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 Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - May 2019

Chandos LandmarksThis month’s boxes include Philippe Entremont's complete recordings on Sony, a 40-year retrospective on Chandos, a Bohemian collection from George Szell, and the complete Orchestral works of Fritz Brun.

Released to celebrate the label’s fortieth anniversary, this 40-CD box has been specially curated by Chandos’s managing director Ralph Couzens to represent the very best of the catalogue and features music by Bax, Janáček, Copland, Sibelius, Walton, Elgar, Ruth Gipps and more; artists include Nigel Kennedy, Tasmin Little, Dame Sarah Connolly, Sir Andrew Davis, The King’s Singers, and the Black Dyke Mills Band.

Available Format: 40 CDs

Featuring numerous recordings which have never previously been released on CD, this 34-CD set marks the French pianist’s 85th birthday and spans two decades; with the exception of Beethoven and Brahms cello sonatas (with Maurice Gendron), the box focuses on solo piano repertoire and includes music by Bach, Haydn, Chopin, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Satie and Ravel.

Available Format: 34 CDs

Emanuel Ax (piano), Yo-Yo Ma (cello)

The American pianist Emanuel Ax turns seventy next month, and this 21-CD box celebrates both his milestone birthday and his long-standing partnership with Yo-Yo Ma; released on 24th May, the collection includes their Grammy Award-winning recordings of Brahms and Beethoven cello sonatas (‘masterly performances with exceptionally vivid sound’ - Gramophone), and works by Strauss, Schumann, Britten, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and John Corigliano.

Available Format: 21 CDs

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelík

Kubelík served as principal conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks from 1961-79, and this 15-CD collection celebrates their recorded legacy together: there’s a complete set of Brahms symphonies, Smetana’s Má Vlast, generous helpings of Mozart and Dvořák, Janáček’s Sinfonietta, Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Symphonische Hymnen, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.

Available Format: 15 CDs

Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, George Szell

This 7-CD box includes Szell’s own arrangements of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 From My Life, From Bohemia’s Fields and Groves and excerpts from The Bartered Bride, Dvořák’s Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 and 9, and his Piano Concerto with Rudolf Firkušný as soloist.

Available Format: 7 CDs

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Irina Kataeva (piano), Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord), Arditti Quartet, Philharmonia Orchestra, Terry Edwards

Recorded under supervision of the composer and originally released on single albums in the mid-1990s, Sony Classical’s Ligeti Edition includes Esa-Pekka Salonen’s recording of Le Grand Macabre, the Études and Musica ricercata from Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the String Quartets from the Arditti Quartet, and the Nonsense Madrigals from The King’s Singers.

Available Formats: 9 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Adriano

Born in Lucerne in 1878, the Swiss conductor and composer wrote ten symphonies (though only three were published during his lifetime, and the First receives its premiere recording here), which draw on influences as diverse as Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Swiss folk music; this set also includes the 1946 Piano Concerto, Overture to a Jubilee Celebration (composed for the opening of a new concert-Hall in Bern in 1950), and the late Rhapsody for Orchestra.

Available Format: 11 CDs

Due for release on 31st May, this 10-CD box of recordings by the French guitar virtuoso includes works with orchestra by Vivaldi, Haydn, Bizet, Lagoya, Tárrega and Villa-Lobos, transcriptions of Bach, Soler, Scarlatti, Handel and Debussy, and duets by Paganini, Galles, Marella and Rodrigo.

Available Format: 10 CDs

New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

Broadcast on CBS between 1958 and 1972, Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts were described by Variety as ‘a rare moment in the symbiosis of the arts and broadcasting’; this third volume comprises Concerts Nos. 28-43, and includes Bach Transmogrified, Thus Spake Richard Strauss, Copland Celebration, Liszt and the Devil, and Charles Ives: American Pioneer.

Available Format: 7 DVD Videos