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  • The Complete EMI Recordings 1950-1991 (56 CDs)
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The Complete EMI Recordings 1950-1991 (56 CDs) Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, January 12, 2010
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$105.36
$81.49 $125.78


Product Details

  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Various
  • Audio CD (January 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 56
  • 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: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B002SV3KOM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Complete EMI Recordings 1950-1991 (56 CDs)
Beyond Aldo Ciccolini's two best selling complete Satie

recordings and other proofs of this natural affinity with

the French repertoire (which put him very much in tune with

the artistic policy of French EMI under the leadership of

Rene Challan, Eric Macleod and Greco Casadesus), or his

unflashy Liszt- the ideal alternative to someone like

Georges Cziffra- the public knows surprisingly little of

the recordings that Ciccolini made for EMI between 1950 and

1991.


In 1950, as victor of the 1949 Marguerite Long Competition,

the 25-year-old Ciccolini recorded his first 78; it was

devoted to Scarlatti, a composer to whom he later returned.

Following soon afterwards was Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto

No.1, conducted by Andre Cluytens- the pianist asked for

the tapes of the second concerto to be destroyed, since he

did not like the piece - and then produced an anthology of

Mozart sonatas which has a finesse, balance and sonic

splendor still typical of Ciccolini's concert performances

today.



The 56 CD collection contains numerous items which have become available for the first time (such as Mozart sonatas and Bach Inventions previously only released in Japan, or his first Debussy disc, dating from 1969), or which have never been released, such as the magnificent Pictures at an Exhibition recorded in 1976. With particular care taken over the transfers, including remastering of all the late recordings, this box will convince any remaining skeptics that Aldo Ciccolini, though born in Naples, holds a place at the very summit of French pianism.

From the Artist

"EMI Classics releases a special box set featuring every recording by a pianist who, despite (or perhaps thanks to) his restrained personality, is perhaps the greatest playing today." -- Aldo Ciccolini

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
I anticipate many hours of delightful listening ahead!
Daniel Fowler
Thus I would like to urge interested customers to get this monumental box, before the resale market will make it unaffordable.
Quinton Fox
Pianist, Aldo Ciccolini, is most remembered for his interpretations of Satie and Debussy.
410

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fowler on January 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My first exposure to Aldo Ciccolini's playing came many years ago while listening to classical radio station KMFA. I turned on the radio and heard the delightful sounds of Satie's gymnopedies. After learning that the pianist was Ciccolini, I rushed out to procure one of his sets of Satie's works. This current EMI compilation contains a generous assortment of Satie including recordings of the gymnopeies and 3 gnossienes from 1956 and 1963 (both exquisite)and the set of Satie recordings from the 1980s. All performances are outstanding, infused with humor and biting wit.

I must confess that I have not yet listened to many of the 56 CDs in this set. But I have already found enough delightful recordings to make me glad that I obtained the set. One Saint-Saens disk contains an outstanding version of piano concerto no. 5 performed with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Serge Baudo recorded in 1970. The disk also contains a lively Carnival of the Animals with Ciccolini and Alexis Weissenberg joining Georges Pretre and the Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire (recorded in 1966).

Jean Martinon leads the Orchestre de Paris in 1974 recordings of the two Ravel concertos. Martinon is one of my favorite Ravel conductors, and the orchestra and pianist really nail these performances.

Debussy's piano works are scattered throughout the set, recorded at various times and uniformly excellent. I am particularly fond of the 1991 recordings of Children's Corner and Suite Bergamasque.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By 410 on May 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Pianist, Aldo Ciccolini, is most remembered for his interpretations of Satie and Debussy. Many consider his 1960's recordings of the complete output of Satie to be the definitive performances, striking a nuanced balance between quirkiness and fog that various other pianists might lean in favor of. What impressed me most in digesting this set was how versatile Ciccolini could be, with eminently respectable takes on Bach and Scarlatti keyboard works, and repertoire far beyond the French works he is most associated with. This 56 CD set is enough of a bargain to take a chance on, and is chock full of enjoyable and less entrenched piano works by Borodin, Albeniz, Severac, and Granados.

However the cornerstones are 13 discs of Debussy and Ravel (mostly the former), and 11 Discs of Satie, including both traversals of his complete works (1960s & 1980s), with a few other extraneous performances included.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quinton Fox on June 3, 2014
Format: Audio CD
A couple of years ago I was able to buy this box and its Samson Francois EMI counterpart in a combined purchase that did not break the $100 barrier. What a steal. Upon checking the Amazon status of the Francois box, I sadly noticed that it appears sold out. Thus I would like to urge interested customers to get this monumental box, before the resale market will make it unaffordable.

The amount and diversity of the music included in this box is enormous. Please visit the 1st comment to this review for a partial contents list. Partial, that is, since no vendor appears willing to dedicate sufficient web space to allow completeness.

In a number of cases this box contains multiple recordings of the same works. It offers war horses like Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto and Mussorgsky’s Pictures, rarities like Franck’s Les Djinns and Massenet’s Piano Concerto, and saves a composer like Déodat de Sévérac from oblivion. In addition, a generous sampling of the French song repertoire receives the royal treatment.

These discs span the 1950-91 period. The quality of the pre-1970s recordings is at best average compared to what the likes of Living Stereo and Living Presence currently offer from that era. When it comes to the final 1991 discs, they are decent, but do not represent the state-of-the-art at the time of recording. A fellow reviewer has mentioned the limitations of the accompanying booklet. It’s true, just a composer index would have been helpful. Yet, to me this is not such a problem. In fact, repeated browsing brought me eye-to-eye with the likes of my beloved Brahms op. 76, that I would not have searched for based on pre-conceived a mistaken notions about the performer, to encounter a truly stellar performance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Kasimer on May 21, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is obviously a great bargain - superb playing of a wide variety of music, mostly well recorded. I've only listened to a fraction of the contents, and therein lies the problem.

I suspect that I'm not alone in my listening habits. When I pull out this 56 CD set, it's because I want to hear a specific work, and probably because I want to hear how Ciccolini plays a specific work. I don't walk over to the shelf, pull out this set, and say "Gee, I think that I'll listen to 56 CD's worth of Ciccolini playing works presented in a more or less random order". For example, I wanted to hear Ciccolini's recording of Albeniz' "Iberia" - and I had to hunt through the booklet, written in minuscule type, to find it (it's on discs 18 and 19). The booklet should have also included an index to composers and works, indicating on which disc(s) they might be found.

So buy it while it's available, but never forget that EMI still stands for "Every Mistake Imaginable".
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