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 Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - January 2019

Christopher PurvesThis month’s bumper boxes include celebrations of the great French pianists Yvonne Loriod and Anne Queffélec, an early commemoration of this year’s Berlioz anniversary from Daniel Barenboim and the Orchestre de Paris on Deutsche Grammophon, a fascinating anthology of music by black composers from three centuries, and DVD collections of documentaries, interviews, rehearsals and performances with Claudio Abbado and Sergiu Celibidache.

Claudio Abbado

A 25-DVD set including the documentaries Hearing the Silence and The Silence before the Music, Europakonzerts from Stockholm, Palermo and Berlin, an Italian night from the Waldbühne, Mahler’s First, Second and Fourth Symphonies from the Lucerne Festival, the Mozart Requiem, and complete Brandenburg Concertos.

Available Format: 25 DVD Videos

Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra, Roberto Benzi, Vilnius String Quartet, Adriano Falcioni (organ), Francesca Scaini (soprano), Mattia Ometto (piano)

Recorded between 1976 and 2016, this 23-CD box covers all of the Belgian composer’s major works and a huge amount of rarities, including the large-scale oratorios Les Béatitudes and Les Sept Paroles du Christ en Croix, the symphonic poems Les Djinns and Les Éolides, the unpublished opera Stradella, and a generous selection of mélodies.

Available Format: 23 CDs

21 CDs charting the French pianist’s five-decade relationship with the label, beginning with a Scarlatti recital from 1970 and including music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Fauré, Ravel, Satie and Dutilleux; the Schubert Impromptus and Moments Musicaux, Mendelssohn Piano Trios and Haydn Keyboard Concerto No. 4 receive their first global release on CD here.

Available Format: 21 CDs

Recorded between 1956 and 1963, this survey of Loriod’s extensive repertoire includes eleven world premiere recordings, a new remastering of her husband’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, music by Liszt, Albéniz, Barraque, Webern and Boulez, and extensive booklet-notes by Loriod’s friend and producer Claude Samuel and her student Roger Muraro (himself an acclaimed interpreter of Messiaen).

Available Format: 13 CDs

As well as three full-length documentaries about the Romanian conductor and extensive rehearsal footage of Bruckner 9, this 13-DVD box features complete performances of works including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Brahms piano concertos with Daniel Barenboim, three Bruckner symphonies, and a hardback book by Jan Schmidt-Garre.

Available Format: 13 DVD Videos

The quartet’s relationship with RCA Victor was brief but prolific; this 11-disc collection (including music by Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Berg, Webern and Elliott Carter) features four recordings which were previously only available on LP, remastered from the original analogs and accompanied by facsimiles of the vinyl sleeves and full discographical notes.

Available Format: 11 CDs

To mark the 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death, Deutsche Grammophon present a 10-CD collection of Barenboim’s Paris recordings of works including Cléopâtre (with Jessye Norman), Béatrice et Bénédict and La Damnation de Faust (with Plácido Domingo, Yvonne Minton and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau), Les nuits d’été (with Kiri Te Kanawa), the Symphonie fantastique and Grande Messe des Morts.

Available Format: 10 CDs

A 10-CD collection of live recordings from the Polish-born German conductor, including Strauss waltzes and polkas, Handel concerti grossi, overtures by Mendelssohn, Weber, Nicolai and Wagner, the complete Brandenburg concertos, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, Mozart’s ‘Prague’ and ‘Jupiter’ symphonies, Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, and Brahms’s Haydn Variations.

Available Format: 10 CDs

London Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman

Recorded during the 1970s and originally issued on vinyl, this collection of music by composers including Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-99), José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767–1830), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), Ulysses Simpson Kay (1917–1995) and William Grant Still (1895–1978) has been newly remastered from the original analogue tapes and is presented here on 10 CDs.

Available Format: 10 CDs

Carole Cerasi (harpsichord)

Performed on six different instruments (including two significant antiques), this collection of the French master’s complete harpsichord works was recorded over a twelve-month period by an artist who has been described as ‘one of the finest harpsichordists alive today’ (Early Music Review).

Available Format: 10 CDs

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

An anthology of previously unreleased radio recordings of French, German and Russian repertoire from the Swiss orchestra, marking their centenary last year, with conductors including Ernest Ansermet (the orchestra’s founder), Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi and Jonathan Nott.

Available Formats: 5 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

The complete Philips & Glossa recordings

Frans Brüggen championed Rameau’s music throughout his career (both his first and final performances with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century included a suite from the operas), and this limited-edition 4-CD set includes the suites drawn from works including Castor et Pollux, Zoroastre and Naïs; the original recordings were praised for their ‘impressively weighted sound, tight ensemble and excellent style’ (Gramophone Guide) and ‘tightly packed, colorfully expressive drama’ (Classics Today).

Available Format: 4 CDs