Charles Munch: Ludwig 9th and Bizet C symphonies for $10.99

Discussion in 'Music' started by Dennis Nicholls, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    This is a mini review of a 2 CD set of orchestral works performed by the conductor Charles Munch.

    My most intense period of time spent comparing classical recordings was my college years 1971-1975. During these years I must have listened to dozens of recordings of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: Herbey, Toscanini, Ormandy, Bernstein, Schmidt-Isserstadt, Walter, and many more. With the comparisons fresh in my mind, my favorite among all these recordings was the 1958 one made by Charles Munch conducting the Boston Symphony with 4 standout soloists, including Leontyne Price (at the height of her glory) and the ringing bass of Giorgio Tozzi. A great performance with great sound – what more could you want?

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    For years I’ve been looking at Amazon to see if this recording would pop up on CD, but to no avail. But just last week I did a search at Arkivmusic, and there it was. EMI has released a budget-priced series of 2 disc CD sets containing famous recordings by famous conductors, including not only Munch but also Boult, Erich Kleiber, Monteux, and Walter.

    EMI 7243 5 75477 2 7 includes the Munch recordings of the Beethoven 9th, the Bizet Symphony in C (a guilty pleasure of mine), the Martinu 6th Symphony, overtures by Saint-Saens and Berlioz, and portions of Prokofief’s Romeo and Juliet. These all date from the late 1950’s to the mid 1960s, when really great classical recordings were made prior to the “overmiking” school of recording engineering. The total time for the set is a most generous 156 minutes (!).

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    Since Munch died in 1968, many of you whippersnappers may be unfamiliar with his work. For this reason I wanted to post this notice here. He really is great. You may never spend $10.99 to better effect than to purchase this set.

    RCA is currently releasing some of the Munch/Boston recordings on SACD, but I doubt the Munch 9th will be released in my lifetime at the rate things are going……

    http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...album_id=60821
     
  2. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    George Szell's reaction to his death: "So I am the last of the swine!"
     
  3. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  4. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Munch's Beethoven 9th has always been my favorite. It's one of the only LP's I still own.

    In stark contrast to the traditional heavy-handed Germanic approach, Munch's Beethoven is lithe, lean, and fast.

    In particular I find the first movement to be particularly electrifying.

    Great news Dennis, to see it out again.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Damn.

    Damn.

    Damn.

    I spent some time with this recording this evening.

    Damn.

    It really is that good.
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Cool. . .and I am a big fan of Bizet as well. [​IMG]

    I would *love* to get an SACD of this! Crossing my fingers. . .
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It seems this set is also available at Amazon (where my search for it somehow turned up a 94(!) disc set of Arthur Rubenstein recordings).
     

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