This 8 CD collection of Stravinsky's Ballets, Stage Works and Orchestral Works is nothing short of magical. Conducted in its entirety by Ernest Ansermet leading the orchestra he founded, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, this boxed set, while not complete, features all the great Stravinsky compositions -- "Firebird," "Rite of Spring," "Petrouchka," "Pulcinella," and all the Symphonies among others. Unlike most of history's great composers, Stravinsky himself was able to conduct and record his own music in stereo, so why not just get those discs? Well you should, but the Ansermet recordings generally offer superior sound and clarity. In fact, Ansermet was Stravinsky's personal choice to conduct the world premieres of many of his recordings, and Ansermet was selected by the composer to introduce the three famous ballets to U.S. audiences. A mathematician prior to his life as a conductor, Ansermet had his critics as he was virtually self-taught, though he did study music as a youth. But that mathematics background served him well in the studio as his early stereo recordings of everything from Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev to Falla and Chausson are engineered to perfection, and often sound better than the recordings by so-called more famous conductors. But don't take my word for it, buy some Ansermet for yourself and see. If you are not prepared to get this Stravinsky Box right away, then ease in with the new Ernest Ansermet "Great Conductors of the Century" compilation (see my review). You won't be disappointed.