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The Decca Sound – The Analogue Years (54 CD box set APE)

The Decca Sound - The Analogue Years (54 CD box set APE)
The Decca Sound – The Analogue Years (54 CD box set APE)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 54
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 15.5 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

CD 01: Charles Dutoit / Philharmonia Orchestra
Camille Saint-Saens: Tone Poems
+ Piano Concerto Mo.1 (Pascal Roge)

CD 02: Sir Georg Solti / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No.6

CD 03: Bernard Haitink / London Philharmonic Orchestra
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.4

CD 04: Pascal Roge
Claude Debussy: Preludes I & Children’s Corner

CD 05: Horst Stein / L’Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Jean Sibelius: Pelleas Et Melisande & The Tempest

CD 06: Walter Weller / London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sergey Prokofiev: Symphony No.2 & Love For Three Oranges
+ “Ala And Lolly”

CD 07: Antal Dorati / Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Bela Bartok: Suite No.1 & 2 Pictures
+ George Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody 1

CD 08: Lorin Maazel / The Cleveland Orchestra
Sergey Prokofiev: Symphony No.5
+ Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture / Capriccio Espagnol

CD 09: Kyung Wha Chung & Radu Lupu
Claude Debussy & Cesar Franck: Sonatas
+ Maurice Ravel: Introduction And Allegro (Melos Ensemble)

CD 10: Vladimir Ashkenazy / Philharmonia Orchestra
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony
+ Valse-Scherzo (Boris Belkin)

CD 11: Zubin Mehta / Los Angeles Philharmonic
George Gershwin: American In Paris & Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
+ Aaron Copland: Lincoln Portrait & William Kraft: Contextures

CD 12: Maria Chiara / Bernd Weikl / Lamberto Gardelli
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: Ii Segreto Di Susanna
+ Giuseppe Verdi: Arias (Chiara)

CD 13: Alicia De Larrocha/ Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos
Carlos Surinach & Xavier Montsalvatge: Concertos
+ Gabriel Faure: Fantaisie & Cesar Franck: Symphonic Variations

CD 14: Fitzwilliam String Guartet
Dmitri Shostakovich: Quartets No.15 & 8
+ Quartets No.9

CD 15: Karl Munchinger / Wiener Philharmoniker
Franz Schubert: Rosamunde
+ Carl Maria Von Weber & Robert Schumann: Overtures

CD 16: Sir Georg Solti / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Igor Stravinsky: Sacre Du Printemps
+ Maurice Ravel: Bolero & Arnold Schoenberg: Variations For Orchestra

CD 17:Radu Lupu / London Symphony Orchestra / Andre Previn
Edvard Grieg & Robert Schumann: Concertos

CD 18: Antal Dorati / Philharmonia Hungarica
Joseph Haydn: Symphonies 94 “Surprise”, 100 “Military” & 104 “London”

CD 19 & 20: Benjamin Britten / English Orchestra
Robert Schumann: Szenen Aus Goethes Faust
+ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No.40 (London Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Britten)

CD 21: Kyung Wha Chung / London Symphony Orchestra / Andre Previn
William Walton & Igor Stravinsky: Violin Concertos

CD 22: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Frederic Chopin: Etudes

CD 23: Richard Bonynge / London Symphony Orchestra
Jacques Offenbach: Le Papillon
+ Jules Massenet: Le Cid

CD 24: Zubin Mehta / London Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Holst: The Planets
+ Camille Saint-Saens: Organ

CD 25: Vladimir Ashkenazy / London Symphony Orchestra / Lorin Maazel
Alexander Scriabin: Piano Concerto & Prometheus
+ Alexander Scriabin: Le Poeme De I’extase

CD 26: Istvan Kertesz / London Symphony Orchestra
Antonin Dvorak: The Water Goblin & My Home & Noonday Witch & Hussitska
+ The Golden Spinning Wheel

CD 27: Janos Starker / Israel Philharmonic Orchestra / Zubin Mehta
Ernest Bloch: Schelomo & Voice In The Wilderness
+ Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol

CD 28: Members Of The Wiener Oktett / Waller Panhoffer
Felix Mendelssohn: Sextet, Op.110 & Alexander Borodin: Quintet In С Minor
+ Franz Berwald: Septet

CD 29: Claudio Abbado / London Symphony Orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3 & 4

CD 30: Sir Georg Solti / Wiener Philharmoniker
Giuseppe Verdi: Requiem (Joan Sutherland / Marilyn Home / Luciani Pavarotti / Martti Talvela)

CD 31: Sir Georg Solti / London Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.2

CD 32: Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt / Wiener Philharmoniker
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.9 (Joan Sutherland / Marilyn Home / James King / Martti Talvela)

CD 33: Matislav Rostropovich / Benjamin Britten / English Chamber Orchestra
Benjamin Britten: Cello Symphony & Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto

