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 Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - April 2018

Bernstein 2018This month's picks include Leonard Bernstein's 1953 American Decca Recordings from Carnegie Hall, and tributes to Emil Gilels, Monique Haas, Pierre Monteux, and Fritz Wunderlich. There's also David Zinman's complete Mahler symphonies with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and a collection of twentieth-century American music from Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis and National Symphony Orchestras.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, Hartmut Haenchen

This 14-CD set of recordings made between 1994 and 2017 is now the most comprehensive anthology of WF Bach’s works on the market, and contains his complete keyboard concertos, complete solo works for organ and keyboard, a substantial collection of his cantatas, and various sinfonias and orchestral suites. Also includes numerous works which were previously misattributed to other composers, and several world premiere recordings.

Available Formats: 14 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

New York Stadium Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein

Recorded at Carnegie Hall in the summer of 1953, these complete performances of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Schumann’s Second Symphony, Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, Dvořák’s From The New World and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique (all repertoire which Bernstein had never before recorded) are supplemented by the conductor’s spoken commentary on the scores, complete with musical illustrations of his points.

Available Formats: 5 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Boston Symphony Orchestra et al, Pierre Monteux

8 CDs including the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies and Stravinsky’s Petrushka with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung and Wagner’s Siegfried-Idyll with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Brahms Violin Concerto with Henryk Szeryng and the London Symphony Orchestra, and a Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice from La Scala, with Risë Stevens and Lisa Della Casa in the title-roles.

Available Formats: 8 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

French repertoire looms large on this 8-CD collection of recordings from the late 1940s to mid-60s, which includes Ravel’s Piano Concerto (from both 1948 and 1965), Sonatine, Valses nobles et sentimentales and Le tombeau de Couperin, Debussy’s complete Préludes and Études, and Roussel’s Trois pièces Op. 49; also features music by Mozart, Haydn, Stravinsky, Chopin and Hindemith.

Available Formats: 8 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)

12 discs of recordings made between 1955 and 1962, focusing on the German tenor’s sacred repertoire. Includes complete performances of Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions under Karl Richter from 1957 in which Wunderlich sings the tenor arias, and later performances of each work in which he also takes on the role of the Evangelist, plus two Stuttgart performances from the 1950s: a Messiah under Heinz Mende and a Beethoven Nine under Isaïe Diesenhaus.

Available Formats: 12 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, David Zinman

Zinman’s Mahler cycle with the Zürich Tonhalle has been praised as ‘marvellously cogent’ (The Guardian), ‘superbly played’ (The Observer) and ‘fresh-minted’ (Gramophone); the Symphony of a Thousand (with soloists including Juliane Banse and Anna Larsson, who also feature in the Resurrection Symphony) was a featured recording on Radio 3’s Building a Library in May 2010.

Available Formats: 15 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch

This 10-CD box includes Harold en Italie with William Primrose as soloist, Les Nuits d’été with Victoria de los Angeles, two performances of Roméo et Juliette (from 1953 and 1961), La Damnation de Faust, Symphonie fantastique and the Grande Messe des morts, as well as the overtures to Béatrice et Bénédict and Benvenuto Cellini.

Available Formats: 10 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin

13 discs celebrating the American conductor’s relationship with two orchestras which he served for over a decade as music director, and in particular their championing of American composers including Charles Ives, Walter Piston, John Corigliano, Aaron Copland, Joseph Schwantner, Leroy Anderson and Leonard Bernstein.

Available Format: 13 CDs

Emil Gilels (piano)

13 CDs recorded between 1933 and 1963, with repertoire including the complete Beethoven piano concertos, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, sonatas by Scarlatti, CPE Bach, Clementi and Haydn, and a CD of all Gilels's known recordings from 1933-1941 (featuring music by Liszt-Busoni, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy, Rachmaninov and Chopin).

Available Formats: 13 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC