COMPOSERS: Berlioz; D’indy
LABELS: RCA Victor Gold Seal
WORKS: Harold in Italy; Symphony on a French Mountain Air
PERFORMER: William Primrose (viola), Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer (piano)Boston SO/Charles Munch
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 62582 2 ADD (1958)
Munch, who as a violinist played in the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Furtwängler and Walter, was a conductor who rarely got things wrong. He gave charismatic performances in the concert hall and, with the Boston SO, taken over from Koussevitzky, made some of the most legendary recordings to have come out of postwar America. As this welcome reissue reminds us, his French repertoire was potent and full-blooded. There is an unforgettable Harold, with Primrose (in his farewell Boston season) in imperious form, and a finely chiselled, sonorous d’Indy symphony (though maybe Munch’s New York version with Casadesus was marginally more magical).