Thursday, February 18, 2010

RCA LIVING STEREO: C. Munch, Boston SO - Schubert - Symphonies 8 and 9

    Artist: Charles Munch, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Album: Schubert - Symphonies 8 and 9
    Released: 2006
     RCA Living Stereo
    Catalog N°:
    File Format:
     eac_wv_cue_log complete scanss - 375MB, MP3 (LAME) VBR 250 V0 - 114mb

    On this disc:
    1. Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D.759 ("Unfinished"); Allegro moderato
    2. Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D.759 ("Unfinished"); Andante con moto
    3. Symphony No. 9 in C, D.944 ("The Great"),; Andante; Allegro ma non troppo
    4. Symphony No. 9 in C, D.944 ("The Great"),; Andante con moto
    5. Symphony No. 9 in C, D.944 ("The Great"),; Scherzo: Allegro vivace
    6. Symphony No. 9 in C, D.944 ("The Great"),; Finale: Allegro vivace

    This recording incarnates one of the two most famous Charles Munch and Boston Symphony Orchestra collaborations that we have in record history: Schubert's "Unfinished" and "Great". As is the case with the other recording - Saint-Saëns' third symphony, "Organ" - the present recording has preserved one of those rare moments of music making when power, passion and structure are in perfect balance.
    Munch's interpretations are swift, but not too fast. Szell's interpretation of the "Unfinished" is for instance faster than Munch's. And if we consider timings for the "Great", Furtwängler's is here among the slowest ones on disc (but what a great recording this is!) while Munch is much faster. But he's not as fast as Szell in the two last movements. These timings tell us very little about the outstanding quality of all these great recordings, however. I urge Schubert fans to have them all.
    But Munch's moving, powerful, and hauntingly beautiful interpretations are second to none, and the performance of Boston Symphony Orchestra has few rivals here. Sound is first rate as well. As a legendary, classic recording it has a given place in every collection. Warmly recommended.

    pw: charli
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