  There are lots of other good options here too, of course... if Thomas Fey is ever able to complete his set, a box of that would definitely shoot to near the top of the list.



8 ) Bruckner - Sergiu Celibidache, Munch PO.  This is strong stuff -- I can't listen to it all the time, but this is the set that really opened my ears to what a powerful composer Bruckner was. 



9) Vivaldi Concerti, Hogwood AAM.  There are other options I could have chosen here (Carmignola & Macron, Pinnock, etc.), but I have always loved Vivaldi.



10) Haydn string quartets, Aeolian Qt.  This set doesn't get much love in these parts, but I'm quite fond of it.  I've tried several different groups in these works, and I just really like the old-school sound here, the rich tone of the quartet and how they approach the music.  As with Marzendorfer's symphonies, a lifetime of music to dig into here.




I'm rather bummed that I'm limited to 10 -- I'd really like to add some Prokofiev (though the little that Szell performed is quite good), and I have no Rachmaninov, nor non-piano Bach, which is quite painful. 

Thankfully I made it out with my cellphone in my pocket, so I have MP3s of a lot of stuff to fall back on...  8)




The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 10:25:04 AM »
As I now own the Szell box, that’s my favorite large scale item

Other large sets I really love

Martinon’s complete Debussy and Ravel
The Richter DG box
Paul Paray/Detroit French orchestral music (Mercury)
Szell Decca set
Abbey Simon’s complete Ravel
Barshai’s complete Shostakovich set
Ormandy Conducts Sibelius
Anna Malikova’s complete Saint-Saëns concertos
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2020, 11:53:45 AM »
Off the beaten tracks:





















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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 12:56:29 PM »
I already posted  a list on the other thread of (more or less) individual releases that were particularly important for me, so here I’ll focus on (more or less) big boxes  (unsurprisingly, slightly Boulez-heavy  :)):

The first three are self-explanatory (as just mentioned):






Some of the recordings included in this set may not be the best available IMHO, but having all of Stravinsky’s works as presented by the composer himself (or Robert Craft) is a privilege and a monument of the discography:


Some of Karl Böhm’s late recordings (the Beethoven Ninth, the Mozart symphonies...) have desert island status for me:


Some great performances from the “New Bayreuth”, neatly packaged in a manageable set:


Marcelle Meyer was a relatively recent discovery for me, but she immediately shot up to one of the top positions as one of my favourite pianists of all time:


My favourite complete(ish) set of Debussy piano music, the great Aldo Ciccolini’s:


Another monument to the art of conducting (I got this Korean Szell edition when it was issued, and probably won’t go for the newer, more complete set j winter posted earlier):


As with the Stravinsky set above, there’s many superior individual performances of the different works out there, but having all of Debussy in one place is great (and this completeness made me choose this over the—first—DG set, which is also in my collection):


And an honourable mention....more Wagner (and more Boulez ;) ), but on DVD (a memento of a legendary production I was lucky enough to see live in the Festspielhaus):

« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 02:00:39 PM by ritter »
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2020, 08:58:16 AM »
Off the beaten tracks:






















So that's who bought the other box of Loewe songs! :)  Seriously, great box. There are a couple singers I wish could be changed out, but in general it is an excellent box and lots to explore for anyone who enjoys this type of thing. It's usually cheapest at jpc. I also love the Schubert box! But the Schumann is totally new to me (the box, that is - I do know some of the contents). And since it can be had for a song at Berkshire, I see a purchase in the near future!

It's also nice to see the Tellefsen recommended. It's a very well done set of discs.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Jo498

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2020, 09:19:40 AM »
For me, "most prized" would be something that is or was rare, expensive or otherwise very special when I got it and/or that is/has become emotionally important to me. Paradoxically neither must necessarily correlate with "most listened to" (although the latter is true for the last two items because for years they were my only or main recordings of the music).

1. Fricsay Dokumente Portrait 10+1 CDs: I got this in the early 2000s astonishingly cheap on Ebay (I had had two single discs before that). It contains some real gems and was very rare for some time before these recordings were re-issued in other series, so now it is comparably affordable. (I think I saw it for >EUR 200 a few years after I had snatched it.)



2. Solti Ring in the 1997 edition. Unlike the first which I got as a bargain, this one was a major investment for me in 1997 or 98 when I was a poor student. I deliberated for weeks, waited for bargains and finally paid the 170 DM or how much it was (admittedly it was a very reasonable price compared to how much the first separate editions had cost)



3. Melos Quartett Beethoven. (Showing only the late Qt. I cannot find a picture of the box I have which was all three volumes in a cardboard box which was specially priced for the 25th anniversary of the ensemble in 1990.) IIRC I got this for my 18th or 19th birthday around 1990, again it was a considerable expense for one still in high school, although comparably affordable because of the special price. For a long time this was my only recording of the Beethoven quartets.



4. Gulda: Beethoven sonatas (amadeo) Showing the old box I got in 1998 or 99, pretty ugly, inconvenient with one track per sonata! but that's the one! Unlike some other boxes, this is one I really listened to A LOT. I had the DG Gilels almost complete box and a bunch of separate discs before I got the Gulda but Gulda really made a lot of the lesser known and early sonatas come to life for me in a special way.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 09:27:51 AM by Jo498 »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2020, 10:27:48 AM »
So that's who bought the other box of Loewe songs! :)  Seriously, great box. There are a couple singers I wish could be changed out, but in general it is an excellent box and lots to explore for anyone who enjoys this type of thing.

I'm a sucker for Lieder and Ballads and Loewe's output is a treasure trove.

Quote
the Schumann is totally new to me (the box, that is - I do know some of the contents). And since it can be had for a song at Berkshire, I see a purchase in the near future!

If you like choral music you won't be disappointed.

Quote
It's also nice to see the Tellefsen recommended. It's a very well done set of discs.

I had never heard of Tellefsen before getting that set. After listening to it he instantly became one of my favorite Romantic composers of solo piano music. Not quite Chopin level but close, very close.

“Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.” — Claude Debussy

Online vandermolen

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2020, 02:38:33 PM »
I've stuck to box sets:
[/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img]
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Online vandermolen

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Re: Your ‘Top 10’ Most Prized Box Sets Or Single Issues In Your Collection
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2020, 02:39:59 PM »
More:
[/img][/img][/img][/img]
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).