GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 06:10:17 AM

Title: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 06:10:17 AM
Share the ones you don't like, and share the ones you do!  Is it worth it in the long run?

Quote from: The new erato on April 13, 2014, 10:19:38 PM
This is very well put and a sentiment I have grown very much to share about really many of thess assorted giga collections. 1 USD pr disc isn't really cheap if the discs don't mean much too you and have a very high likelyhood of never being played.

So true!  Well actually I think for me is that I listen to them and discover the hit and miss nature. 

Bach complete edition (brilliant): overly bright, overly fast harpsichord recordings, great sacred recordings from the Sixteen, decent cantatas with a good soprano, awesome organ set!, and the worst cello suites that I've ever heard.

Bach cantatas (Rilling): some of the best singing and some of the worst.  A vision that continuously changes as the decades progress.  The only thing consistent about the box is the lack thereof.

Haydn symphonies (Davies): well judged tempos, overly fast, overly slow.  Applause at the end of each symphony!?!  I at first liked this set, but as I listened more and more I get tired of not knowing whether I'll like what I hear or it will be poorly judged.  Don't think I'll ever finish this box.

Let me point out what one big box that is awesome!  The Angeles Quartet's traversal of Haydn is consistent in performance and style from the beginning to the end.  That is one big set that I always enjoy and come back to.  I think it's time for a thread...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Wakefield on April 14, 2014, 07:13:25 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 06:10:17 AM
Share the ones you don't like, and share the ones you do!  Is it worth it in the long run?
Bach complete edition (brilliant): [...] overly fast harpsichord recordings [...] and the worst cello suites that I've ever heard.

I don't recall any overly fast recording from that set. On the contrary, I believe it's a great assortment of excellent interpretations, if you exclude the WTC by Leon Berben (which could be easily replaced by Pieter-Jan Belder's recording, also on BC).

Are you talking about Jaap ter Linden's recording of  the cello suites or the previous one?

That said, I think all of this is simply a confusion. Vast majority of big sets are a commercial strategy, not an artistic decision. Therefore, to evaluate them artistically as a whole, it's a mistake. Only single disks really exist.

If you like a good ratio of single disks included into a big set, then your purchase will be economically successful. But this is only a commercial success.   :)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 07:21:23 AM
There is no confusion. The goals of the distributor are beside the point.  What matters is "do you like this or that big box set?" was it truly worth the purchase, or does it collect dust?  The question is a perfectly valid one that many of us face, some of us more than once.

It is absolutely NOT a mistake to discuss whether a purchase is worth it or not.  I'm hoping that we can help each other out in navigating these tempting big boxes.  Some are worth it, some are not.

I don't even understand the point of your post.  Are you just being needlessly argumentative?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Todd on April 14, 2014, 07:21:39 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 06:10:17 AMShare the ones you don't like, and share the ones you do!  Is it worth it in the long run?


Rubinstein box: A treasure trove of great music making.  Once I have listened to all of the discs, I will return to individual discs again and again for sheer enjoyment.  I have always held Rubinstein in high regard, and this box simply increased his stature in my ears.

Casadesus Edition: Same as the Rubinstein box.  My first giant box.  I've owned it for over a decade, and never want to part with it.

DFD Schubert Lieder box: Same as Rubinstein and Casadesus.

Giulini boxes: Giulini is one of the greatest of all conductors, and even his weak recordings are worth hearing multiple times. 

Karajan Symphony Edition: The right LvB cycle, the right Bruckner recordings, and Tchaikovsky.  Will keep it for the strong ones, and not listen to the weak ones.

Scarlatti complete sonatas, Scott Ross: Brilliant!  My second giant box, I bought it over a decade ago and I've listened to the entire thing thrice, and will do so again in the future.

Perahia box: A mixed bag, but enough good stuff to keep coming back to.

Cliburn box: Like Perahia.

Cortot box: So many indispensable recordings that it is destined to remain in my collection forever.

Francois box: Like Cortot.

Argerich boxes (DG/Decca): Almost like Rubinstein.

Graffman box: I'm only halfway through, and it is hit and miss, but the high points are so high that I will keep it since the great individual performances are not available separately.

Oistrakh box: Like Graffman.

Haydn string quartets, Angeles Quartet: Very good, and will keep it around until a better complete set is out there.

Sony Vivarte box:  Like Perahia.  (It was cheaper to buy the box than the roughly 10-12 individual recordings I really love.)

Haydn Symphonies, Fischer: Good, but not great.  Will probably dispense with at some point.

Haydn Symphonies, DRD: Better, will probably keep.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 07:29:41 AM
Quote from: Gordo on April 14, 2014, 07:13:25 AM
I don't recall any overly fast recording from that set. On the contrary, I believe it's a great assortment of excellent interpretations, if you exclude the WTC by Leon Berben (which could be easily replaced by Pieter-Jan Belder's recording, also on BC).

The WTC is the heart of the keyboard music.  That would be like saying "this Beethoven PS set is great, except the late sonatas which are easily replaceable." The other recordings are decent, not offensively bad but not competitive with the best either.

QuoteAre you talking about Jaap ter Linden's recording of  the cello suites or the previous one?

The previous one, I can't remember the performer, but it was overly-romanticized very slow, very ponderous.  I'm sure that Jaap ter Linden did a much better job but I simply haven't heard it.  I like slow Bach, but that was too slow even for me.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Wakefield on April 14, 2014, 07:31:20 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 07:21:23 AM
Are you just being needlessly argumentative?
No, I don't think so. Simply you're overreacting , as usual... and after your overreaction will come the apologies, as usual, too.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 07:33:11 AM
I did not know that there was a Casadesus edition.  Nice!  Wait is it in print?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Todd on April 14, 2014, 07:39:09 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 07:33:11 AMWait is it in print?



No.  It had a limited production in France only at the beginning of the century.  However, given the flood of other artist-specific big boxes, I would not be surprised if it is resurrected, this time with individual, original jacket sleeves in a small box.  Mine is a long box.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on April 14, 2014, 08:54:53 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 06:10:17 AM
Share the ones you don't like, and share the ones you do!  Is it worth it in the long run?

So true!  Well actually I think for me is that I listen to them and discover the hit and miss nature. 

Bach complete edition (brilliant): overly bright, overly fast harpsichord recordings, great sacred recordings from the Sixteen, decent cantatas with a good soprano, awesome organ set!, and the worst cello suites that I've ever heard.

Bach cantatas (Rilling): some of the best singing and some of the worst.  A vision that continuously changes as the decades progress.  The only thing consistent about the box is the lack thereof.

Haydn symphonies (Davies): well judged tempos, overly fast, overly slow.  Applause at the end of each symphony!?!  I at first liked this set, but as I listened more and more I get tired of not knowing whether I'll like what I hear or it will be poorly judged.  Don't think I'll ever finish this box.

Let me point out what one big box that is awesome!  The Angeles Quartet's traversal of Haydn is consistent in performance and style from the beginning to the end.  That is one big set that I always enjoy and come back to.  I think it's time for a thread...

Well, I understand your point of view. However, people's impressions of works are so varied. E.g. some people adore Gardiner or Abbado while others think they are awful. Why such a dichotomy in regards to these two prominent artists (or Rattle for that matter)?  One seems to come to like different works through different paths of listening. Boxes are excellent ways to expose oneself to composers, works and artists in an affordable manner since not everybody can afford buying recordings at $15-20 per disc. Besides, just because one buys a disc at a high price and it is recommended (e.g. Gardiner) does not mean that one will enjoy the recording.  I see it more as a journey of serendipity that allows one to encounter different interpretations and new soundscapes.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on April 14, 2014, 08:59:11 AM
Quote from: Gordo on April 14, 2014, 07:13:25 AM

That said, I think all of this is simply a confusion. Vast majority of big sets are a commercial strategy, not an artistic decision. Therefore, to evaluate them artistically as a whole, it's a mistake. Only single disks really exist.

If you like a good ratio of single disks included into a big set, then your purchase will be economically successful. But this is only a commercial success.   :)

I think you have brought up an excellent point here, Gordo! Hear! Hear!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Brian on April 14, 2014, 09:11:12 AM
Keeping this to boxes with over 20 CDs.

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.

Haydn Symphonies, DRD/Stuttgart: Docile, proper, good-enough performances, but when I compare individual performances (like Farewell) to Tafelmusik/Weil or Heidelberg/Fey, the others almost always end up ahead. This is high on competence and low on panache. I've knocked out almost all the early/middle symphonies, leaving Paris and London for last. It's been great for discovering the dozens of awesome symphonies I had no idea existed, and for first listens, they leave me plenty satisfied.

Arthur Rubinstein giant box: I hope I'll be able to get through the whole box some day! Man. Another treasure chest. There's a whole thread devoted to it, but highlights are his collaborations with Krips, Szeryng, the Guarneri Quartet, and Fournier, plus any disc that has the word "Brahms" on it.

Murray Perahia big box: I'm only one-third of my way through the box, and going in order, crazily, which means mostly I've been hearing the excellent Mozart concerto albums, plus a couple standout recitals of Schumann and Bartok.

Leon Fleisher big box: Another one that is only half-listened-to. The concerto recordings of Beethoven, Grieg, Schumann, etc. with Cleveland/Szell are among my favorites, and I liked the French album, but still need to listen to all the later left-hand stuff and the American contemporaries recital. Fleisher is not always subtle.

Bernstein Symphony Edition: A backbone of my collection. I wish there was a Bernstein Orchestral Music That Isn't Symphonies Edition too. All-time great Berlioz, Mahler, Sibelius, Prokofiev; very very good Brahms, Dvorak, Franck, Tchaikovsky; plus a whole bunch of cool Americans like Diamond, W. Schuman, and Thompson.

Complete Rachmaninov (Brilliant): I don't listen to much Rach these days, but the piano recordings with Santiago Rodriguez are valuable (if rather blunt and to-the-point).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 09:15:35 AM
Quote from: Moonfish on April 14, 2014, 08:54:53 AM
Boxes are excellent ways to expose oneself to composers, works and artists in an affordable manner since not everybody can afford buying recordings at $15-20 per disc.

That is an interesting use for box sets.  I know what you mean, I use box sets the same way... but that use is certainly not as relevant now that we have affordable streaming right?

Don't overlook the conductor that takes his traversal of the Mahler symphonies, the string quartet that seeks to conquer the Beethoven string quartets.  There are virtues in a well thought out cycle from a single performer or ensemble.  You mentioned Gardiner, he devoted almost his entire career to the performance and appreciation of Bach.  Obviously, right, don't buy someone that you don't like.  But I strongly prefer the box set with a focus, instead of various recordings under the same label slapped together.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on April 14, 2014, 10:10:35 AM
Lumieres was a real treat, a filler and godsend for someone like me jumping back a few hundred years or so to hear such wonderful music.  I expect this set is packed with awesome performances, and was a great introduction to me, especially to Baroque Opera which I had seldom heard.  A no brainer, bargain and perhaps one for the newbie to this period, as well as the connoisseur.  Delightful box.

[asin]B005BZBY1I[/asin]

EMI Verdi Operas mainly Muti, quite a good wedge (8/16) of Muti IIRC, but a decent set for exploring the Verdi lesser known or lesser recorded ones....another SDCB at the time, and very worthwhile.

[asin]B00A4AI17A[/asin]
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on April 14, 2014, 10:17:54 AM
Quote from: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 09:15:35 AM
I use box sets the same way... but that use is certainly not as relevant now that we have affordable streaming right?

I am a bit of a Luddite. My cds could be ripped and I could simply convert my music sessions to streaming or computer based, but I am resisting fiercely. I am the same way with books. My Kindle is packed with books, but I only use it when I travel or have to wait somewhere. The books feel like they do not exist somehow if I cannot physically browse through them. I feel the same way about my music. A streaming service or a hard drive packed with files just doesn't feel right to me. Perhaps my limited space and boxes piling up will force me in the other direction at one point in time. Does anyone else feel like I do or are you all converting to streaming and computer setups?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 14, 2014, 10:22:09 AM
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)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: ibanezmonster on April 14, 2014, 10:22:36 AM
I've rarely bought any box sets, but I can say that Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky is a must have.  8)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 10:33:18 AM
Quote from: Moonfish on April 14, 2014, 10:17:54 AM
Does anyone else feel like I do or are you all converting to streaming and computer setups?

I feel the same way.  I tried to go digital only a few years ago, but now have physical books and cds as well as ebooks and digital downloads.  I like the tactile feel.

On the book front, ebooks have already leveled off, which means that paper books won't be going away anytime soon.  Cds also stubbornly stick around, just as downloads were finally starting to take over, cds gained back the > 50% marketshare while downloads are eroded by streaming.  I bet that we're looking at 10-20 years of physical goods in front of us where physical goods (blu-rays, dvds, cds, books) will have their own niche and streaming will have theirs, and they will co-exist.

