Rahsaan Roland Kirk's nearly one-dozen long-players on the Mercury Records family of labels – including the Smash and Limelight subsidiaries – are gathered on this massive ten-disc compilation. Actually, it is 11 discs if you count the surprise bonus CD. Additionally, Rahsaan: The Complete Mercury Recordings of Roland Kirk lives up to its name by augmenting those albums with more than two-dozen previously unissued sides.
While this collection brings together all the standard tunes Mstislav Rostropovich recorded for EMI Classics, the "Russian" recordings are deservedly the headline grabbers. World premieres abound, from a searing account of Prokofiev's Cello Sonata with Sviatoslav Richter to an especially probing Shostakovich Second Cello Concerto, both given in the presence of the composers.
Deutsche Grammophon's five-CD trimline box set of the complete concerto recordings by Maria João Pires, packaged in separate sleeves with their original cover art, focuses quite appropriately on her area of specialization, the piano concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The first CD offers her eloquent performances of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, in performances conducted by Emmanuel Krivine and André Previn, respectively, and Disc 5 closes with her refined reading of Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor. Between them are seven piano concertos by Mozart, with six of those performances conducted by Pires' longtime collaborator, Claudio Abbado, who also led the Schumann, while one of the Mozart performances was directed by Frans Brüggen.
All of Trevor Pinnocks unmissable Handel orchestral recordings with the English Concert on period instruments, collected for the first time in a single release: Classic recordings of Op. 3 and Op. 6; A must-have for anyone remotely interested in Handel.
This revered Russian pianist was famous for probing the poetry of the pieces he played even as he exhibited breathtaking virtuosity. This set collects his highly prized interpretations of masterpieces from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries: more than 5 CDs of Beethoven plus Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor ; Saint-Sa+«ns' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor ; Tchaikovsky's Piano Concert No. 1 in B Flat Minor ; Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor ; Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, and more!
English-born New Yorker Rupert Holmes may be best known for his hit singles ‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’ (1979) and ‘Him’ (1980), but several years prior to this, Rupert broke onto the music scene with three meticulously crafted albums for the Epic label in the space of two years. These albums were full of perfectly told stories of love, life and loss, and paved the way for Rupert’s ascendancy to the big time.
Volume 2 of EMI's comprehensive Herbert von Karajan centenary edition gathers virtually all of the conductor's operatic and vocal output for the label in one place, taking up 71 CDs (Disc 72 contains complete librettos in the form of PDF files). I use the word "virtually" because the package omits four posthumously issued archival items taped live during the 1957-60 Salzburg Festivals (Beethoven's Missa solemnis, Brahms' German Requiem, Bruckner's Te Deum, and Verdi's Requiem). Otherwise, it's all here.
To celebrate what would have been Herbert von Karajan's 100th birthday on April 5, 2008, EMI has gathered together all of the conductor's recordings for the label in two super-budget boxed sets. Volume 1 weighs in at an imposing 88 discs and focuses on orchestral repertoire (the second volume consists of vocal and operatic works). The first nine discs encompass Karajan's EMI Vienna Philharmonic sessions…