Here's one elegant way to become a Mozart completist in one fell swoop. Universal Music Group imprints Decca and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a gigantic, 200-CD box set that contains every single work -- all the symphonies, concertos and operas, plus a newly discovered composition -- by Classical-era genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition arrives in late October to mark 225 years since the death of the great composer.
The 200 CDs containing 240 hours of music are cataloged into four sections: Chamber, including all solo works; Orchestral, covering his concertos and symphonies; Theatre, including all 22 operas; and Sacred, Private & Supplement, which has a slew of song fragments and sketches. There’s also two hardcover books, including a brand-new biography, and several frame-worthy prints.
The collection, which was created in partnership with the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and preeminent Mozart expert Cliff Eisen, will be released worldwide on Oct. 28. The pre-order pricing varies depending on the outlet, with Amazon listing the set at a whopping $479.36, while Presto Classical appears to offer it for only $350. Either way, that's a fair price to own what may be the largest CD box set to ever be assembled.
Other Mozart 225 products being prepared along with the giant box set include a 33-DVD package of all 22 Mozart operas, a quaint-by-comparison 3-CD collection of Mozart's "singles," plus digital download bundles, streaming albums and themed playlists.
"The time is surely right to take a fresh look at one of the world’s most sublime artistic achievements" says Paul Moseley, Universal Music Group's director of Mozart 225. "We have started from first principles, reassessing new thinking in performance practice and scholarship to produce something that we hope will be an item of desire and reference for general music lovers but also a first port of call for places of study."
Check out some more notable facts about the box set:
15,000 minutes of music
600 solo artists and ensembles
225 years since his death
70 percent of the recordings are different from the last major Mozart box set
30 CDs of alternative performances
20 record labels represented, including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon
10 days is how long it would take to listen to all the music
5 hours of newly recorded performances
5 frameable prints
2 hours of music recorded on Mozart's own instruments
2 hardback books, including a new full-scale biography by scholar Cliff Eisen
1 newly discovered song, written in a friendly competition with Antonio Salieri