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Archiv Produktion 1947-2013: A Celebration of Artistic Excellence from the Home of Early Music [Box set]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £64.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Archiv Produktion 1947-2013: A Celebration of Artistic Excellence from the Home of Early Music + Vivarte Collection
Price For Both: £123.24

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Product details

  • Conductor: Minkowski, Gardiner, Richter, Mackerras, Wenzinger, et al.
  • Composer: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Monteverdi, Muffat, et al.
  • Audio CD (22 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 55
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

The box-set traces the history of Archiv from 1947, when the first recordings were made (Helmut Walcha playing Bach organ works), to a bonus CD featuring selections from new 2013 albums. In between comes a sequence of albums several of which are new to CD from the great names of the label, from Walcha, Wenzinger and Safford Cape, through Karl Richter, Nikolas Harnoncourt and Sir Charles Mackerras, on to David Munrow, Ralph Kirkpatrick, Jürgen Jürgens, to Reinhard Goebel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Trevor Pinnock, Paul McCreesh, Marc Minkowski, Anne Sofie von Otter, Magdalena Ko ená and many, many more. The list of artists who have recorded for Archiv is truly astounding.

And the music they recorded represents some of the best, both in terms of repertoire and listening experience, that there has ever been, all the way from Gregorian Chant to Beethoven. This set contains many rediscoveries (for example, Harnoncourt s Muffat and Biber) and new musical experiences (for example, the Brandenburg Concertos with August Wenzinger first release on CD) along the way.

Product Description

55CD Harnoncourt/Gardiner/Pinnock/Minkowski...

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'd have given this four-and-a-half stars if the option had existed. This box is far too good to be without, but could have been even better.

It deserves five stars for including some excellent early recordings from the days of the "Research Periods", including Helmut Walcha's wonderful disc of Bach's Schubler chorale preludes.

Others have commented accurately on the poor information provided in the booklet; a big disappointment for those of us who grew up with the detailed cards that used to be included with Archiv LPs and EPs. Many publishers of large collections like this put all the details on to a data CD, which is much less costly than printing, and allows users to dig deep when they need to. A digital version of the booklet would also allow searching, which would be helpful as the information is spread across five sections.

There are too many multi-disc sets in this box to leave room for single CDs to cover the wide range of now-deleted recordings that make up Archiv's seminal contribution to popularizing early music and authentic performance styles. Even where a work is included, it's often a current recording that's included. For example, Telemann's Water Music (Hamburger Ebb und Fluht) is represented by the Goebel version, rather than the Wenzinger recording that introduced many of us to the piece.

If a recording of a work we like is current, the chances are we already have it, so it's disappointing not to be able to get a digital version of earlier recordings. I didn't dare to hope for a transfer of the Advent & Christmas cantatas from Halle & Leipzig (198327), but it's some consolation to get Fischer-Dieskau's performance of Bach cantatas 56 and 82.

Only five of the 55 discs claim to be "First release on CD." The cost is justified for these and the others where the CD is no longer available, so I'm very happy to have bought this collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Sturry1
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard of this boxed set of Archiv performances when it was reviewed on Radio 3. A quick look at the recordings, performers and sheer scale and range of works involved, confirmed my impression from the Radio 3 review, that this was a set to have.
Since then I have been moving through the box, dipping in here and there, trying to limit my listening to one disc a day, so I have yet to get half way, although my delight is undiminished.
The price of the boxed set for 55 CDs means they cost around £1.50 each, and I am sure it you tried to buy the performances separately, you would soon exceed the cost of the box, with much lovely music left over.
Strongly recommended, particularly if you don't have the recordings concerned.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a superb collection 22 Jun 2013
By Twiglet
Format:Audio CD
Whilst I do agree with the previous reviewer that it would have been good to have all the words of the various sung parts, practically it is probably far more difficult than he is suggesting. It would make the overall size of the box very much bigger and quite possibly a lot more expensive, personally, when I wanted the words I have found them online

So why not CELEBRATE what is a FIRST CLASS BOX with MANY LITTLE GEMS that you may not have come across before? I have had this box since the day it was issued in mid April 2013, it is now the end of June 2013 and I have listened to about half of the box. One of the highlights so far is La Resurrezione by Handel, which I had not heard before. Some of the earlier recorded works do not have the clarity of later ones but that is only to be expected. Many works I know well but some may be recordings of them that I do not know. I have not yet come across anything that I have not enjoyed. For me this is a selection of a huge amount of music that I knew I would love and it has certainly come up to expectations. Well done Archiv!
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39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Archiv and Vivarte 27 April 2013
By lucas
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just a few observations that I hope will help customers to know more about this box set.
It is a budget box set just like the Sony Vivarte box set recently launched and it has some of the same pieces, such
as Vivaldi's four seasons and Bach Brandenburg concerts.

The booklet is a complete disappointment. It has 200 pages but in three languages. Vivarte's booklet has an essay about each cd whilst
Archiv's booklet has just a few general essays. At least the font is more readable than the tiny font used in Vivarte's booklet.
The booklet has several photos, unlike Vivarte's booklet that has no photos.

DG, like Sony, did not care to add the texts of the songs to the box set what is far worse in the case of Archiv because this box set has much more vocals than
the Vivarte box set. There is no excuse for the exclusion of texts for the songs in a box set like this one. What DG and the giant Sony did shows lousy production value, nothing else.
This is definitely not a budget matter as I have bought several sets of
cds from smaller recording companies but they did care to add texts for the songs, either on cd roms or through links to websites.

Shame on DG and Sony for selling unfinished products to its faithful customers.

I like the design of Archiv's box better. The sound...I am no expert but, listening to Brandenburg concerts I noticed that
the sound of Vivarte is brighter, more clear and it is as if I was closer to the musicians. Listening to Brandenburg concerts from Archiv it was as if I was more distant
from the musicians. The sound of Vivarte seems to be technically much better but Archiv, somehow, sounds more natural. Again, my impressions about the sound are personal and
I am no expert.
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