The recording industry’s box set trend refuses to take a breather, and 2014 ends up all the better for it. If the 2013 Wagner and Verdi 200th birthday celebrations galvanized major labels to dizzy heights, the same went for 2014 anniversary milestones, notably Richard Strauss’ 150th birthday and C.P.E. Bach’s 300th.
There were lots of reissues of reissues and recompiled compilations, as well as systematic, comprehensive surveys devoted either to a specific artist, genre, body of work, or group of recordings. I had the good fortune to annotate many of these.
Everyone’s notions about the year’s “best” will differ, and I’m sure that my short list omits items that others might find indispensable. I also left out sets that contain my annotations.
1. Bob Dylan & The Band: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 The Complete Basement Tapes. (Sony Legacy)
2. The Allman Brothers Band: The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings (Mercury)
3. C.P.E. Bach: The Complete Works for Piano Solo Ana-Marija Markovina (piano) (Hänssler Classics)
4. Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Sony/BMG)
5. Schneider Quartet: The Complete Haydn Recordings (Music & Arts)
6. Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings on DG Volume 1 (Deutsche Grammophon)
7. Chuck Berry: Any Old Way You Choose It – The Complete Studio Recordings Plus! (Bear Family)
8. Lili Kraus – The Complete Parlophone, Ducretet-Thomson & Discophiles Français Recordings (Erato)
9. Collectors Edition: Richard Strauss – The Complete Tone Poems & Concertos (Decca)
10. The Columbia & RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong & The All-Stars (Mosaic)
Leave a comment and share your 2014 box set of the year choices.