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Thread: Boston Symphony Orchestra Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon Box Set

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    Default Boston Symphony Orchestra Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon Box Set

    Hello,

    are there someone here who have the Boston Symphony Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon Box Set ? Maybe someone can write a review. I have not found one. Is this Box worth the price ? How is the sound quality ?

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    There were some comments/partial reviews on the GMG forum a while ago. There are of course several on amazon.
    It's not that cheap, it does not contain a lot that has not been available on CD and one has to like Ozawa and the repertoire he is famous for.

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    Is the BSO a world class orchestra or rather in the second or third spot ? I have heard Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Thats all great Orchestra. But never heard Boston Symphony. So are they in the same league than the others ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cco View Post
    Is the BSO a world class orchestra or rather in the second or third spot ? I have heard Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Thats all great Orchestra. But never heard Boston Symphony. So are they in the same league than the others ?
    I don't know how seriously you will take such surveys, but back in 2010 Gramophone polled a pool of leading critics and came up with this list of the "top 20 orchestras in the world" Boston in 11th, hardly anything other that first-rate....!


    https://www.gramophone.co.uk/feature...est-orchestras

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    I think the sound and playing is going to be first rate in most of the box, the Boston is a world class orchestra without a doubt.
    I have a bunch of these recordings separately. The Boston symphony chamber players also made a few stunningly good chamber recordings in the 1970s (Stravinsky, Debussy, Strauss waltzes).

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    This Orchester ranking is over 10 years old. So i think a lot have changed. For what sound is Boston famous ? So Vienna is famous for their strings section, Chicago for their brass section and Boston ? I don´t know...Some American Orchester sound very high, not so warm. So where can i classify Boston, more high or warm ?

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    The BSO has been a world class Orchestra for over 100 years. Even Ozawa couldn't ruin it. Orchestra rankings are not like College Football Rankings. It isn't a competition. Keep in mind that there is a glut of great musicians and very few jobs for them. Most of the hiring of musicians is done by committees with limited input from the Music Director and the BSO has a always put a high priority on finding great players.
    Now, whether or not you need a complete box for one of the most recorded Orchestra in the past century is a good question, but without examine the contents, I am sure there is a lot of great stuff there. Hopefully there would be a lot of Monte and Koussivetsky recordings from the pre stereo era, but you may not find those to be your cup of tea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    Hopefully there would be a lot of Monte and Koussivetsky recordings from the pre stereo era, but you may not find those to be your cup of tea
    Not likely - it’s a DG box.

    The BSO is a world class orchestra that has the good fortune of performing in an acoustically great hall. I’m lucky that I get to hear them a few times each year.

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    The box is from DG. The most CD´s are with Ozawa. But i think it is a large selection of different classic music. No piece is duplicated. And there are not many CD´s with vocals, only instrumental music. Thats also good for me. I don´t like classic music with vocals or Chorus.

    I have seen the BSO is next year in Hamburg and Leipzig in germany. So i want visit one concert either in Hamburg or Leipzig. Last year i was very impressed from the Chicago Symphony with Muti in Cologne. Many say, the Chicago Symphony is the best American Orchestra. So i´am excited what the BSO will do.

    The other thing is, i have never seen such a box from a famous American orchestra. Most boxes are made either for a conductor with several orchestras or one orchestra with the same conductor. Such as Cleveland/Szell, Chicago/Solti and Reiner, Philadelphia/Ormandy, New York/Bernstein etc. The Boston box is different i think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cco View Post
    Is the BSO a world class orchestra or rather in the second or third spot ? I have heard Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Thats all great Orchestra. But never heard Boston Symphony. So are they in the same league than the others ?
    Boston is doing very well at present...they went thru a long down period...by the end of Munch's tenure, things had gotten pretty ragged...sloppy, undisciplined, unbalanced, unmatched sections, esp brass and woodwinds....they brought Leinsdorf in 1962, to straighten things out, but he wasn't the man...things really went downhill, and morale dropped badly...Ozawa eventually took over, and things improved somewhat, tho very slowly...again, morale was a problem...
    When Levine came in, the orchestra picked up noticeably....now, Nelsons has done a good job, and the BSO sounds very good....brass has improved, woodwinds are good, not great, but overall the orchestra sounds very good...I've heard some very fine concerts over the last few years....they're fun to hear....

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    Quote Originally Posted by cco View Post
    The other thing is, i have never seen such a box from a famous American orchestra. Most boxes are made either for a conductor with several orchestras or one orchestra with the same conductor. Such as Cleveland/Szell, Chicago/Solti and Reiner, Philadelphia/Ormandy, New York/Bernstein etc. The Boston box is different i think.
    Chicago put out some magnificent collector sets:

    "Chicago SO in 20th Century" - fabulous!! many different conductors over many years...lots of live broadcasts, some real treasures - I think there still may be some of these available thru the CSO store.

    "Chicago SO -The First 100 Years" -another great set, many decades covered, many different conductors, more treasures, previously unavailable

    IIRC, NYPO put out a couple of sets as well - live broadcasts, and a Bernstein set....no idea if these are still available, tho.

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    I own the Chicago SO in the 20th Century Box. Thats a really nice Box. No doubt. But the recordings are very old in mono. The BSO Box is completely in stereo and the recordings are not so old. The other thing, the BSO Box have 57 CD, the Chicago Box only 10 CD. So they are not really comparable. The Chicago Box is more historical and the sound is not really good on all CD´s.

    But i have now ordered the BSO Box before it is sold out and the price will go up. DG tells me, that they have all sold. They have no more in stock.

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    On classic today is a review of the BSO Box. But i have an account there. Maybe here in the Forum someone has an account and can link the review. That would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cco View Post
    I own the Chicago SO in the 20th Century Box. Thats a really nice Box. No doubt. But the recordings are very old in mono. The BSO Box is completely in stereo and the recordings are not so old. The other thing, the BSO Box have 57 CD, the Chicago Box only 10 CD. So they are not really comparable. The Chicago Box is more historical and the sound is not really good on all CD´s.
    The sound on the CSO sets isn't too bad, from the mid-50s on - pump the volume, adjust the EQ as needed...some really amazing performances -
    Prokofiev Sym #3, Schuman Sym #3, Mahler 3, Roussel 3, Shostakovich 10 (1st 100 Years set).. so many great performances...wonderful stuff!!
    I'll take a great performance in 60s sound over a mediocre one in present day hi-fi...

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    Prokofiev 3 i have heard last year in Cologne with Chicago and Muti. I was very impressed. Never seen a better classical orchester performance. But next week i´am in the Berlin Philharmonie at John Williams. Thats a once in a lifetime Performance for me. I hope and think that will be great...
    Sure for the time the Chicago Box sound great. But i´am also sure that the BSO Box will have a much better sound quality than the Chicago historical Box. It is another time. And i´am no big friend of mono recordings.

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