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Charles Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra

Legacy

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Debussy: Ibéria (31 October 1961, Sanders Theatre, Harvard University)
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Debussy: La Mer (28 October 1958, Sanders Theatre, Harvard University)
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Ravel: Ma mère l’oye (4 February1958, Sanders Theatre, Harvard University)

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Celebrated for his performances of French music, Munch was an authority on the works featured on this DVD, all of which were composed during his lifetime. More than fifty years later, his recordings of French music remain a permanent standard of reference. 

The ICA Classics Legacy series represents an historic account of performances by some of the world’s greatest artists. This DVD features some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and their Music Director, Charles Munch.

While the material has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art techniques, certain visual artefacts and distortions remain in some instances due to the age of the film. Despite this, it remains of exceptional musical interest and historic value and is released here for the first time on DVD.

ICAD 5014


MAURICE RAVEL 1875–1937
Ma Mère l’Oye — Suite

1. I Pavane de la Belle au bois 3.47
3. III Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes 3.17
4. IV Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête 5.45
5. V Le Jardin féerique 4.23

Directed by Whitney Thompson
Produced by Jordan M. Whitelaw
Recorded: Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 4 February 1958
Publisher: Arima Corp. / Nordice bv c/o Éditions Durand & © 1958 Boston Symphony Orchestra & WGBH Educational Foundation

Original broadcast produced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in association with the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council, WGBH TV, Boston and NET (National Educational Television)

CLAUDE DEBUSSY 1862–1918
Ibéria (Images, No.2)

6. I Par les rues et par les chemins 8.34
7. II Les Parfums de la nuit — 10.53
8. III Le Matin d’un jour de fête 4.42

Directed by David M. Davis
Produced by Jordan M. Whitelaw
Recorded: Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 31 October 1961 & © 1961 Boston Symphony Orchestra & WGBH Educational Foundation
Original broadcast produced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in association with NET (National Educational Television)

La Mer
9. I De l’aube à midi sur la mer 9.36
10. II Jeux de vagues 6.46
11. III Dialogue du vent et de la mer 7.45

Directed by Whitney Thompson
Produced by Jordan M. Whitelaw
Recorded: Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 28 October 1958 & © 1958 Boston Symphony Orchestra & WGBH Educational Foundation

Original broadcast produced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in association with the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council, WGBH TV, Boston and NET (National Educational Television)
La Mer was filmed for live broadcast on 28 October 1958. Due to the age and condition of the film, the level of restoration work was limited. In spite of certain technical constraints, this performance is of great significance and is testimony to Munch’s reputation as a celebrated interpreter of French music.

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Grade 
Martin Kendrick
02/Aug/2013

“Munch, like Toscanini, Strauss, Busch, and a very few others, is one of the more fascinating conductors to watch on the podium. ”

Fanfare

    Grade 
    Martin Kendrick
    02/Aug/2013

    “A more collegial figure, always mindful of his experience as an orchestral violinist, he is an unshowy but very watchable figure on the podium, his face often wreathed in a beatific smile, his arms, as Richard Dyer observes in his amiable booklet, flung wide “as if to embrace the music…souplesse for him is a greater virtue than precision.”

    Gramophone

      Grade 
      Martin Kendrick
      02/Aug/2013

      “Debussy’s La mer, and Ibéria (from Images pour orchestra), are fleet, brightly coloured and rhythmically taut... Here is a treasure-trove for admirers of Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony... It has been enjoyable to witness Charles Munch at work, an opportunity to see how he did it. What comes over consistently is how much he relished conducting a great orchestra.”

      ClassicalSource.com

        Grade 
        Martin Kendrick
        02/Aug/2013

        “Munch drives the orchestra hard in the ecstatic culmination of Debussy's La mer.”

        BBC Music Magazine

          Grade 
          Martin Kendrick
          02/Aug/2013

          “Admirers of the conductor will want it, as will those interested in American orchestral playing of the period.”

          MusicWeb International

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            • ICA Classics releases win Diapason d’Or
              02/Feb/2011
              Two ICA Classics DVD releases have been awarded the Diapason d’Or in Diapason magazine. The Diapason d'Or is a recommendation of outstanding classical music recordings given by reviewers of Diapason magazine in France.