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Mercury Living Presence Vol.2 (Decca box set) Box set

15 customer reviews

Price: £81.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£81.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Mercury Living Presence Vol.2 (Decca box set) + Mercury Living Presence (Decca box set) + Living Stereo Collection
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 55
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00B7364H2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,454 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

This new collection of 55 CDs from the acclaimed audiophile label offers a wealth of recordings from the 1950s and 1960s in an unrivalled range of repertory.

This ranges from solo Bach played by harpsichordist Rafael Puyana to American composer and conductor Howard Hanson in his own works as well as music by fellow-Americans. Key artists include Antal Dorati in works ranging from Beethoven to Bartók and Berg; Frederick Fennell, Rafael Kubelík, Paul Paray and János Starker.

1 DORATI Schoenberg Webern Berg
2 RORATI Respighi: The Birds Fountains & Pines of Rome
3 DORAT Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra Dance Suite
4 DORATI Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances
5 DORATI Dvorák: Symphonies 7 & 8
6 DORATI Gershwin Copland Schuller Bloch
7 DORATI Satie Milhaud Auric Françaix
8 DORATI Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6 Pathétique
9 DORATI Bartók: The Wooden Prince
10 DORATI Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin
11 DORATI Tchaikovsky: Symphony 4 Borodin
12 DORATI Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 6
13 DORATI Albéniz Falla Mussorgsky
14 KUBELIK Hindemith Schoenberg Kodály
15 DORATI Beethoven: Symphony 7 Overtures
16-17 DORATI Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
18-20 FISTOULARI & DORATI
Delibes: Sylvia Coppélia
21 MARCEL DUPRÉ Widor Franck
22 FENNELL Leroy Anderson
23 FENNELL Grainger Persichetti Khachaturian
24 FENNELL ROLLER Gould Giannini Hovhaness
25 FENNELL Grainger Coates
26 FENNELL Hands Across the Sea
27 FENNELL Coates Anderson
28 FENNELL The Spirit of 76 Ruffles & Flourishes
29 FENNELL Mozart R. Strauss Milhaud
30 FENNELL Holst Vaughan Williams Mennin
31 HANSON Hanson: Symphonies 1 & 2
32 HANSON Gould Barber
33 HANSON Ives Schumann Mennin
34 HANSON Hanson: Symphony 3 Elegy Lament
35 HANSON Barber Piston Griffes Kennan
36 HANSON McPhee Sessions Thomson
37 HANSON Moore Carpenter Rogers Phillips
38 HANSON Chadwick MacDowell Peter
39 HANSON Music for Quiet Listening Vol.1
40 HANSON Music for Quiet Listening Vol.2
41 KUBELIK Mozart: Symphony 38 Dvorák: Symphony 9
42 PARAY Ibert: Escales Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnole
43 PARAY French Opera Highlights: Hérold Auber Gounod
44 PARAY Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony Paray: Mass
45 PARAY Chabrier Roussel
46 PARAY Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé Suite 2 Debussy: Nocturnes
47 PARAY Bizet: Carmen Suite L Arlésienne Suites 1 & 2 Thomas
48 PARAY Dances of Death: Liszt Weber Saint-Saëns Schmitt
49 PARAY Debussy: Ibéria La Mer Ravel: Ma Mère l Oye
50 PUYANA The Golden age of the Harpsichord
51 PUYANA J. S. Bach: Overture in the French Manner Toccata in F sharp minor
52 PUYANA Baroque Masterpieces for the Harpsichord
53 STARKER Chopin Mendelssohn Debussy Bartók
54 DORATI Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (1953 recording)
55 SOMER & ALESSANDRO Corigliano* R. Strauss*