CD 34: Istvan Kertesz / London Symphony Orchestra
Zoltan Kodaly: Hary Janos & Dances Of Galanta
+ The Peacock & Peacock Variations

CD 35: Lorin Maazel / Wiener Philharmoniker
Jaen Sibelius: Symphony No.1 & Karelia Suite
+ Jaen Sibelius: Symphony No.4

CD 36: Members Of The London Wind Soloists / Jack Brymer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade K361
+ Serenade K388

CD 37: David Oistrakh / Paul Hindemith / Jascha Horenstein
Max Bruch: Scottish Fantasia & Paul Hindemith: Violin Concerto

CD 38: Clifford Curzon/ London Symphony Orchestra /George Szell
Jahannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1
+ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: No.27 K595 (Wiener Philharmoniker / George Szell)

CD 39: John Lanchbery / Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Ferdinand Herold: La Fille Mal Gardee
+ Charles Gounod: Faust – Ballet Music (Sir Georg Solti)

CD 40: Ernest Ansermet / L’Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Frank Martin: Etudes For Strings & Concerto For Timpani & Winds
+ Arthur Honegger: Symphony No.2

CD 41 & 42: Herbert Von Karajan / Wiener Philharmoniker
Giuseppe Verdi: Otello

CD 43: Willi Boskovsky / Wiener Philharmoniker
Strauss: 1001 Wights
+ Geschichten Aus Dem Wienerward
+ Dortschwalben Aus Osterreich
+ Fruhlingsstimmen (Hilde Gueden / Wiener Philharmoniker / Josef Krips)

CD 44: Anatole Fistoulari / Concertgebouw Orchestra
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake – Scenes
+ Charles Lecocq: Mam’zelle Angot

CD 45: Pierino Gamba / London Symphony Orchestra / Ruggiero Ricci
Gioachino Rossini: Overtures
+ Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto

CD 46 & 47: Tullio Serafin / Orchestra E Coro Dell’Accademia Di Santa Cecilia, Roma
Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme

CD 48: Pierre Monteux / London Symphony Orchestra
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No.2
+ Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No.7

CD 49: Josef Krips / London Symphony Orchestra
Franz Schubert: Symphony No.9
+ Franz Schubert: Symphony No.8 (Wiener Philharmoniker / Josef Krips)

CD 50: Kenneth Alwyn / London Symphony Orchestra
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 & Capriccio Italien & Marche Slave
+Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 (Julius Katchen / London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Georg Solti)

CD 51: Oivin Fjeldstad / London Symphony Orchestra
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt
+ Piano Concerto (Clifford Curzon)

CD 52: Ernest Ansermet / L’Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Maurice Ravel: L’enfant Et Les Sortileges
+ Ma Mere L’Oуе – Suite

CD 53: Ernest Ansermet / L’Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Decca’s First Stereo Recordings
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Antar & Alexander Glazunov: Stenka Razin
+ Mily Balakirev + Anatoly Lyadov

CD 54: Bonus CD Ernest Ansermet / L’Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Original Mono Versions

I’m about halfway through listening to this marvelous collection and am enjoying it immensely. I started collecting classical music about 15 years ago and have amassed a collection that includes most of the standard repertoire. My collecting strategy consists mostly of “complete” boxes by composer (symphonies, concerti, piano music, etc.), medium or large boxes by a favorite performer (e.g. Richter complete Decca recordings, Argerich collection), and a smattering of individual single or double/triple boxes of highly recommended performances or pieces not available in boxes/collections (or where I don’t want to buy the whole box).

This box is different. I would describe thus: Say you have a friend with a vast collection of music and impeccable taste for good pieces, performances, and recordings. You nearly always like recommendations from this friend; many of them are in your “desert island” collection. You then ask this friend to recommend some outstanding recordings of less-often-heard pieces. This is that recommendation … with a few of the old warhorses thrown in.

Some of the rare but wonderful pieces in this collection include Sibeius’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Horst Stein), Bartok’s Suite No. 1 and Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody (Antal Dorati), Copland’s Lincoln Portrait (Mehta), Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna (Lamberto Gardelli), Montsalvatge’s Concerto Breve (Alicia de Larrocha), Massenet’s ballet music from Le Cid (Richard Bonynge), and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival (Lorin Maazel), among others. The more mainstream works are outstanding as well: Vladimir Ashkenazy’s sensitive and idiomatic Chopin Études, Radu Lupu’s thrilling Schumann and Grieg concertos, Sir Georg Solti’s Bruckner 6, etc. Other reviewers have provided the complete catalog; I’m just trying to give some recommendations of the selections I’ve heard so far.

Many of Decca’s recordings from this era are definitive recordings or their pieces, and the sound engineering in many cases is better than more recent digital recordings of the same pieces. While not every selection is to my taste, by and large I have enjoyed listening through this wonderful collection, and have enlarged my understanding of classical music, discovering new composers, new works from familiar composers, and new and wonderful performances of familiar works.

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