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George Szell: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 106-CD Set
To coincide with The Cleveland Orchestra’s centenary in 2018, Sony Classical is excited to announce one of the most ambitious reissue projects of recent times, George Szell – The Cleveland Orchestra: The Complete Columbia Album Collection, a comprehensive collection of the Clevelanders’ recordings made under the baton of their iconic fourth music director, George Szell. These recordings span the period between 1947 – a year after Szell (born in Budapest in 1897) inherited a fine provincial orchestra and began transforming it into the elite ensemble it remains to this day – and 1969, a year before his sudden death shocked the musical world. Szell’s dream was to create an ensemble that combined “the Americans’ purity and beauty of sound and their virtuosity of execution with the European sense of tradition, warmth of expression and sense of style,” in the words of his biographer Michael Charry. That he fulfilled that dream is amply documented in this huge discography that fills Sony’s new mega-box of 106 CDs, “recordings that are prized for their stylistic rightness, clarity of structure, rhythmic tension and transparency of texture” as stated by The New Yorker.