Need some help on what to purchase

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ravel30
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Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:09 am

Dear CMG members,

My girlfriend's mother is ordering some books on amazon.ca and asked if I would be interested in purchasing something too so that she(we) could benefit from free shipping. My goal is to buy for at most 50$ worth of classical music cds. After some research, I reduced my choice to the following 4 options:

Option 1: Complete Well-Tempered Clavier performed by Angela Hewitt on Hyperion

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Option 2: Sibelius Symphonies/etc Paavo Berglund EMI Classics
and
Handel Messiah Sir Neville Mariner/Academy St-Martin Decca

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Option 3: Schubert Complete Piano Sonatas Wilhelm Kempff DG

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Option 4: Mendelssohn 5 Symphonies and 7 overtures Claudia Addabo DG
and
Brahms Complete Symphonies Sawallish/London Symphony Orchestra Brilliant Classics
or Haydn The Creation John Elliot Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Sinfonietta DG

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Note that the cds have to be in stock and so it limits my choice.

If you could only pick one of these options, which one would you pick ? I understand that they are all fairly different choices and that it depends of my tastes so you can assume that I am open to all these options.

Any help would be appreciated and any comments on all the above recordings as well.

Many thanks to all.

Matt.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Lance » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:54 am

My first choice would be the KEMPFF Schubert set on DGG; second choice would be the DGG ABBADO performances of the Mendelssohn symphonies OR the EMI Sibelius symphonies set with BERGLUND. I've had my Kempff/Schubert set since 1997 and have had some golden moments of listening to this precious music. Somewhere in there, I would give a heavy nod to Haydn's The Creation, however, I think I would select an alternate version [see below].

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DGG 449761 - plus it's budget-priced! This is the famous "Fritz Wunderlich" recording, wherein he died part way through the recording and Werner Krenn was the substitute so the recording could be completed. It's truly memorable ... one of my favourite von Karajan recordings, and there aren't too many of them.
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:04 am

^^^

Wow! Those were going to be my suggestions too.
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Lance
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Lance » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:13 am

Well, you know the old story: “Great (old) minds run in the same track.” Now why didn't you suggest some EM stuff?
Corlyss_D wrote:^^^

Wow! Those were going to be my suggestions too.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:24 am

Lance wrote:Well, you know the old story: “Great (old) minds run in the same track.” Now why didn't you suggest some EM stuff?
Corlyss_D wrote:^^^

Wow! Those were going to be my suggestions too.
It wasn't in Matt's list. I wasn't going to suggest something that wasn't in the choices he was considering.
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Holden Fourth
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Holden Fourth » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:02 am

I'll stick to Matt's list.

Kempff - Schubert PS.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by stenka razin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:48 am

I agree with the above assessments. Kempff in Schubert would be a super present, mate. 8)
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:04 am

My first choices would be the Sibelius/Berglund box and the Schubert/Kempff box. I have heard both of these and can vouch for the quality of both the musicmaking and interpretations. The Berglund box set with is my 1st choice for Sibelius bar none; and while there are individual Schubert sonata performances which may eclipse Kempff here or there, he is consistently good across the board, and it's one of the best complete sonata sets available - one which you will certainly garner much repeat enjoyment from.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Jared » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:41 am

I'd like to throw in a vote for Abbado's Mendie set... along with the Ashkenazy, it really is among the finest, and the overtures CD which comes in the boxset, is almost peerless... 8)

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by slofstra » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:20 am

Given the constraints, the missing component is not knowing what repertoire you already have. Because at a certain point in building your collection, expanding repertoire and filling holes is an important consideration, and later not so much.
But I would buy that Mendelssohn - Abbado set. That was my instinct before I read the other posts.

I'm not so sure I would buy the Kempff Schubert ahead of the 2 CD Richter/Schubert/ Masters set, or even Lupu or Brendel. (But then I have all those and don't have the Kempff set).

There is also a 15 CD set of Sibelius kicking around on BIS for really cheap. Just to make you aware of it.

Regarding the Hewitt I would purchase almost no recent releases at full catalogue prices in the building phase because your dollars will go so much further buying budget sets. Unless you're really really excited about a particular performer.

ravel30
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:59 am

Dear all,

Thank you so much for all your responses so far. That is very to all of you to take time to write me. To answer flofstra (How is life for you in Waterloo my patriot friend ?):

I do not own the Well-Tempered Clavier of Bach. I own some overtures of Mendelssohn and symphonies 3 and 4 (on Naxos), I own all Sibelius symphonies and a lot of his tone poems (on Naxos). I do not own Handel's Messiah :oops: or Haydn's creation :oops:

I do own the piano sonatas D.960 played by Kempff on Eloquence/DG. I am pretty sure that it the same as the one on that set and I much prefer it to the same piece played by Andreas Schiff on Decca. Other than that, I own no other piano sonatas by Schubert :oops: . I immensely enjoyed that recording of Kempff. In fact, back in 2004, I listened to it almost every night for a very long time to the point where it took me a very long time to go back to it.

