Sony Music Entertainment is pleased to announce another ten Masters, the latest instalments in this mouth-watering series for collectors of the great artists. Here are ten new budget-priced box sets of classic recordings by some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
It was an eminently sensible decision to couple Zimerman's previously separate Chopin concertos on a single CD. The Ax/Ormandy/RCA disc is the only rival as a coupling, so let me say at once that in different moods I would be equally happy with either. The main difference, I think, is the actual sound. From DG we get a closer, riper sonority, with Zimerman's piano much more forwardly placed. Both orchestra and piano are more distanced on the RCA recording, especially Ax's piano. This, together with Ax's lighter, more translucent semiquaver figuration (and sometimes his greater willingness to stand back and merely accompany—as in certain episodes in the F minor Concerto's finale) often conjures up visions of Chopin himself at the keyboard, and we know he was often criticized for insufficiently strong projection.
When Carlo Maria Giulini returned to conducting public performances of opera after an absence of fourteen years, he chose for the occasion one of the enduring comic masterpieces - Verdi's Falstaff. The composer was almost eighty when he broke the six-year silence following the premiere of Otello, and startled the musical world by revealing his complete mastery of comic invention. Renato Bruson, the renowned interpreter of Verdi and one of the leading lyric baritones of the day, sings the title role.
This wide-ranging collection provides an overview of Carlo Maria Giulini's collaborations with London s most distinguished orchestras, including his beloved Philharmonia Orchestra. Released in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the conductor's birth in 2014, this 17-disc set showcases the sheer quality and breadth of Giulini's recorded legacy, and includes reverential and deeply-felt readings of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann; thrilling performances of overtures by Verdi and Rossini; and vivid and colorful Debussy, Ravel, Falla and Stravinsky, all led with the utmost flair and commitment.
Released to commemorate the centenary of Carlo Maria Giulini (born 14 May 1914), this 15-CD set celebrates recordings made with the famed Viennese orchestras. Repertoire includes the complete Brahms symphonies, Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 and 9, and a complete recording of Verdi’s Rigoletto. The set also includes the first international CD release of An die Nachgeborenen by 20th-century Austrian composer Gottfried von Einem.
Carlo Maria Giulini: The Complete Sony Recordings offers performances from 1989 to 1995, which represent the maestro's late output. Presented on 22 CDs in sleeves featuring original cover art, these are thoughtful and sober readings of repertoire Giulini had often performed throughout his career, though here they are noted especially for their slower tempos and weightier expressions.
All of these are live recordings so the sound is quite variable. The standard square box contains separate soft plastic sleeves in which the cds are inserted. The advantage is that the cds are well protected (minor risk for scrapes compared to cardboard), but there is no information printed on the sleeve since it is made of plastic. There is some basic information printed on each cd (name, composer, cd #, the act/s and the date of the recording). There is also a small 24pg booklet that introduces the box including some photos as well as content description for each disc (opera, singers, time and location as well as a list of the separate tracks). I have been collecting these boxes for a while and always find it worthwhile as there are gems nicely interspersed in these collections. By Moonfish