We are not alone. :)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2014, 10:34:13 AM
Also cds are cheaper and you can resell them if you wish. ;D
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 14, 2014, 10:38:44 AM
Like: Bernstein NY,  Wand, Walter, Reiner, Toscanini, Lumieres, Rubinstein, Heifetz, Living Stereo, Mercury LP 1 & 2, Brilliant Classics Mozart, Perahia, Karajan EMI orchestral, Bach complete Hannsler, Mackerras Mozart Operas, Wagner Historical Membran, Callas, Van Cleiburn, Furtwangler, Decca Sound 1 & 2, Royal Concertgebouw 5, 6 & 7

So So: Archiv, EMI Beethoven Masterworks, Barock, unknown Romantic piano concertos, Mendelssohn Brilliant, Liszt Brilliant, Telemann Brilliant, Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky,  Russian Piano Legends, Complete Liszt Howard

Don't Like: Abbado Symphony, EMI bleeding chunk box, Scarlatti Ross
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Marc on April 14, 2014, 12:42:57 PM
I've been disappointed more than once whilst/after listening to cd's.
Both with individual discs and boxsets.

But disappointments are part of life.

And, in some cases, I was disappointed at first and then learned to appreciate the recording/composition after a while. Whilst, on the other hand, early favourites turned out to be disappointments. Which means that, in my personal case, every purchase can lead to an interesting journey of give and take, of major and minor, of et cetera and et al.

In the end, I never really regretted any purchase.

The main disadvantage with huge boxsets is: too many discs to listen to.
The main advantage: the same.

:)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Sammy on April 14, 2014, 04:26:05 PM
Quote from: Gurn Blanston on April 14, 2014, 10:22:09 AM
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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Pat B on April 14, 2014, 05:37:19 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. :)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Artem on April 14, 2014, 06:09:15 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 14, 2014, 06:10:00 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
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: kishnevi on April 14, 2014, 06:44:25 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Brian on April 14, 2014, 07:35:12 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Todd on April 14, 2014, 07:40:53 PM
Quote from: Brian on April 14, 2014, 07:35:12 PMRafael 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Holden on April 15, 2014, 01:08:15 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!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on April 15, 2014, 01:35:05 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Holden on April 15, 2014, 03:17:36 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: stingo on April 15, 2014, 03:39:30 PM
Quote from: Brian on April 14, 2014, 09:11:12 AM
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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: DavidW on April 15, 2014, 05:11:48 PM
Quote from: SonicMan46 on April 14, 2014, 06:10:00 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? 


Loads of cds in a box, doesn't have to be complete.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on April 15, 2014, 08:18:18 PM
Quote from: Brian on April 14, 2014, 07:35:12 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.

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
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on April 15, 2014, 08:59:12 PM
Quote from: Moonfish on April 15, 2014, 08:18:18 PM


a large poster of Hilary Hahn!     ;D

Ibragimova!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 16, 2014, 04:34:23 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...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 16, 2014, 09:11:04 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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: springrite on April 16, 2014, 05:49:26 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!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 16, 2014, 06:57:16 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
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 16, 2014, 10:00:13 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 16, 2014, 06:57:16 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

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.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 17, 2014, 01:25:34 AM
Quote from: bigshot on April 16, 2014, 10:00:13 PM
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.     
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 17, 2014, 09:30:14 AM
For those who prefer more of an HIP approach, the big label boxes full of Karajan, Jochum and Bohm would probably be considerably less appealing than a Brilliant Classics box full of more modern performance styles. In general, I find the Brilliant Classics baroque and classical music to be the best. Except in the cases when they license older recordings for the romantic boxes, like the Strauss box. (I don't care for Sawallisch's Mendelssohn symphonies though.)

Brilliant has some really good soloists and conductors in their stable. I'd put them up with any of the superstar conductors today (if such a thing still exists).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: kishnevi on April 17, 2014, 09:41:57 AM
I'm coming close to finishing at long last a complete runthrough of this one (six CDs of Haydn to go)
[asin]B000WM9ZPM[/asin]
I'm not suggesting you pay the Amazon MP prices (IIRC, I got mine for about $100US from an Amazon MP European vendor), but if it ever gets reissued, it's well worth getting.   Fischer's Haydn, Barshai's Shostakovich (those two combined would have cost me more than the set) Goodman's Schubert,  Blomstedt's Beethoven, and several sets that are worthwhile on their own but fall to lesser rank in the presence of the ones I own.  Not everything is a complete cycle--Tchaikovsky only gets Numbers 4-6, for instance--and some composers are represented by a mix of conductors--most importantly Mendelssohn and Mahler.
But it's a set I'm quite happy to have.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Sammy on April 17, 2014, 11:49:07 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 16, 2014, 06:57:16 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. 
  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

I think it's unreasonable for me to buy a 60cd box I don't want instead of three brand-new single recordings that I very much want.

Your mistake is in assuming that the rewards I will reap from a big box are in the same neighborhood as the rewards you will reap. 

Both of us are trying to maximize the gain of our respective expenditures.  Let's leave it at that.

Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: marvinbrown on April 17, 2014, 12:44:43 PM


  Buying big boxsets has never been my style......until that is I ran into this:

  [asin]B00AFOS8A0[/asin]

  With the sole exception of maybe 2-3 operas the rest are either top drawer or highly recommendable.

  After all this box set is an amalgamation of some of DECCA, DG and EMIs' best or highly recommendable recordings. Aida with Karajan, Otello with Chung, Simon with  Abbado, Rigolleto with Guilini, all the early operas with Gardelli are some of the many many highlights of this boxset. Utterly superb!

  NB: The only  2 operas I don't like are Ernani and I Vespri but I challenge anyone here to find a boxset that sets a standard as high as this one across 75 CDs!!

  marvin
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2014, 07:47:07 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 16, 2014, 06:57:16 PM
    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).   

False analogy. Each cigarette is completely interchangeable with each other cigarette. They're designed to be identical to each other. They are also designed to be single use.

Neither of these things is true of CDs.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: premont on April 22, 2014, 08:03:48 AM
Quote from: Sammy on April 17, 2014, 11:49:07 AM
I think it's unreasonable for me to buy a 60cd box I don't want instead of three brand-new single recordings that I very much want.


Because these two desires are not mutually exclusive, some, f.i. like me, have the problem, that we want both the 60 CD box and the three brand new single recordings.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on April 22, 2014, 08:05:15 AM
And some want 60 new single recordings and three boxes..
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 22, 2014, 08:19:26 AM
Quote from: orfeo on April 22, 2014, 07:47:07 AM
False analogy. Each cigarette is completely interchangeable with each other cigarette. They're designed to be identical to each other. They are also designed to be single use.

Neither of these things is true of CDs.

You and Sammy are both ignoring the central sentence in my quote "If you regularly buy music and are actually going to listen to them".  If you don't believe you would want to play the discs, then of course it is a bad purchase, or would even be bad to receive for free.  Speaking for myself, I am planning to play--and expect to enjoy--virtually every disc I have purchased.  There was a disc of Tippet in the Teldec box I really disliked.  That is the only thing I have heard so far that I would say that about.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if later I grow to like it. 
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2014, 07:11:19 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 22, 2014, 08:19:26 AM
You and Sammy are both ignoring the central sentence in my quote "If you regularly buy music and are actually going to listen to them".  If you don't believe you would want to play the discs, then of course it is a bad purchase, or would even be bad to receive for free.  Speaking for myself, I am planning to play--and expect to enjoy--virtually every disc I have purchased.  There was a disc of Tippet in the Teldec box I really disliked.  That is the only thing I have heard so far that I would say that about.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if later I grow to like it.

That may well be true, but it still doesn't make the analogy any less flawed. The cigarette purchases depend on notions of stockpiling that just don't work in the context of CDs, because using a CD doesn't deplete your stock.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 22, 2014, 08:07:39 PM
Dare I say it?

I think some people are jealous that the little woman won't let them bring a big box of music in the house without a whole lotta grief!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on April 22, 2014, 08:10:13 PM
Quote from: bigshot on April 22, 2014, 08:07:39 PM
Dare I say it?

I think some people are jealous that the little woman won't let them bring a big box of music in the house without a whole lotta grief!

:laugh:
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 22, 2014, 08:14:50 PM
Quote from: orfeo on April 22, 2014, 07:11:19 PM
That may well be true, but it still doesn't make the analogy any less flawed. The cigarette purchases depend on notions of stockpiling that just don't work in the context of CDs, because using a CD doesn't deplete your stock.

  An analogy, by definition, compares dissimilar things.  To elements only have to be comparable in one dimension to serve in an analogy.  If you like Reiner's work with the CSO, you could buy each of 60 cds over the next few years for $17 a pop, or you could have bought the box for $100.  It's cheaper to bulk purchase this kind of consumer good rather than drag it out with expensive individual purchases.  That's a mathematical fact which is also true of buying cigarettes in bulk.  If I buy a pack of cigarettes, I will smoke them all and later buy more. If I buy a box of CDs I will listen to them all and eventually buy more.  If you want to argue that there is no box you would want to listen to or own more than 10 discs of, then the analogy does not hold in your case, and buying boxes is a bad idea for you.  You should still be able to follow the reasoning, however. 
   The topic of this thread is not semantics, btw. It's "how satisfied are you with those big box purchases".  I explained that I am VERY happy with mine aesthetically, economically, and because I feel I am being frugal and saving money, morally as well, and gave the reasons for my feeling this way. Perhaps you might want to say something about your feelings about a box you have purchased.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on April 22, 2014, 08:23:57 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 22, 2014, 08:14:50 PM
  An analogy, by definition, compares dissimilar things.  To elements only have to be comparable in one dimension to serve in an analogy.  If you like Reiner's work with the CSO, you could buy each of 60 cds over the next few years for $17 a pop, or you could have bought the box for $100.  It's cheaper to bulk purchase this kind of consumer good rather than drag it out with expensive individual purchases.  That's a mathematical fact which is also true of buying cigarettes in bulk.  If I buy a pack of cigarettes, I will smoke them all and later buy more. If I buy a box of CDs I will listen to them all and eventually buy more.  If you want to argue that there is no box you would want to listen to or own more than 10 discs of, then the analogy does not hold in your case, and buying boxes is a bad idea for you.  You should still be able to follow the reasoning, however. 
   The topic of this thread is not semantics, btw. It's "how satisfied are you with those big box purchases".  I explained that I am VERY happy with mine aesthetically, economically, and because I feel I am being frugal and saving money, morally as well, and gave the reasons for my feeling this way. Perhaps you might want to say something about your feelings about a box you have purchased.
The simplest way to prove your point, and I am a mathematician by training, you can trust me on this, is to make the two situations perfectly analogous in all the relevant dimensions, or isomorphic as we say. What is Ken on about you ask, how does arcane mathematics help me? It is simple. Send me each disc once you have played it, thus depleting your stock, establishing said isomorphism, and proving your case beyond doubt or question.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 22, 2014, 08:30:52 PM
Quote from: Ken B on April 22, 2014, 08:23:57 PM
The simplest way to prove your point, and I am a mathematician by training, you can trust me on this, is to make the two situations perfectly analogous in all the relevant dimensions, or isomorphic as we say. What is Ken on about you ask, how does arcane mathematics help me? It is simple. Send me each disc once you have played it, thus depleting your stock, establishing said isomorphism, and proving your case beyond doubt or question.

  But I wouldn't send you my exhaled cigarette smoke, so it seems to me this actually adds complexity.  What I need to do is roll up each disc after I play it and toke on it for while...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2014, 10:21:25 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 22, 2014, 08:14:50 PM
  An analogy, by definition, compares dissimilar things.  To elements only have to be comparable in one dimension to serve in an analogy.

The only comparable dimension is that they cost money. You might as well compare boxes of cigarettes with motorcycles, or CDs with pet parrots. If you're going to completely ignore any characteristics of the objects being bought, and all you care about is that there's some kind of discount for buying more than one at a time, then all your analogy is saying is that the cost per unit goes down.

Well, duh.  In that case, I'm going to go and buy 5 houses at once and save on the realtor's fees.

It's not mere semantics, by the way. You went out of you way to not just say you were satisfied with your big boxes, but to openly criticise people who bought music in smaller quantities.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2014, 10:25:45 PM
Quote from: bigshot on April 22, 2014, 08:07:39 PM
Dare I say it?

I think some people are jealous that the little woman won't let them bring a big box of music in the house without a whole lotta grief!

I'm gay and single. Guess again.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Daverz on April 22, 2014, 10:25:50 PM
Of recent boxes, I think Russell Davies's Haydn box was superfluous, and I was disappointed with the Kempe Icon box.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 23, 2014, 12:16:23 AM
Quote from: orfeo on April 22, 2014, 10:21:25 PM
You went out of you way to not just say you were satisfied with your big boxes, but to openly criticise people who bought music in smaller quantities.

  Then I apologize.  I meant to say that if it is music you would buy anyway, it's more sensible to pay $2 than $17.  I can sincerely say I didn't mean that as a criticism of you, and I'm sorry that you took it that way.  Are we OK now? I really don't want to argue with you, or mess up this thread. 
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 23, 2014, 01:42:03 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 23, 2014, 12:16:23 AM
 
  Then I apologize.  I meant to say that if it is music you would buy anyway, it's more sensible to pay $2 than $17.  I can sincerely say I didn't mean that as a criticism of you, and I'm sorry that you took it that way.  Are we OK now? I really don't want to argue with you, or mess up this thread.

