C1669. ANDRÉ CLUYTENS Cond. RTF S.O.: Symphony in C (Bizet); Nocturnes – Images; Fêtes (Debussy); w.NATHAN MILSTEIN: Symphonie espagnole (Lalo). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-773, Live Performance, 11 Sept., 1955. [A delightfully effervescent program, well-recorded in remarkably fresh, open sound!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Always putting the music before himself was a hallmark of Milstein's humility and humanity. The instrument is an extension of the human voice, and the bow is to playing the violin as the breath is to singing. I measure violinists by somewhat different standards, and by those standards, if anyone deserves the title of greatest violinist of the 20th century, it is Nathan Milstein."
- Jerry Dubins, FANFARE, Jan./Feb., 2006
"Nathan Milstein was a violinist's violinist. While he possessed a superb virtuoso technique, he was never ostentatious. When the music sparkled as he played, it was because he was clearly enjoying it and wanted you to enjoy it too, not because he wanted to dazzle you with his own personality or tone, เ la Heifetz. He could do justice to true musical masterpieces, and not just use them as vehicles for display as Heifetz too often did. If you want to hear a master enjoying himself, this set is a good choice."
- Joseph Magil, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./ Dec., 2005
“André Cluytens was among the leading French conductors of his time. His father, Alphonse, was conductor at the Royal French Theater of Antwerp. André became his assistant and a choirmaster there. When an illness prevented Alphonse from conducting, André made his performance début in 1927. After that experience he devoted his efforts to orchestral and opera conducting rather than choral work, and he became a resident conductor in the house.
In 1932 he accepted a position as the musical director of orchestral concerts at the Capitole de Toulouse, and he became a French citizen. In 1935 was appointed the opera director in Lyons. He was an assistant of Josef Krips in a summer series in Vichy and, once again, was called on to substitute when that conductor could not perform. He became musical director of the Lyons Opera in 1942, conductor of the Conservatoire Concerts and the French National Radio Orchestra in Paris in 1943, and in 1944 conducted at the Opéra de Paris. From 1947 to 1953 he was music director of the Paris Opéra-Comique, and in 1949 was appointed as principal conductor of the Conservatory Concerts. He retained that position for the rest of his life. In 1955 he was invited to conduct LOHENGRIN at the Bayreuth Festival, the first French person to appear on the podium there. He debuted in the United States in 1956, and in Britain in 1958, when he substituted for Otto Klemperer. He formed a close relationship with the Vienna State Opera, which he first conducted in 1956, becoming a permanent guest conductor in 1959. In 1960 he became conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra in Belgium, also holding that post until his death. He also formed a close link with the Berlin Philharmonic, with which he made a notable recording of the Beethoven symphonies. However, he was primarily known for French repertoire, premiering works by Françaix, Jolivet, Messiaen, Milhaud, Tomasi, Büsser, and Bondeville. He was invited back to Bayreuth in 1965.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com