The Berglund set looks awesome too. It seems like such a great bargain and I am sure that the sound quality is top notch, And on top of that it comes with the tone poems (including Kullervo which I never get tired to hear.)

After looking at your responses and considering my bank account, I have now narrowed it down to 2 new options.

Option 1: Schubert Piano Sonatas by Kempff

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or

Option 2 (new): Mendelssohn 5 symphonies and 7 overtures Addabo DG
and
Sibelius Symphonies and Tone Poems Berglund EMI Classics

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Does it change anything for your choice ?

It seems like I get a lot more for my money with option 2 but option 1 is so wonderful. Tough choice. That is what I call a happy problem. :lol:

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by IN278S » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:04 pm

I'd be inclined to make some other choice for the Brahms symphonies. I found the Sawallisch/LPO cycle a bit dull. Certainly it was a disappointment, having hoped for something on the order of his Schumann cycle for EMI.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by slofstra » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:11 pm

Choice 2. Then get choice 1 when the NSERC grant comes in. :lol: :lol: (I'm assuming you're still a student up there at Ottawa, ravel).

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by maestrob » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:14 pm

I would still go for the Kempff: he has a magic touch. There are better Sibelius sets out there: Bernstein's, for one, and it's only $35 on Amazon.

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ravel30
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:17 pm

slofstra wrote:Choice 2. Then get choice 1 when the NSERC grant comes in. :lol: :lol: (I'm assuming you're still a student up there at Ottawa, ravel).
Hi slofstra,

:lol: You made me laugh a lot with your joke. That is a good one. The problem is that I have never been good enough to get an NSERC grant :cry: . I am sure that your talented son did right :wink: ? When someone study Lie Algebras or Lie Groups (forgot which of the two), that means that he must be pretty smart.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:19 pm

Oh, gosh, I like the Lenny/NY Phil Sibelius set, but I shouldn't call it better than the Berglund (with listening to which my weekend immediate past has been happily saturated).

Matt, you certainly need a better Sibelius set than is available on Naxos!

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by maestrob » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:23 pm

Karl:

I find Berglund's strings are weak compared to Lenny's: his tempi are fine. NY just has a better orchestra, IMHO, although I may be a bit prejudiced here! :mrgreen:

ravel30
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:26 pm

karlhenning wrote:Oh, gosh, I like the Lenny/NY Phil Sibelius set, but I shouldn't call it better than the Berglund (with listening to which my weekend immediate past has been happily saturated).

Matt, you certainly need a better Sibelius set than is available on Naxos!

Cheers,
~Karl
I thought the same thing about a new set of Sibelius symphonies. I have always thought that the naxos/Iceland Symphony Orchestra was fine but considering that Sibelius is one of my favorite composer, I thought that I could definitively get another set. Excellent advice Karl. Always appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Matt.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:27 pm

The Kempff Schubert has twice as many discs as Hewitt's Bach, both are equally good...
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ravel30
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:30 pm

Sad news everyone :(

Another criteria for my purchase is that amazon.ca need to have what I order in stock. Unfortunately, the Berglund set is not available until 2 weeks :( .

So that makes my choice very simple. We have a winner ! Schubert/Kempff it is.

I want to thank everybody for your help. Many thanks. I will be thinking of you all while listening to Schubert. I keep in mind all your other suggestions.

Also, I would be very interested in knowing more about recommended box set of Sibelius's symphonies.

Matt.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:39 pm

ravel30 wrote:. . . Unfortunately, the Berglund set is not available until 2 weeks :( .
Well, I knew it would be a high-demand item, Matt ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
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ravel30
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by ravel30 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:34 pm

Hourray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

My future Schubert Piano Sonatas box set played by Kempff has now been ordered. It is probably on its way by now.

Isn't so much easier to buy a present to self than to someone else ? :lol:

Once again, many thanks to all of you for your help.

Matt.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Jared » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:44 pm

ravel30 wrote:Hourray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

My future Schubert Piano Sonatas box set played by Kempff has now been ordered. It is probably on its way by now.

