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Is this a huge bargain?

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2014 14:19:42 BDT
Bruce says:
Normally I don't look for bargains, but Amazon sent me an email link to this : The Complete RCA And Sony Album Collection

So this is showing as 39 CDs for 34.58 - how can this be so cheap?

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 14:45:21 BDT
It depends entirely on how much you want the contents. Personally, I am only interested in the Boris (slightly) which I could probably get elsewhere.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 14:47:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2014 14:49:36 BDT
Bruce says:
I was a big fan of Abbado, but don't need a lot of it - I was just wondering, though, how they can produce a set like this so cheaply - less than a per CD, plus box and covers, documentation - are they selling it for a loss?

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2014 15:09:32 BDT
I am likewise a big fan of Abbado but nearly all the recordings I own are on DG. I doubt if they are selling the set at a loss but probably only with a small profit margin. The cost of the physical content is negligible and I suspect any documentation will be negligible. The stuff has already been (re-)issued several times and the recording costs and artists fees recovered years ago. I only have one exact duplicate (ie. as a Sony recording), one of the Mussorgsky discs (as a mid-price reissue) and it was recorded in 1980.

There are numerous reissues like this around at the moment, notably for Giulini.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 15:21:17 BDT
Bruce says:
I'm surprised - but I suppose then that the answer to my question is a NO!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2014 15:34:54 BDT
If you really want the content, it is a bargain! If I had 30 to spend on Abbado right now I would probably buy more of his Bruckner or Verdi recordings from DG.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 16:05:52 BDT
MacDoom says:
Definitely worth it if you're interested in, say, 5 CDs or more. There'll be a bonus of a lot of good music making with the other 34!

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 16:45:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2014 17:23:31 BDT
Malx says:
Bruce -

I would agree with most of what has been said by the other posters, for me a bargain is defined by " I have I got something I desired for less than is normal to pay for it" if a lot in the box is not to your taste or involves duplication that you feel is unnecessary then I guess the question is answered.

With regards to how they achieve the price point Geoffrey has covered that very well, Sony are also notorious for giving little or very often no documentation in their "bargain" boxed sets.

But as a general comment, for someone looking to expand a limited library in an inexpensive manner it is indeed a bargain.

Edit: Having looked through the contents more carefully and checked against wish lists and the like I have decided to buy. There 13 discs I find of great interest and a good number that look interesting at least, 4 discs I already own. Having done the checks by my own criteria this is declared a bargain!

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 17:31:03 BDT
It's huge and it's a bargain so yes: it's a huge bargain!

Posted on 17 Jun 2014 09:20:29 BDT
This was recommended to me by Amazon in an email so I bought it (see my postings above) - Abbado - Bruckner. In terms of cost per disc it is not as much of a bargain as the Sony box but in terms of what I actually want it is ideal. Only the 5th is a duplication but I will probably dispose of my current copy.

Posted on 17 Jun 2014 18:22:20 BDT
Malx says:
Having had second thoughts about if I really needed/wanted the 39 discs I have now cancelled my order!

Posted on 17 Jun 2014 18:43:39 BDT
The Bruckner set has become even (?) better value. For buying it Amazon have given me a 2 voucher to spend in their Android App Store. To spend it I had to download the App Store app to my tablet; for doing that they have given me 1 to spend on mp3 downloads.

I was genuinely going to buy a French dictionary app for my tablet so the 2 will go towards buying the Larousse version. I haven't bought any mp3s for weeks but I have until the end of September to spend the voucher. All these promotional 'gifts' are another way to get you to spend money but here they will come in useful.

Posted on 24 Jun 2014 16:06:39 BDT
Nick says:
Just picked up for 6.00 in local charity shop Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas - not an area of expertise at all (not sure I've ever listened to all the Beethoven Sonatas) - comments here seem mixed and even within Brendel fans some favour his earlier cycle. Any observations, thoughts welcomed....

