Archiv Produktion 1947-2013 (55 CD box set, FLAC)
Archiv Produktion 1947-2013 (55 CD box set, FLAC)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 55 CD box set
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Archiv Produktion
Size: 15.5 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01: Bach, J.S.: Trio Sonata No.1 In E Flat Major; 6 “Schübler” Chorales; Partite diverse sopra “Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig”; Trio Sonata No.6 In G Major, Toccata & Fugue In D Minor, Fugue In E Flat Major
CD 02: Bach, J.S.: Cantatas “Christ lag in Todesbanden” BWV 4; “Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen” BWV 56; “Ich habe genug” BWV 82
CD 03: Bach, J.S.: “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”, BWV 21; “Es erhub sich ein Streit”, BWV 19; “Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn’ und Schild”, BWV 79
CD 04: Gregorian Chant – Primae Vesperae in Nativitate Domini Nostri Jesu Christi; Prima Missa in Commemoratione Omnium Fidelium Defunctorum
CD 05: De La Halle: Le Jeu De Robin Et Marion, Rondeaux; Dances Of The 13th & 14th Centuries
CD 06: Bach, J.S.: Brandenburg Concerto Nos.1 BWV 1046; 4 BWV 1049; 6 BWV 1051, Sonata No.1 BWV 1027
CD 07: Bach, J.S.: Brandenburg Concerto Nos.2 BWV 1047, 3 BWV 1048 and 5 BWV 1050, Sonata Nos.2 BWV 1028 & 3 BWV 1029
CD 08: Gibbons: Anthems, Madrigals & Fantasies / Morley: Madrigals
CD 09: Bach, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
CD 10: Bach, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
CD 11: Bach, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
CD 12: Bach, J.S.: Cantatas “Liebster Gott, wann werd’ ich sterben” BWV 8; “Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist” BWV 45; “Jesu, der du meine Seele” BWV 78
CD 13: Praetorius: Dances From Terpsichoren / Widmann: Daentze Und Galliarden / Schein: 3 Suites From “Banchetto Musicale”
CD 14: Delalande/Mouret: Symphonies Et Fanfares
CD 15: Muffat / Biber: Suites & Sonaten
CD 16: Telemann: Musique de Table
CD 17: Bach, C.P.E.: Orchestral Symphonies Nos.1-4 / Bach, J.S.: Concerto For Flute, Violin, Harpsichord And Strings BWV 1044, Concerto For Oboe D’Amore, Strings And Basso Continuo After BWV 1055
CD 18: Handel: Israel In Egypt, HWV 54
CD 19: Handel: Israel In Egypt, HWV 54 / Purcell: Ode For St. Cecilia’s Day
CD 20: Scarlatti, D.: Sonatas For Harpsichord
CD 21: Canti Amorosi
CD 22: Ockeghem: Missa Pro Defunctis / Des Pres: Déploration Sur La Mort De Ockeghem, Huc Me Sydereo/Plangent Cum À 5; Obrecht: Salve, Regina, Beata es, Maria. Salve Crux, Arbor Vitae
CD 23: Corelli: Violin Sonatas, Op.5, Nos.1-3, 7-9, 11-12
CD 24: Music Of The Gothic Era
CD 25: Rameau: Pièces de clavecin
CD 26: Zelenka: Sinfonia a 8 concertanti; Hipocondrie a 7 concertanti; Sonata No.4 In G Minor
CD 27: Bach, J.S.: Goldberg Variations
CD 28: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Handel: Concerti Grossi, Op.6, 10-12
CD 29: Telemann: Water Music; 3 Concertos; Wind Concertos
CD 30: Bach, J.S.: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232
CD 31: Bach, J.S.: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232
CD 32: Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli / Allegri: Miserere
CD 33: Mozart, W.A.: Piano Concertos Nos.18 & 19
CD 34: Monteverdi: Verspers Of The Blessed Virgin
CD 35: Monteverdi: Vespers Of The Blessed Virgin
CD 36: Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 39, 41, 48 & 65
CD 37: Beethoven: Symphonies Nos.5 & 6
CD 38: Rebel: Les Élémens / Telemann: Sonata e-Moll / Gluck: Alessandro
CD 39: Handel: La Resurrezione, HWV 47
CD 40: Handel: La Resurrezione, HWV 47
CD 41: Gabrieli: Music For San Marco
CD 42: Handel: Messiah, HWV 56
CD 43: Handel: Messiah, HWV 56
CD 44: Lamenti
CD 45: A Flemish Feast
CD 46: Josquin Desprez: Motets
CD 47: Handel: Italian Cantatas HWV 99, 145 & 170
CD 48: Rameau: Une Symphonie Imaginaire
CD 49: Myslivecek: Symphonies
CD 50: Vivaldi: Concertos For Two Violins
CD 51: Handel: Alcina, HWV 34 (Act 1)
CD 52: Handel: Alcina, HWV 34 (Act 2)
CD 53: Handel: Alcina, HWV 34 (Act 3)
CD 54: Victoria: Motets & Hymns For The Liturgical Year
CD 55: Archiv Produktion

