Thursday, December 19, 2013

DSCH and other Bargains

There is a large, nearly complete, edition of Shostakovich from Brilliant Classics available. Apparently it has been out for a while, but I just noticed a review in the Guardian.

Click to enlarge

I am sorely tempted, but I already have Haitinck doing the symphonies and Emerson doing the quartets plus two different versions of the preludes and fugues, so a lot of it would be redundant. Brilliant Classics have been doing some great editions. I have had this one for a while and it is an excellent recording at a great price:

But I see that it is now only available for resale at a hefty price! I think I bought it for $33. But you can get this one for only $37 and it includes all the sonatas AND all the concertos:

It was Gulda's vinyl box set of the concertos that turned me on to his Beethoven and I think I bought that way back in the 1970s. I also have Gulda doing the Well-Tempered Clavier which someone once characterized as Bach for those people who find Glenn Gould's Bach too romantic!

So if you are thinking about buying yourself a Christmas present, and why shouldn't you, then one of these might be just the thing.

Me, I'm still working my way through this box of Haydn symphonies (up to disc 25):

And I see that it is now only available through expensive re-sale. That's a real shame. I purchased it for only $33.

One thing that all these collections seem to have in common is that they quickly go out of print and they are poorly documented. But, honestly, it is trivially easy to do your own documentation. Just go to Wikipedia for articles on the pieces and to IMSLP for the scores. In some ways we live in a Golden Age as prior to the internet (and amazingly cheap box sets) you had to go to a well-stocked music research library for this kind of access. Now, it's only a click away...

Here is the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich with Martha Argerich and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich.

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