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Thread: How can Brilliant Classics be so good?

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    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
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    Default How can Brilliant Classics be so good?

    Brilliant Classics mystifies me. How can they be so cheap and yet so good?

    I have now purchased three collections from Brilliant Classics:

    Schubert - Complete String Quartets.jpg
    Schubert String Quartets

    Nielsen - Symphonies Nos. 1-6.jpg
    Nielsen Symphonies 1-6

    Tchaikovsky - Complete Orchestral Suites.jpg
    Tchaikovsky Complete Orchestral Suites

    And all three are just freaking amazing. Truly exceptional recordings from a technical standpoint, and truly excellent playing from an emotional/intellectual engagement standpoint.

    What gives? How can they do it? I am 3 for 3, and all of them have been twelve dollars, for 7h49m, 3h25m, and 2h14m respectively. Do they have a library of stinkers that I just haven't sampled?

    Would anyone else like to share a Brilliant Classics buy they've made that has knocked their socks off?
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; Sep-17-2020 at 05:28.

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    Senior Member Oldhoosierdude's Avatar
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    This one for sure, can compete with all the greatest .
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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    They often use bigger label's recordings that have run their course there, and that they (I assume) can get cheap. Combined with relatively high sales for the Brilliant boxes, they can keep the price low.

    Here is another stunning deal, one of the best sets of complete Shostakovich symphonies:

    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    ^What he said. They license recordings, which is a lot cheaper than financing a whole recording project, paying the musicians, paying the studio, paying the engineers etc. etc.

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    Junior Member Plague's Avatar
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    They also have the most generous classical music youtube channel with hundreds of full recordings, many of which are of lesser known composers:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/BrilliantClassics/videos

    A few months ago I found they had Herbert Blomstedt & Staatskapelle Dresden's Beethoven symphony cycle on their channel, a wonderful surprise:

    Last edited by Plague; Sep-17-2020 at 12:32.

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    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Brilliant Classics started off as a supplier to a Dutch discount retail store chain 'Kruidvat', a sort of Boots, during the heyday of CD. They gained a name for themselves with a complete Bach edition on CD for the Bach-year of 2000, with both own recordings and some great recordings they could license from A-labels, all for a ridiculously low price, compared to the Bach edition from Teldec. They must have reached quite some new listeners to CM.
    recordings from former eastern Germany, like the Staatskapelle Dresden.

    Many licensed re-issues from major labels recordings like DG/Archiv, Sony and EMI are (long) out of print. I guess the major labels now fill the gap themselves following the same recipe. But still you can find treasures in the catalogue, like for instance ome nice opera . The label is now only selling online.

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    This Brahms cycle is really good.

    hqdefault.jpg

    It's also part of their Great Symphonies box set, which also includes the Blomstedt Beethoven cycle.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Possibly somewhat off-topic question - does anyone know of a place where one could possibly download Gulda’s complete set of Beethoven sonatas?



    I searched Brilliant’s website for it and came up blank. Why is that? No other outlet seems to have it available for download, YouTube doesn’t carry any, and I don’t buy CDs. Any leads? I’m really curious to hear these interpretations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post

    This one for sure, can compete with all the greatest .
    It also competes with most superfluous album cover. That's Death Valley. He'll have to drop the cello and jacket within the hour.

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    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    Possibly somewhat off-topic question - does anyone know of a place where one could possibly download Gulda’s complete set of Beethoven sonatas?



    I searched Brilliant’s website for it and came up blank. Why is that? No other outlet seems to have it available for download, YouTube doesn’t carry any, and I don’t buy CDs. Any leads? I’m really curious to hear these interpretations.
    Looks to me like they don't have the license any more. I couldn't find a download on Amazon or Presto Classical, who generally have everything between them.

    Amazon had the CDs for $34 used.

    https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Son.../dp/B000B8WEL4

    The closest set I could find for download was a Decca release:

    https://www.prestomusic.com/classica...riedrich-gulda

    It looks like it was recorded in 1957, whereas the out-of-license cycle on Brilliant was recorded in 1967.
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; Sep-17-2020 at 18:47.

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    This CD is incredibly good, and I don't think is a re-issue, as most entries in this label's catalog are. It was recorded in 2015 and released in 2017.


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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    How can Brilliant Classics be so good?


    'Cause they're brilliant, and they're classics!
    At least, that was my initial thought.

    A more realistic notion might be that they can afford to be, at least from the point-of-view that I have forked over many a dollar for purchases of the label's fare. I just checked my Discogs folder for Brilliant Classics and find a listing of 50 items, many of these the large box sets including the Complete Bach and the Complete Beethoven and a number of those 40-disc Masterworks boxes. And I estimate that only half of my current collection is on the Discogs site; I suspect I could have 30 to 50 more Brilliant Classics issues not yet cataloged.

    And I've enjoyed this music for many years. So many of the recordings are treasures.

    Each time I see a listing for new releases from the catalog, I pay attention. After all, these releases are both brilliant and classics.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    In the UK a lot of Brilliant Classics stuff was sold by the beauty / pharmacy chain, Superdrug, back in the 2000s. I got some absolute bargains for pennies including the Blomstedt Beethoven, Barshai Shosty and Van Zweden Brahms for a few quid each. There were some great releases in Brilliant.
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-17-2020 at 19:23.

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    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know there are a fair number of licensed collections, but the three I bought were recorded just for Brilliant. They must have great talent scouts to find lesser known talents to record digitally.

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