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The Albinoni Collection
The Albinoni Collection

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars classic baroque, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Albinoni Collection (Audio CD)
A complete set of Opus 5 and 10 of the opus 7. Indeed had someone not decided to include the infamous adagio there might have been room for all 12. And with respect the fact that the historical instrument brigade have taken over does not invalidate the musical style of I musici and Heinz Holliger.

Well worth buying as an introduction to a most enjoyable composer, an alternative to Vivaldi

Bach Favourites From The Classics
Bach Favourites From The Classics

4.0 out of 5 stars Bach, 27 Dec 2013
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This s et includes all six of the Brandenburg Concertos with Faerber and the Wurtenburg Chamber Orchestra. For those with fond memories of the old Turnabout Lps this justifies the cost of the set on its own even before you add the 2nd and 3rd Suites and various miscellaneous bits and pieces including Tocatta and Fugue. Well worth buying

Sabine Meyer Blaserensemble 7cd Set
Sabine Meyer Blaserensemble 7cd Set
Price: £22.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars germanaic efficiency, 17 Dec 2013
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I bought this set mainly because it contained a disc of krommer octets, particularly the opus 57 which I remembered fondly from a long deleted Netherlands Wing Ensemble LP which I had borrowed many years ago from the local record library.

Snag is music like this requires playing of wit and charm if it is to make any impact. And this is not the style of Sabine Meyer. Instead the music is despatched with Germanic efficiency. And fails to make its effect.

I also listener to Beethoven Symphony 8. What a disaster. Okay not everyone enjoys the style of Beecham but this is just rushed through at strict quick tempo.

And then I remembered that Ms. meyer was a disciple of the late Herbert von Karajan - and it shows.

To be fair not all the discs in this set were so awful . Mozart serenades seem to be able to stand up to the treatment.

Which is why I gave it a second star for it is very reasonably priced. But it could have been so much better

EMI Eminence - The Collection
EMI Eminence - The Collection
Price: £105.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Selection of British Artists, 8 Oct 2013
If you want the great international artists then perhaps this set is not for you. Great Musicians who spent much of their career in the U.K and are well recorded make up the bulk of this set. Good honest recordings, maybe a little light on inspiration but never less than interesting. Many started life on digital LPS. Eminence was a bargain label when that was not a dirty word. Artists such as Kennedy, Tasmin Little and Stephen Bishop as well as conductors including Handley and Mackerras. At just over a pound a disc this is incredible value. Buy it before it is deleted, it will give you as much pleasure as the Decca, Phillips or Deutsche Grammophon boxes at far more money

Historische Neujahrskonzerte
Historische Neujahrskonzerte
Price: £21.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest New Years' Concerts,, 29 Sep 2013
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Although I never had the original yellow label LXTs I managed to collect the Ace of Clubs reissues. And although I have a fairly extensive Strauss collection it is fair to say that no other conductor gets it as consistently right as does Clemens Krauss who actually instituted these concerts. The recording is pretty thin, a complaint made in the Guide to bargain records issued in the sixties, but certainly it does not get in the way of the music making.

When originally issued these LPs included music which is now very popular but which had not been previously recorded. There are 28 tracks in total, originally the contents of four LPs.

It would be impossible to review each track in detail. My favourite track is Tales form the Vienna Woods, complete in a way that had not been possible in 78 days and with zither solo in the introduction and postlude, and the nostalgia in that postlude is better expressed than by any other conductor. And an incredibly delicate Pizzicato Polka, far slower than usual but certainly the finest recording this piece has ever received In fact delicacy in the slower pieces is a hallmark of Krauss's conducting. Which does not stop him showing exuberance where required, try the Jokey Polka.

My one regret, that this set had not been reissued by Decca, since I suspect they might have produced a fuller recording. But if you consider yourself a Strauss enthusiast then try this set, it certainly puts most of the current New Year Concerts to shame.

And although the price is fairly high for a reissue it's worth every penny

Great Romantic Violin Concertos
Great Romantic Violin Concertos
Price: £30.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Perlman, 7 July 2013
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This is a set of relatively early Perlman, soon after he joined EMI. At this time he was noted for forward balance with the orchestra and relatively romantic interpretations. Which is why his Beethoven and Brahms both take over 40 minutes and his Tchaikovsky well over 35 minutes. And the results justify it. He allows himself time to relax and the music benefits. And there can be no complaints about his virtuosity. Nor the contribution of giulini, Ormandy, Haitink or Foster

His Mendelsohn and Brahms with Haitink are often compared unfavourably to his earlier version with Previn. That might be so but in isolation they are pretty good.

I paid £6 for this set. Money well spent

Lord of the Proms - Unique Recordings of the Great British Conductor
Lord of the Proms - Unique Recordings of the Great British Conductor
Price: £15.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alternative to the EMi compilation, 7 July 2013
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Buying a Membran set is rather like taking a lucky dip. Sometimes it is pretty poor, occasionally extremely good, and normally good value for money. This is one of the better bargains.

To start with the Chopin 1st Piano Concerto with Gulda. Chopin was a great composer for piano but a rotten orchestrator. In this case he was helped, posthumously, by Balakirev who beefed up the orchestration. And however much this can be deplored in principle it does work here and the Concerto is full of character.

Staying with Piano Annie Fischer plays Mozart 20 and 23. Not acceptable today she plays as if she actually relates to the music. The Orchestral accompaniment under Boult also has feeling. Its probably heresy to say so but she knocks most of the competition into a cocked hat.

