Various Artists

50 Great Recordings

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AllMusic Review by

Sony's 50 Great Recordings is an impressive collection of historic releases, previously issued by RCA, Columbia, Mercury Living Presence, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and many of these albums have been out of print for years. The 50-CD box set contains facsimiles of the original albums' art work, and listeners who have sought these discontinued or hard to find albums can have them in one convenient place. The roster of performers includes such famed artists as Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Casals, Rudolf Serkin, Fritz Reiner, Glenn Gould, Artur Rubinstein, Leontyne Price, Fritz Wunderlich, Vladimir Horowitz, Montserrat Caballé, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Andreas Staier, Kathleen Battle, Wynton Marsalis, among many others. A cursory look at the contents shows that this is indeed a legendary company, and even if this may not be everyone's idea of a perfect list, every album on it has garnered critical praise and earned its place. There is a strong likelihood that dedicated collectors will already have many of these recordings in their libraries, so they should take a careful look at the contents to avoid duplication. However, newcomers to classical music will find that it provides exceptional renditions of the most essential works, and this is a valuable core for any growing collection.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
1 1:53
2 0:45
3 0:37
4 0:55
5 0:29
6 0:37
7 0:34
8 1:08
9 0:45
10 0:38
11 0:43
12 0:55
13 0:56
14 2:11
15 0:59
16 2:17
17 1:17
18 0:53
19 0:46
20 0:43
21 0:48
22 1:42
23 0:42
24 0:54
25 0:57
26 6:28
27 0:52
28 0:50
29 1:11
30 1:00
31 0:48
32 2:10

Track Listing - Disc 8

Title/Composer Performer Time
Serse, HWV 40
1 3:19
Die Zauberflöte
2 3:59
3 3:05
Undine
4 3:31
5 1:51
6 3:07
Der Zigeunerbaron
7 2:40
Eine Nacht in Venedig
8 4:31
9 2:15
10 2:57
Der Vogelhändler
11 4:16
12 4:08
Der Zarewitsch
13 4:55
Schön ist die Welt
14 1:17
Giuditta
15 2:38
Friederike
16 2:59
Die Zirkusprinzessin
17 3:08
18 2:25
19 2:58
20 3:31
21 2:23
22 3:09

Track Listing - Disc 13

Title/Composer Performer Time
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225
1 4:47
2 4:19
3 4:13
4 3:36
Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
5 6:56
6 1:11
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit aus, BWV 226
7 3:46
8 2:15
9 1:19
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
10 1:04
11 2:42
12 1:01
13 0:55
14 2:04
15 2:30
16 1:05
17 2:01
18 3:31
19 1:19
20 1:09
21 8:40

Track Listing - Disc 19

Title/Composer Performer Time
Samson, HWV 57
1 5:33
7 Arie con Tromba Sola
2 3:39
3 1:30
4 1:19
5 4:44
Su le sponde del Tebro - Cantata a voce sola con Violini e Tromba
6 1:41
7 0:59
8 2:53
9 0:40
10 2:11
11 2:41
12 1:04
13 2:53
14 2:53
Zenobia
15 6:13
Il Barcheggio
16 1:11
17 1:34
18 1:44
19 1:39
Cantata No. 21 'Ich hatte viel Bekummernis', BWV 21
20 4:16
Cantata No. 19 'O! come chiare e belle' HWV 143
21 3:35
Cantata No. 51 'Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen', BWV 51
22 4:34
23 5:55

Track Listing - Disc 22

Title/Composer Performer Time
The Man Who Knew Too Much
1 2:40
Psycho: A Suite for Strings
2 2:04
3 1:44
4 1:25
5 2:36
6 1:00
7 1:11
8 2:28
9 1:32
10 0:28
11 1:16
12 1:57
Marnie
13 5:13
14 5:45
North by Northwest
15 2:46
Vertigo
16 2:57
17 2:08
18 6:49
Torn Curtain
19 2:17
20 1:54
21 2:16
Fahrenheit 451: Suite for Strings, Harps, and Percussion
22 1:32
23 1:01
24 1:39
25 2:03
26 1:26
27 1:51
28 1:43
29 0:37
30 1:00
31 2:14
32 2:25
Taxi Driver: A Night-Piece for Orchestra with obbligato alto saxo