We are OK, yes, thank you.

(The 'if' is of course the crux of the matter, and how often it's going to be fulfilled will vary enormously from one person to another and will also depend on timing considerations.)

To return to the original purpose of the thread: the biggest box I have is 'The Great EMI Recordings' for Paul Tortelier and I have quite mixed feelings about it. In cases where I have duplicates of the repertoire to directly compare to, either I tend to prefer the other recording or honours are even. In the case of the Faure cello sonatas I actively sought out an alternative, which is a pretty rare thing for me.  On the other hand, the box has exposed me to a few bits of repertoire that I otherwise might not know and have enjoyed - Kodaly's sonata for solo cello being a significant highlight. It also exposed me to at least one piece by Tcherepnin that I can't stand...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 23, 2014, 09:43:35 AM
Quote from: orfeo on April 22, 2014, 10:25:45 PM
I'm gay and single. Guess again.

Yippee! Then you won't be paying college tuition for a kid. Spend the money on music instead!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 23, 2014, 09:53:23 AM
Quote from: orfeo on April 23, 2014, 01:42:03 AMTo return to the original purpose of the thread: the biggest box I have is 'The Great EMI Recordings' for Paul Tortelier and I have quite mixed feelings about it. In cases where I have duplicates of the repertoire to directly compare to, either I tend to prefer the other recording or honours are even. In the case of the Faure cello sonatas I actively sought out an alternative, which is a pretty rare thing for me.

I think your comments here reveal exactly why big boxes don't appeal to you... You're collecting repetoire, not performances. If you are looking for "The One And True Recording To Rule All Others", the only way to accomplish that is to pick and choose from individual releases. That way the only thing you have to regret is the filler on the individual CD that doesn't meet the OATRTRAO status.

I've been seriously listening and collecting classical music for over thirty years now. I started out like you, but eventually exhausted the bulk of the classical repetoire. I suppose I could have expanded out into more and more esoteric repetoire, but for some reason, that didn't seem to be a promising direction to take. Luckily, just as I was exhausting the repetoire, my appreciation for different interpretive approaches was ramping up. I don't see much reason for a dozen different recordings if they are all played the same, but there are some key conductors who always seem to have an unique approach. Many of these conductors have been the subject of box sets lately. That keeps me busy.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on April 23, 2014, 10:24:34 AM
bigshot, what is esoteric repertoire to you?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 23, 2014, 07:14:59 PM
Bigshot, I am undoubtedly prioritising the collection of repertoire over the collection of performances. It seems a no-brainer to me in terms of value/reward: if faced with a choice between buying a recording of a piece I don't have at all, and a second recording of a piece for which I already have a recording I enjoy, it seems obvious that the greater rewards will be had by filling the gap.

It may well be the case that, as time goes by, I become more interested in having alternative performances of works even when I like the performances I have. But I'm 40 years old and have hundreds of classical CDs (never mind the pop ones) and still have a pretty extensive shopping list of repertoire that I would like to hear/have heard in concert but would like to own on disc.  I mean, just off the top of my head...

Haydn - Lots more symphonies to go, and many piano trios and string quartets

Mozart - the piano concertos, the string quartets, the string quintets, the piano trios, the piano quartets

Beethoven - still missing some of the string quartets, the piano trios, other bits and bobs

Schubert - string quintet is a major gap

Chopin - concertante works

Schumann - symphonies, string quartets, more songs

Brahms - symphonies, serenades, songs, choral works

Dvorak - symphonic poems, more symphonies besides no.9, quintets, sextet

Faure - choral works

Sibelius - tone poems

Shostakovich - rest of the symphonies

Mahler - rest of the symphonies

Poulenc - songs, choral works

Holmboe - chamber concertos, requiem for nietzsche


That's just sticking with some of the composers I already know I have an interest in, and it's hardly getting 'esoteric' apart from my inordinate interest in Holmboe.  It takes no account of the on my 'would most like to explore' list: currently Scriabin, Medtner, Szymanowski, Nielsen, Tubin, Taneyev, MacDowell, Tippett, Britten, Prokofiev, Enescu, Martinu, Vaughan Williams, Vine, Magnard, Schoenberg, Villa Lobos and Dutilleux.

I don't know what speed you listen to CDs, but you can get some idea of my rate of listening from my blog (link is under my name). It might not be fast by GMG standards, but I'm not exactly a slouch. I listen to music as often as I can, and when it comes to classical works I may listen to several mid-size ones in a single day. But I'm still a VERY long way from running out of repertoire to buy and listen to.

'Listen to' being crucial. I'm not going to keep snapping up bulk purchases to add to the 'will listen to' pile, either. I've bought up to about 35 CDs in one go through the purchase of half a dozen small boxes, but that's QUITE enough in one go because it would take me several months (maybe half a year) to give it a decent listen.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Kontrapunctus on April 27, 2014, 06:18:20 PM
I love this one! (41 CDs and 1 DVD):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81BqfbJKvrL._SL1380_.jpg)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 27, 2014, 07:11:39 PM
Quote from: Toccata&Fugue on April 27, 2014, 06:18:20 PM
I love this one! (41 CDs and 1 DVD):
Word is out they are re-releasing the big Horowitz original jacket box.  If you don't have it, might be right up your alley...{by the way, that pic is a bit big--I posted one like that and a mod changed it & didn't seem too happy. Might think about using a smaller one...}
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 28, 2014, 09:39:15 AM
Quote from: North Star on April 23, 2014, 10:24:34 AM
bigshot, what is esoteric repertoire to you?

Works that are representative of particular classical eras, but are by fourth, fifth and sixth tier composers. Also, works that don't represent the greatness of the particular composer.

I find more interest in various interpretations of great works than I do in exploring works that aren't that great. When I had hundreds of CDs, I was interested in repetoire. But now I am in the thousands, and I am focused on interpretation.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on April 28, 2014, 09:49:47 AM
Quote from: bigshot on April 28, 2014, 09:39:15 AM
Works that are representative of particular classical eras, but are by fourth, fifth and sixth tier composers. Also, works that don't represent the greatness of the particular composer.

I find more interest in various interpretations of great works than I do in exploring works that aren't that great. When I had hundreds of CDs, I was interested in repetoire. But now I am in the thousands, and I am focused on interpretation.
This sounds reasonable. Can you give examples of composers of each tier?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on April 28, 2014, 11:15:29 AM
There are problems both ways (have or have not) with Big Boxes (for me that's over 3 inches thick, or about 15 discs-a-box).

- First, it's unlikely everything in it is something you need or wish to hear. That's a con.
- Second, it's unlikely that once the initial, heavly discounted run is gone, you will ever find it at such ridiculous prices. That's a pro.
- Third, and the completist in me is in a quandary: what if I miss something everybody else will enthuse over in the following years ? That's a pro, too.

The saying goes, 'when in doubt, abstain'. For a compulsive buyer it goes in reverse of course  :-[.

I have to say I smelled the wind a few years ago, sensing there was an economic reason behind the bounty: if and when CDs become extinct, these will become treasure troves. Hold on to them for der life, and they shall return just like the undergoing LP renaissance.

- Wagner: the Decca operas.  The competing DGG compleat Wagner. Fortunately, NONE of these overlap ! Then there is the 'Wagner Vision' box of Bayreuth performances (heartily recommended for the historically inclined). Never has Wagner become more acccessible.

- Puccini: the competing boxes from EMI and Decca. Very interesting case. First, there is a distinct Puccini tradition emanating from both houses. Second, Decca has taken the 'vintage' way: everything is sung by house stalwart and certified puccinian Renata Tebaldi, thereby lending an aura of stylistic and 1950's authenticity to their project. Third, EMI has gone the other way,  their interest spreading over 5 decades of house sound recordings. From Milan to London, Paris or Rome. They have of course been careful not to cannibalize their Callas archives, which of course are the subject of another Big Box.

- Clementi: complete sonatas, capricci and essercizi, played by Pietro Spada on the Arts label. Two volumes, 18 discs. After C.P.E. Bach, Clementi is the next Big Discovery among classical music lovers. There are 3 competing editions on the Brilliant, Hyperion and Naxos  labels. Whether you choose one or another, what's important is to  wet your big toe in the Clementi pond. That's what generations of pianits and composers have done !

- The various Giulini mid-size boxes: in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in Vienna, in pajamas, chose your favourite Carlo ! Not easy: I have the excellent DG Chicago and LA boxes, the EMI box, and was ogling the Vienna one: Great, I thought  ! The DG Rigoletto is in it ! But wait: the gigantic Decca Verdi Box also has it, rendering the DG issue less interesting. Come to think of it, the only thing I'm missing is the Brahms Requiem ! So, there's one Big Box that's not for me. Come to think of it, WHY has the Domingo Verdi Big Box not featured that Giulini Rigoletto, a natural for THAT box, you would think ? Well, Rigoletto is absent from the Domingo Verdi box, but present in both the Decca Verdi and the Giulini in Vienna boxes.

Of course I dind't mention the 70 disc Callas EMI box, itself the compilation of many Callas scavenging missions from the EMI team. It is handily complementented by a nicely appointed box of 26 discs culled from the Jürgen Kesting archives AND from the EMI vaults. About 1/3 of that worthy endeavour is already present in  the EMI box. By the way, if it is available, this is the only Callas box you need to know to understand what the worldwide hullaballoo was all about.

Confused ? The name of the game is to think ahead: will I some day be interested in such material ? And will I find it at a reasonable price when the urge comes ?










[/quote]
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: kishnevi on April 28, 2014, 03:46:20 PM
Andre, you are forgetting the 50CD EMI France Beethoven set!  And considering you are the one who persuaded me to get it!  I am finally in the middle of a first runthrough (it took a while to get to the peak of my listening pile😁  )and while some of it makes a surprising choice (works for mandolin and piano = masterworks?) I owe you a very big thank you.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 29, 2014, 05:28:07 AM
Quote from: André on April 28, 2014, 11:15:29 AM
I have to say I smelled the wind a few years ago, sensing there was an economic reason behind the bounty: if and when CDs become extinct, these will become treasure troves. Hold on to them for der life, and they shall return just like the undergoing LP renaissance.

I doubt that they will ever go 'extinct' to the extent that LPs supposedly did, because of resources like eBay. It's possible that some future performances will never be available on CD, but anything that makes it onto CD will keep circulating and will be out there if you really want it. The internet has made it possible to shop all over the world in a way that was simply impossible before.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Kontrapunctus on April 29, 2014, 05:43:23 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 27, 2014, 07:11:39 PM
Word is out they are re-releasing the big Horowitz original jacket box.  If you don't have it, might be right up your alley...{by the way, that pic is a bit big--I posted one like that and a mod changed it & didn't seem too happy. Might think about using a smaller one...}

I see that it has indeed been re-sized. Hey, doesn't a big box deserve a big picture?  ;)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 29, 2014, 05:45:54 AM
Quote from: Toccata&Fugue on April 29, 2014, 05:43:23 AM
Hey, doesn't a big box deserve a big picture?  ;)

  I certainly think so, but, alas, we must bow to greater powers...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 29, 2014, 09:43:58 AM
Quote from: North Star on April 28, 2014, 09:49:47 AM
This sounds reasonable. Can you give examples of composers of each tier?

In general, when the only label that chooses to record a composer's work is Naxos, you know the pickin's are getting kinda thin. There may well be worthwhile stuff sprinkled in there, but the further you drill down, the more chaffe there is with the wheat.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on April 29, 2014, 11:31:26 AM
Quote from: bigshot on April 29, 2014, 09:43:58 AM
In general, when the only label that chooses to record a composer's work is Naxos, you know the pickin's are getting kinda thin. There may well be worthwhile stuff sprinkled in there, but the further you drill down, the more chaffe there is with the wheat.
Fair enough.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on April 29, 2014, 02:35:36 PM
Quote from: Jeffrey Smith on April 28, 2014, 03:46:20 PM
Andre, you are forgetting the 50CD EMI France Beethoven set!  And considering you are the one who persuaded me to get it!  I am finally in the middle of a first runthrough (it took a while to get to the peak of my listening pile😁  )and while some of it makes a surprising choice (works for mandolin and piano = masterworks?) I owe you a very big thank you.

You're absolutely right. I didn't realize it had been such a long time. I myself completed the undertaking just recently - doggedly listening from cd 1 to cd 50. It's one of the best unsung bargains of the whole repertoire, containing as it does unique performances of the sonatas, quartets as well as the violin and cello sonatas + classic if not quite definitive versions of the symphonies and concertos, Fidelio, Missa Solemnis etc . Highly recommended !  :)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on April 30, 2014, 01:48:33 AM
Quote from: bigshot on April 29, 2014, 09:43:58 AM
In general, when the only label that chooses to record a composer's work is Naxos, you know the pickin's are getting kinda thin. There may well be worthwhile stuff sprinkled in there, but the further you drill down, the more chaffe there is with the wheat.

