30 April 2011

New records from overseas

New Records from Overseas was the title of a Sunday morning ABC radio program hosted by Ralph Collins, a former ABC music librarian with an enormous knowledge of music, who hosted his own program for about thirty years from the 1960s. In the days that we were establishing a garden at our first house in Macquarie in the ACT, we listened to it without fail on the large portable radio that my parents had given me for my 21st birthday.

The title of this program comes into my head whenever a parcel arrives from my CD supplier of choice, Presto Classical.

A particularly content-rich package was awaiting me when I arrived home on Thursday evening. It contained three Sony boxed sets which are currently available at a discount and which seemed too good to pass up:

The Budapest String Quartet plays Beethoven  (8 CDs)
 The complete cycle of Beethoven’s sixteen quartets

Arthur Rubinstein Plays Brahms (9 CDs)
 The two piano concerti (No. 1 with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, No. 2 with Josef Krips and the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra)
The three piano sonatas
The three violin sonatas, with Henryk Szeryng
The two cello sonatas, with Gregor Piatagorsky
The three piano trios with Henryk Szeryng and Pierre Fournier
The three piano quartets and the marvellous Piano Quintet in F minor with the Guarneri Quartet
Shorter solo pieces – the ballades, intermezzi etc.

Robert Casadesus plays Mozart (5 CDs)
Piano concerti nos. 15,17 and 21-27, all with Gerge Szell and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
Piano Sonata No. 12 in F Major K. 332
Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat major K. 365 (with wife Gaby Casadesus)
Concerto for Three Pianos in F major K. 242 (with Gaby Casadesus and son Jean)
(both of the above with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra)
Quintet for Piano & Winds in E-flat major K. 452 (with the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet)

The above 22 CDs delivered to my doorstep for a mere $A75.59. It will take me a while to play through that lot.

Presto Classical’s discount offer on Sony boxed sets lasts until 4 May. See the full range here.

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