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 Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - June 2019

June Boxed SetsThis month’s heavyweights include an 80th birthday tribute to Brigitte Fassbaender from Deutsche Grammophon, a budget reissue of the complete string quartets of Nikolai Myaskovsky, a centenary celebration of Swiss tenor Ernst Haefliger, and DVD collections from Glyndebourne and the Wiener Staatsoper.

Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo-soprano)

Released in anticipation of the great German mezzo’s eightieth birthday next month, this 11-CD set includes complete recordings of song-cycles by Mahler, Schumann, Schubert and Mussorgsky, recitals of Liszt, Wolf, Brahms and Loewe, and substantial excerpts from Il trovatore, Così fan tutte, Hänsel und Gretel, and Das Lied von der Erde.

Available Format: 11 CDs

Composed between 1911 and 1950 (the year of the composer’s death), Myaskovsky’s thirteen string quartets are presented here on 5 CDs, reissued at budget price; the recordings were originally made in the early 1980s and were described by Gramophone at the time as ‘performances that clearly reflect great faith in the music’.

Available Format: 5 CDs

Ernst Haefliger (tenor)

The centenary of the Swiss tenor’s birth falls on 6th July, and this commemorative 12-CD box celebrates his versatility, from Bach and Handel under Karl Richter to Mahler and Bruckner under Eugen Jochum, taking in songs by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Janáček along the way. Also includes the first CD release of Adolphe Adam’s Der Postillon von Lonjumeau.

Available Format: 12 CDs

SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, SWR Vokalensemble, Michael Gielen

Recorded between 1954 and 2013, the eighth instalment of SWR Music’s Michael Gielen Edition is dedicated to the music of the Second Viennese School: eight of the twelve discs are devoted to Schoenberg (including Gurrelieder, Pelleas und Melisande, Verklärte Nacht, and the Bach transcriptions), and two each to Berg and Webern.

Available Formats: 12 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Scott Ross (harpsichord), Huguette Grémy-Chauliac (harpsichord) Ensemble Mosaïques, Christophe Coin

This 11-CD box comprises all of the recordings which the US-born harpsichordist and organist (who died in 1989, aged just 38) made for Erato and EMI, many of which appear on CD for the first time here; the repertoire includes a complete Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, a selection of Chorale Preludes, and Kenneth Gilbert’s transcription of the sixth Brandenburg Concerto for two harpsichords.

Available Formats: 11 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Presented on 9 CDs and one High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray (in 24-bit audio), this new edition of Karajan’s Berlin Bruckner cycle is released to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death on 16th July; the original recordings were described in the Gramophone Guide as ‘a valuable set, and a landmark in the history of Bruckner recording’.

Available Format: 9 CDs + Blu-ray Audio

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Recorded in the 1970s, Karajan’s Berlin Tchaikovsky cycle also been remastered from original analogue sources and includes his only recordings of the first three symphonies; though he recorded the latter three numerous times, Classics Today argued that this set ‘will be preferred by many for its generally more penetrating and incisive readings’.

Available Format: 4 CDs + Blu-ray Audio

Spanning four decades of the house’s history, the eight productions here include Carmen with Plácido Domingo and Elena Obraztsova (under Carlos Kleiber), Alcina with Anja Harteros and Vesselina Kasarova (under Marc Minkowski), Turandot with Eva Marton, José Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli (under Lorin Maazel), and Ariadne auf Naxos with Soile Isokoski, Johan Botha, Sophie Koch (under Christian Thielemann).

Available Format: 11 DVD Videos

London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Pritchard, Bernard Haitink

11 complete operas filmed at the Sussex Festival between 1972 and 1980, including David Hockney’s staging of The Rake’s Progress with Felicity Lott and Samuel Ramey, and Peter Hall’s productions of Fidelio (with Elisabeth Söderström in the title-role), Le nozze di Figaro (starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade and Ileana Cotrubas) and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, with Janet Baker as Penelope.

Available Format: 11 DVD Videos