Isn't so much easier to buy a present to self than to someone else ? :lol:

Once again, many thanks to all of you for your help.

Matt.
Nice one Matt... I'm secretly jeallous of you, because they are on my (very long) list... maybe next Xmas??

I'm pleased nevertheless that the Mendie disks at least got to the final... they really are a bargain, considering the price & quality, so don't leave it too long.. :wink:

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by slofstra » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:59 pm

ravel30 wrote:
slofstra wrote:Choice 2. Then get choice 1 when the NSERC grant comes in. :lol: :lol: (I'm assuming you're still a student up there at Ottawa, ravel).
Hi slofstra,

:lol: You made me laugh a lot with your joke. That is a good one. The problem is that I have never been good enough to get an NSERC grant :cry: . I am sure that your talented son did right :wink: ? When someone study Lie Algebras or Lie Groups (forgot which of the two), that means that he must be pretty smart.
Let's put it this way: I couldn't afford all the CDs I buy, and tuition at Berkeley. :wink: Keep plugging - the day will come when you have enough money to buy all the CDs you want, but not enough time to listen to them. :(

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:07 pm

I shall be tossing in yet another vote for the Kempff/Schubert. You say you only have one Schubert sonata, you're missing out! Rectify it right now with the Kempff! ^^

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:17 pm

ravel30 wrote:Does it change anything for your choice ?
Nope!
It seems like I get a lot more for my money with option 2 but option 1 is so wonderful. Tough choice. That is what I call a happy problem. :lol:
Well, if that's how it feels now, what's the likelihood that that feeling will change? Sounds like you have enough information already.
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Ken » Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:56 am

Well, I hope that after 25 answers you've got some fuel for your fire, Matt, though I can't help but throw in my own benzine: I'd immediately recommend the Sawallisch Brahms set; he's one of my favourite interpreters of the composer, and though I haven't heard his LPO set, I have his WSO set and still consider it my favourite, and have also heard good things about the later London release. At that price it's hard to argue with. But, if you're only able to pick up one or two items, you likely can't go wrong with Kempff in Schubert; though I prefer Brendel in this repertory, Kempff is such an intelligent and fascinating musical character and brings something unique to each piece.
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by barney » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:08 am

DEfinitely Kempff first. Not so much because it's Kempff, though he is magical, but because the Schubert sonatas are such an absolute treasure.

Second choice Hewitt/Bach.

If you don't yet have a sizeable collection (which is my guess, given the lacunae you identified), you should concentrate on expanding your repertoire rather than duplicating except for a few really-loved works.

that's my two cents.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:25 am

barney wrote:DEfinitely Kempff first. Not so much because it's Kempff, though he is magical, but because the Schubert sonatas are such an absolute treasure.
And one never knows when those older artists' work will go nla. Companies just love to drop them out of the catalog. Whether they come back later is up to the gods.
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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Auntie Lynn » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:58 am

Get yourself a vast stack of sheet music, a Hamburg Steinway and go for it. Best thing you can do for yourself. Who needs CD wallpaper (bah humbug!) when you can go solo...

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by slofstra » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:26 am

Auntie Lynn wrote:Get yourself a vast stack of sheet music, a Hamburg Steinway and go for it. Best thing you can do for yourself. Who needs CD wallpaper (bah humbug!) when you can go solo...
Try our site www.ratebach.com. You can browse any composition and if the sheet music is on mutopia, click right over to view it.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by barney » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:59 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
barney wrote:DEfinitely Kempff first. Not so much because it's Kempff, though he is magical, but because the Schubert sonatas are such an absolute treasure.
And one never knows when those older artists' work will go nla. Companies just love to drop them out of the catalog. Whether they come back later is up to the gods.
Excellent point. Though given record companies' bottom line, it seems more likely that Kempff will stick around than a contemporary young artist.

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Re: Need some help on what to purchase

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:22 pm

barney wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
barney wrote:DEfinitely Kempff first. Not so much because it's Kempff, though he is magical, but because the Schubert sonatas are such an absolute treasure.
And one never knows when those older artists' work will go nla. Companies just love to drop them out of the catalog. Whether they come back later is up to the gods.
Excellent point. Though given record companies' bottom line, it seems more likely that Kempff will stick around than a contemporary young artist.
As far as I can tell not one of Kempff's DG Recordings has actually been OOP after it's release on CD, some cases they came out as single CD's and then were put together in Box Sets, his Stereo Beethoven Complete Cycle has never been deleted, or his Schubert and Schumann traversals, once they released the mono LVB Cycle on CD it has stayed in print also...
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