And so does Menuhin in the Paganini 1st. recorded in 1947. A concerto Menuhin recorded often with Monteux, Fistoulari and Erede. The last two are sonically better, the first is incomparable but this version is pretty good.

Then the Elgar. In the pomp and Circumstance Marches Boult is pretty fast and also adopts strict tempo unlike Barbirolli who is far more romantic. But it works. As does Campoli, not an obvious choice in the Concerto. Casals is interesting in the concerto, totally different from Du Pre's classic interpretation but not one to write off. And the two symphonies, music Boult made his own, are played with passion and commitment, something which had waned by the time of his Lyrita and EMI later recordings.

And there is a Planets, an Enigma, Schumann 4th and other works. the sound is mainly mono but it is not too bad.

Well worth a tenner.

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Concertos, Sonatas And Suites
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Concertos, Sonatas And Suites
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.43

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good value at the price, 7 July 2013
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I bought this set because it seemed to give a good overview of the cello repertoire at a reasonable price. the snag is that Yo Yo Ma seems to be a little faceless, certainly compared to his great predecessors, tortelier, Fournier and Du Pre. Nothing to take exception to but nothing to ring the bells about, And not ideal to have three bach Cello Suites and only half the Beethoven cello sonatas. So good value for money but probably best left for the newcomer hoping to start an appreciation of the cello. And, inevitably with this series, no notes.

Classique - La Discothèque Idéale
Classique - La Discothèque Idéale
Offered by Cash Connectors
Price: £29.26

5.0 out of 5 stars CBS and RCA Classic Recordings, 29 April 2013
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This set is far too good to be considered merely as an introduction to Classical Music. Sure it includes a number of titles which might have been expected in such a set but these are included in Classic Recordings with great musicians of the fifties and sixties as well as some more recent musicians.

However some of these versions are great beyond comparison. Heifetz and Reiner in the Brahms and Tchailovsky Concertos - very swift and no time for lingering but what virtuosity. Reiner on his own in a selection of six Rossini Overtures unequalled for brio. Rubinstein in the standard fourteen waltzes by Chopin - cut glass interpretations. Szell in Dvorak Symphonies 8 and 9 and Mozart 35,39 and 40. No concession to the modern brigade but full blooded large orchestral versions, and non the worse for that. Brahms 1 and 3 in the mono fifties with the New York players - less relaxed than the later stereo versions.

Then Munch in Debussy, Boulez in Ravel,Williams in Rodrigo and Carlos Kleiber in a VPO New Year Concert, the delights go on and on.

Yes there are some disappointments, a pity the 1951 Rachmaninov 3 with Reiner could not have been included rather than the live recording with Ormandy but Horovitz in rachmaninov is always worth listening to. And the stereo Gould Goldberg is a change, not necessarily welcome, from his iconic mono version, but clearly shows thedeveloping mind of an intuative musician.

I regret the extracts from the Matthew Passion with leonhardt and the Mozart Requiem with harnoncourt but others may enjoy these versions which are honest original instrument versions. i am no fan of Ozawa but presumably there had to be a Carmina Burana. And Bernstein is Bernstein..

And many other delights as well.

Anyone lucky enough to get this set as an introduction to Classical Music will find it an admirable introduction. Anyone with a substantial collection will find the many of the CDs in this set well chosen alternatives to versions they may already have. And on Marketplace and slightly more than £1.00 per Cd this must be one of the bargains of the century.

Mozart: Opern-Operas (Gesamt-Complete)
Mozart: Opern-Operas (Gesamt-Complete)
Price: £17.78

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic fifties mozart, 5 April 2013
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I guess that the price demands compromise although it would have been nice to have had full cast lists for all the operas.There are no details for Figaro or Magic Flute. Again a plastic envelope for all the CDs rather than some of them having to share might have been nice.

But then £13.50 on Marketplace for five operas. And one of those is the incomparable Kleiber Figaro. Perhaps of its time and certainly anathema to the authentic brigade but likely to survive long after their heroes are forgotten. Not the mosy spritely but arguably the most together. I intended to listen to Act 1 only and ended up unable to turn it off. The sound is perfectly acceptable in early stereo and does not detract from the performance. And with Seipi as a dangerous Figaoo, della casa as rhe countess and Danco as Cherubino the cast is first class. Only Poell as the Count lets the side down slightly.

I also enjoyed Krips in Don Giovanni, also allowed to spread over three discs, and with Corena as a first class leporello and siepi as the Don. Again Krips takes his time but no problems with that. The endings are blunt - no appogiatoras here but this was the fifties.

Bohm in Cosi lets the side down slightly. This is his Decca recording and he improved considerably when he re recorded the opera for EMI. An acceptable version though.

I am not a fan of Karajan but his Magic Flute for EMI was far better than his Dg remake. However he decided to remove all the recitatives which does destroy continuity. But with Erich Kunz as Papageno and Grummer as Pamina no real complaints as to the cast

What a pite Erica Koth was allowed to participate in Seraglio. She is shrill as Constanza, her perforrmance is a trial. And there is noe one who particularly stands out in the cast apart from George Szell. And because this is a live performance there is all the inevitable stage noise.

But Kleiber is worth the money on his own - a new version of the Decca on Marketplace costing in excess of £18.00.

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