Funny you should say that, as your earlier comments had reminded of reading many years ago about a conference of record labels/classical recorded music industry types where most of them were saying 'there's nothing left to record any more, only new versions of the old music', and the head of Naxos told everybody just how many composers/works listed in Grove had no recordings.

So Naxos quite deliberately aimed to fill those gaps. And I say, good on 'em. Especially in this day and age when it's possible to sell recordings online from servers and allow anyone who wants to to make up their mind about the music. Even if most people find a composer to be fifth-rate, what does that matter to the listener who discovers for themselves a new favourite gem?

(There's still no recording at all of some of Holmboe's concertos. A Gramphone reviewer was urging someone to record Holmboe's chamber symphonies decades and decades ago, and it still took until 2012 for one to be released.)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Kontrapunctus on April 30, 2014, 08:28:37 AM
I haven't heard all 19 discs yet, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the 8 or so that I have played. The performers are all up to the task, and the sound is stunningly clear. These are German organs from Bach's time, not the gigantic French cathedral types, so the bass is not rafter-loosening, but it is satisfactorily powerful.

(http://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000033186864-prvlks-crop.jpg?164b459)

(http://onebitaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/bach_silverman_boxset.jpg)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 30, 2014, 08:41:32 AM
Quote from: orfeo on April 30, 2014, 01:48:33 AM
Funny you should say that, as your earlier comments had reminded of reading many years ago about a conference of record labels/classical recorded music industry types where most of them were saying 'there's nothing left to record any more, only new versions of the old music', and the head of Naxos told everybody just how many composers/works listed in Grove had no recordings.

So Naxos quite deliberately aimed to fill those gaps. And I say, good on 'em.

Me too. But I listen to many kinds of music, from country and bluegrass to early R&B and Blues to Jazz and Popular music. If all I listened to was classical music, I would probably explore the lesser composers searching for the jewels among the chaffe. But my swath is too broad to drill down that far. I operate on the stuff that rises to the top in every genre and the batting average is very high.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on April 30, 2014, 09:05:05 PM
Just got the Living Stereo 2 box set... lots of duplication with the Reiner and Rubenstein boxes and very short times... most of the CDs are under 40 minutes.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on April 30, 2014, 09:56:46 PM
Quote from: bigshot on April 30, 2014, 09:05:05 PM
Just got the Living Stereo 2 box set... lots of duplication with the Reiner and Rubenstein boxes and very short times... most of the CDs are under 40 minutes.

  As I have the Reiner and Rube, I ended up cancelling my order for this one. I'm disappointed but not too surprised that the playing times are so short; when I saw that each Beethoven piano concerto was given its own disc, I was a bit suspicious. 

  The onslaught of big boxes has really slowed down. There was a period there when there seemed to constantly be a new, irresistible one on the shelves, but that doesn't seem to be the case so much anymore...is the most attractive repertoire already "out there"? Has this trend run its course? Or is this a seasonal lull?  Whichever the case, I'm rather relieved. I'm really enjoying catching up!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on April 30, 2014, 10:06:58 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on April 30, 2014, 09:56:46 PM
  As I have the Reiner and Rube, I ended up cancelling my order for this one. I'm disappointed but not too surprised that the playing times are so short; when I saw that each Beethoven piano concerto was given its own disc, I was a bit suspicious. 

  The onslaught of big boxes has really slowed down. There was a period there when there seemed to constantly be a new, irresistible one on the shelves, but that doesn't seem to be the case so much anymore...is the most attractive repertoire already "out there"? Has this trend run its course? Or is this a seasonal lull?  Whichever the case, I'm rather relieved. I'm really enjoying catching up!

I think it is a "seasonal lull"....    >:D
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2014, 04:32:51 AM
Quote from: bigshot on April 30, 2014, 09:05:05 PM
Just got the Living Stereo 2 box set... lots of duplication with the Reiner and Rubenstein boxes
That's why I didn't order it.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 01, 2014, 09:34:21 PM
Quote from: bigshot on April 30, 2014, 09:05:05 PM
Just got the Living Stereo 2 box set... lots of duplication with the Reiner and Rubenstein boxes and very short times... most of the CDs are under 40 minutes.

and dups from the earlier van Cliburn set as well (I presume..)?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 02, 2014, 11:31:19 AM
I haven't run across Van Cliburn yet. But I have run across some wonderful Monteux I've never heard before. I got the set cheap at Amazon UK so I really don't mind the duplications.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 02, 2014, 09:23:41 PM
Quote from: bigshot on May 02, 2014, 11:31:19 AM
I haven't run across Van Cliburn yet. But I have run across some wonderful Monteux I've never heard before. I got the set cheap at Amazon UK so I really don't mind the duplications.

Yes, I agree. The set is very affordable considering its content. One only needs to find a few gems and it is all "paid for".
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Pat B on May 03, 2014, 09:42:50 PM
I just received Living Stereo 2. It made sense for me as I have Living Stereo 1 but not the Rubinstein, Reiner, or Cliburn boxes.

bigshot wasn't kidding about the run times. Some of these (e.g. Richter's Brahms 2nd Concerto) have been released on individual Living Stereo CDs with couplings which have been removed here. Reiner's Beethoven 1, at 22:38, is all that's on one disc. As for the Beethoven Piano Concertos, even I, a fan of good cover art, don't need to see five nearly-identical photos of Rubinstein. Lucia di Lammermoor, Barber of Seville, Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, and Verdi's Requiem could have used one less disc EACH without splitting parts across discs. Worst is the B Minor Mass which is spread across 3 discs AND the split locations do not even match the piece's structure! This is taking the "original album" concept to a ridiculous and pointless extreme.

Yes, the contents were mostly listed in advance, but I expected the discs to be filled out like most other big boxes, including Living Stereo 1. I guess the big multi-disc works should have been a red flag.

Hopefully I will feel better about it once I start listening.

It's not necessarily a bad deal but caveat emptor, especially for those who were expecting it to be similar to Living Stereo 1.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: cournot on May 06, 2014, 06:49:45 AM
I've been digesting the many boxes I've purchased recently but am glad to learn about the limits of the new Living Stereo Box.  Given what people have said I think I will focus on other priorities now. (Good excuse to save money). What do people think of the big Karajan Membran box 1938-60?  It seems to have many of the standard EMI opera sets as well as the various nice Philharmonia performances?  I don't have much early Karajan in CD form so I keep thinking that if I like one fourth of this box it'll be a good deal.  For various strange reasons, I have listened to little Verdi as I never quite got him (In contrast I love Wagner and like Puccini and Donizetti) so the Karajan led recordings seem like good ways to get some classic versions.

Any comments on that big box of over a hundred discs?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 06, 2014, 10:55:54 AM
Can't comment on the Membran box except to say that the sound quality on Membran releases has gotten better lately.

I have the Karajan EMI Orchestral box and the sound quality is great. Much better than previous CD releases. This is my favorite period for Karajan, so it was worth it for me to spend a little more and get the official EMI box instead of the  Membran.

I already had a lot of the operas, so I skipped the  EMI opera box.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on May 07, 2014, 12:34:49 AM
Quote from: bigshot on May 06, 2014, 10:55:54 AM
Can't comment on the Membran box except to say that the sound quality on Membran releases has gotten better lately.

Do they do their own post processing? As I understand it, they have cheap stuff mainly because of a 50 year copyright limit in Germany, which means their sound can "improve" year by year--now the whole market from 1964 is becoming freely available to them, whereas 5 years ago they only had free access to "50s sound"....
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Pat B on May 07, 2014, 09:30:10 AM
Quote from: Pat B on May 03, 2014, 09:42:50 PM
Lucia di Lammermoor, Barber of Seville, Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, and Verdi's Requiem could have used one less disc EACH without splitting parts across discs.

Correction. Romeo and Juliet could not have fit onto one disc (the labelled playing time is exactly 12 minutes short).

The bigger point still stands.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on May 07, 2014, 09:33:20 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on May 07, 2014, 12:34:49 AM
Do they do their own post processing? As I understand it, they have cheap stuff mainly because of a 50 year copyright limit in Germany, which means their sound can "improve" year by year--now the whole market from 1964 is becoming freely available to them, whereas 5 years ago they only had free access to "50s sound"....
Perhaps. Membran also provides services to small labels and independents looking for an outlet.  So that might be it too.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 07, 2014, 10:17:12 AM
Digital restoration technology has become more available. It used to be that you needed a CEDAR workstation to do a good job. Now the same tools are available for any PC.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: cournot on May 13, 2014, 07:44:07 AM
I really like the Living Stereo, Bernstein, Karajan 70s, and EMI Wagner boxes I've gotten. I also liked the DG Mahler box and the EMI Oistrakh set. I also got the smaller original jackets Bach set of Gould but I moved too slowly to get the big one.  I'm working though the Perahia big box and love the Mozart piano works but have more mixed feelings about the other stuff. I liked the Sony Wagner box just because I got the Janowski Ring for so little, while the other stuff is interesting but kinda ok.  My biggest splurge -- the Solti Deluxe Ring -- was absolutely worth it to me.  I got a big box of Callas recordings, but I'm still on the fence about Callas.  I now begin to see what people liked about her, but I still find her singing unattractive in many operas.  I was particularly disappointed by the Brilliant Big Box of Mozart.  Nice to hear some different stuff, but the symphony cycle was not for me (don't like  period instrument versions and this one had nothing to commend it especially) and the operas were not well enough done to hold my attention.  It's the one big box I wish I hadn't gotten.  But in general, I've liked enough stuff in the cheap big boxes to find them worthwhile.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Pat B on May 20, 2014, 01:10:21 AM
Living Stereo 2 update.

Previously I didn't mention Otello because I mistakenly thought they needed 3 discs to avoid splitting acts across discs. I just listened to it, and that is not the case. They could have easily fit acts 1 and 2 on one disc, and 3 and 4 on a second disc (which is how the previous CD release was). Instead, they split act 2 and act 3 across discs, and the split in act 3 comes in the middle of a note.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on May 20, 2014, 03:32:42 AM
Quote from: Pat B on May 20, 2014, 01:10:21 AM
Living Stereo 2 update.

Previously I didn't mention Otello because I mistakenly thought they needed 3 discs to avoid splitting acts across discs. I just listened to it, and that is not the case. They could have easily fit acts 1 and 2 on one disc, and 3 and 4 on a second disc (which is how the previous CD release was). Instead, they split act 2 and act 3 across discs, and the split in act 3 comes in the middle of a note.

  ouch.  Yeah, those first boxes, where they gave you an excellent album and then filled up the extra space with 4 and 5 star material seemed too extravagantly generous.  Seems the execs decided the same thing, but in "correcting" the problem have gone a little too far in the other direction...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on May 20, 2014, 08:19:19 AM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on May 20, 2014, 03:32:42 AM
  ouch.  Yeah, those first boxes, where they gave you an excellent album and then filled up the extra space with 4 and 5 star material seemed too extravagantly generous.  Seems the execs decided the same thing, but in "correcting" the problem have gone a little too far in the other direction...
The moral is, if there are any big boxes you don't have buy them now .....
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: akiralx on May 20, 2014, 05:31:00 PM
My opinion of the boxes I have:

Perahia 40 Years: very good, excellent presentation (great hardback book) and barely any duplication for me.  The concert DVDs are nice.  The older recordings sound fine so may have been remastered.  Probably my best big box buy.

Karajan 60s and 70s:  I got the Korean sets as I live in Australia, and certainly for the 70s box many recordings have been specifically remastered for this release and sound excellent.  This is the finer of the two set in my view.

Zinman Symphonies: really great, I don't miss that the Mahler cycle is not SACD as I have plenty of other SACD recordings.  I find the Bronfman Beethoven concertos a little small scale but the Schubert, Schumann, Mahler and Strauss are top notch.

Byron Janis RCA:  a bit of a lemon owing to the duplication, short playing lengths and older (often mono) recordings.  But it was cheap...  There is a horrible version of Rhapsody in Blue included.  I admire Janis as a pianist however and the included 55 minute film about him on DVD is interesting.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on May 21, 2014, 08:03:30 AM
Quote from: akiralx on May 20, 2014, 05:31:00 PMI find the Bronfman Beethoven concertos a little small scale...
You haven't heard Schoonderwoerd & Cristofori, then.  8)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 24, 2014, 12:44:22 PM
Whew! The Karajan 60s box arrived today. It's going to take a while to rip this monster. Worse yet, the complete Horowitz is on the boat on its way to me right now. Musical orgy!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on May 24, 2014, 02:07:38 PM
THE Big Box I'm interested in, praying it will be at a reasonable cost when finally issued later this year 0:) is the C.P.E. Bach complete keyboard works on BIS. Gimme, gimme, gimme all that Bach !!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 24, 2014, 02:08:43 PM
Quote from: André on May 24, 2014, 02:07:38 PM
THE Big Box I'm interested in, praying it will be at a reasonable cost when finally issued later this year 0:) is the C.P.E. Bach complete keyboard works on BIS. Gimme, gimme, gimme all that Bach !!

