Our selection of the best music boxes for the holidays

During the end-of-year holidays, physical musical media are in the spotlight, thanks to the marketing of boxes often designed for the occasion with particular care. Clical and contemporary music, jazz, pop, rock, song, so-called “world” music are on the program for these releases with promising content: complete works, particular moments of a career, anthologies, evocations of a genre, of an era , reissues of reference recordings with unreleased bonuses, rarities and concert recordings.

Rinaldo Alessandrini

Complete madrigals by Monteverdi

Box “Monteverdi.  Tutti i madrigali”, by Rinaldo Alessandrini and the Concerto italiano.

CLIC Forty years of companionship between the Italian conductor and harpsichordist Rinaldo Alessandrini and Monteverdi bear witness to this complete madrigals recorded with the Concerto Italiano ensemble. That is to say twelve hours of music in the form of an existential quest begun in 1993 with Book IV, regularly added to Books I and IX, engraved in 2021. An art “made of humanity, of aspiration for the sublime and of joyful resolution of the sadness of life through love, the healing power of song and the energetic exaltation of dance”according to the man who is today one of the masters of this vocal heritage, at the heart of which the famous Battle of Tancrede and Clorinde, Lament of the Ninfa or the exceptional Hor che’l sky and earth. Augmented by two unpublished books, this box set completes a unanimously acclaimed monumental work. Marie-Aude Roux

11 CDs Naïve Records/Believe. €38.

Nicholas Angelich


“Homage” box set, by Nicholas Angelich.

CLIC On April 18, 2022, the great pianist Nicholas Angelich died at the age of 51. An immense void for music lovers who appreciated the delicacy and power of a subtle and ardent playing, skin-deep sensitivity, crazy technique. In the middle of a well-known discography which extends from Bach to Baptiste Trotignon, these seven unreleased albums retrace a route of concerts which goes from 1995 to 2009. Absolutely worth discovering, masterful Goldberg Variationstimeless Ravels, a constantly revisited Liszt, without forgetting gems of chamber music (with Martha Argerich, the Ebène Quartet) and concert repertoire (Rachmaninov with Myung-Whun Chung and Tugan Sokhiev). MY. A.

7 CDs Erato/Warner Clics. €44.

Leonard Bernstein

10 Album Clics

“10 Album Clics” box set, by Leonard Bernstein.

CLIC The biopic Maestro, by and with Bradley Cooper, broadcast on Netflix from December 20, will undoubtedly encourage music lovers to listen to the legendary and charismatic Leonard Bernstein again. Ten original recordings for American Columbia in the 1950s and 1960s feature some of the conductor’s most famous performances. Thus the famous Rite of Spring of 1958 (Stravinsky), which propelled the youngest music director of the New York Philharmonic to the top, a Third Symphony (same orchestra) which decided the “renaissance” of Mahler in the 1960s, as well as a formidable New World Symphony, by Dvorak. Also a pianist, “Lenny” conducts and plays the Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. But it is as a composer that he creates the originals of Candid and of West Side Storyin the 1956 and 1957 Broadway versions. MY. A.

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