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Bruno Walter conducts Mozart Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, March 25, 2014
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Bruno Walter conducts Mozart + Bruno Walter conducts Mahler + Brahms: The Symphonies
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Product Details

  • Performer: Westminster Choir, Zino Francescatti
  • Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Bruno Walter
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (March 25, 2014)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • 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: Sony
  • ASIN: B0056K4VRM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

- German pressings of the immense Sony Classical Masters Catalog in smart, desirable and collectible multi-disc editions - The Sony catalog is replete with legendary artists and many of the greatest recordings of the classical repertoire - Box fronts feature large, prominently displayed photo of the featured artist - Slender, shelf-friendly boxes; CD's housed in space-saving slipsleeves

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By pclaudel on April 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another gentleman reviewing this set has called it a steal. The price, though undeniably enticing, is not the only thing about the set that screams CHEAP. The real steal, in some ways the only steal, is that of the consumer's cash, taken in return for third-rate transfers of well-produced stereo recordings from 1960 and thereabouts.

Of the symphonies, the best-sounding of the present lot are the two recordings that always sounded the best: the Haffner and the Jupiter. Still, absence of surface noise aside, neither sounds better than the LP originals, which were singled out as remarkably good products at their initial release. What is more, neither these two symphonies nor 38, 39, and 40 sound as good as earlier Sony CD releases from the mid-eighties and early nineties. After having done numerous A-B comparisons of them all, I can report that in this new edition the latter three works sound like pressings made from a copy of the production master for the older Legendary Interpretations set. Tonal balance and relative instrumental prominence are the same, but all the newer discs have a slight to noticeable veil over the music, a veil not present earlier. It's a safe bet that the new pressings were not made from the original masters or first-generation copies.

Worst for last: the remastering of the Linz Symphony is simply horrible. Imagine that someone made a cassette dubbing, on supercheap Type 1 tape, of his dad's scratchy old LP, already played a thousand times. Then he handed the cassette over to the chief of marketing at SonyUSA. He in turn gave it to the producer of this set and said, "Hey, Irv, use this thing to make the production master; the idiot buyers will never notice.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Smith on May 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have enjoyed listening to these recordings for several months and was very surprised by pclaudel's negative review. I have since carefully listened to each of the six CDs and find no basis whatever for that reviewer's concerns. Indeed, the recording of the Linz symphony is superb, quite comparable to the other wonderful recordings of Mozart's last symphonies that Bruno Walter made in California in 1959 and 1960. A few of the pieces in this set, the Requiem and symphonies 25, 28, and 29 are earlier mono recordings and don't have the clarity of the later recordings. Even these, however, are good transfers and are certainly listenable.

I note that pclaudel refers to "Sony USA" in his review. My set's package and individual discs say, "Made in the E. U." I wouldn't have thought that there would be inferior transfers in identical packaging sold in the U. S., but of course I can't be sure of that.

Bottom line: I find this set a most rewarding experience and an honest group of transfers of Bruno Walter's Mozart.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Diamond on October 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are even considering buying this, just go ahead and get it. I have loved Mozart and Walter for years, and the insight of the latter into the former is nothing short of magical. Walter, as always, and particularly in his last years, when most of these stereo recordings were made, always illuminates the mystical in the music in a unique way. He has an uncanny ability to inspire his orchestra - regardless of which orchestra it is - to share in his own deeply committed vision of what he sees as the music's message, and the dividends are especially great in Mozart's last three symphonies, as well as the requiem.

I heartily recommend this incredibly cheap collection, though I suggest supplementing it with Mozart: Symphonies 39, 40 & 41 "Jupiter", which are Walter's earlier mono takes of these late symphonies. While the stereo versions included in the set under discussion emanate a mysterious autumnal relation to the otherworldly, the earlier accounts feature more robust playing and a more intimately familiar response from Walter's own longtime orchestra, the NY Philharmonic.

That having being said, I recommend this set without reservation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James A. Altena on November 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite advertising 24-bit remastering, these CDs do not sound one whit different from the original Columbia and Odyssey CD releases -- which means that the high level of background tape hiss remains. As for the performances, they have Walter's unique glow in Mozart, but even better are his earlier monaural performances with the New York Philharmonic, released in superior remasterings in the "Bruno Walter Edition" series (now re-released as a boxed set). In short, this is a nice set at a cheap price for someone who doesn't already have Walter's Mozart symphony recordings, but for anyone who does it is superfluous.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lee A. Steels on August 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The highlights here are the "Linz", "Prague", and "Jupiter" symphonies which are miraculous performances (although there is an almost inaudible low pitch hum in two of them). The overtures and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" are also outstanding. All of these are definitely five stars! Bruno Walter was over 80 when he conducted these in the late 50's but the Columbia Symphony Orchestra responds with elegant yet powerful performances which have rarely been equaled. Listen to the opening movement of the "Prague" on CD2 for a miracle of recording. The only conductor who could come close to this is Charles MacKerras with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
The Requiem on CD4 is in mono and cannot stand up to modern recordings such as Abbado and Colin Davis. I'm afraid it would rate maybe one star to my ears.
At the price of this set, it's a mostly outstanding bargain and I wouldn't hesitate to add it to your collection, especially if you haven't heard Bruno Walter's wonderful way with Mozart.
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