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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great set from Bach Guild
This is looking and sounding like another impressive set of recordings from the Bach Guild/Vanguard catalogue. The David Blum recordings have already been issued as part of the Bach Guild's "Big Summer Box" so I hope that they are not running out of recordings and thus starting to follow Amazon's habit of duplicating tracks in bargain sets like the "99 Essential" etc...
Published 18 months ago by E. J. Medcalf

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing
It contains many of his lesser known pieces and the orchestrations are not terribly exciting. You are definitely getting what you pay for here.
Published 12 months ago by ERICK


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great set from Bach Guild, January 27, 2013
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
This is looking and sounding like another impressive set of recordings from the Bach Guild/Vanguard catalogue. The David Blum recordings have already been issued as part of the Bach Guild's "Big Summer Box" so I hope that they are not running out of recordings and thus starting to follow Amazon's habit of duplicating tracks in bargain sets like the "99 Essential" etc series.
The Yale String Quartet performances are excellent in both the string quartets and the Piano quartets (played here with maestro Peter Serkin). I thought it would be good to hear Eine Kleine Nachtmusik in its string quartet format played in by the Griller Quartet, but I suspect that this is, in fact, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Felix Prohaska in a Vanguard recording that, in LP form was distributed as a HiFi demonstration record along with the 40th Symphony (and in the same 1965 sessions as the No.41?). After nearly 50 years the HiFi is not so Hi these days but these are enjoyable recordings. We can, however, enjoy the English Griller quartet in four String Quintets, joined by the great William Primrose, who is only credited in two of the four quintets presented here from the Griller.

We are also treated to performances of three piano concertos and some solo piano works by Alfred Brendel and Denis Matthews. Brendel is well known as a master pianist. These are some of his earlier recordings but they are a joy to hear,lovely, sensitively played performances.

We also hear piano sonatas and concertos played by the late Denis Matthews, a fine scholar and pianist. They sonatas are lightly and precisely presented with a good intimate recording. Matthews also is represented by a recording of piano concertos, numbers 20 and 24 with another Vienna orchestra, the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, an orchestra made up of musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic, who are contractually tied to both orchestras and who thus bring a very high quality of playing from what is clearly more than a "pit" orchestra.

After Bach Guild's errors in the Big Beethoven Box I have to be careful not to search through the box looking for errors, and not listening to the excellent recordings presented. However, just two errors found so far, the mislabeling of the second movement of the Piano Quartet K 478. It should be "ii. Andante ", and the Eine Kleine Nachtmusik previously mentioned (which also has a rather premature cut-off at the end of the second movement).

I especially enjoyed listening to the Flute and Harp Concerto, nicely balanced with a not-too-strident flute and sympathetic orchestral accompaniment. The Symphonies (40 and 41)and opera overtures are nicely played with a sweet tone and some intense musicality from Felix Prohaska and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra an often under-rated cousin of the Vienna Philharmonic, but at their best in this kind of music.

This same orchestra, under the conductor Hans Swarowsky, is joined by Oboist Andre Lardot in the only oboe concerto written by Mozart. This is a fine performance, if not exciting, with a the oboe set back a little in a fairly lively acoustic, which I quite like, a more natural concert hall kind of sound.

This is a true bargain at 99c, it will rise in price soon so grab it while you can.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 Hours of Mozart!, January 27, 2013
This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
Every now and again, Amazon will release a ton public-domain music for a very low price. Right now, 131 tracks of Mozart's work is being offered for $0.99! Often, these bundles will drop down to under a buck for a very limited time before shooting back up to around $7.99. If you're reading this review and the price is set at $0.99, buy this now. If you're reading this review and the price is much higher, place this on your Wish List and keep an eye on it -- it will likely drop back down in price soon.

This "Big Mozart Box" is very similar to the "Big Beethoven Box". Many of these tracks you might be able to find here with a bit better quality -- because many of these compositions are performed by different groups and different venues, there's a lot of variability in the volume, timbre, and noise-levels between songs. For most people, the quality of the recordings shouldn't be a problem, but Mozart purists might find a few tracks a bit annoying. For those unfamiliar with Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musical prodigy that wrote and defined some of the best music of all time. Composing in the mid-to-late 1700's, his music has stood the test of time, and he's proven himself to be one of the most gifted composers -- period.

The Big Mozart Box is a great find for anyone looking to get into the music of Mozart or just classical music in general. Clocking in at around 14 hours, it's harder to find a better deal on music without plain out stealing it. While this bundle doesn't include everything Mozart ever created, it does include a great sampling of his concertos, operas (no vocals featured here though), and quartet arrangements. At $0.99, this is a phenomenal deal.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Questionable sound quality on some of tracks, January 27, 2013
By 
Mitchell "Mitch" (DEERFIELD BEACH, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
Is it worth a dollar? Well, yes , of course. But there are a couple of warhorses included here like Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony No. 40 that you will listen to once and not listen to them again. For whatever reason they are at 155 Kbps, while the rest of the album is at 220 Kbps VBR, and it makes quite a difference. Pianist Peter Serkin is a highlight. The Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp is superb. Maybe start with that one.. The sound quality is good with the two exceptions noted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Ignore the pretentious whining!, June 3, 2013
By 
FitQueen (New York City, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
First, what a great value for the money! I have no complaints.

