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Hm 50th Ann. Boxed Set [Box set, Enhanced]

Various Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 447.84
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING COLLECTION OF HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCES! ; DEAL OF THE CENTURY! Jan. 3 2009
By Gengler - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I sat on the fence for a long time before purchasing this Harmonia Mundi 50th anniversary box set. Even though it was reasonably priced, it was still a lot of money to lay out all at once for CDs of (mostly) unknown works performed by unknown (ie, not famous) artists. Would I actually listen to all of this new music? Would I find it interesting enough to listen to more than once? Would it broaden my musical horizons?

The answer to all three questions was Yes, Yes, and YES!

In short, this is an absolutely amazing box set. If you have been listening to classical music for many years, or decades, and are ready to broaden your outlook/knowledge you won't go wrong. The works themselves range from those you have probably heard, or know to some extant (Bach / Matthew'sPassion, Art of Fugue, Chopin Ballads, Schubert Sonata D960, Fantasy in C etc) to those you are probably not as familiar with (Purcell/ King Arthur) to those that are completely unfamiliar (Keiser / Croesus). You will find them all enjoyable and enlightening.

In the case of the known works, some of the performances are revelatory. The aforementioned Bach pieces for example opened my ears to new interpretations that astounded me. Herreweghe's first recording of Matthew's Passion was a gorgeous, soulful interpretation of this masterwork that has me seeking out his other performances. Fretwork's interpretation of the Art of Fugue was nothing but delightful, and complements the versions on the shelf featuring piano, string quartet and organ (you know who) without replacing them.

The recordings themselves are state of the art. Its rare to find digital recordings with this degree of warmth, presence, and three dimensionality. A joy to listen to.

In conclusion - this is a set I will be holding on to, and returning to again and again. (My wife, a professional mezzo, commented on the high quality of the vocalists in several of the recordings). At less than $3 per disc (less if you can find it used) this set is quite simply the deal of the century.

I may now even splurge for the Deutsch Harmonia Mundi set!
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Early Music for Amazing Value Dec 4 2007
By David Evenson - Published on Amazon.com
Harmonia Mundi has taken highlights from 50 years. While I love classical music, there are a lot of selections that I had not heard. I have been thoroughly surprised to enjoy 98% of the music on the 30 CDs. There are a couple of "editing" glitches where a track begins or ends more abrupt than usual. Nothing too serious. Overall, the quality is superb though there is at least one selection where I did not appreciate the recording quality. I've gone through all CDs about twice now and I'm VERY glad I bought this.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive box set includes numerous delights April 20 2008
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Let me state upfront that I did not buy this set as such. I received it as a gift when I recently made a pledge to my local classical music station (WGUC here in Cincinnati) during their pledge drive. Imagine my good fortune, and surprise, when this arrievd at my house!

"Harmonia Mundi 50" (29 CDs, plus 1 CD-Rom; about 36 hours of music) is so massive and overwhelming that I will admist I haven't yet listened to every single piece of music yet. I have been picking out and listening to CDs that immediately appealed to me, either because of the composer, or the orchestra/artist playing it, or the venue where it was recorded (there are several CDs that have a Belgian connection, and I am from Belgium originally). But rest assured, I will make my way through all of the other CDs as well, as I am intruiged to discover what else is in here.

In all, this is quite the treat for any fan of classical music. Would I have bought it as such? I don't know. I've not seen this set in any music store that I go to regularly as this is an import, but if you do see it (or find it here on Amazon), I highly recommend it, you won't be disappointed.
9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it from Amazon UK Dec 1 2007
By Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
No matter where you live, Amazon UK is offering this superb boxset at an unbeatable price (the original European retail). It's still a bargain at any price: 29 cds, 1 cd-rom, a complete collection of celebrated, award-winning recordings of 50 sublime works; a lifetime's listening pleasure. This is the best-value deal in recorded music history. Grab this limited edition while you can and count yourself lucky.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Value Dec 17 2007
By Voyager - Published on Amazon.com
Wonderfully varied selection of works, a treasure trove - everyone will discover something new, about 90% was new to me. The performances and sound are consistently outstanding.

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