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Archiv Produktion 1947-2013: A Celebration of Artistic Excellence from the Home of Early Music (DG box set) Box set

7 customer reviews

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2 new from £488.80 2 used from £282.79

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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By EricB on 14 July 2013
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Twiglet on 22 Jun. 2013
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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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Fraxinus excelsior TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've bought this to replace the Archiv albums on vinyl I've bought in years past. Regarding praise for the performances and value for money, I can only echo the earlier reviewers.

It's not obvious from the Amazon listing what works can be found in this box set, so here is a rough listing (please excuse any mistakes and typos!):

CD 1 Bach, J.S.: Trio Sonata No.1 In E Flat Major; 6 "Schübler" Chorales; Partite diverse sopra "Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig"; Trio Sonata No.6 In G Major, Toccata & Fugue In D Minor, Fugue In E Flat Major. WALCHA

CD 2 Bach, J.S.: Cantatas "Christ lag in Todesbanden" BWV 4; "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" BWV 56; "Ich habe genug" BWV 82. FISCHER-DIESKAU | RISTENPART | LEHMANN

CD 3 Bach, J.S.: "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis", BWV 21; "Es erhub sich ein Streit", BWV 19; "Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn' und Schild", BWV 79. WEBER | FISCHER | KREBS | LEHMANN

CD 4 Gregorian Chant - Primae Vesperae in Nativitate Domini Nostri Jesu Christi; Prima Missa in Commemoratione Omnium Fidelium Defunctorum. MÖNCHE DER ERZABTEI ST. MARTIN, BEURON

CD 5 De La Halle: Le Jeu De Robin Et Marion, Rondeaux; Dances Of The 13th & 14th Centuries. PRO MUSIC ANTIQUA | CAPE

CD 6 Bach, J.S.: Brandenburg Concerto Nos.1 BWV 1046; 4 BWV 1049; 6 BWV 1051, Sonata No.1 BWV 1027. SCHOLA CANTORUM BALSILIENSIS | WENZINGER

CD 7 Bach, J.S.: Brandenburg Concerto Nos.2 BWV 1047, 3 BWV 1048 and 5 BWV 1050, Sonata Nos.2 BWV 1028 & 3 BWV 1029. SCHOLA CANTORUM BALSILIENSIS | WENZINGER

CD 8 Gibbons: Anthems, Madrigals & Fantasies. Morley: Madrigals. DELLER CONSORT | AMBROSIAN SINGERS

CD 9-11 Bach, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sturry1 on 7 Aug. 2013
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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