Sony Classical presents a comprehensive reissue of recordings that Charles Munch (1891 -1968) made with the Boston Sympuhony of which he was music director 1949 - 1962. Munch was one of the most dynamiuc conductors of his era, in demand throughout the world, guest conducting most major orchestras. Munch excelled in French repertory, but he was equally impressive in modern music, particularly by American composers; he commissioned a number of works and some are included in this important set 16 works appear on CD for the first time. The new set also contains Munch's 1963 French music with the Philadelphia Orchestra for American Columbia as well as his recordings for the same label with the New York Phiulharmonic. This site has a complete list of contents of this new set, separated into mono / stereo. To see it, click HERE.

It should be kept in mind that Munch earlier in his career was a superb violiniust, and concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra when it was led by Wilhelm Furtwängler and Bruno Walter. He first appeared on the podium in 1932 in Paris and was an instant success. The first time I heard Munch was the 1948 Decca 78 rpm setof the Brahms Violin Concerto with young violiniist Ossy Renardy (who tragically died verty young) as soloist with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. During the same sessions (perhaps in leftover time?) a single disk was made of Saint-Saëns Danse macabre. The concerto has been issued on Pristine, the Saint-Saêns has yet to appea.r on cD.

In 1946 Munch made his American debut with several American orchestras after which he was appointed to succeed Serge Koussevitgzky as BSO nhusic durector. He made numerous monophonic recordings and when stereo developed contiunued to record with the two channels wonderfully capturing the rich acoustics of Boston's Symphony Hall. A 164 page handsome booklet contains information about the conductor, many photos and complete recording information. This is a major issue for collectors, another limited edition—get it while you can!

R.E.B. (March 2017)