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 Box Set Selections  Boxed Set Selections - February 2017

February boxed set round-upWith so many fine boxed sets coming our way at the moment (both re-issues at attractive new prices and previously-unreleased material), we've decided to introduce a brief monthly round-up of those which struck us as something special - many of which offer timely reminders of upcoming significant musical birthdays or anniversaries! February is proving particularly rich in terms of tributes to great conductors, but there are also chamber and choral gems to be had, plus a lovely 80th-birthday tribute to a singer who defies categorisation.

Telemann: A Portrait

An 8-CD set commemorating the 250th anniversary of Telemann's death (which falls on 25th June), featuring the Ricercar Consort, Lingua Franca and La pastorella, and including trio sonatas, quartets, concertos and cantatas as well as a previously unreleased recording of his St. Matthew Passion.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Stabat Mater

This 14-CD set traces the genesis of Mary's lament at the foot of the Cross over the course of four centuries; the 23 complete works include well-known settings by Pergolesi, Rossini and Dvorak as well as less familiar examples by Steffani, Szymanowski and Nystedt.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Herbert von Karajan: Sacred and Choral recordings

Including landmark recordings of Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, the Brahms, Mozart and Verdi Requiems and more (all with the original jacket art), this limited-edition 29-disc set is supplemented by an 88-page booklet with new notes by Karajan's biographer Richard Osborne.

Available Format: CD

Haydn: Complete Piano Trios

Beaux Arts Trio

Recorded between 1971 and 1978, this survey of Haydn's Piano Trios was Gramophone's Record of the Year in 1979; revisiting the set fifteen years later, Richard Wigmore observed that 'Their playing throughout is indeed distinguished: vital, refined and sharply responsive to the music's teeming richness and variety.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC

Arturo Toscanini: The Essential Recordings

Released to mark the 150th anniversary of the great conductor's birth next month, this 20-CD set focuses mainly on his work with the NBC Symphony Orchestra (which turns 80 this year) and includes a complete La Bohème as well as symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann.

Available Format: CD

History of the Organ, Volumes 1-4 - From Latin Origins to the Modern Age

Featuring such luminaries as Marie-Claire Alain, André Isoir, René Saorgin and Gustav Leonhardt, this 4-DVD survey covers over four centuries of organ music, from Frescobaldi, Sweelinck and Couperin to Reger, Jehan Alain and Messiaen.

Available Format: DVD Video

Karl Böhm: Great Recordings 1953-1972

This 17-CD limited-edition boxed set focuses on Böhm's work with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Staatskapelle Dresden, with a particular emphasis on Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau contributes two especially fine Mahler song-cycles.

Available Format: CD

The Art Of Grace Bumbry

A handsome 8-CD survey released in celebration of the trailblazing diva's 80th birthday last month, with excerpts from some of her greatest roles as both soprano and mezzo (including Lady Macbeth, Carmen, Aida, Azucena and Venus), plus lieder by Brahms, Schubert, Strauss and Wolf.

Available Format: 8CD + DVD Video