C1586. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Chicago S.O.: Symphony #2 in D (Honegger); Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Debussy); Symphony #3 in g (Roussel). [The Symphony #2 in D for strings and trumpet (Symphony for Strings) by Arthur Honegger was commissioned in 1937 by Paul Sacher. The music is primarily for strings alone and is very turbulent and troubled until the trumpet soloist enters near the end of the music, giving this mostly tragic work a hopeful ending. The concluding chorale is 'like pulling out an organ stop', according to the composer.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-546, Live Performance, 16 Feb., 1967, Orchestra Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"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