Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - January 2018
January’s heavyweights include comprehensive collections of the music of two Alessandros (Rolla and Scarlatti), a landmark survey of the English and Italian madrigal from The Consort of Musicke, previously unreleased recitals by Claudio Arrau, and the radio broadcasts of Mozart which Ferenc Fricsay made with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra (the first orchestra to be founded in post-War Berlin) in the early 1950s.
70 CDs bringing together Böhm’s complete vocal recordings on the ‘Yellow Label’, including the three Mozart/Da Ponte operas, Fidelio with Gwyneth Jones and James King, Der Rosenkavalier with Christa Ludwig and Tatiana Troyanos, Die Frau ohne Schatten with Leonie Rysanek and Birgit Nilsson, and Mahler orchestral songs with Fischer-Dieskau.
Available Format: 70 CDs
20 discs of the legendary film-composer conducting his own music (including excerpts from the scores of Return of the Jedi, E.T. and Schindler’s List, the Cello Concerto and the bassoon concerto The Five Sacred Trees), American marches and traditional songs, a Christmas programme with the Boston Pops Orchestra, orchestral arrangements of jazz standards, and music by Copland, Bernstein and Hovhaness.
Available Format: 20 CDs
Artists include Martha Argerich, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Samson François, Renaud Capuçon, Natalie Dessay, André Cluytens
This 33-disc set includes performances by the composer himself, as well as several world premiere recordings such as the fragments from the unfinished Poe opera La Chute de la maison Usher and his own piano reductions of Khamma and Jeux; it was recently described in The Guardian as 'a scrupulously assembled and documented collection'.
Available Formats: 33 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC
Francesco Tasini (harpsichord), Capella Tiberina, Concerto Italiano, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and others
The first volume of this comprehensive collection of the works of the Neapolitan composer (1660-1725) covers a substantial selection of the keyboard music, cantatas, concerti grossi and sacred concerti, several complete oratorios (including San Filippo Neri, the Messa di Santa Cecilia, La Giuditta and Il dolore di Maria Vergine) and the large-scale serenata La Gloria di primavera.
Available Format: 30 CDs
Isabelle Faust (violin), Thomas Riebl (viola); Il Trio Concertante & La Camerata Ducale di Parma, Ruggero Marchesi
A teacher of Paganini (whose flamboyant writing built upon techniques which he developed) and musical director of La Scala as well as a virtuoso violist, Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841) produced a significant body of chamber-music which blends Viennese and Italianate elements; this collection includes his duos for violin and viola, a violin concerto, and a selection of attractive string trios and quartets.
Available Format: 7 CDs
The first release of the recitals which Arrau gave in Ludwigsburg (1954 and 1960) and Schwetzingen (1963), including Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas Nos. 23 and 28, Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op. 28 and Piano Sonata No. 3, Schumann’s Carnaval and Fantasie Op. 17, Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, and excerpts from works by Ravel, Debussy and Liszt.
Available Formats: 5 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC
Emma Kirkby (soprano), The Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley
This 16-CD set charting the development of the madrigal in England and Italy includes three discs of Monteverdi, plus music by Gesualdo, Byrd, Lassus, Sigismondo d’India, John Coprario and others; the performances (dating mainly from the late 70s and early 80s) heralded a major reappraisal of the genre and won praise from Gramophone at the time for their ‘professionalism, scholarship and musicianship’. Includes texts in English and (where applicable) Italian.
Available Format: 16 CDs
Barry Douglas (piano)
The six volumes of Douglas’s acclaimed Brahms series on Chandos are brought together here at an attractive price and with their original booklets; the recordings were praised for their ‘skill, perception and dignity’ (The Observer), ‘magnificently orchestral textures (BBC Music Magazine), and ‘hefty, full-bodied sound’ (Gramophone).
Available Formats: 6 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC
Edith Mathis (soprano)
This 7-CD celebration of the career of the Swiss soprano (whose 80th birthday falls next month) includes arias from Bach cantatas (plus a complete performance of Jauchzet Gott), the St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s arrangement of Messiah, as well as excerpts from six Mozart operas, Fidelio, Der Freischütz and Der Rosenkavalier and a substantial selection of songs by Schumann, Wolf and Brahms.
Available Formats: 7 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC
These radio broadcasts from 1951 and 1954 represent a crucial moment in the rebuilding of cultural life in post-War Berlin; unavailable since the 1950s, they appear here newly remastered and supplemented with notes by Fricsay himself detailing his personal relationship with Mozart’s music; the repertoire includes seven of the early symphonies, the bassoon concerto and Sinfonia concertante for Winds, and a selection of divertimenti and serenades.
Available Formats: 4 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC