97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

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Modernistfan
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97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by Modernistfan » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:21 pm

A huge box set is about to come out with all of the recordings Zubin Mehta made for RCA and Columbia/Sony. I heard Maestro Mehta a fair number of times when he was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and later as a guest conductor. Some years ago, I heard him conduct the Bruckner Eighth in Los Angeles and told my wife that if a complete Bruckner cycle was issued conducted by Mehta, I would definitely buy it. I want to get a complete look at the contents of the box set and will not get it if there is too much duplication, but I am definitely considering it. I think that Mehta has been definitely underrated; he was damaged in the eyes of the critics by his days in Los Angeles, where someone tagged him with the nickname "Zubie Baby," and by his recording of the "Three Tenors" disc on Decca (thankfully not to be included in the 97-CD set).

John F
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by John F » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:13 pm

Actually, I'd say his time in Los Angeles was his best, and he has not aged well. No doubt this is influenced by his record-setting tenure with the New York Philharmonic, whose playing became the more undisciplined and coarse with the passing years. I'd agree that his performances of Bruckner were among his best; his studies in Vienna left their mark.
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maestrob
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:54 am

You said it for me, John. Mehta's early years produced some very fine recordings in Los Angeles, and his Tosca with Leontyne Price remains a touchstone of sensitivity to the singers' needs. There is also an excellent Mahler II with Vienna that I like.

His conducting today is very odd in spots: I don't (mostly) care for what I've heard in a couple of TV specials, notably a lackadasical Traviata and a summer concert or two in Vienna.

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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by Lance » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:50 am

I have over 100 discs with Zubin Mehta's involvement, major labels, and non-major. However, this 97-CD boxed set doesn't resonate with me enough to acquire it. He has apparently had a fine career, and the 100+ discs I have represents his art enough for me. But, Brian, if you DO get the set, I'd like to know your evaluation of it. These mega-sets are probably doing much to keep labels active and busy - all to our benefit!
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barney
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by barney » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:27 pm

Lance wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:50 am
I have over 100 discs with Zubin Mehta's involvement, major labels, and non-major. However, this 97-CD boxed set doesn't resonate with me enough to acquire it. He has apparently had a fine career, and the 100+ discs I have represents his art enough for me. But, Brian, if you DO get the set, I'd like to know your evaluation of it. These mega-sets are probably doing much to keep labels active and busy - all to our benefit!
Yes Lance, you and John speak for me also. I have plenty of Mehta. His best is great, and he did some good things with the Israel Philharmonic, but I don't need any more. That said, I too have benefitted from some of the big box sets, which seem to be partly at the expense of new recordings.

Modernistfan
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by Modernistfan » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:55 am

I got a look at the contents on jpc, which may not be complete (it doesn't seem that the listing that they have is enough to fill 96 CDs and 1 DVD). For one thing, it does not include the Richard Strauss Mehta recordings already re-released in a Sony box set, which I already have, and which is some of his best stuff. I need a more complete listing, but at this point, I am inclined to pass on this.

maestrob
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:46 am

Modernistfan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:55 am
I got a look at the contents on jpc, which may not be complete (it doesn't seem that the listing that they have is enough to fill 96 CDs and 1 DVD). For one thing, it does not include the Richard Strauss Mehta recordings already re-released in a Sony box set, which I already have, and which is some of his best stuff. I need a more complete listing, but at this point, I am inclined to pass on this.
Mehta also recorded for London records, and IIRC that's who published his R. Strauss. FWIW, I am also inclined to pass on this issue: in spite of Mehta's early success, the majority of what I've heard on disc is quite ordinary and mostly disappointing, especially once he moved to NY.

Modernistfan
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Re: 97 CDs of Zubin Mehta?

Post by Modernistfan » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:12 pm

I got a more detailed look at the contents at naxosdirect.com. I was right that the listing at jpc was not complete. However, I realize that I do not need that much duplication (the only things that I do not have in one recording or another are some of the Vienna New Year's Day concerts and a relatively minor piece by John Duffy narrated by Israeli ambassador Abba Eban). I shall also pass on this.

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