With BIS one will probably need a loan from the bank...     :'( :'(
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on May 24, 2014, 02:55:10 PM
Quote from: André on May 24, 2014, 02:07:38 PM
THE Big Box I'm interested in, praying it will be at a reasonable cost when finally issued later this year 0:) is the C.P.E. Bach complete keyboard works on BIS. Gimme, gimme, gimme all that Bach !!
Concertos? THAT I want.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on May 25, 2014, 02:48:06 AM
BIS isn't a fan of big boxes in general, so it probably won't happen.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 25, 2014, 02:51:11 AM
Quote from: North Star on May 25, 2014, 02:48:06 AM
BIS isn't a fan of big boxes in general, so it probably won't happen.

Aren't BIS putting out the Suzuki/Bach cantatas or is that a different label? Perhaps a Suzuki set won't reach Europe/US..???   ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on May 25, 2014, 04:53:02 AM
Quote from: Moonfish on May 25, 2014, 02:51:11 AM
Aren't BIS putting out the Suzuki/Bach cantatas or is that a different label? Perhaps a Suzuki set won't reach Europe/US..???   ??? ??? ???
Well yes, but there might be more demand for those.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 25, 2014, 09:30:59 AM
Just wait for BIS to license it to Amazon for those $2.99 MP3 big boxes. That's how I got a lot of my BIS stuff.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 25, 2014, 03:52:21 PM
As I go through the Karajan 60s box ripping it, I'm amazed by the album covers. I had a bunch of these records. But there are a lot I didn't own, but still remember clearly. When I'd go to the record store, I'd flip through the bins saying to myself "If I had a million dollars..." Today, it doesn't take a million dollars!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on May 25, 2014, 04:26:15 PM
Quote from: North Star on May 25, 2014, 02:48:06 AM
BIS isn't a fan of big boxes in general, so it probably won't happen.

BIS wrote me that it would be completed in 2014 and a BIG BOX was an option. I guess they are betting their wages on the feasability of such a mammoth undertaking. After all, reputation-wise, C.P.E ain't J.S  :(
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 25, 2014, 04:29:01 PM
Hanssler has one, why not BIS too?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on May 25, 2014, 04:36:39 PM
You're right ! But after having collected about 1/3 of the BIS discs, I root for their distinctive approach. So hopefully a compleat CPE from BIS will be available one day. In the meantime, I have declared an embargo on all CPE keyboard discs around.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: marvinbrown on May 25, 2014, 10:58:25 PM


  Dear all. Which of these is the MOST satisfying:

  [asin]B00DUPU6BU[/asin] or

  [asin]B00AFOS7Z6[/asin] or

  [asin]B000NDEMAI[/asin]

  Thank you

  marvin

 
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 25, 2014, 11:34:58 PM
I have orange and green. Pretty much a toss up. They are both good, but orange has more stuff on it.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: marvinbrown on May 26, 2014, 01:24:23 AM
Quote from: bigshot on May 25, 2014, 11:34:58 PM
I have orange and green. Pretty much a toss up. They are both good, but orange has more stuff on it.

  Thank you bigshot for responding.  Seeing how this is a toss up  am I  better off with the orange (Brilliant) as it is complete?

  marvin
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 26, 2014, 01:40:46 AM
Quote from: marvinbrown on May 26, 2014, 01:24:23 AM
  Thank you bigshot for responding.  Seeing how this is a toss up  am I  better off with the orange (Brilliant) as it is complete?

  marvin

Marvin,
You may also want to consider the EMI set if you are going for a chunky Beethoven set...

[asin] B000J0ZPH4[/asin]
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: premont on May 26, 2014, 04:25:58 AM
Quote from: Moonfish on May 26, 2014, 01:40:46 AM
Marvin,
You may also want to consider the EMI set if you are going for a chunky Beethoven set...

[asin] B000J0ZPH4[/asin]

Seconded.

All the boxes contain some fine performances and some less fine, but I think the EMI box offers most value for money.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on May 26, 2014, 07:25:17 AM
Seconded +1 (does that make it tripled ?). The EMI has remarkable versions of the piano sonatas and the string quartets, unexcelled IMHO, plus excellent ones of the concertos, string trios and Masses.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on May 26, 2014, 07:33:27 AM
Quote from: André on May 26, 2014, 07:25:17 AM
Seconded +1 (does that make it tripled ?). The EMI has remarkable versions of the piano sonatas and the string quartets, unexcelled IMHO, plus excellent ones of the concertos, string trios and Masses.

Depends on your sound quality requirements. Green win that. I agree otherwise the EMI box is most appealling.
But all are very good.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: marvinbrown on May 26, 2014, 08:02:04 AM
Quote from: Moonfish on May 26, 2014, 01:40:46 AM
Marvin,
You may also want to consider the EMI set if you are going for a chunky Beethoven set...

Quote from: (: premont :) on May 26, 2014, 04:25:58 AM
Seconded.

All the boxes contain some fine performances and some less fine, but I think the EMI box offers most value for money.
[asin] B000J0ZPH4[/asin]
Quote from: André on May 26, 2014, 07:25:17 AM
Seconded +1 (does that make it tripled ?). The EMI has remarkable versions of the piano sonatas and the string quartets, unexcelled IMHO, plus excellent ones of the concertos, string trios and Masses.
Quote from: Ken B on May 26, 2014, 07:33:27 AM
Depends on your sound quality requirements. Green win that. I agree otherwise the EMI box is most appealling.
But all are very good.

  Alright! Alright! with such unanimous praise what can I do but order it! Thank you all!

  marvin
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on May 26, 2014, 08:05:19 AM
Quote from: marvinbrown on May 26, 2014, 08:02:04 AM
[asin] B000J0ZPH4[/asin]

  Alright! Alright! with such unanimous praise what can I do but order it! Thank you all!

  marvin
I think BRO has it for $50
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on May 26, 2014, 12:00:40 PM
BRO charges a handling fee per disc, so that may negate the price advantage somewhat...

Here's what I purchased http://www.amazon.com/Luciano-Pavarotti-First-Decade-ltd/dp/B00G5WUIP4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1401134174&sr=1-1&keywords=pavarotti+edition   (http://www.amazon.com/Luciano-Pavarotti-First-Decade-ltd/dp/B00G5WUIP4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1401134174&sr=1-1&keywords=pavarotti+edition)

Th contents are most interesting: all the operas he recorded early in his career on Decca (his most satisfying work IMO)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: bigshot on May 30, 2014, 02:13:58 PM
I just got the Horowitz box in the mail from Amazon.de. The lid of the box was split at the corner, but I guess I don't really care because the contents seem to be fine. The album covers are MUCH better than the ones in the Heifetz box, further verifying that my Heifetz box may be a Chinese knockoff. I really don't get the book. It pictures each one of the covers full page in B&W. I would have much rather had them devote space to liner notes in a readable font size. Well, I finished ripping Karajan 60s, so I'll start ripping this. My music library on my media server is getting to be enormous!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Mookalafalas on May 31, 2014, 09:32:49 PM
Quote from: bigshot on May 30, 2014, 02:13:58 PM
I just got the Horowitz box in the mail from Amazon.de. The lid of the box was split at the corner, but I guess I don't really care because the contents seem to be fine. The album covers are MUCH better than the ones in the Heifetz box, further verifying that my Heifetz box may be a Chinese knockoff. I really don't get the book. It pictures each one of the covers full page in B&W. I would have much rather had them devote space to liner notes in a readable font size. Well, I finished ripping Karajan 60s, so I'll start ripping this. My music library on my media server is getting to be enormous!

  I've had several boxes arrive with splits.  I don't mind either, however, as I don't keep them in the boxes.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on May 31, 2014, 10:45:52 PM
Quote from: Baklavaboy on May 31, 2014, 09:32:49 PM
  I've had several boxes arrive with splits.  I don't mind either, however, as I don't keep them in the boxes.

Same here. The Living Stereo boxes as well as the Decca Analogue. The "top hat" style lid easily crack at the vertical edges/corners. Quite annoying! I easily prefer the hinge type lids that DG make as well as the clam box shells.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: king ubu on June 01, 2014, 01:57:06 AM
As of now ....

Archiv Produktion 1947-2013
Interesting, but not nearly all in there is essential ... however, after comparing with what I have and what is in there, I felt it might be a good addition also in respect of some more recent recordings. Guess it really is, and some of the old stuff is very intriguing, but still I don't think I'll be listening to those parts of the box all that often. (I guess I've not yet played 12-15 of the discs, including the Richter St Matthew)

Vivarte Collection
This one to me is a mixed bag ... if the price hadn't dropped to 40€ once and if I hadn't caught that in time, I might not have gotten it. But then there's plenty of excellent stuff in there (Tafelmusik!), though hardly anything of which I don't already have other mighty fine recordings of. Some of the chamber music is rather plodding to these ears, but other is excellent and of course I made some discoveries thanks to this box, too - like Weiss' lute music. (Prob. around 20 unplayed discs, some of them I've got elsewhere though)

Aldo Ciccolini - Enregistrements EMI 1950-1991
Masterly stuff, all the way through! (Only things I didn't listen to yet are the songs towards the end of the box.)

Arthur Rubinstein - The Complete Album Collection
Huge in every respect ... have played all the solo and chamber recordings but not nearly all concertos yet. Most happy to have this one though, that's for sure. Lots of wonderful Brahms, Chopin, the Mozart quartets (and KV 491 w/Krips!), the trios with Heifetz/Feuermann and Heifetz/Piatigorsky etc. Don't quite get his Beethoven though ... I go elsewhere for that anyway. But then again his D 960 is wonderful, and so is the other Schubert and the Schumann.

Marcelle Meyer - Ses enregistrements 1925-1957
Indispensable! Not all of, mind me, but there's no other way to get this and I badly need her Rameau, Debussy, Ravel, Chabrier ... and enjoy at least the "Inventions and Sinfonias" as far as her Bach goes. And the Scarlatti is quite wonderful, too! And of course the modern stuff of her era (Stravinsky, Milhaud etc.). Less or no use for her Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, though some of it has its charms at least.

The All-Baroque Box
YEAH! This was the first of these "mixed" multi-boxes I got, and it's a real treasure trove! Again I've not made my way through all of it yet (probably 15 discs missing), but I don't think I've heard anything bad from this (and had virtually no duplicates as it came early in my classical days and I was well aware I'd get this). This sent me on quite some trips - like getting the entire Venexiana Monteverdi Madrigals (not listened to in their entirety quite yet), other recordings of "Orfeo" etc.

200 Ans de Musique à Versailles
One of the most recent acquisitions ... around 5 or 6 discs to go (not in order, mostly missing the opera stuff yet), but this for sure was a most worthwhile addition! Plenty of obscure stuff, and again it sent me to look for some other things, too (most recently the Desmarest disc by Christie that just got here on Friday).

Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
Too cheaply made presentation-wise, but after having amassed much of this by way of her "ICON" and some other releases, I had to go for it. No idea how much of it I've not heard yet, but she's one of my very favourites!

Lumières - La musique du XVIIe siècle
This was, I think, my very first monster box, before the "All-Baroque" one landed. Again tons of things to discover in there, some mighty fine, but then some of the more commonly known pieces I prefer in other recordings, of course. Still have to tackle some of the larger oratorios/operas included, but this was dirt-cheap and with the fine booklet it sent me on various further trips (one of the discoveries spurred by this box that comes to mind right away are the wondrous Mondonville sonatas with soprano and violin accompaniment).

Gardiner: Bach Cantatas (The Complete Live Recordings from the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage)
Still making my way through this, but yeah, I love it! Gardiner is very often on top here, can't help it (I know many see or rather hear that differently, but I have my ears, not those of many ;)).

Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection
I feel like I only just scratched the surface of this ... the Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven symphonies, some Verdi operas ... intriguing for sure, and I guess I'll enjoy working my way through the rest of it as the time goes by.

Yehudi Menuhin - Great EMI Recordings
Another treasure trove full of wonderful things ... the early concertos with Enescu, the chamber music with Hephzibah ... not too big a fan of his baroque stuff (but that applies to those baroque violin showpieces in general ... I can listen to plenty of Kreisler and other encores, but Tartini etc. I don't really need all that much), but his Bach concertos from Bath again are wonderful (they're not included in full in the box - at 50 discs it's not even complete!)

Sviatoslav Richter - Solo Recordings
Another recent acquisition ... don't think I'll ever be firmly in the Richter camp and circled around this for months before finally jumping at it (yeah, you guessed it: the price was right and I couldn't resist). Love his Schumann a lot, less sure about his baroque (the new-agey Bach on EMI is horrible, kinda Keith Jarrett-y, forgive me) and classical (though I enjoyed the Haydn and Mozart way more than I'd have expected ... and the "Diabelli Variations" are terrific). Still need to dig into the exclusively Russian discs, the only ones I've never yet played. Anyway, definitely a worthwhile acquisition!

The Teldec Recordings - Thomas Zehetmair
Very good, all the way!

Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
Not quite played it all (but most), but I guess this goes down as essential, if only due to all the concertos w/Szell (the Schumann)! But there's more great stuff, his D 960 (how can a young man pull that?!?), the Mozart solo disc ... alas, why didn't he tackle KV 491?

