Classical snobs

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by Claritas, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I've seen a bunch of boxset releases over the past few years for specific composers and, more recently, conductors like Karajen. Today my wife sent me a link to the first I'd seen for an ensemble: https://www.bso.org/Merchandise/Detail/91774. We're somewhat recent transplants to Boston for school/career, so the idea sort of intrigues me, but focusing more on the group rather than the work/performance is something I've never done.

    What say ye classical snobs? Are there enough "can't miss" BSO recordings that this is remotely worth considering?
     

  2. mdr30

    mdr30 Rando

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    It's fascinating to hear all Boult's versions of The Planets. But the Vienna State Opera Orchestra version on Westminster, though as a reading interesting, is plagued by an out of tune orchestra. I'm sure they'd never played the work before, and recorded it cold, probably with not enough rehearsals.

    When Karajan recorded it a few years later with the cream of the crop Vienna Philharmonic for Decca, it was technically and musically a whole other matter.

    Then again, it's very rewarding to to listen to different interpretations of a favourite work and discover new things in the score.
     
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  3. Metro

    Metro Acquaintance

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    It's odd that the BSO Shop doesn't list what is in the DGG box set. You can see the contents here in an Amazon review:
    https://www.amazon.com/product-revi...dpproductdetail_text?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
    A couple of things to note: (1) almost a third of the recordings are with Seiji Ozawa. (2) 7 of the discs are not of the full orchestra, but of the chamber music ensemble.
    I can vouch for the quality of the Rafael Kubelik and William Steinberg recordings, but I've only heard a few of the others. I find Ozawa performances to be okay but generally not notable compared to others.

    Most BSO "can't miss" recordings are the older ones on RCA, mostly conducted by Charles Munch. Many are well known and popular among classical aficionados, including: Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony, Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique, Harold in Italy), Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos with Heifetz, Mendelssohn 4th and 5th symphonies. Some of these recordings are well regarded enough that they have been re-released in audiophile editions. I see that there is a Charles Munch box set: https://www.bso.org/Merchandise/Detail/84803 (the set is mostly BSO, but some discs with other orchestras). If you don't already have some of the RCA releases, this set is more desirable than the DGG — I would supplement it with the individual DGG Bartok and Smetana discs by Kubelik.

    For classical fans, I think the most interesting item in the BSO Shop is their private label release of broadcast recordings: https://www.bso.org/Merchandise/Detail/21543. However, price per disc is much higher than the other sets.
     
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  4. Daveheart

    Daveheart Friend

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    I took a plunge on the Decca boxed set for Solti with the Chicago SO. I listened through Symphony Fantastique and skipped around a bit after that. So far there are some great performances, and the average DR is just shy of 19.
     
  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Almost "Made"

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  6. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Almost "Made"

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    You should also listen to gramata cellam by vasks! I studied with the same teacher ;)
     
  7. wormcycle

    wormcycle Almost "Made"

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    I did it is on the same CD. Gabetta's recording with Helene Grimaud is one of my best listening experiences.
    I listen to everything cello
     
  8. Stuff Jones

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  9. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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  10. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    I can't classify myself as a classical snob a la @Xecuter , but I do have a long-standing affinity for Baroque music. Particularly as performed with period instruments. I know this eliminates a vast swath of fine classical pieces that I've not exposed myself to, but I'm content here.

    I've got a modest collection of CDs and recently started supplementing (and in some cases replacing) them with LPs. The stuff I'm drawn to is remarkably easy to find as original pressings in Mint condition, and at meager prices. I'm many cases, original pressings are/were the only pressings. Lucky me. Well, this one isn't particularly old, "Simply Baroque", but it is simply great. Yo-Yo Ma (shout out to those who prefer Yo Ma-Ma) owns and performs here with a cello built in 1712 by Antonio Stradivari along side the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. And at the risk of sounding like a giant pussy, it's incredibly moving.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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  12. Xecuter

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    @bazelio, I'm hardly a classical connoisseur! I just bought a pile of records on a whim. I'm trying to ditch the lot minus some of the more interesting records just in case I change my mind on Vinyl down the track.

    Yo yo ma is the master. If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would be one of his amazing pieces..
     
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  13. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    I had a look at some of the records you acquired. There is an substantial number of excellent recordings. It looks like the original collector knew how to choose his vinyl. I would allow some time to go through many of these before letting them go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 1:06 PM
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  14. Xecuter

    Xecuter Friend

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    OK, you have inspired me. I will attempt to finnish the catalogue. Hopefully I can get some of you to help me pick out what is worth keeping.
    Then I might just move it for what i paid for it ($1250aud).
     
  15. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Almost "Made"

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    [​IMG] Listen to this one. Very good
     
  16. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    As I take a break from my current 2 month long obsession... Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, I am listening to dear Schubert.

    His Missa in E-flat D950 is such a delight. Whilst he was not a huge master of counterpoint, his melodic gifts are unsurpassed, even by Mozartian standards. Schubert has also a great mastery of rhythm. Sometimes I wonder how he delivers such change in emotions that can't be simply explained by harmonic shifts. It is his rhythmic modulations that are stunning. This last mass written just months before his untimely demise at age of 32, is beautiful, tragic and a delight to listen to repeatedly without distraction. There are ostinati that predate Bruckner's own as well as parts that would fit in with Wagnerian operas.

    [​IMG]
    Sawallisch conducts this with authority taking charge of Dresden Staatskapelle & Rundfunkchor of Leipzig. The singing and choir is really good, dynamics impressive with beautiful tonality.
     
  17. Muse Wanderer

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    Karlheinz Stockhausen in da house....

    Listening to 'Gesang der Jünglinge' and 'Kontakte'

    Thrilling experience!

     

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