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Mercury Living Presence Collector's Edition

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Audio CD, Collector's Edition, March 6, 2012
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Frequently Bought Together

Mercury Living Presence + Mercury Living Presence II + Decca Sound: The Analogue Years (Limited Edition)
Price for all three: $423.93

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Product Details

  • Performer: Byron Janis, Yehudi Menuhin, Janos Starker, Gina Bachauer
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik, Antal Dorati, Paul Paray, Frederick Fennell, Howard Hanson, et al.
  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 51
  • Format: Collector's Edition
  • Label: Decca Records
  • ASIN: B005XBA9Y8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,925 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Collector's Edition - Celebrating a groundbreaking label - The true legacy of a legendary label. Long hailed as an audiophile's label, Mercury represents an important milestone in the history of classical recordings. A s The New York Times described, 'One feels oneself in the living presence of the orchestra'. 60 years after the landmark first recording, Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition celebrates this special anniversary. 50 CD Set. Mercury. 2012.


One feels oneself in the living presence of the orchestra --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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To say these recordings sound just as good as digital would be missing the point.
Kelvin Brown
Which means once you read the booklet you can leave it in the box, because the info is on the CD sleeves.
Most of the recordings were very advanced for the time and still sound great today.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

228 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Discophage TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
50 CDs from the Mercury Living Presence series released in the early to late 1990s (the 51th CD is a bonus, with an interview with Wilma Cozart Fine, the producer, from the early 1950s to 1964, of many of those already legendary reissues, and the wife of C. Robert Fine, the sound engineer who really MADE the sound of Living Presence, thanks to his "minimalist" approach to microphoning): of course, this reissue is as much about what is NOT included as what is. Between 1990 and 1995 Philips/Universal released more than 100 reissuses from the Mercury catalog - I've counted 135 CDs (some in 2- or 3-CD sets) excluding the two compilations "You Are There!" - transfered and remastered with loving care from the original masters by Mrs Cozart Fine. Some were also later issued in SACD form (I am aware of 20 releases), but apparently those were not produced by Wilma Cozart Fine, and, unlike the straight CDs, they weren't made using the restored original Mercury "vacuum-type Westrex film recorder and Amex 3-track tape machine". Anyway, those SACDs are now selling at very unreasonable prices, and likewise with many of the original CDs, also offered at steep prices on the secondary market, so it is good to have at least part of them (50 / 135 makes 37 %) back at less than 3 dollars a disc. The set will be very welcome at least to newcomers who wouldn't have most of them already. Not my case: I have too many already to make it worthwhile to replace the whole, just to get the few I am missing. So I'll have to keep scouting on the net in search of affordable opportunities.

All the CDs on this collector's edition are straight reissues from the original CDs, with no reshuffling of material. No cause for concern here: those original CDs were very generous in timing.
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110 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Kelvin Brown on March 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here's what you get when you fork out 100 for this boxed set of CDs.

You get some of the most amazing performances of classical music, pop showpieces, and what would today be referred to as classical crossover collections, ever available to the public. What makes these Mercury Living Presence Recordings such an amazing and essential addition to your classical music collection? If you already own a few of these on CD, LP, or SACD or newly issued flac files available for download on other sites on the internet, you already understand that new isn't necessarily better, digital recordings of mediocre performances and tired performances may sometimes offer sonic perfection without the sheer energy or exuberance of a premier performance or recording. I have to admit, longtime collector of classical music, there are works and performances in this box I would have never purchased as separate CDs, but as part of this collection...I am discovering music I have never heard before, and for the life of me, am wondering how some of these works could have escaped me.

Now that some other eager reviewers have listed the contents and posted their gripes, one or two of them well founded, let me actually try to review this set and convince you, it is one of the most valuable treasures of classical music you'll ever get your hands on. At just about 2 dollar per disc, this isn't another Brilliant Classics set of hits and misses, or a survey of a single artist's recordings for one label. There are many performers here, not only at the dawn of stereo, but recordings in an era of discovery and optimism...sparkling analog recordings produced under the pioneering vision and genius of Wilma Cozart Fine, with Harold Lawrence, her husband C. Robert Fine, and the entire team of Mercury engineers.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By OBIE on March 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mercury Living Presence 50 CD Collector's Box Set (Plus 1 bonus interview disc)is a collection of 47 of the early 1990 remasters of the original tapes for CD by the original engineer. This collection brings together many long out of print CDs of classic recordings of the early stereo era.
The album material was combined in the 1990's to take advantage of the CD's longer time limit, so these are not lp replicas, but CD reissues.

One of the nicest put together label retrospectives available with a small but sturdy box and thin informative booklet that tells the story of the label and engineers and then has a couple pages of info on the artists.
The Mini LP style covers have the front cover of the CDs which was based on the orginal LP artwork and the back covers have both titles and recording info on the individual CDs. Which means once you read the booklet you can leave it in the box, because the info is on the CD sleeves.

There are much better reviews of what's in the box already, but as someone just starting in the classical CD market, this is an excellent introduction to some core versions of the classics.

Highly Recommended to anyone looking to add to their Living Presence CD library.

When vol 2 comes out, and theres plenty of remastered CDs that aren't here that vol 2 seems a given, this will be known as the Dorati box and the next one will be the Paray box.

Contents by artist.
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Link to download MP3 / FLAC files?
Keeping an eye on this - just bought the CD set.
Apr 23, 2012 by John Walker |  See all 3 posts
This is Missing Dvorak 9th Kublelik CSO
Hi. Is the set remastered, do you know? Thanks. Agree with you. Nice if they issue the whole catalog of mercury living presence in sacd or blu-ray.
Mar 1, 2012 by Ricardo L. Vasallo |  See all 7 posts
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