A genial conductor with a particular gift for French music, Charles Munch extended the Boston Symphony's glory years (begun under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky) into the early 1960s. Munch was so venerated that conservative Bostonians even declined to fuss over rumors that he was having an affair with his niece, pianist Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer; they wrote it off as part of his romantic French nature. Paradoxically, Munch was not precisely French. He was born in Alsace-Lorraine, which at the time (1891) was controlled by Germany and has long hovered between two cultural worlds. Munch himself benefitted from both French and German musical training, and his first important musical posts were in Germany…
…This is a performance that holds your attention from first note to last–a rare feat in this work. (Munch's later Deutsche Grammophon effort pales by comparison, both sonically and interpretively.) If you want this Berlioz Requiem (and you do), SACD is the way to hear it.
"Originally recorded May (C Minor) and August (Pastoral) 1955 in two-track stereo, remastering supervisor John Newton, along with DSD engineer Dirk Sobotka, has revitalized two of the Charles Munch Beethoven symphonies with astonishing results. (…) The same Living Stereo recording of the Fifth — though not the Sixth — was also on a recent xrcd reissue which we reviewed Here. A/B comparison of the two formats showed the SACD to be sonically superior." ~Audiophile-Audition
…His overwhelming natural affinity for French music made Charles Munch an ideal conductor for Berlioz’s swirling tour de force Symphonie Fantastique. Perfectly capturing the drama, romance & philosophical angst in which this masterpiece is marinated, Munch takes the Boston Symphony Orchestra on an epic journey of proportions only possible in the human heart & mind. A classic, reborn in vivid Living Stereo.
In 2013 all of Norway celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944), one of the towering figures of modern art. This is already being hailed a "once-in-a-lifetime show" . Global interest is huge – not least as a result of one of his four The Scream paintings having recently set a public art auction record of $120 million. Many know Munch as the man who painted The Scream, but his complete works are remarkable and secure his place as one of the greatest artists to have ever lived.