*first ever CD release

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By O. Blix on 10 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most of the 55 CD:s that I have listened through fulfill my high expectations. I bought the first remastered box (50 CD) and was pleased with what I heard, allthough not all records felt "necessary". So far none of the CD:s I have listened through have been unitresting, on the contrary. Some are documents of older ideals of interpretations, but surprisingly many (especially the Dorati recordings) are up to date in many respects as well. A 5 star strong recommendation, both given the ultra low price per CD and the excellent transfers and an interesting mixture of music. Strongly recomended. If you liked the Vol 1, this No. 2 won't disappoint!
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Format: Audio CD
I ended my review of volume 1, Mercury Living Presence Boxed Set, with the words "Now, when does volume 2 with 50 more come out?" Well, it turns out to be 55, and here it is. For those who'd have inadvertently landed here from a long sojourn on planet Mars, let them be reminded that Mercury was a label established in 1945 at the end of the 78s era (a division of Mercury Radio and Television Corporation), first devoted to and famed for its catalog of popular music and jazz, but that branched out to classical at the end of the 1940s and became a prized audiophile series in the LP era under its moniker "Living Presence" and under the aegis of C. Robert Fine (sound engineer) and Wilma Cozart (producer), along with a few others (like David Hall the producer of the early releases, Harold Lawrence, producer of the late releases, Robert Eberenz, Fine's erstwhile associate engineer who became sole in charge starting in 1964). In fact the Fine-Cozart team worked so well together that they eventually became Mr and Mrs Fine, in 1957. I urge anybody interested in knowing what kind or recording techniques made the Mercury Living Presence recordings so special to go read the Wikipedia entry on Mercury Records, section "Mercury Living Presence Series", and the stupendous online article, essay, paean, monument by Rudolf A. Bruil published on soundfountain dot com slash amb slash mercury dot html, both of which they can complement with the online interview of Wilma Cozart Fine by Bruce Duffie from 1995 on kcstudio dot com and the 1999 interview of Robert Eberenz on three dabya dot opusklassiek dot nl slash audiotechniek slash mercury dot htm.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Clark on 8 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was delighted to receive this heavy set as I had also recently received the first volume which appears to have been re-issued after stocks ran out. It is fascinating to note that not even these two volumes have exhausted the possibility of re-issuing the whole of the "Mercury" back catalogue - as one reviewer has already noted. As a result, I am now anticipating a third volume!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greying Fox on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful selection, which makes me eager for the release of Vol 3 later in 2015 (and I hope Vol 1 might be re-issued as well)? The recording quality is generally excellent: vivid, clear and sharp. The only exceptions in my view are some of the wind or brass band marching music, where the tone is a bit muffled - but they're not crucial to the overall success of the set. It's inevitable that in a collection this size, there will be some CDs that just don't make the grade, be it for personal taste, a very occasional lapse in overall recording quality, or an understandable bias towards lesser-known North American composers, some of whom are lesser-known for a good reason. Personally, I remain unconvinced about Howard Hanson (but I'll keep working on it and hope to be proved wrong); on the other hand, hearing Colin McPhee's Tabuh Tabuhan was a joyful revelation and one of the "finds" of this collection. Ultimately, at around £1 a disc, who cares if there are a few duds in there? The overall selection is a delight.

Here is Kubelik, Dorati and the much-under-rated Paul Paray in their pomp. Paray's recording of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony must surely be close to *the* reference recording of this particular work, and I struggle to think of a more compelling version of La Mer than his. There are hitherto unknown (to me) gems from Schuller, Ives, and William Schuman; compelling recordings of Schoenberg and Bartok - and I'm still nowhere near halfway through listening to the CDs!

I suspect that about 20% of these CDs I won't bother listening to more than once, but I'll be glad to have had the opportunity to do so. The other 80% will become treasured companions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Martin Wright on 5 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Using just three microphones, these Mercury recordings have a more realistic sound than many of today's multi-mic recordings. State-of-the-art in their day 50 years ago, these stereo recordings (and their performances) still impress. There's a lot of interesting technical information, but no notes on the music. I guess you can't have everything at this kind of price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Lamberton on 25 Sept. 2013
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Wonderful bargain. If only Volume one could be reissued. We look forward to Vol Three, which must surely follow soon.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Kaplan on 5 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing sound quality for CDs and at a bargain price. I have original vinyl pressings of most of these CDs and in many instances the sound on the CD is preferable. Vol. 1 and 2 give you the entire Mercury Living Presence catalogue for under $300.
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I have 2 disc 19, instead of disc 20! 2 13 Apr 2015
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