Label : Decca
Lossless + Cover
Not my rip

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.

The modern recordings are more variable. I don't really like the disc of songs with Ute Lemper, but some may, and surely it was chosen to show off Decca's artistic range. The "Three Tenors" concert is entirely irritating in that it pushed any number of great recordings out of the set, and the same goes for the live Carnegie concert with Pavarotti, Sutherland, and Horne. The label's new wave; Fleming, Bell, and Bartoli, are here because they had to be, not because any of this is their best work. That said, the early music recordings are all extremely worthwhile and perhaps unexpected in a collection such as this. And Chailly is stunning in both his appearances as are his other currently active counterparts; Mehta, Blomstedt, and Dohnányi.

There are also some recordings where the "Decca Sound" is frankly lacking. The New Year's Concert from Vienna is an important historical document, magnificently played, but the sound and especially applause are brittle and unpleasant. And the Walton disc at the end of the set is swallowed by a simply awful acoustic that the engineers were powerless against. Conversely, many of these recordings still pack a massive punch today. Solti's Mahler 8th has been bettered recently, but his soloists have never been equaled, and the disc is a thrill. Maazel's Cleveland disc of orchestral blockbusters is reference material, and Bohm's Bruckner 4th is simply an experience. Dorati's Haydn isn't here, but his wonderfully engineered Stravinsky from Detroit's fabled Orchestra Hall is. So it's a lot of good mixed in with that bad.

Overall, the set offers incredible value. While a good deal of this material has been around on Decca Legends and later Decca Originals, a good deal of it has not been easy to find. Take the "limited" part of this set very seriously. It serves as a way to build a collection, supplement it, or simply expand it. No matter where you are as a collector, I promise hours of enjoyment. Grab it while you can!

Brian Wigman (

Tracklist :

CD 1 - Ernest Ansermet - Falla & Debussy
CD 2 - Ataúlfo Argenta - Showpieces of Spain & Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
CD 3 - Vladimir Ashkenazy plays Rachmaninov
CD 4 - Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Sibelius & Mussorgsky
CD 5 - Cecilia Bartoli - Italian Songs
CD 6 - Joshua Bell - Barber, Walton & Bloch
CD 7 - Herbert Blomstedt - Richard Strauss
CD 8 - Karl Böhm - Bruckner Symphony #4
CD 9 - Willi Boskovsky - New Year's Day Concert in Vienna
CD 10 - Benjamin Britten - Britten War Requiem
CD 11 - Riccardo Chailly - Messiaen
CD 12 - Kyung-Wha Chung - Mendelssohn & Bruch
CD 13 - Clifford Curzon - Mozart Piano Concertos
CD 14 - Christoph von Dohnányi - Schoenberg, Berg & Webern
CD 15 - Antal Doráti - Stravinsky
CD 16 - Charles Dutoit - Ravel
CD 17 - Renée Fleming - Great Opera Scenes
CD 18 - Nelson Freire - Brahms Piano Concerto #1 & Schumann Carnaval
CD 19 - Bernard Haitink - Shostakovich Symphonies #5 & 9
CD 20 - Christopher Hogwood - Purcell Dido & Aeneas
CD 21 - Janine Jansen - Beethoven & Britten Violin Concertos
CD 22 - Herbert von Karajan - Holst The Planets
CD 23 - Julius Katchen - Bartók, Ravel & Prokofiev Piano Concertos
CD 24 - István Kertész - Dvorák Symphonies #8 & 9
CD 25 - David Willcocks - Haydn Nelson Mass
CD 26 - Alicia de Larrocha - Granados & Falla
CD 27 - Ute Lemper - Berlin Cabaret Songs
CD 28 - Radu Lupu - Beethoven Piano Sonatas
CD 29 - Peter Maag - Mendelssohn
CD 30 - Lorin Maazel - Respighi
CD 31 - Charles Mackerras - Janácek
CD 32 - Neville Marriner - Tchaikovsky & Grieg
CD 33 - Jean Martinon - Ibert, Bizet, Saint-Saëns & Borodin
CD 34 - Zubin Mehta - Varèse & Ives
CD 35 - Pierre Monteux - Ravel Daphnis et Chloé & Elgar Enigma Variations
CD 36 - Karl Münchinger - Bach
CD 37 - Georg Solti - Wagner The Golden Ring
CD 38 - The Three Tenors - Carreras Domingo Pavarotti in Concert
CD 39 - Joan Sutherland & Luciano Pavarotti - Puccini Turandot (highlights)
CD 40 - Philip Pickett - Susato
CD 41 - Pascal Rogé - Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos
CD 42 - Christophe Rousset - Pergolesi Stabat Mater
CD 43 - András Schiff - Bach Goldberg Variations
CD 44 - Georg Solti - Romantic Russia & Suppé
CD 45 - Georg Solti - Mahler Symphony #8
CD 46 - Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti & Marilyn Horne - Live from Lincoln Center
CD 47 - Takács Quartet - Beethoven Late String Quartets
CD 48 - Renata Tebaldi - Puccini La Fanciulla del West (highlights)
CD 49 - Vienna Octet - Mendelssohn Octet & Beethoven Septet
CD 50 - Andrew Litton & David Hill - Walton & Parry

For complete listing and samples follow the link:

Link in comment



    Pass : pippo9

  2. Magnificent................Thank You For All

  3. Thank you so much! Amazing collection! :D

  4. The link list result in only 30 cds, instead of the 50 mentioned.
    Please verify and, if possible, complete the list.