In 1947 Archiv became the early music imprint of Deutsche Grammophon as the great German label began its postwar expansion. Music was one of the few bright spots during those bleak years. Luckily, the new long-playing vinyl format and several new recording technologies such as magnetic tape and highly accurate omnidirectional microphones coincided with that postwar expansion. This new era yielded a distinguished series of influential recordings, as well as fostering a burst of scholarship in early music performance practices. Many of the seminal recordings included in this collection were revelatory in their own day, leading to a spectacular increase in the number of recordings of the Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical musical eras. Composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli and even Bach were poorly understood (and in Vivaldi’s case almost unknown) until the post-war years. Archiv’s influence over the years has been incalculable. This collection is merely an overview but it is a substantial one.

The set begins with Helmut Walcha’s celebrated recordings of Bach’s organ music that were made in 1947. Two 1952 recordings of Bach cantatas under Fritz Lehmann follow. They feature a youthful Fischer-Dieskau and Karl Ristenpart. The second of the two Bach cantata recordings, a disc of Gregorian Chant and a riveting 1953 performance of 13th and 14th century music performed by Pro Musica Antiqua, are the vanguard of several recordings in this collection that are new to CD. The complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Konzertgruppe der Schola Cantorum Basiliensis directed by August Wenzinger, released in 1953 and also new to CD, are a fascinating example of the nascent early music movement. They are believed to be the first recordings of the concertos that were played on original instruments. Music by Gibbon and Morley recorded in 1955 and performed by the Ensemble Der Schola Cantorum Basiliensis directed by Wenzinger is next. Richter’s heavily romanticized 1958 stereo recording of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and a disc of his lush versions of Bach cantatas recorded in 1959 follow. Baroque composers such as Biber, Delalande, Muffat, Isaac, Mouret, Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Handel, Purcell, Scarlatti, Monteverdi and Rameau are all represented. Many of these recordings were firsts of their kind and represented a profound metamorphosis from Richter’s Romantic versions of this music to a new, leaner and more (theoretically) accurate historically informed vision.

Several of this box set’s recordings are now quite ubiquitous and may already occupy space in your collection. The Bach Mass in B Minor conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, his Mozart piano concertos 18 & 19 performed by Malcolm Bilson, his Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine and Beethoven symphonies nos. 5 & 6, can all be found here. Trevor Pinnock’s Vivaldi Four Seasons (one of the finest ever recorded), his Haydn Sturm und Drang symphonies nos. 39, 41, 48 and 65, and his Handel Op. 6 concertos nos. 9-12 are also included. Reinhard Goebel’s wonderful recordings of Telemann’s Wassermusik & 2 Bläserkonzerte are also in this set. Some of the collection’s highlights are Paul McCreesh’s brilliant Music for San Rocco and his superb Handel’s Messiah. Also included are Marc Minkowski’s Rameau Une symphonie imaginaire, his Handel La Resurrezione and several Italian Cantatas sung by Magdalena Kozena, some of Handel’s most beautiful music that unfortunately remains little known. Händel’s Alcina directed by Alan Curtis is one of the finest Baroque opera recordings ever released. It too resides in this collection. If you do not own any of these recordings then this box set represents a treasure trove. If you only own a few it is still worth the purchase price, given the number of fine recordings that are included.

The sound quality of the releases in the collection are variable, of course, with the mono recordings sounding surprisingly full and rich though slightly compressed through modern playback equipment. The early stereo recordings, made in the late 1950s, occasionally sound a bit bright and artificial, as engineers attempted to take advantage of the new format’s many inherent attributes: such as a deeper and wider soundstage and more realistic imaging. Not all of the experiments were entirely successful but none of the recordings are less than good. As one would expect, the newer recordings are quite vivid with a pleasingly spacious and more accurate soundstage and a characteristic “bite” to the sound of the original instruments that brings them to life: especially when heard through quality headphones.

By listening to this entire collection, you will bear witness to the spectacular growth in post-war understanding of early music and the way it ought to sound. Many of our era’s advances in knowledge of early music’s remarkably different performance methods began here, with these very recordings. This collection is a time capsule, at the very least, of an exciting period in which music that was once poorly understood – and even more poorly performed – became the basis for some of the greatest classical recordings ever made.

Mike Birman

15 Comments

  1. What a Christmas gift Whatever!. Excellent way to change the year.
    Thanks very much.

  2. Mr. Whatever, this is superb! My most sincere thanks and wishes of a fantastic 2015.

    Best,

    Tiago

  3. A superb post – lots of interesting tracks to explore in this. Many thanks!

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful set. Especially enjoyed Handel’s Alcina with Alan Curtis and IL Complesso Barocco.

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