C1400. CHARLES MUNCH, Vol. V, Cond. Boston S.O.: Tragic Overture (Brahms); Symphony #6 (Piston; World Premiere); w.JASCHA HEIFETZ: Violin Concerto in D (Beethoven). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-302, Live Performance, 25 Nov., 1955, Symphony Hall, Boston. [Live performances beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Heifetz was universally acclaimed as the violinist of the century. But for many, that wasn't enough. Even his harshest detractors had to admit that Jascha Heifetz had the greatest technique in history (and the few recordings of his concerts prove that his precision wasn't a studio fabrication). Rather than embrace mellow maturity, Heifetz maintained throughout his half-century career the fleet precision of his initial fame. Throughout his career, Heifetz projected his sensational technique and pure tone with affirmative athletic confidence. Even in his last performances, he sounds like the most youthful violinist on record. For most artists, recording quality is at best a secondary concern. But with Heifetz it's crucial, since the exquisite subtlety of his tone was such an essential part of his artistry. Although his fame arose when the 1900s had barely begun, no artist in the last 80 years has displaced Heifetz as 'the violinist of the century' . . . his fabulous recorded legacy reminds us why."
- Peter Gutmann, CLASSICAL NOTES
"It's difficult to articulate what makes Munch's conducting special - or indeed if there even is anything identifiably unique about it. A lesser talent would simply turn out generic, cookie-cutter performances; but Munch was anything but generic. He was one of the most musical of conductors; in so many of his performances, everything simply sounds 'right'. Certainly, his experience as an orchestral musician gave him a lot of practical insight into the mechanics of directing orchestra traffic. But a classic Munch interpretation never sounds calculated. Spontaneity was one of his hallmarks, sometimes to the surprise and discomfort of the musicians playing under him. From one night to the next, a Munch performance of the same piece might be very different, depending on his mood of the moment - yet it would always sound like Munch."
- Lawrence Hansen, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov. /Dec., 2012
"When you played a concert with Charles Munch or attended one of his performances as a listener, it was not just a concert - It was an event. He never used the same palette twice. As a player, you had to give 110% of yourself, or be left out of the music."
-Vic Firth, percussionist, Boston Symphony Orchestra