Posted on 24 Jun 2014 16:18:50 BDT
There's a raw energy to some of his earlier performances that isn't always there in the later cycle. That said, the perspective that comes with greater experience has its benefits too, albeit of a different kind. In the "Appassionata", for example, the earlier performance is a barnstormer whereas the later one seems to me to embody "emotion recollected in tranquillity". Not everyone will go for the latter, but I find the control Brendel exerts there exciting in its own right - quite a lot of the time one gets this sense of a coiled spring ready to release itself, which (when that happens) it does to great effect. The recordings match the performances, more immediate in the earlier set but richer and fuller in the later one.

Ideally one would get both. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2014 16:29:48 BDT
Nick says:
thanks Harry - never straight forward these things are they!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2014 19:10:02 BDT
MacDoom says:
I like the product description on that page. Not that it's about the product. But this sentence:

"You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory."

must be a classic in the making.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2014 19:20:50 BDT
Lez Lee says:
MacDoom, that sentence appears on many descriptions, must be a certain supplier with limited English.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2014 20:40:52 BDT
MacDoom says:
Ah. Sorry - it's just that I'd never seen it before.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2014 19:34:41 BDT
enthusiast says:
Harry - I'm interested in Brendel's Beethoven and your descriptions of the different versions. The one Nick bought at a bargain price is, I think, the second of his traversals (an analogue set that was on Philips but is now on Decca). Am I right in this? And the first set that you refer to was the Vox set which is now available as a Brilliant bargain box? Has there been a third digital set? And if so which one is it? Or are all the versions out there either one or other of these two? Sorry - I've been confused for a while and believe you can clarify the situation for me!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2014 20:27:46 BDT
Nick says:
enthusiast - the set I got was his 3rd - a digital recording. Between that and his first on Vox was a 2nd analogue cycle.

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 20:33:41 BDT
Oh dear - I'd forgotten there was a third set. Apologies, Nick! My comparison was between the Vox set and the first analogue set. The third set I know only in patches, so I hesitate to comment.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2014 20:56:57 BDT
enthusiast says:
It was still a useful summary for me - so thank you, Harry.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2014 08:52:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2014 08:54:56 BDT
D. M. Ohara says:
I bought that set a while ago, and my first impressions were not that good. I had long tended to think of Brendel's early [VOX] recordings as displaying a youthful freshness and directness which somehow got lost as his career progressed. He seemed often to become rather too subtle and careful.

The other day I bought for a penny [!] a 2-CD set of the last 6 sonatas on VOX, and immediately listened to my favourite sonata [Op. 109], which I found very disappointing. The first movement is way too fast, and he does not get inside the music.

So I turned to the [digital] Op. 109 in the box you found for 6, and it was a revelation. Better paced, far more inward, beautiful sonority. I can't think of it being done better.

So I'm glad to change my mind - at lest in respect of this sonata. In the earlier sonatas, I still like some of his VOX recordings [which I have on lp] - but in the later works his stature has increased markedly over the years.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2014 10:44:10 BDT
Nick says:
D.M.O - thankyou for that perspective - very interesting. It reflects exactly my own experience over time; sometimes with repertoire sometimes with specific interpretations. Its why I'm always loath ever to say "the best version". I'd love to know the psychological reason why something can chime completely at one point in ones life and leave you cold the other, yet others travel with you as steadfast companions.

Once, just after I'd left college I had a quartet which did background music for weddings and parties. Somehow - can't remember the why and wherefores - we got asked to play at a birthday party for Humphrey Burton's wife (as in he who did all the BBC music docs etc). The point with this kind of thing was that - allegedly - no-one ever really listens so you go along with a few pals and busk away.... At this particular event we go into the room to play and who's there in the front? - oh its Menuhin, who is he talking to? - oh its Panufnik, and who is that very tall guy at the back? - oh its Brendel. We played a couple of numbers (Gershwin I recall) and he stalked out of the room.

Up there in my top 5 most embarassing musical experiences together with playing Beatles hits arranged for Mariachi band in front of Paul McCartney. But that's a story for another day.
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Participants:  10
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  14 Jun 2014
Latest post:  28 Jun 2014

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