Classical "Mega" CD Box Sets

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by dajokr, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    As all of you know, the era of the "mega" box set is fully underway. I wanted to solicit input from classical fans on what your favorites are. I am also interested in finding out if there are any that I somehow haven't heard of which are "must-haves". Choosing 25 CDs as an arbitrary definition for a "mega box", the below list represents my collection after a few years of hunting these down:

    50 Years of Deutche Harmonia Mundi
    Harmonia Mundi 50th Anniversary
    Sacred Music (HM)
    Lumieres - Music of the Enlightenment (HM)
    Chandos 30
    DG 111
    DG 111 Vol. 2
    Piano Masterworks (Decca)
    Sony "BAROCK" Box
    Living Stereo Collection
    Mercury Living Presence 50
    The Decca Sound
    50 Years Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg
    Vivaldi Masterworks Decca
    Handel Masterworks Decca
    DG Brahms Edition
    DG Schumann Edition
    DG Liszt Edition
    Wagner The Opera Collection (Solti/Decca)
    Wagner - The Great Operas from Bayreuth (Decca)
    Horowitz Complete Original Jacket Collection
    Karajan 100 Vol 1 and 2 (EMI)
    Karajan 60 (DG Import)
    Sony Vivarte Collection
    Arthur Rubinstein Complete Album Collection
    Yo Yo Ma - 30 Years
    Scarlatti - The Keyboard Sonatas (Scott Ross/Warner)
    Bach - Hanssler Classic (Edition Bachakademie - Rilling)
    Futwangler - The Legacy
    Haydn - Complete Symphonies (Dorati/Decca)
    Liszt -Complete Piano Music (Leslie Howard/Hyperion)
    Bernstein - The Symphony Edition

    Anyone have others that they enjoy? I know of the Heifetz and Glenn Gould complete editions but didn't snap them up when the prices were reasonable :)realmad:).

    PhantomStranger and Moonfish like this.
  2. carledwards

    carledwards Forum Resident

    I absolutely adore the Anne-Sophie Mutter ASM 35 - The Complete Musician boxset. But then again, I'm an ASM fan, big time. Also, I like the Bernstein Symphony Edition quite a bit.
    cdgenarian and zen like this.
  3. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    I should say that I also know of the many Brilliant Classics boxes on the market, but I have steered clear of those based on a bad experience with one of those sets.
  4. dale 88

    dale 88 Errand Boy for Rhythm

    west of sun valley
    Several of the Brilliant Box sets that I own have very good sound.
    Mild Mavis likes this.
  5. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    The Decca Sound, the Rubinstein set and the first DG 111 box I think are great. Looking forward to the Mercury set next week.

    There are lots of excellent EMI sets with fewer discs but excellent value.

    These sets make what they charge for some of these rock sets look like robbery. It's a great time to buy classical CDs.
  6. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    I'd limit this to releases by rights holders, personally. There are a zillion boxes by brilliant and the like. But I consider those only a modest step above your home brewed collection of cdrs.
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  7. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    The Brilliant Beethoven Box has enough great performances as to be worth the price of admission.
    TonyACT and fredgsanford like this.
  8. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    That's been kind of my thought, too, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong if there are boxes out there with superior sound and/or presentation than the rights-holder gave us.
  9. Edgard Varese

    Edgard Varese Royale with Cheese

    The Brilliant boxes are licensed releases.
    TonyACT likes this.
  10. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Philadelphia, PA
    djokr, that's quite a list! What's "Piano Masterworks (Decca)"? I hadn't heard of that one.

    Just casting my eyes about the surroundings here, I see the following not listed above:

    Hyperion's Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs

    The Met's 40th Anniversary box for James Levine:

    The Art of Alfred Brendel (25 CD's, now OOP):

    Brendel on Vox, etc.:

    I also have the Ma box, Karajan on EMI and Karajan 60, Scott Ross's Scarlatti, the Harmonia Mundia, DHM, and Decca Sound sets, and the Horowitz and Heifetz boxes (with the Rubinstein scheduled to arrive next week, along with the Mercury set).

    It really is a great time to be a classical CD collector.
    Moonfish likes this.
  11. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    The Isomike Mozart and Beethoven SACD boxes are really good.
  12. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    At only 22 CDs, Sony Classical's Stravinsky box is recommended. It was originally called The Recorded Legacy, and came in a large box, but it seems like Sony has re-packaged the 22 CDs into a bargain-priced set called Works Of Igor Stravinsky:

    Of course, you must like Stravinsky! :)

    One of the first of the megaboxes was Philips Complete Mozart Edition (180 CDs):

    I'm not a Mozart fan, so passed it up when I could have had it cheap as a Philips employee. I also missed the boat on the 200 CD Great Pianists Of The 20th Century:

    There were some giant Bach boxes released in recent years. Way too much for me, but if you're a fan of 150+ disc sets, these should be on your shopping list! :winkgrin:
  13. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Horowitz, Martha Argerich sets, Apparently Sony is issuing a new 84 disc Toscanini collection. wish they'd reissue their Monteux set from the '90's.
  14. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    Piano Masterworks:

    Attached Files:

  15. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    I have all of the Argerich sets, though there is a new Duos set on the way from DG. I have also pre-ordered the Toscanini set from
  16. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    That Stravinsky set looks impossible to resist at that reissue price. Thanks!

    I, too, missed out on the Mozart and Great Pianist sets - they came out when I was younger and needed money for things like food, etc. ;) I am hoping against hope that the Mozart set gets reissued.
  17. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Berlin, Germany
    Me too.

  18. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    I haven't felt the need for this one as I was able to pick up (and accidentally left off my above list) the DG Complete Beethoven Edition in the late nineties. But I am interested in the Mozart box since I missed the Philips complete box.
  19. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    I am also a fan of ASM. I also like her music. :angel:
    TonyACT likes this.
  20. brucehf

    brucehf Forum Resident

    what is the Mercury set being referenced above, "looking forward to the Mercury set next week"?
  21. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    This set is released in the UK next week and in March here in the US.
  22. Lovealego

    Lovealego Forum Resident

    Danville, CA
    Are there any sets that are multiple artists? I own no classical CDs except a handful of Debussy and Mozart discs. I would love a nice large box with great sounds, lots of composers and lots of famous pieces now that I have a baby in the house. Any recommendations on such a box? I am also a sucker for packaging....
  23. Edgard Varese

    Edgard Varese Royale with Cheese

    Either DG 111 box or the Decca Sound box might suit (or alternatively the Mercury box mentioned above).
  24. dajokr

    dajokr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yokosuka, Japan
    The RCA Living Stereo Box Set is another great value and is beautifully packaged.
    Chazzbo13 likes this.
  25. Lovealego

    Lovealego Forum Resident

    Danville, CA
    Out of the three mentioned, which has more well known / popular music...

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