It’s that time again. The classical record labels are starting to release big box sets, and great prices. There’s a lot coming out this year; here are some that stand out for me.
Glenn Gould Remastered: The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) is an update of the Complete Original Jacket Collection released in 2007. With new remastering (which makes me ask why they didn’t remaster the 2007 releases), and a larger box with a hardcover book, this is an essential set. I have the older set, but I’ll be buying this one. $200 is not much to pay for all of Glenn Gould’s recordings. If you only want his Bach, then The Complete Bach Collection is still available for less than $100 (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), but I don’t think the recordings were remastered when that box was released.
Igor Stravinsky – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) contains 57 discs of the recordings Stravinsky made for Columbia. It includes the mono recordings from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as the later stereo recordings. At $220, it’s still a decent price. If you’re a real Stravinsky fan, you may also want DG’s Stravinsky Complete Edition (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), which, at $192 for 30 discs, seems a bit steep in comparison.
DG has also released Martha Argerich’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), a 48-disc set at $150. I’m not a fan, and you may already have bought some smaller DG sets of her works released in recent years, so I don’t know if this has anyhting unique compared to the others.
Vladimir Horowitz in Recital – The Complete Columbia and RCA Live Recordings 1965-1983 is a 49-disc set from Sony (Amazon.com, Amazon UK). At $180, it’s a decent price for recordings that have been hard to find. It contains 25 recitals recorded at 14 different concert halls, between 1966-68 and 1975-83.
Okay, that’s enough for now. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more box sets for a while, but I think I will give myself a pass on the Gould, since he’s one of my favorite pianists. Also, there’s a rumor that there’s a forthcoming 114-disc set of Alfred Brendel’s recordings for the Universal labels (Decca and Philips). I haven’t seen an official announcement, but that’s one box set I’d buy. I’d also buy a complete DG recordings of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. But no more box sets…