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 Box Set Selections, Boxed Set Selections - August 2019

Tchaikovsky Project BychkovAugust heavyweights include Tchaikovsky’s complete symphonies and piano concertos from Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Gerstein and the Czech Philharmonic, remastered rarities from Ruggiero Ricci, and a 15-CD collection charting Vladimir Horowitz’s preparations for his Carnegie Hall comeback in 1965 through a series of private recitals, rehearsals and conversations in the venue.

Kirill Gerstein (piano), Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov

As well as the complete symphonies and newly-recorded three piano concertos, this set includes the Serenade for Strings, Francesca da Rimini, and Romeo and Juliet; the latter work and Symphony No. 6 were originally released in 2016 and were shortlisted for a Gramophone Award, whilst The Sunday Times declared that Manfred (first released in 2017) has ‘rarely been played with such conviction on disc’.

Available Format: 7 CDs

Ruggiero Ricci (violin)

Curated with the input of Ricci’s widow Julia, this 4-CD set features a newly remastered selection of rare recordings made between 1952 and 1986, including sonatas by Bach, Beethoven, Bloch, Brahms and Prokofiev, seven Paganini Caprices, Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, and works by Ravel, Sarasate, Tchaikovsky, Veracini, Wieniawski and Ysaÿe.

Available Format: 4 CDs

Vladimir Horowitz (piano)

This 15-disc collection includes previously unreleased recordings taken from a series of rehearsals and private recitals for close friends and family which Horowitz gave in the run-up to his 1965 comeback at Carnegie Hall, following a twelve-year absence from the concert-platform; the material includes improvisations and conversations as well as music by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Moszkowski and Schumann.

Available Format: 15 CDs

National Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Academic Symphony Orchestra Moscow, Mstislav Rostropovich

Originally issued in the 1990s and now released at budget price, these recordings are the results of a promise which the great cellist and conductor made to Shostakovich in the 1970s, shortly before leaving Russia; Rostropovich described the symphonies as ‘mark[ing] fifteen stages in our lives…the emotional history of our country, my history, his history, our history’.

Available Format: 12 CDs

Staatskapelle Dresden, Giuseppe Sinopoli

Recorded between 1995 and 1998, this collection includes Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder (with Deborah Voigt, Thomas Moser and Jennifer Larmore among the soloists), Pierrot Lunaire and Erwartung (with Alessandra Marc), Berg’s Violin Concerto (with Reiko Watanabe) and Seven Early Songs, and Webern’s Im Sommerwind, Passacaglia and Variations for Orchestra.

Available Format: 8 CDs

Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), I Solisti Veneti, Claudio Scimone

Released in memory of the Italian conductor and Vivaldi pioneer (who died last September), this 16-CD features recordings which he made between 1966 and 1987, including the complete L’estro armonico, La Stravaganza and La Cetra, eight oboe concertos and flute concertos, six bassoon concertos, and works for mandolin and viola d’amore.

Available Format: 16 CDs

Pinchas Zukerman (violin), Jacqueline du Pré (cello), Daniel Barenboim (piano)

Barenboim and Zukerman will be revisiting the Beethoven sonatas in concert next year to mark the composer’s 250th birthday, almost fifty years after making these landmark recordings; the Cello Sonatas were recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in 1970, just before Du Pré’s career was cut short by illness.

Available Format: 11 CDs

Joseph Nolan (organ)

Recorded over an eight-year period on the Cavaillé-Coll organs of La Madeleine in Paris (the symphonies), Saint-Sernin Toulouse and Saint Françoise de Sales Lyon (the shorter works), Nolan’s Widor survey has been described as ‘carefully prepared and immaculately delivered’ (Gramophone), ‘pure sonic joy’ (International Record Review), and ‘utterly persuasive’ (Organists’ Review).

Available Format: 8 CDs

Aldo Ciccolini (piano)

As well as the complete works for solo piano (praised by The New York Times for Ciccolini’s ‘respectful advocacy’ when they first appeared in the early 1990s), this set includes much earlier recordings of selected songs with Janine Micheau, Mady Mesplé and Nicolai Gedda, and the Fantaisie pour piano et orchestre with Jean Martinon and the Orchestre de Paris.

Available Format: 6 CDs

The Anniversary Edition

Seven complete operas, recorded live between 1955 and 2016: Fidelio and Le nozze di Figaro from Karajan, Wozzeck and Elektra from Böhm, Il Viaggio a Reims from Abbado, Tristan und Isolde from Welser-Möst, Eugene Onegin from Nelsons, Ariadne auf Naxos from Thielemann, and Un ballo in maschera from López Cobos, plus two bonus discs of ‘Legendary Voices of the Wiener Staatsoper’.

Available Format: 22 CDs