These people whining that some recordings are not perfect lack the ability to appreciate the performances; they are too focused on being ungrateful. That is the recipe for a life full of toxicity on all levels and a continuous process of creating disappointment.

The more one focuses on appreciating what is good, the better you become and the more you enjoy life.

The FEW recordings that are not of perfect sound quality are still valuable for the artistic performances.

Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kinda mindblowing, March 9, 2013
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
I'm sure some classical connoisseur would find some reason to stick their nose up at this box. They may not be definitive recordings, blah, blah, blah. This is 13 hours of music professionally recorded by professional musicians of popular works by Mozart, IMO one of the top 5 greatest composers for less than a cup of coffee. I certainly haven't had time to listen to every piece, but i've been very pleased when something from here shuffles up on iTunes, and then get a big smile on my face when I realize there's more of this quality to come, and I got it practically for free. NO BRAINER! Get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars $1--- Well Spent!, March 5, 2013
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
The Big Mozart gives you a huge collection of Mozart. (If you've bought this or are considering this you probably have most of this anyway)

The advantage of buying this set is that:

1. You don't have to upload your music to the cloud-- it's already there!
2. Any device that you have that has an internet connect-- smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet, gives you access to all of your music that you've purchased from Amazon.

I love this set, nonetheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this much Mozart, February 27, 2013
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
When I bragged to my daughter about getting 14 hours of Mozart for 99 cents, she said, "who needs that much Mozart?" I told her that everyone needs that much Mozart. I had owned a number of these performances on LP before getting the MP3 download, and they are almost without exception thoughtful, lively, well-recorded renditions. Any one of the Brendel or Serkin or Griller performances by itself is worth the cost of the whole box. A no-brainer purchase if there ever was one.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing audio surprise, January 30, 2013
By 
G. Miller (State College, PA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
I was initially happy to get such a big collection for such a low price. Listening in the background, while I did office work, didn't seem to contradict that.

But then when I got to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, I took a break and turned up the volume to listen more closely. Aargh! My first impression was: muddy sound. Then I thought I heard more problems, so I loaded the file into an audio editing program to analyze what was going on. The basic recording is in MONO. Not only that, but when I paid attention, I could hear surface noise from a phonograph record playback! Clearly, this was dubbed from an old LP. Indeed, there seems to be a bit of stereophonic reverberation added, which probably accounts for some (if not all) of the muddiness I hear.

What's more, as another reviewer points out, this does not sound like a mere quartet (it's listed as The Griller Quartet, which was active from 1931 until about 1963)... it seems to be a much larger ensemble.

I note that there are several other tracks from the Griller Quartet; I haven't had time to analyze them all. Hopefully some of them are better quality than this, especially because some feature William Primrose who was a notably excellent violist.

Another reviewer has noted disappointing audio in the Symphony nr. 40 and I concur. Again, close listening and analysis shows that it's an original mono recording. Again, there's a small amount of stereophonic "muddiness" which seems to be fake reverb.

(For anyone who has the means to do so, I strongly recommend you decode the relevant tracks, make a full mono (L+R) mix to get rid of the background garble, then re-encode them at 320kbps to prevent further degradation. But even so, the result will certainly not be nearly as good as current recordings should sound.)

If I were to rate just the above mentioned selections, they would get just one star. Part of that is because the quality could be a lot better, and part of that is because Amazon has not warned us anywhere about how bad they sound. Since I have not had time to analyze all 131 tracks, I will hope that most of the rest are much better, and I'll just knock the rating down to four stars, at this point in time. Hopefully I won't find any more glaring problems like these.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Work, January 29, 2013
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
This is excellent work from a brilliant composer. Some of my favorite works are on this album and for $.99 there isn't a better deal that isn't on TPB. I don't expect the best quality on compilation works; however, most of the VBR is above 192 which will be suitable for most people. Price vs quantity makes this a five star purchase quantity vs quality makes it a three star purchase. All in all 4 stars feels adequate for this BIG box!

Thanks for the offer Amazon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute steal, June 6, 2014
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This review is from: Big Mozart Box (MP3 Music)
Wonderful playing, well-recorded, and well chosen, this is one is a bargain priced no brainer. If all of life's choices could be as easy as it was in buying this set, I'd be a much happier (and less busy) man.
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Big Mozart Box
Big Mozart Box by Various artists
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