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Thread: Amazing Bargain Buys

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Default Amazing Bargain Buys

    Something I've been aware of recently is that from time to time I come across a terrific bargain (usually short-term), and want to publicise it so that others can benefit. For example, some really astounding bargains came up recently of great Ring recordings (eg Bohm/Bayreuth for $6) from one particular seller on Amazon Marketplace. Those offers existed only for hours, and the question then is how to get the information out where it can do most good. Over at GMG they have a Superduper Bargains thread which is really useful, so I thought I'd create one here to see if it helped solve the problem.

    The purpose of the thread is not to publicise small reductions - they happen here and there all the time, and would flood the thread. I'm thinking of price reductions that you might have to wait years for before their like is seen again: reductions that are so big, and the consequent value so high, that there's a good chance it might tip the balance for some folks into a purchase they'd otherwise not make.

    For example:



    I suspect that the Bohm Ring will probably never be as cheap as this again. This is one of the finest sets of the Ring, currently available for 30 at Amazon UK, or $38 at Amazon US.

    Another fine bargain at the moment - just the thing for someone on a very limited budget, on the lookout for a good set of Mozart Piano concertos, is this:



    This is on offer at jpc for 14.99 euros; and while it may be true that eventually one might look for 'better' performances, these recordings could keep one happy for a long time for very little outlay. They're not period performances, but Masur handles the orchestra with vigour, and Schmidt finds momentary nuances in some of these concertos that I find quite fascinating. (For further comments see here, #30.)This set was offered at this very low price at jpc two years ago (which was when I bought my set). They sold out quite rapidly back then, but now the offer has reappeared.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Here's another remarkable offer:



    This 12 CD box of acclaimed performances sells for 80 on the Hyperion website, but right now is being offered at a mere 34 at Amazon UK.

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    Air
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    I recommend we sticky this thread.

    It would also be nice if the bargains presented here would be of quality recordings that are good even without the added low monetary cost. I, for one, would be much more interested in a 40$ offering of Solti's Ring than in a 7$ Ring from an obscure conductor that I would most likely be disappointed with.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    It would also be nice if the bargains presented here would be of quality recordings that are good even without the added low monetary cost.
    Good point. I suppose to a large extent we have to leave that up to the judgment of the individual poster. The guideline would be, I suggest, as I said above: "reductions that are so big, and the consequent value so high". In other words, we're talking about amazing value, not merely low price. For example, I was and still am delighted to have the Schmidt/Mazur Mozart set (see above), but if it cost 50 euros instead of 15, I'd be looking more carefully at alternatives. Even so, I think it's good enough to be a contender - and I think that's the point you're making. Rubbish is rubbish, and doesn't become better for being cheap.
    Last edited by Elgarian; Dec-17-2010 at 23:24.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Kurt Sanderling's Sibelius symphony cycle now available at $11.01 on Amazon US (both the Amazon default price for now and the smallest vendor price (under "new")). This is a quite highly regarded cycle amongst those who hate Davis/BSO and Maazel/VPO.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    This is a quite highly regarded cycle amongst those who hate Davis/BSO and Maazel/VPO.
    I don't know the Davis/BSO, but am sufficiently dismayed by Davis/LSO to avoid him in any incarnation. By contrast Segerstam/Helsinki comes close to my dream versions. Where do you think that would place me with regard to this Sanderling set, WV? (The set is much more expensive at AmazonUK, sadly.)

