Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Claude Debussy, Jacques Ibert, Charles Münch|
Debussy: La Mer; Ibert: Escales
Charles Munch's colorful interpretations of French music of the nineteenth and twentieth century with the Boston Symphony for RCA are still regarded as classics of their kind. This 1956 session, recorded at Symphony Hall i... more »
Charles Munch's colorful interpretations of French music of the nineteenth and twentieth century with the Boston Symphony for RCA are still regarded as classics of their kind. This 1956 session, recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston by the great Layton/Mohr team, is a classic example of his art.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Munch, conductor
Ralph Gomberg, oboe solo
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
1. De l'aude a midi sur la mer
2. Jeux de vagues
3. Dialogue du vent et de al mer
Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)
Escales (Ports of Call)
4. Rome - Palermo: Calme
5. Tunis - Nefto: Modere tres rythme
6. Valencia: Anime
Total Time: 38:43
Recorded December 9 (Debussy & 10 (Ibert), 1956 at Symphony Hall, Boston.
A major improvement
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 11/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this issue of Munch's classic performances is over two and a half times the price of that of the BMG/RCA Living Stereo while containing only about one half the music minutes, due to its omission of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, it is a significant sonic improvement in terms of both the increased fullness of tone, detail and clarity it conveys. Moreover, apart from tape hiss, it is more vivid sounding than the digital Casadesus recording that I have previously recommended. In particular, the strings sound warmer and more vibrant and the playing of the woodwinds and brass is distinctly more incisive and characterful (in the standard BMG issue mentioned above, the woodwinds and brass sound pencil thin) than is the case with Casadesus's french ensemble, fine though they are. Moreover, this JVC remastering improves the deliniation of percussive detail to a point on a par with the Casadesus recording, which was one of its strengths. For these reasons, this JVC issue becomes for those willing to pay the price my primary recommendation among stereo performances of La Mer, and with an exciting and colorful performance of Ibert's Ports of Call as well."
T. Beers | Arlington, Virginia United States | 10/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Munch's stint as Music Director of the Boston Symphony lasted from 1949 to 1962. An inspired but erratic conductor, most people in-the-know consider his best music making came in his first 10 years at Boston. These performances of Debussy's "La Mer" and Ibert's "Escales" date from that golden decade and show Munch and his incomparable orchestra at their very best. Recorded by legendary RCA engineer Lewis Layton in December 1956 and released the next year, they were among the first stereo recordings issued on Lp records, and they still sound spectacular in this premium XRCD remastering by JVC. In fact, this XRCD version allows you to appreciate with unparalleled clarity why these are among the classic recordings of the Lp era: Munch conducts one of the most passionate "La Mer" performances ever put on disc, but miraculously also achieves a near flawless balance of parts and voices. No mean achievement given the subtle complexity of Debussy's orchestral writing! The Ibert performance is similarly inspired and makes you wonder why this very likable piece is scarcely played at all today. It may not be a masterpiece like "La Mer," but surely there should always be room in the active repertoire for such charming tone paintings as Ibert's three post-cards from Italian and North African ports-of-call! Note: Unlike Sony SACD discs, you do not need special equipment to play XRCD expanded audio Cds. (Just the same, the better your equipment, the more you will be able to appreciate just how well JVC has remastered these recordings.) So, although the same performance of the Debussy can be had on a standard (& much less expensive) "Living Stereo" Cd from RCA/BMG, fans of Charles Munch, the BSO and great performances of French music shouldn't hesitate to spend the extra money to hear the musical splendors revealed on this very entertaining disc."