Does what it says on the box’s cover – celebrating Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s longstanding relationship (which was from 1975 until 2013) with the great Dutch orchestra through a range of concert performances.

The revelation of the set, for me, of divine significance and proportions, is J. S. Bach’s St John Passion, BWV245, which completely sucked me in and held me enraptured, aided by excellent involving sound, immediate and lucid, showcasing the Concertgebouw’s celebrated acoustic, a dramatic choir, outspoken oboes, music-making of intensity and momentum – inspired – vivid solo singing, arias accompanied beguilingly, wonderful woodwinds as a consort, nothing stodgy, beauty and drama, opera. The singers include Kurt Equiluz (Evangelist), Robert Holl (Christus), Marjana Lipovšek and Anthony Rolfe Johnson – each beyond even the highest praise. Even if my experience of this work is severely limited, I can only say that I was totally absorbed by the music as performed here. There is also mellifluous Mendelssohn, Psalm 42, and his Midsummer Night’s Dream score, as well as a compelling Haydn Creation, with a fortepiano in the recitatives, and a searching Beethoven Missa solemnis.

Among symphonic works are Mozart’s final three Symphonies, idiosyncratic if interesting, with every repeat observed – welcome in 39 & 41, but too much for No.40, which responds so well to compactness. Altogether delicious is Piano Concerto No.13 (K415) with Malcolm Frager. Other Symphonies include an imposing Dvořák Seven (plus rehearsal sequence; and Christian Gerhaher has the Biblical Songs), a superb Schubert ‘Great C-major’ in which often-overlooked details are illuminated, and tempos and their relationships, and dynamics, have rightness on their side (wisely, the Finale’s repeat is omitted, and is electrifyingly quick before ending with a slightly botched diminuendo, if Schubert intended such a fade) – the power of conductorial persuasion –, Bruckner Four (1878/81 score; the annotation mistakenly suggests 1874; glows with outdoor pursuits, nocturnal vigils, and awe-struck responses to Nature, to which Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube waltz is an immediate and affecting corollary, from Bruckner’s land and mountains to the sea – and it really dances – as, elsewhere, are Schumann’s ‘Spring’ and ‘Rhenish’. It’s worth sticking with this Brahms One to hear a conductor who knows that the ultimate coda must be strictly one-tempo to succeed (Eduard van Beinum, with his own Concertgebouw history, was another, so too Celibidache; whereas Barbirolli and Bernstein, in their respective Vienna recordings, are crudely bombastic). Also included from RCO are Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ and Brahms Three.

So, there we are, and not forgetting the commercial versions of some of the above that Harnoncourt made with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, in Berlin and indeed Amsterdam. RCO 9029612214 (15 CDs) has the live stuff as it happened. I wonder if his final RCO appearance, Bruckner Five, if recorded, can be released?