Kathleen Ferrier - Centenary Edition: The Complete Decca Recordings
Deep. Another favourite ... not all might be perfect (some surely is far from), but I just love her voice.

Glenn Gould - The Complete Bach Collection
Again I'd say essential. No one ever quite got such a tone ... the clarity, the cantabile ... not made my way through all of it, this needs lots of time to sink in.

Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings 1949-1969
Essential again, I guess ... though I'm pretty slow in absorbing operas, usually want to compare various versions from the beginning. Listened to the studio recitals several times, and of course to some of the operas as well (best "Tosca" ever?), but still plenty to discover here and I'm looking forward very much to that!

David Oistrakh - The Complete EMI Recordings
Not quite sure what it is with Oistrakh ... I got this and all three of his Brilliant boxes and I wouldn't say I really love it more than I do other versions of nearly all music to be found there (though to be honest the Brilliant boxes contain a lot of music I don't have other recordings of). Anyway, I still keep listening to Oistrakh, so something's clearly there, I just can't really pin it down yet.

Clara Haskil Edition
I know, some of the orchestras aren't all that good ... but this is some of the finest Mozart I've ever heard, and I wouldn't want to be without it! And then there's the Mozart and Beethoven sonatas with Arthur Grumiaux ... heaven, I'm in heaven! ;) (Again, I was aware of this at the right time and didn't re-buy anything, luckily.)
(If you want my one-sheet-inlay providing an overview of the music, drop me a line - I hate those messy/incomplete infos Decca/Universal so often provide!)

Samson François - L'Édition Intégrale
Indispensable! This is, I guess, the Chopin I need next to Rubinstein's and Arrau's ... I think I've played all of it at least once by now. One of the bestest of these multi-boxes, I also gifted it to a dear friend who had actually made me aware of François in the first place.

Mozart Operas Gardiner
Haven't heard all of it, but loved very, very much what I did hear so far! "Così fan tutte", "Die Zauberflöte" and "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" are the ones I'm really familiar with from this box, never yet played "Idomeneo" at all (neither here nor in any other recordings).

Schubert Lieder on Record (1898-2012)
I'm really a bit on a loss how to deal with this ... but whenever I pop in a disc, I'm deeply fascinated. Never played the complete cycles as I've got my favourites there (Wunderdlich and Hotter ... and Chrstine Schäfer, too), but I definitely need to listen to Schreier doing the "Müllerin".

Great Operas from La Scala
A rag-bag, I guess, but it was so cheap and there are three or four in there I really wanted. Not played it all, but I quite fell for Stella in "Don Carlo"! The "Traviata" is weirdly weak though (and I'm not sure I ever want to hear DFD in Verdi at all).

Giuseppe Verdi - Great Recordings
Lovely box ... far from played it all, but "La Traviata" (Prêtre, w/Caballe) is pretty good and "Rigoletto" (Solti) is more than that, and so is "Il Trovatore", I guess. Also played most of the aria albums and fell deeply for Scotto one ... and am totally clueless why they didn't included the amazing Steber album of Verdi arias as well). Too bad it only contains an excerpts album of "Don Carlo" and of the fine "Aida" with Milanov/Björling. Gladly Naxos has that one on offer.

Verdi at the Met - Legendary Performances from the Metropolitan Opera
Again - as I'm going opera by opera - much of it unplayed yet, but I fell for Rosa Ponselle, totally! Had to get all her Naxos discs after hearing her doing "La Traviata". The "Aida" is quite wonderful, too. Also heard Sayão for the first time here ...

So this is a summary of the boxes I've at least dug into in some serious way .... I could add the Walter Columbia and the Furtwängler Legacy as well, I've played at least half of the Walter. It's a lovely box presentation-wise and the essay in the large-format booklet was very enlightening. I guess that one goes into the essential or nearly so category, too. The Furtwängler is a mess, with lacking informations and all, but again I had this lined-up for acquisition and hence mostly stood away from buying anything Furtwängler before. Played the Beethoven symphonies, some of the operas (the 1951 "Zaubeflöte" would be the very best, I think, if not for the sound).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
Thanks for that great overview of your boxes King Ubu

It must have taken you a while to write?  It was interesting to read your impressions/perspectives as I more or less agreed with your sentiments. I have most of these as well, but there were a few items I was either not aware of or had neglected over the years.
The Schubert box was not on my radar at all (which surprised me). I quickly purchased the Schubert box as it seems a wonderful way to journey through the songs as it integrates the music and an array of artists through time (I very much enjoy the historical approach).

I also realized that I clearly have neglected my Ciccolini, François, Menuhin and Baker sets which I will make sure to remedy in the near future. Of all the sets you mentioned I think I am most attached to Marcelle Meyer's recordings - in particular her Rameau interpretations which are radiant and poetical in her hands. Again, thanks for posting your thoughts on your boxes as I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

PS!
Neat that you fell for Ponselle's vocie with the Met Verdi box!   ;)

Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: king ubu on June 01, 2014, 01:41:47 PM
Quote from: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
Thanks for that great overview of your boxes King Ubu!
It's only part of my boxes ;)

Quote from: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
It must have taken you a while to write?  It was interesting to read your impressions/perspectives as I more or less agreed with your sentiments. I have most of these as well, but there were a few items I was either not aware of or had neglected over the years.
The Schubert box was not on my radar at all (which surprised me). I quickly purchased the Schubert box as it seems a wonderful way to journey through the songs as it integrates the music and an array of artists through time (I very much enjoy the historical approach).
There's some wonderful stuff to discover there, including a few Russian versions! Got to dig it up again soon, too!

Quote from: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
I also realized that I clearly have neglected my Ciccolini, François, Menuhin and Baker sets which I will make sure to remedy in the near future. Of all the sets you mentioned I think I am most attached to Marcelle Meyer's recordings - in particular her Rameau interpretations which are radiant and poetical in her hands. Again, thanks for posting your thoughts on your boxes as I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
The Ciccolini was a bit of a sleeper here, at first ... but as I went on listening, I grew really fond of it ... but I still prefer Meyer's bubbly Debussy (and don't quite get Gieseking there - the little of bit of his Mozart and Beethoven I heard, hellyeah!, but the French stuff, not so much ... I only have his ICON and that amazing Music&Arts Beethoven disc with bombs dropping in the background).

Quote from: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
PS!
Neat that you fell for Ponselle's vocie with the Met Verdi box!   ;)
Well, it was the first time I heard her ... another singer I totally fell for is Andréa Guiot who sings the Micaëla in the great, mad Callas "Carmen" (I love it as a counterpart to the near-perfect Victoria de los Angeles one, which is kinda "sane" by comparison) ... Guiot is so amayzing in that one lengthy aria, I'd be all over anything that's easy to obtain, but alas, there's not much at all.

I'll gladly do an update/extended post in a year or so :)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 02:57:46 PM
Quote from: king ubu on June 01, 2014, 01:41:47 PM
It's only part of my boxes ;)

Yeah, I know what you mean!  ;)  If you gave us a complete update you would probably be writing a thesis that would take a week to complete!  >:D
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on June 01, 2014, 03:02:33 PM
Quote from: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 02:57:46 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean!  ;)  If you gave us a complete update you would probably be writing a thesis that would take a week to complete!  >:D
A fish's reach should exceed its grasp, else what's a heaven for?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Moonfish on June 01, 2014, 06:19:30 PM
Quote from: Ken B on June 01, 2014, 03:02:33 PM
A fish's reach should exceed its grasp, else what's a heaven for?

For all the 78s...
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on June 02, 2014, 08:22:04 AM
I've had the big, 12x12 Bruno Walter Edition box for some time now, but have only started yesterday to explore its riches. It will probably take me the rest of the year to listen to everything in there.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on November 27, 2016, 02:40:43 AM
I have the nagging feeling that I wrote about this in another more recent thread but I don't even know how to search for this, so here it goes. Because mid-20th century Bach on piano was discussed in another thread, I got the Marcelle Meyer complete EMI box from the shelf and her Bach (and Scarlatti and maybe most of all Rameau) is wonderful although partly in somewhat historic sound (the later recordings from the 50s sound good enough for my ears).

Altogether I have become wary about boxes because I realized that I tend not to listen to them... I include some middle sized as well

Bach 2000 Keyboard I (Vol.9): I got this fairly recently but like it a lot, especially positively surprised by Wilson's WTC.

Bach 2000 Organ works with Koopman: only listened to a couple of discs, too early to comment

Hänssler Bach Organ works: dito... it will simply take me quite a while to absorb this stuff

Beethoven EMI 50 CD: this is probably my second biggest box. I have not listened to everything yet but overall it was certainly worth it, mainly for piano sonatas (Heidsieck) and chamber music (Hungarian quartet, Trio a cordes francais, Tortelier/Heidsieck, Ferras/Barbizet)

Britten the performer (of non-Britten stuff) I got this very cheaply, have not listened to a lot (and I had had some of the most famous ones like cello with Rostropovich, Pears' Winterreise before). Would certainly not have been worth the list price for me.

Busch quartet (and some solo/duo/trio as well as larger ensembles) certainly worth it for the usual Beethoven/Brahms/Schubert suspects, mostly deserving the classical status.

Chopin/DG (from 2010) good bargain to get all the "minor works" less frequently recorded as well as some "classics" (Etudes with Pollini etc.) Otherwise I'd probably go with individual recordings as most Chopin is served very well in a multitude of diverse approaches on separate discs.

Edwin Fischer (EMI Icon) a nuisance because it is not complete, missing some (not only alternative) Beethoven and Schubert recordings. Otherwise obviously essential if interested in the performer and not too big.

Francois complete (EMI): too much for me as I had had his 10-CD-Chopin box before and only listened to a fraction of the other stuff (lots of multiple recordings of e.g. Chopin...)

Skipping a few medium  (10-12 disc) sized ones because they might not qualify as big.

harmonia mundi 25: this was so cheap and contains enough interesting stuff I would have missed otherwise (although I had a handful of the discs already before) Unfortunately almost no documentation which is a downside with to me unfamiliar music like Lassus or Frescobalid

Haydn/Fischer: this was worth it because when I got it in the early 2000s I lacked quite a few of the symphonies. It is a mixed bag although IMO better than its reputation in some symphonies not served too well on disc (50s-70s numbers)

Haydn/Angeles Q. this was also worth it considering the meagre alternatives at the time and I thoroughly enjoyed it but I would give only a qualified recommendation now with more recordings available (although more expensive) because it often tends to favor the 1st violin and a somewhat too "lively and happy" approach.

Legend of Leonhardt (mostly 1990s Philips recordings): have only listened to a fraction, would not have needed it but maybe whe I'll get really into Bach's secular cantatas..

Rubinstein: I am slightly regretting this but it might be worth in the long run. Problem as in some other cases was that I had already the two dozen disc I was mostly interested in and only listened to a fraction of the other stuff so far. In any case this is the biggest one by far of my boxes and made me realize that maybe the huge boxes aren't for me...

Box I missed while waiting for it to become cheaper: Charles Rosen (Sony). Another reason for waiting was that I already owned some of the stuff most important to me (late Beethoven, Goldbergs, Schumann)



Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: kishnevi on November 28, 2016, 06:41:39 PM
I try to go through boxes systematically. At the moment, I am going through the Arkiv Analogue box (50 CD), and after that the biggest box still unheard is the Beaux Arts Trio box. Of course I have a number of the performances in the BAT box, including their later Beethoven cycle. There's also the Callas Remastered set.

I have enough boxes that I don't even count anything with less than 30 CDs as big! But lately I have cut down the pace of purchases and try to focus on performer sets or composer sets.  Every set has weaker and stronger performances, but I can't think of any big box I have regretted.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Herman on December 02, 2016, 11:43:38 PM
other than the Fischer Haydn box from a long time ago I do not have a single box exceeding ten cds. Oh, yes, the Angeles Haydn string quartets. (You know Haydn just wrote a lot of stuff....)

My experience is (same with books) that the bigger it gets, the less I do with it. So I prefer to buy cds at a single or 2cd rate. I have about threequarters of the Artur Rubinstein collection, but I bought those little booklike cds per single issue. In that case I get to listen to the actual music, rather than just amass stuff "I'll get to hear at some future point"  -  which never happens.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Autumn Leaves on December 03, 2016, 12:11:33 AM
I cant think of any box-sets I regretted purchasing? - I like boxes a lot I guess as its an easy and cheap way to get lots of repertoire and they take up less space than a collection of individual Discs.
I can understand why boxes might not be for everyone - I have quite a large musical appetite and can get through them without too much trouble.
I think at this stage I haven't listened much to the 3 big Ansermet boxes I bought a couple of years back but Ill get to them eventually Im sure.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 03, 2016, 02:07:50 AM
I think for me around 15-20 discs is the limit for a box I can still handle well. It also depends on whether it is a real body of works, like the Haydn quartets or Bach organ works, or just an anthology focussed on an artist, often in cases like the big Rubinstein box with 3-4 recordings of some pieces I have heard so often (like the Beethoven concertos) that I hardly ever listen to them anymore and certainly not to alternative interpretations by the same artist within a few weeks or so.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: KevinP on December 03, 2016, 02:57:57 PM
I avoid complete-works-of-composer big boxes because I just can't accept that all the performances are going to be top notch.  (Small boxes/sets are fair game, like Varese.)

