Friday, February 26, 2010

RCA LIVING STEREO: C. Munch, Boston SO - Ravel, Debussy

    Artist: Charles Munch, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Album: Ravel -  Bolero, La Valse, Rapsodie Espagnole. Debussy - Images for Orchestra
    Released: 2005
     RCA Living Stereo
    Catalog N°:
    File Format:
     eac_flacs_cue_log complete scanss - 399MB, MP3 (LAME) VBR 250 V0 - 129mb

    A ferocious performance of Bolero, each repetition exceptionally articulated, anchors this program of Munch/Boston specialties. This swirling program focuses on Spain, with a touch of Vienna, refracted through the sensibilities of two French impressionist masters

    On this disc:

    01. Boléro, ballet for orchestra (or piano) 
    Composed by Maurice Ravel 

    02. La valse, poème choréographique for orchestra 
    Composed by Maurice Ravel 

    03-06. Rhapsodie espagnole, for orchestra (or 2 pianos) 
    Composed by Maurice Ravel 

    07-11. Images (3), for orchestra, L. 122 
    Composed by Claude Debussy 

    Review David Hurwitz (
    These two and three-channel SACD reissues sound splendid, and Munch's performances are justly famous. He redid Bolero and La valse in the early 1960s, performances that I marginally prefer thanks to their slightly greater brilliance, and the concluding Feria of the Rapsodie hasn't quite the glitter that others such as Abbado or Reiner on this same label have brought to it; but by any standard these are extremely fine interpretations--fiery and exciting as we have come to expect from Munch. The Debussy Images is even better, engagingly atmospheric and full of fine playing. Munch could ride a bit rough over Debussy's delicately judged textures (as in his La Mer), but not here. Iberia in particular has a visceral quality that few other performances match, while Rondes de printemps is truly joyous. If you somehow missed these performances over the past half-century or so, now's your chance to get caught up.

    pw: munch
    not my rip, thanks to original releaser!
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