Admirers of Karajan will probably own most or all of these symphony cycles from what was probably the pinnacle of the conductor's prolific career. However, if you are unfamiliar with Karajan's work, or well enough acquainted with it to desire further exploration, then this amazingly inexpensive anthology can be enthusiastically recommended. I purchased all of these sets when they came out in DG's previous mid-priced "Karajan Symphony Edition," and I can testify to their consistently oustanding quality, both as performances and as interpretations. As recordings, however, it must be admitted that the sound is of variable quality; sometimes admirably vivid and well balanced, but frequently tending toward harshness, even garishness–particularly in those which come from the early digital era (cf. Bruckner's symphonies 1-3). Too bad Universal didn't see fit to give this magnificent legacy a sonic facelift. Still, the performances are sufficiently worthy of your attention to warrant purchase regardless of these sonic limitations.
Director Tim Burton brings his unique vision and sensibility to Roald Dahl's classic children's story in this lavish screen interpretation. Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) is the secretive and wildly imaginative man behind the world's most celebrated candy company, and while the Wonka factory is famously closed to visitors, the reclusive candy man decides to give five lucky children a chance to see the inside of his operation by placing "golden tickets" in five randomly selected chocolate bars. Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), whose poor but loving family lives literally in the shadow of the Wonka factory, is lucky enough to obtain one of the tickets, and Charlie, escorted by his Grandpa Joe (David Kelly), is in for the ride of a lifetime as he tours the strange and remarkable world of Wonka with fellow winners, media-obsessed Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry), harsh and greedy Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), gluttonous Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), and ultra-competitive Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb). Over the course of the day, some of the children will learn difficult lessons about themselves, and one will go on to become Wonka's new right hand.
Another quality Time-Life music collection with 500 originals from the period 1955-1964, the so called "Rock'n'Roll Era". In addition of this wonderful classics' parade, you will acquire a R'n'R encyclopedia, since each CD comes with an extensive description and historical data, in a 6 page booklet, scanned at 600 dpi. Enjoy excellent music and artwork.