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Big Brahms Box

Big Brahms Box

May 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: May 6, 2012
  • Label: eOne Music
  • Copyright: (C) 2012 Vanguard Classics
  • Total Length: 10:07:48
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0080K3X4M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,472 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

PRO Quality: Generally very good.
John
Total download size is 940 MB for 10 hours and 8 minutes of music.
T. Fisher
The performances and sound quality range from good to excellent.
Leeber Cohen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Kimba W. Lion VINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
...and I have no complaint about the performances. It's the sloppy preparation of the MP3 files that cause me to deduct stars.

For example, in the Violin Concerto, the first notes of movements II and III appear at the end of the previous MP3 file. This will create gaps in playback. (I'm reminded, a bit, of trying to listen to classical music via 8-track tape.) It is possible to use an audio editor and piece the music back together without any problem.

The first couple of notes of something else appear at the end of the violin concerto; I'm not sure which work that is, yet.

While I was editing the violin concerto, I decided to do something about the recorded-via-telephone sound quality of the recording. It is possible, if you've got a good ear and good software, to make this recording sound very modern. After I did so, I was blown away by the beauty of Oistrakh's playing.

My next stop was the Hungarian Dances. I was surprised by the amount of hum in the recordings. Maybe this won't be a problem without a subwoofer or via earbuds. Also, some of these recordings seem to take forever to start. There's a random amount of "dead air" at the beginning and end of each.

I have the feeling that nobody cares about any of this because every other review is basically "wow--10 hours for 99 cents". I'm just saying that people aren't getting the maximum enjoyment out of the recordings--especially the violin concerto--because of the poor presentation. Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Abravanel, and the others deserve better.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By N. Alias on June 13, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As has been the case with the other releases in Big Box series there are plenty of goofs in this one too.

In addition to the editing goofs mentioned elsewhere (see Kimba Lion's review) there are the following mislabelings:

Mislabelings
(incorrect => correct)
62 - Capriccio in B Minor, Op. 76, No. 2 => Intermezzo, Op. 76, No. 6 in A major
63 - Intermezzo in A major, Op. 76, No. 6 => Intermezzo, Op. 117, No. 2 in B-flat minor
64 - Intermezzo in B-Flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2 => Rhapsody, Op. 79, No. 2 in G minor
65 - Intermezzo in B-Flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2 => Capriccio, Op. 76, No. 2 in B minor
66 - Rhapsody in G Minor, Op. 79, No. 2 => Rhapsody, Op. 79, No. 1 in B minor

The 2nd piano sonata has the movements in the correct order but they are mislabelled (there are two last movements, for example).

Swaps
Academic and Tragic overtures are swapped.
Hungarian Dances Nos 11 and 12 are swapped.

Did they get the performers correct? There's really no way of knowing but all the goofs made in labelling the works does create doubt.

Bach Guild, is it really so hard to get the basic info correct?

So - all in all a great, cheap way for a beginner to get to know a large number of Brahms' works.

But just imagine their suprise when they find out years from now that the Academic Festival was actually a happy work!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This latest in what I hope remains a continuing line of extreme bargain releases from eOne Music from the old archives of Vanguard Records lives up to the standards set in earlier offerings: Big Bach Set and Haydn Symphonies. Vanguard was once a force to be reckoned with across a number of musical genres, and "The Bach Guild" was a their specialized classical brand. Since Vanguard only made classical recordings until about the early 1980s, these are all older recordings, some of them going back to about the 1950s.

Also note that eOne Music released the Big Tchaikovsky Box on the same day as this set, also at the introductory price of one dollar. Brahms has been getting more attention -- probably because Amazon MP3 called attention to it on its Facebook page, which is how I found out about it as well. But definitely check out the Tchaikovsky as well.

The centerpiece of the collection is, in my view, the complete cycle of Brahms' four symphonies recorded in the 1970s by the Utah Symphony Orchestra under Maurice Abravanel, the Greek-Swiss-Jewish conductor who built the orchestra into a professional unit starting in the late 1940s and secured it a pretty solid reputation by the time he was done in the 1970s. The recordings here are in very good quality and the performances are very -- and perhaps surprisingly -- good, given that the Utah Symphony is not usually what you think of for great recordings of major composers.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 29, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
My only soft spot for Brahms are his piano works... so let the ridicule begin (OP34b my alltime fav). That said, the Bruce Hungerford Klavierstucke is so nicely done it makes the set a quality addition to a library. Here's my homemade reorganization of the set, via MP3tag.

_ Disc 01 [Piano]
Disc 01 [Piano] - 01 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 i. Intermezzo in A Minor.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 02 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 ii. Intermezzo in A Major.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 03 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 iii. Ballade in G Minor.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 04 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 iv. Intermezzo in F Minor.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 05 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 v. Romanze in F Major.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 06 - 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 vi. Intermezzo in E-flat Minor.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 07 - Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1 i. Allegro.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 08 - Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1 ii. Andante.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 09 - Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1 iii. Scherzo Allegro molto e con fuoco.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 10 - Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1 iv. Finale Allegro con fuoco.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 11 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in F# minor, Op. 2iv. Finale Allegro con fuoco.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 12 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in F# minor, Op. 2.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 13 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in F# minor, Op. 2 iii Scherzo Allegro.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 14 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in F# minor, Op. 2 iv Finale Sostenuto. Allegro non troppo e rubato.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 15 - Ballade in D Minor (Edward), Op. 10, No. 1.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 16 - Capriccio in B Minor, Op. 76, No. 2.mp3
Disc 01 [Piano] - 17 - Intermezzo in A major, Op. 76, No. 6.