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Opera Baroque [Box set]

Various Artists , Various Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $154.38 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Various Artists
  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Various
  • Audio CD (February 11, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 42
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This set is truly a marvel, both in its musical excellence and in the quality of its presentation. Through superb performances of works both famous and rare, it offers the listener a comprehensive, country-by-country guide to the world of opera in the Baroque period. It features 39 compact discs and three DVDs comprising over 47 hours of music, including seventeen complete operas performed by some of the world's finest singers under the direction of Rene Jacobs and William Christie. Several of the recordings in this set have been award winners, and some have been unavailable on CD for many years. Housed in packaging of the highest quality, the set also includes four richly detailed booklets and a supplementary CD with sung texts and translations. For anyone interested in music of this period, this is a release to treasure for a lifetime.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For baroque opera (would-be) aficionados December 9, 2013
By calaf
Format:Audio CD
to echo what the first reviewer said, this is a lovingly produced box set. Each opera comes in its own white fold-out digipack (think HM Gold edition). There are four booklets (one per country portrayed) with track listings, cast, and other basic info on each opera, and a CD-ROM with the PDF files of full booklets, including texts with translations.
All this would be pointless if the recordings were poor, but they are far from that. If you are a fan of Rene Jacobs and William Christie you may have a few of these already (e.g. Monteverdi's gorgeous Orfeo on DVD, or Handel's Rinaldo), but I suspect few collectors will already own rarities like Keiser's Croesus, Campra's Idomenee', and so on.

If you are a serious baroque opera listener, or want to become one you could do much worse than buying this set.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By lucas
Format:Audio CD
This is probably the best box set of operas ever published.
I am referring to the box set itself, not the operas.

My first impression was that the box is bigger than it looks on Amazon's page.
It opens beautifully, unfolding almost like the curtains of a theatre. Each opera has its
own case. The cases are just excellent. You won't get any of those dreadful cardboard sleeves here.

I received, together with HM's box set, the box set "Vladimir Horowitz live at Carnegie Hall", by Sony.
HM's box set has 43 discs ( including the cdrom ) and Sony's set has 42 discs. So, the difference in number of discs is irrelevant but
Horowitz's box is one third smaller than this box set, the reason being the far better quality of the encasing of cds in the Opera box set.

The quality of images and sound of the dvds is very good. Better than that only if the opera was on blu ray discs.

There is a cdrom with all lyrics for the songs, in its original language and translated to English. The cdrom is compatible with windows and macs.

There are four booklets for each one of the countries represented in this collection. They have short essays and a track listing.
They are not "detailed" as advertised but the main thing is that, this time, you will have a box set of operas that does have the lyrics included.
This gorgeous box set is not one of those DIY sets of cds that are getting so common now: You buy a set of cds with songs and then it is up to you to find the texts for the songs.

The box is so beautiful that one might feel like looking at it all the time.

The sound of the cds is excellent. The whole thing is a spectacle. It really is.

Order this box set whilst you still can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful set, great price (at least in the UK) May 30, 2014
Format:Audio CD
It’s that time of year again: classical record labels have started releasing a plethora of box sets to tempt you in your Christmas shopping. With boxes of dozens of CDs costing what only a few CDs set you back ten years ago, how can you resist? It’s tempting to buy some of these box sets to fill in gaps in your collection. Others may contain many discs that you’ve long wanted. It’s hard to decide which sets to buy, with so many bargain-priced boxes.

Adding to the temptation this year is Harmonia Mundi’s Opéra baroque, a set with 39 CDs, 3 DVDs and one CD-Rom with sung texts. Divided into groups by country, this set contains music from Italy, France, England and Germany. There are 17 complete operas ranging in length from single-disc works like Dido and Aeneas to three-disc operas, such as Handel’s Rinaldo or Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes. Two of the operas are on DVD: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. And all this for a bit more than what I paid for just one of these three-disc operas ten years ago.

It’s fair to say that Harmonia Mundi has one of the finest catalogues of baroque opera, with an extraordinary roster of musicians and conductors. This set highlights the work of William Christie and René Jacobs, the label’s most prolific conductors, and has a list of soloists that include Andreas Scholl, Sandrine Piau, Mark Padmore, Lorraine Hunt, Werner Gura, Simon Keenlyside, Lynne Dawson and many others.

Each country’s recordings are grouped with a small booklet discussing its works. While there are some high-profile operas in this set – Lully’s Atys, Handel’s Rinaldo, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas – there are also some works that may be new to many listeners.
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