Rilling's cantatas--I have it. It's uneven, but I'll admit I bought it just so I could have it all. Previously I had had Richter's 25-disc set (the complete set of what he recorded, but a far cry from all of them) plus a piecemeal collection of other discs. It does not exist in my collection as the only complete cantatas set I'll ever have, though the import tax I'd have to pay on the other sets becomes a deal breaker.

The best bang-for-my-buck on big sets comes from vocal recitals. I have big boxes by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (31 discs), Emma Kirkby (12), Anna Moffo (12), Callas (13, another 10 coming), Marilyn Horne (11), Richard Tucker (two sets at 24 discs), Leontyne Price (two sets at 26 discs), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (23 + two DVDs), Kathleen Ferrier (14) and Montserrat Caballe (15), and maybe more since I'm not at home looking at my collection (used my Amazon order history). Also awaiting delivery of Fritz Wunderlich (32), Federica von Stade (17).

The bonus is that I usually wouldn't buy a single disc of recitals because 70-or-so minutes can only pack so much, and they're often pieces I'm not particularly interested in, not terribly familiar with, etc. I also don't usually look at the singers/soloists section of the music stores. But a bunch of such discs en masse becomes a horse of a different colour; then it's like having a library, and I'll listen to music I wouldn't have bought single disc sets of (like Leontyne Price singing Barber's Hermit Songs).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 03, 2016, 03:06:41 PM
Quote from: KevinP on December 03, 2016, 02:57:57 PM
I avoid complete-works-of-composer big boxes because I just can't accept that all the performances are going to be top notch.
I agree entirely Unless it is a freebie or a couple of dollars, it is best to find the most acclaimed performance of a work and save shelf space.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Bogey on December 03, 2016, 06:57:00 PM
Quote from: KevinP on December 03, 2016, 02:57:57 PM
I avoid complete-works-of-composer big boxes because I just can't accept that all the performances are going to be top notch.  (Small boxes/sets are fair game, like Varese.)

Rilling's cantatas--I have it. It's uneven, but I'll admit I bought it just so I could have it all. Previously I had had Richter's 25-disc set (the complete set of what he recorded, but a far cry from all of them) plus a piecemeal collection of other discs. It does not exist in my collection as the only complete cantatas set I'll ever have, though the import tax I'd have to pay on the other sets becomes a deal breaker.

The best bang-for-my-buck on big sets comes from vocal recitals. I have big boxes by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (31 discs), Emma Kirkby (12), Anna Moffo (12), Callas (13, another 10 coming), Marilyn Horne (11), Richard Tucker (two sets at 24 discs), Leontyne Price (two sets at 26 discs), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (23 + two DVDs), Kathleen Ferrier (14) and Montserrat Caballe (15), and maybe more since I'm not at home looking at my collection (used my Amazon order history). Also awaiting delivery of Fritz Wunderlich (32), Federica von Stade (17).

The bonus is that I usually wouldn't buy a single disc of recitals because 70-or-so minutes can only pack so much, and they're often pieces I'm not particularly interested in, not terribly familiar with, etc. I also don't usually look at the singers/soloists section of the music stores. But a bunch of such discs en masse becomes a horse of a different colour; then it's like having a library, and I'll listen to music I wouldn't have bought single disc sets of (like Leontyne Price singing Barber's Hermit Songs).

And then there are all those Lady Day boxes that you probably are pleased with, Kevin. ;)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: KevinP on December 03, 2016, 09:57:01 PM
How very true, Bogey!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 03, 2016, 11:42:16 PM
I have a bunch of boxes dedicated to singers but they are of moderate size (around 10 discs or even less) Fi-Di/DG, Fi-Di/EMI, Norman/Universal, Ludwig/EMI. Of course I have not listened to everything that's in there... but I don't see any difference to (mostly) instrumental music.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 04, 2016, 12:28:41 AM
Quote from: Jo498 on December 03, 2016, 11:42:16 PM
Of course I have not listened to everything that's in there...

Why "of course"?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 04, 2016, 01:08:08 AM
As I said in the long post above, I usually don't get to listen to most of what's in my larger boxes for some reason. Even the moderate-sized singer anthologies I mentioned are not an exception.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: The new erato on December 04, 2016, 01:26:36 AM
I often buy boxes because I am interested in only a small part of the contens, which are either unavailable in other formats, or because the economics make the box the better purchase. In such cases I have no qualms in leaving parts of the box unlistened to, though I often sample other parts of it and sometimes find myself positively surprised even though I don't need another Beethoven symphony (or whatever).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: KevinP on December 05, 2016, 09:36:41 PM
Not very satisfied that on the Frederica von Stade 18-disc box set, so far not one disc is recognized by the metadata service provider and I have to input each disc myself.

I have a one-year sabbatical in NZ coming up and I'm trying to get as much ripped as I can.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 05, 2016, 10:22:41 PM
Quote from: The new erato on December 04, 2016, 01:26:36 AM
I often buy boxes because I am interested in only a small part of the contens, which are either unavailable in other formats, or because the economics make the box the better purchase. In such cases I have no qualms in leaving parts of the box unlistened to, though I often sample other parts of it and sometimes find myself positively surprised even though I don't need another Beethoven symphony (or whatever).
Well its your money, but it doesn't make economic sense.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 12:31:24 AM
Quote from: Andante on December 05, 2016, 10:22:41 PM
Well its your money, but it doesn't make economic sense.
???
Buying 5 individual releases at 50 GBP intsed of getting them in a much larger box at 30 GNP doesn't make economic sense? Did you actuallw read what I wrote?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 01:22:07 AM
Quote from: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 12:31:24 AM
???
Buying 5 individual releases at 50 GBP intsed of getting them in a much larger box at 30 GNP doesn't make economic sense? Did you actuallw read what I wrote?

Personally, I did read what you wrote. I think the point is that it wouldn't make economic sense if what you wanted was only 1 of those individual releases.

It's not clear just how small "a small part" of the contents actually is, or how those contents might be spread around individual releases.

The question is, does it make "economic sense" to pursue material scattered across 5 releases when the stuff you want only adds up to enough for a single release. Maybe, if you want it badly enough. But to some of us that's poor value. I wouldn't buy something on that basis unless I thought the bits I wanted were incredibly valuable, sufficient to offset the fact that 80% of what I was buying wasn't of interest.

But here at GMG, the option of buying neither the 1 box nor the 5 discs just doesn't enter the equation often. The choice comes down to spending 50 pounds or 30 pounds. The third option of saving the 30 pounds to spend on something else with a better rate of return is discarded.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on December 06, 2016, 01:27:00 AM
Quote from: The new erato on December 04, 2016, 01:26:36 AM
I often buy boxes because I am interested in only a small part of the contens, which are either unavailable in other formats, or because the economics make the box the better purchase. In such cases I have no qualms in leaving parts of the box unlistened to, though I often sample other parts of it and sometimes find myself positively surprised even though I don't need another Beethoven symphony (or whatever).
Seems pretty clear to me that it makes sense in these cases.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 01:29:24 AM
Quote from: North Star on December 06, 2016, 01:27:00 AM
Seems pretty clear to me that it makes sense in these cases.

It does so long as acquisition is an absolute requirement, yes.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 01:33:59 AM
Quote from: ørfeo on December 06, 2016, 01:22:07 AM
Personally, I did read what you wrote. I think the point is that it wouldn't make economic sense if what you wanted was only 1 of those individual releases.

It's not clear just how small "a small part" of the contents actually is, or how those contents might be spread around individual releases.

The question is, does it make "economic sense" to pursue material scattered across 5 releases when the stuff you want only adds up to enough for a single release. Maybe, if you want it badly enough. But to some of us that's poor value. I wouldn't buy something on that basis unless I thought the bits I wanted were incredibly valuable, sufficient to offset the fact that 80% of what I was buying wasn't of interest.

But here at GMG, the option of buying neither the 1 box nor the 5 discs just doesn't enter the equation often. The choice comes down to spending 50 pounds or 30 pounds. The third option of saving the 30 pounds to spend on something else with a better rate of return is discarded.
Well, most boxes these days contains complete discs that have been or are available singly. So if what I want is scattered over 5 discs, it still is 5 discs to purchase singly.....
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 01:43:39 AM
Quote from: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 01:33:59 AM
Well, most boxes these days contains complete discs that have been or are available singly.

That is frequently the case, yes.

Quote
So if what I want is scattered over 5 discs, it still is 5 discs to purchase singly.....

If you are firm in your desire for it, yes. Personally, I would be unlikely to buy any of the 5 discs, either singly or in a box. Because it is poor value compared to 5 other discs full of genuinely interesting, different music or performances.

EDIT: Given that the total amount of music I might be interested in exceeds the total amount of music I'm likely to spend money on, the rate of return is an element of my purchasing decisions. You're focused on the "one" thing you want. Whereas I would look at all the different things I want, and one reason for dropping the priority of something is if it's only available coupled with a lot of stuff I don't want.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 01:53:14 AM
To put it more simply: the suggestion that it doesn't make economic sense is because you're indicating you would happily spend 30 pounds to get 5-10 pounds worth of music you'd want, compared to some of us who would only spend 30 pounds to get 25-30 pounds worth of music that we want.

I wouldn't assert so definitively that it doesn't make economic sense. Whether it's worth spending 30 pounds depends on how badly you want that 5-10 pounds worth of music.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 06, 2016, 03:42:20 AM
Quote from: ørfeo on December 06, 2016, 01:22:07 AM
The question is, does it make "economic sense" to pursue material scattered across 5 releases when the stuff you want only adds up to enough for a single release. Maybe, if you want it badly enough. But to some of us that's poor value. I wouldn't buy something on that basis unless I thought the bits I wanted were incredibly valuable, sufficient to offset the fact that 80% of what I was buying wasn't of interest.

But here at GMG, the option of buying neither the 1 box nor the 5 discs just doesn't enter the equation often. The choice comes down to spending 50 pounds or 30 pounds. The third option of saving the 30 pounds to spend on something else with a better rate of return is discarded.
I think the option does enter into the equation. At least it does with me and my clumsy remarks above might not have made it clear but it is also one reason why I usally do not get big boxes anymore.
But people rarely post about what the *did not buy* so such decisions are not frequently discussed on the board. I rember that in the Fricsay thread Jens Laurson more or less agreed with me on my decision to skip the recent "complete" Fricsay boxes although this implies that there are a bunch of recordings I will probably never get to hear. I would have bought them if they were available at midprice separately but if I get the boxes I'd have to sell many discs I already have (and some of them I might want to keep either for couplings or for sentimental/collector's reasons).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 06, 2016, 11:01:29 AM
Quote from: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 12:31:24 AM
???
Buying 5 individual releases at 50 GBP intsed of getting them in a much larger box at 30 GNP doesn't make economic sense? Did you actuallw read what I wrote?

Yes I did read your post can I suggest that you read it again.
You made no mention of prices in your original post, which you are now using to justify your original statement so I will use prices to answer you.

Firstly, regarding your first post. What other format would you be looking for being as you are purchasing CDs

Secondly, If you purchase say a six CD box set at a sale price of $90 i.e.  $15 per CD when the original price was say $25 per individual CD and there are only 2 CDs that you really want out of the set you are spending money on stuff that you would not normally purchase surly you can see that. 
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 11:04:07 AM
Quote from: Jo498 on December 06, 2016, 03:42:20 AM
But people rarely post about what the *did not buy* so such decisions are not frequently discussed on the board.

Good point!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 11:21:00 AM
Quote from: Andante on December 06, 2016, 11:01:29 AM
Yes I did read your post can I suggest that you read it again.
You made no mention of prices in your original post, which you are now using to justify your original statement so I will use prices to answer you.
Well if "because the economics make the box the better purchase" isn't understandable to you there is little I can do to help, except explain that economics in purchases means what you pay for what you get =price/CD you are interested in.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 06, 2016, 01:18:30 PM
Quote from: The new erato on December 06, 2016, 11:21:00 AM
Well if "because the economics make the box the better purchase" isn't understandable to you there is little I can do to help, except explain that economics in purchases means what you pay for what you get =price/CD you are interested in.

"because the economics make the box the better purchase" How on earth do you arrive at that conclusion?
What you get is 2 CDs that you want but are paying for 4 that you don't
So you pay $90 instead of $50. This is why retailers have sales "to move slow moving stock" and you think it is a bargain
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on December 06, 2016, 01:26:21 PM
Quote from: Andante on December 06, 2016, 01:18:30 PM
"because the economics make the box the better purchase” How on earth do you arrive at that conclusion?
It's not a conclusion, it's a precondition. And your fictional scenarios where buying a box set are nonsensical as arguments against buying box sets when the economics make the box the better purchase.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 06, 2016, 01:40:36 PM
@ North Star

I see no sense in paying for a boxed set if you are only interested in a small part of the contents and prepared to leave the rest of the set unlistened to, I have yet to see a boxed set of say 6 CDs that are cheaper than a single purchase of one or even two of the CDs. 
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 06, 2016, 02:05:41 PM
I think one can trust the GMG members to be able to do the little maths that is necessary.

