Beethoven Box Sets: From The Old School

Classical Box Sets abound, and are great ways to collect full groups of works, like Beethoven’s Symphonies, Mozart’s Late Symphonies, etc. Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos are probably the most popular sets available, and if you look around, there are some great bargains out there.

After a long absence, the Toscanini performances have finally been compiled into one set by BMG/RCA. The recordings are old, in mono, and I could not care less. The power and energy that Toscanini brings to these works is beyond compare. You quickly overlook the sonic shortcomings when you hear these recordings. To be honest, the sound quality is surprisingly good, and for under $30, this is a great way to get all the symphonies, or just fill in some works missing in your collection. Do not let the word MONO stop you from discovering this great set.



A super bargain set of the 9 symphonies along with the 5 piano concertos, and some overtures thrown in for good measure can be had by Klemperer on EMI in a 9 cd set. These are 1960’s era recordings, so a bit more modern than the Toscanini set, and better sound. The performances do hark back to the old school of Beethoven, so tempos are not as brisk as in more recent recordings, but they are nontheless classic interpretations.




Toscanini News:

BMG is about to release the Toscanini Complete Collection, an 85 disc set of all of his RCA recordings. I am sure that the Beethoven Symphs will be included, and currently Amazon has it at around $130. This is a steal. I have it ordered, and you may want to consider getting this instead of the box set above if you are a Toscanini fan.



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