Consumer Reports

Upcoming releases you should consider:

  • Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: This really is self-recommending, the latest installment of Sony’s ongoing series. What a pleasure to hear Miles Davis recordings that you haven’t heard before! This set covers his early musical maturity to the electric years, is all live, and will be alive. Best price currently is $33.65 at importCDs.com, but the pre-order price drop at Amazon may still be best value.

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  • Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammphon – Vol. 2 Operas, Choral Works (37 CD/DVD): Volume 1 was not only by far the best reissue of 2014, but one of the very finest recordings of any music. As a conductor, Fricsay (who died young) never had anything like the fame of older and younger peers like Fürtwangler, Walter, Boehm, von Karjan. But he deserves this kind of conductor-based (as opposed to composer or repertoire) collection more than any other, because he not only produced great performances of every piece he touched, but the performances were musically idiomatic across a variety of styles. Where Fürtwangler or Celibidache were great at applying their approach to everything, with mixed results, Fricsay was great at making music. The orchestral recordings are outstanding through and through.

    Now here is the complementary box, which I have been drooling over since the first one came out. The reason is that I had always been more familiar with Fricsay’s opera recordings, brilliant sets of Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte, as well as a stunning Verdi Requiem. This set also has Fidelio, Le nozze di Figaro, an Idomeneo I’m dying to hear, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, choral music from Bartók, Mozart, Brahms, and Haydn, Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms from Stravinsky, and more. Each box is ideal for anyone who loves to hear classical music played with great intelligence and artistry. As I write this, best pre-order price is $96.13 at importCDs.com and that will probably not be bettered.

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  • Leonard Bernstein: Sibelius, The Symphonies: I’m also excited about this, and this is also self-recommending. The combination of these beautiful and profound symphonies and Bernstein’s volatile passion makes for some powerful results. This is a seven CD set and it looks like it also includes at least the Violin Concerto and Peer Gynt. Again, the importCDs.com price of $28.34 looks like it will save you at least $5.

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And for reading, recommended to my by my assistant editor is this forthcoming book on Krautrock:

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You can also buy my book!

Choose what’s best for you, of course, and if this consumer report has saved you some money, please consider supporting this site

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