With big boxes we are usually talking about 1-3 $/EUR per disc. Take the Hogwood Haydn. They put all of it (except for the BBC disc with 76/77) in one box for 50-60 EUR. This is about/less than 2 EUR/disc. And these are brand new. If you want to get the 10 3 disc boxes and the two singles separately you will often have to be content with used ones because they have long been oop. These older 3-disc boxes might be findable used around 10 EUR each volume sometimes but for other volumes one will have to pay 20-30 and always run the risk of getting a used copy in less than good shape. Let's say I want 4 of the 10 old boxes. Even if I am lucky and get them around 15 EUR each and thus end up at the same price as the new big box, I'd obviously get a much better deal if I get the big box for roughly the same money.

(And even better the combined one, the mixed Brüggen/Hogwood that is at 47 (less than 1.4 EUR/disc), so it is even cheaper and I am almost tempted but I have too much of it already).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Parsifal on December 06, 2016, 02:58:26 PM
Quote from: Andante on December 06, 2016, 01:40:36 PM
@ North Star

I see no sense in paying for a boxed set if you are only interested in a small part of the contents and prepared to leave the rest of the set unlistened to, I have yet to see a boxed set of say 6 CDs that are cheaper than a single purchase of one or even two of the CDs.

Evidently you are mathematically challenged. Let me give you an example. Suppose I wanted three recordings of Ivo Pogolerich, his Brahms disc, his Chopin Concerto #2 disc, and his Chopin Sonata No 2 disc. The original releases (using amazon.com pricing) are about $14 each, so that would cost me about $42. The Boxed set, Complete Recordings of Ivo Pogolerich, a 13 CD set, is $34. If I buy that set I get the three discs I want, 10 other discs that I might listen to, and save $8. See how that works?

With the current pricing of box sets, this is not an unusual situation.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 06, 2016, 03:35:02 PM
Quote from: Jo498 on December 06, 2016, 02:05:41 PM
I think one can trust the GMG members to be able to do the little maths that is necessary.

With big boxes we are usually talking about 1-3 $/EUR per disc. Take the Hogwood Haydn. They put all of it (except for the BBC disc with 76/77) in one box for 50-60 EUR. This is about/less than 2 EUR/disc. And these are brand new. If you want to get the 10 3 disc boxes and the two singles separately you will often have to be content with used ones because they have long been oop. These older 3-disc boxes might be findable used around 10 EUR each volume sometimes but for other volumes one will have to pay 20-30 and always run the risk of getting a used copy in less than good shape. Let's say I want 4 of the 10 old boxes. Even if I am lucky and get them around 15 EUR each and thus end up at the same price as the new big box, I'd obviously get a much better deal if I get the big box for roughly the same money.

(And even better the combined one, the mixed Brüggen/Hogwood that is at 47 (less than 1.4 EUR/disc), so it is even cheaper and I am almost tempted but I have too much of it already).
I assume all of these sets are Amazon deals?  They are cheap I have not seen this kind of deal offered locally, if some prices had been provided in the original post I would have understood. The best deals I have seen in stores work out to approx 40% per CD of individual price. We used to be able to get individual CDs for as little as US$ 0.69 they were I understand redundant stock from the EU.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 06, 2016, 03:40:16 PM
Quote from: Scarpia on December 06, 2016, 02:58:26 PM
Evidently you are mathematically challenged.
How nice of you to say so, and yet you seem to manage so well.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on December 06, 2016, 04:35:01 PM
Quote from: North Star on December 06, 2016, 01:27:00 AM
Seems pretty clear to me that it makes sense in these cases.
Oh, oh, careful parsing. Unfair!
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 06, 2016, 11:35:57 PM
Sigh.

Andante, you cannot assume that all the recordings someone wants are on 1 or 2 discs within a box. They might be scattered all over the box.

That is where your maths doesn't work.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 07, 2016, 12:41:39 AM
FWIW the Hogwood Haydn box is $86 at amazon.com and the "mixed" box only about $52 (it is really an incredible bargain). Whereas the elusive BBC disc of symphonies 77/78 commands around §30 on the used market. If someone really wants the latter, he cannot do better than get the "mixed box". If I was a) more fond of Hogwood's Haydn (I tend to prefer Goodman, Solomons, Pinnock and other HIPsters if available) and b) did not already own all the Brüggen and about 10 discs of the Hogwood, I would have bought the mixed box (I might even have made money because the Brüggen box is rare used).

Granted, the supercheap boxes with only around $2/disc or sometimes less are a fairly recent phenomenon. But in the 1990s and early 2000s the moderately sized boxes, like DG's Original masters etc. were sometimes the *only* option to get some (historical or older) recordings AT ALL. Unless one would take used LPs as an option (and even this would have been often more expensive and much more of a hazzle than just getting a decently priced (around $5-7/disc) box).
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 07, 2016, 01:10:37 PM
Quote from: ørfeo on December 06, 2016, 11:35:57 PM
Sigh.

Andante, you cannot assume that all the recordings someone wants are on 1 or 2 discs within a box. They might be scattered all over the box.

That is where your maths doesn't work.
Oh golly gosh, that's brilliant, I feel so privileged to be in the same place with such intelligence. ;)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 07, 2016, 01:24:23 PM
Are you completely oblivious to the fact that I spent several posts supporting and explaining your basic position, before you decided that being sarcastic was the way you wanted to handle this?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on December 07, 2016, 01:25:49 PM
Andante,

Last year I bought the big Abbado box of symphonies. It cost less than just the Abbado box of Mahler. But I really don't care about the early Schubert Symphonies, nor Mahler's 8th. So I ignore those discs. I wouldn't have bought the Mozart symphonies separately, but I liked them so incredibly well once I got the big box that I bought the smaller 8 disc Abbado Mozart box, despite the 3 duplicates, and for about the cost of 2 of the remaining discs separately. Wasteful me.

Tell me why my purchases made no economic sense.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Andante on December 07, 2016, 04:53:40 PM
Quote from: ørfeo on December 07, 2016, 01:24:23 PM
Are you completely oblivious to the fact that I spent several posts supporting and explaining your basic position, before you decided that being sarcastic was the way you wanted to handle this?
Orfeo,  I apologise, I shot from the lip.
The original statement from "The new erato" was "I often buy boxes because I am interested in only a small part of the contents and am happy to leave the rest in the box unlistened" etc. this is what I have been taking issue with all along I know you pointed out that "small" was not helpful and should have been quantified but so should the prices involved as this makes a difference.
Re your post, It just did not seem plausible to me that someone would buy a boxed set of say 6-10 CDs because they wanted some small part of a work that was on each of the CDs. Highly unlikely.
As I said in an earlier post I personally look for the best recording available at the time, I avoid boxed sets because mostly they contain perhaps a couple of good recordings with the rest being ordinary at best, I would consider a purchase if the set is a couple of dollars or a freebie.
I still maintain that at normal prices (not clearance sale price) it makes no sense to me economically.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on December 07, 2016, 05:34:39 PM
Sometimes there are surprises a'plenty in a box that seems unpromising at first. Examples abound (or maybe I was insanely lucky :D).

The DGG Karl Böhm "Late Recordings" - who would think Karrrrlllll Böööhmm in his last years would provide delights and illuminations for the music lover ? Well, if you think you know Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Bruckner and Mozart well, then maybe a listen to these extremely individual interpretations will make you realize that things are not so simple - and settled - after all.

And Seiji Ozawa ? Or James Levine ?

I have theses boxes and value them not only for the truly remarkable interpretations therein, but also (collectively) for the insights into the music-making of some of the major interpreters of our era.

Recently (Summer 2016), on a French web site there was a blind test of over 30 interpretations of Bartok's MSPC, spanning a good 60 years of recording history (with all the usual hungarian suspects included). Who went on to capture the approbation of the participants ? Levine and the Chicago Symphony (I had chosen him for 3 out of the 4 movements).

It's not just individual performances that count, but the aesthetic, the era, the culture that they embody. Context is everything. In a box, misses may be as numerous as hits. You get to hear it all in the proper cultural frame - and value each according to their own merits. Music making is not like olympics.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: king ubu on December 08, 2016, 12:40:22 AM
Quote from: André on December 07, 2016, 05:34:39 PM
...
And Seiji Ozawa ? Or James Levine ?
...

Re: Ozawa... I have been circling around the Warner box for a while, aIT (https://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00UI8TSCU/) has it for less than 30€ right now. Would that be the one you recommend? Or any of the other two (Philips, Life for Music)?
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: André on December 08, 2016, 05:42:07 AM
No, it's this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/816v6WdzKHL._SX522_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71vAEeG1m0L._SX522_.jpg)


It contains 23 discs. There are 3 other collections (including the one you mention). It's hard to figure what's best. I suggest you go according to the repertoire and the price. I went for this one because I was interested in hearing him in most of these works. And it was very cheap last year  ;D
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: king ubu on December 08, 2016, 06:22:53 AM
Had a hunch it was that one ... stumbled over it again a few minutes after posting and realized I forgot to include it ... will look at them all a bit more closely. Thanks!

Edit: the late Böhm is on the wishlist, too. Already have his "Symphonies" box.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Jo498 on December 08, 2016, 06:28:30 AM
I wonder why the Ozawa Romeo & Juliet apparently only came out on CD in Japan (or if earlier it has been oop for decades) Unlike the Faust that has appeared in at least two (international) CD releases they also did not include it in the box shown. Does anyone know the recording? Recordings of that work are not exactly thick on the ground, so I am somewhat surprised the Ozawa recording remained unavailable.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Ken B on December 08, 2016, 06:30:41 AM
Quote from: André on December 08, 2016, 05:42:07 AM
No, it's this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/816v6WdzKHL._SX522_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71vAEeG1m0L._SX522_.jpg)


It contains 23 discs. There are 3 other collections (including the one you mention). It's hard to figure what's best. I suggest you go according to the repertoire and the price. I went for this one because I was interested in hearing him in most of these works. And it was very cheap last year  ;D

I have it, I like it. Not a great B- of course but lots of goodies.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on December 08, 2016, 06:34:07 AM
Quote from: Jo498 on December 08, 2016, 06:28:30 AM
I wonder why the Ozawa Romeo & Juliet apparently only came out on CD in Japan (or if earlier it has been oop for decades) Unlike the Faust that has appeared in at least two (international) CD releases they also did not include it in the box shown. Does anyone know the recording? Recordings of that work are not exactly thick on the ground, so I am somewhat surprised the Ozawa recording remained unavailable.
Took me a while to realize you mean Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette, and not this one, curiously missing from the box..
[asin]B000001G8Z[/asin]
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 08, 2016, 06:35:37 AM
The Brilliant Brahms box, the Stravinsky's-own box, the Munch/BSO/Berlioz box . . . the two Lenny boxes, the Hogwood Haydn box, the DRD Haydn box . . . perfectly satisfied with practically every box I've fetched in.
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: North Star on December 08, 2016, 06:46:47 AM
Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 08, 2016, 06:35:37 AM
The Brilliant Brahms box, the Stravinsky's-own box, the Munch/BSO/Berlioz box . . . the two Lenny boxes, the Hogwood Haydn box, the DRD Haydn box . . . perfectly satisfied with practically every box I've fetched in.
Ditto for me (La Venexiana's Monteverdi and the assorted madrigals box, Brahms chamber music (Hyperion), Davis's LSO Live and Decca Berlioz boxes, Suzuki's final installment of the Bach cantatas, Foccroulle's Bach organ works, HM Lumières, Decca PI Haydn symphonies, EMI Britten Collector's Edition, EMI Vaughan Williams Collector's Edition, Decca Complete Rakhmaninov, Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky on Sony, Decca Complete Ravel, Sony Complete Debussy, EMI Complete Mahler, and also the UMG Complete Chopin for the most part)
Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: JCBuckley on December 08, 2016, 07:16:27 AM
Quote from: sanantonio on December 08, 2016, 06:48:22 AM
Don't know how big a box needs to be to qualify, but I generally don't buy box sets them anymore, now that I rely on streaming. 

But in the past I bought and enjoyed these multi-CD boxes:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BXoO3q4vL._SX355_.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71oIOozxJxL._SY355_.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71z8wXra6HL._SX355_.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71pLVdR8S0L._SY355_.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/515KwWD8SlL._SY355_.jpg)



I have all these, except the Paul van Nevel set, which I really regret not buying.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought the box of boxes, for a mere £175. No buyer's remorse as yet.

Title: Re: How satisfied are you with those big box purchases?
Post by: Madiel on December 08, 2016, 11:45:36 AM
It's just occurred to me that the Hogwood Haydn, bought last month, is in fact the biggest box I've ever purchased.

I simply don't think of a box with a single composer in a single genre in quite the same way.