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    I don't know the Davis/BSO, but am sufficiently dismayed by Davis/LSO to avoid him in any incarnation. By contrast Segerstam/Helsinki comes close to my dream versions. Where do you think that would place me with regard to this Sanderling set, WV? (The set is much more expensive at AmazonUK, sadly.)
    Just from listening to some symphonies for the first time last night and this morning, I'd say it's one of the better ones out there. The first symphony kept me listening, for once (the only other recordings like that were Segerstam and Inkinen) and the first movement of the third has this part in the beginning of the development section where it all gets soft and motives sort of flitter around that is very stunning here (Inkinen's is the only other one that gets this right that I can remember). The only thing that lets down the third is a slightly rushed second movement (under nine minutes), but that's also the only letdown in the whole set that I've come across (EDIT: Not so bad listening to the whole symphony. Fits into Sanderling's idea very nicely, just make sure you've got a slower one every once in a while (like Segerstam!) ). The sixth and seventh are absolutely incredible; the sixth having very individual tempi without coming across as eccentric (and one brilliant rendition of the last few bars) and the seventh being quite slow overall but gaining this great accumulative intensity by the end.

    I think the thing with Sanderling that's different from many other conductors is that he comes at these from a structural point of view. That famous saying about "the first note prefigures the last" or something like that? That's Sanderling's Sibelius.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Thanks for this. I'll keep my eye on it at the usual outlets and see if the price takes a downward plunge comparable to the one you've reported at Amazon US.

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Bargains are well-represented in the EMI Encore series. Such as, Oistrakh/Klemperer Brahms, Oistrakh Mozart, Chang/Pappano Prokofiev, Muti Mahler, Muti Stravinsky and Mussorgsky, Gelber Beethoven, Tipo Scarlatti, Marriner Mozart, Zacharias Mozart, Zimmermann Mozart, and Jansons Rachmaninov.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    I was wrong when I said a few days ago that the Bohm Ring would probably never be cheaper. It's now down to a mere 24.99 on Amazon UK (this is a real Amazon price, not a Marketplace spoof).

    Bohm Ring for 24.99

    Curiously, the price at Amazon US has rocketed to more than $50 during the same time.




    Meanwhile, the Solti Ring is currently a snip (relatively speaking) at Amazon UK:

    Solti Ring for 62.93

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    The Solti and Karajan Rings remain around $100US while the Clemens Krauss and Hans Knappertsbush recordings are around $40US. Seriously, almost any one of these is a good bargain considering the amount of music.

    Other good bargains right now must surely include:

    The Solti Rheingold for under $10:

    http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Wagner...3582098&sr=1-2

    The magnificent Krips Don Giovanni also under $10:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Don-Gio...3582166&sr=1-8

    Bohm's Le Nozze di Figaro for $6:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Nozze-F...3582235&sr=1-2

    and Kleiber's Le Nozze... for around $10 (I picked it up for around $6):

    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Figaro-...3582308&sr=1-3

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Picked this 5CD box up from the German Amazon for 13 euro (no shipping costs because I ordered over 20 euro in total). A steal.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    I just picked up the Bartok-Complete Solo Piano Works by Zoltan Kocsis on 8 CDs for under 25 dollars!

    Complete Martinu Symphonies on Brilliant Classics label for around 12 bucks. Love these!

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Most people may be aware of this already, but just in case ...



    The original Brilliant Complete Mozart was brought out a few years ago to general acclaim for the consistently high quality of the recordings for a 'complete' edition. It's recently been reissued in slightly improved form, and at a lower price. This is typically around 100 or so, but at the moment the price on Amazon UK is a mere 70. That's 70 for 170 CDs, encompassing everything Mozart wrote, with mostly historically informed or period instrument performances, and described by the BBC Music Magazine reviewer as 'an unbelievable bargain' at the going price of 110 from BBC Music Direct. If that's already 'unbelievable', one wonders what he'd have said about this 70 Amazon price.

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    Air
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    Attention everyone!

    Bernstein's renowned Mahler cycle is currently selling at a price of $6.44 in the Amazon Marketplace (original price $239.33). Though the quality is deemed only "acceptable", there really isn't anything to lose when a 13-disc set like this is selling for less than the worth of most single disc albums out there. I just picked up a "like new" set for $10, but that was only because the price hadn't dropped even lower yet - now I'm simply stunned. So snatch this deal-of-a-lifetime while you still can!

    Now we just have to wait for the Solti Ring to drop to a similarly enticing bargain.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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