Label : Decca
Format : Flac track
Cover : Yes
This set is a marvel, a mostly wonderful 50-CD tribute to some of the finest stereo recordings ever made in the Classical medium. Smartly packaged, and intelligently chosen, the box is worth having even if one owns some of the contents already. And you are bound to, for even a novice collector will recognize the great singers, conductors, and soloists on display. It’s also reasonably priced on both sides of the pond, and is undoubtedly a limited edition, in the sense it will be pulled soon and sold at outrageous eBay prices. So if the prospect interests you, by all means indulge.
By and large the historical recordings are of more worth than the more recent offerings. Argenta, Martinon, and Maag all get a nod, and it’s equally nice to see that Ashkenazy is being recognized as both an arranger and conductor here. Karajan and Solti naturally appear, although it must be said that those are wholly successful appearances, Dorati gets tons of kudos on Mercury, so one disc will do here; I wish only that it were Haydn. Schiff’s justly famous Goldberg’s are here, and Radu Lupu gets a disc, even if it’s hardly the best. Britten’s War Requiem with the composer conducting has been jammed onto one disc, as if it could get any more essential, and Kerstez’s Vienna 9th and London 8th make a memorable Dvorák disc indeed.