C1607. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Chicago S.O.: Symphony in d (Franck); w.VITYA VRONSKY & VICTOR BABIN: Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat, K.365 (Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-549, Live Performance, 2 July, 1966, Orchestra Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Victor Babin was best known to the public as a member of the two-piano Vronsky and Babin team with his wife, the former Vitya Vronsky. They had met in Berlin when both were studying under Artur Schnabel at the Hochschule für Musik and were married in 1933. After touring in Europe they made their American debut here in 1937.
In addition to his two-piano concerts, Mr. Babin was known as a member of the Festival Quartet with Szymon Goldberg, William Primrose and Nikolai Graudan. He also toured and recorded with Mr. Goldberg, and had appeared as a soloist with most major symphony orchestras.
The Festival Quartet had originated at the Aspen (Colo.) Festival, where Mr. Babin first appeared when it started in 1949. He later directed the Aspen Institute of Music, and was chairman of the Berkshire Music Center of the Tanglewood Institute."
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 2 March, 1972
"Vitya Vronsky and her husband Victor Babin performed as Vronsky and Babin, and were regarded by many as one of the foremost duo-piano teams of the twentieth century.
Vronsky graduated from the Kiev Conservatory at the age of 13 and began a brilliant concert career as a soloist.
Vronsky & Babin were introduced to American audiences through their recordings of Sergei Rachmaninoff, who became their friend and mentor. Despite a break from performances during World War II, in which Babin served in the armed forces and Vronsky worked with war casualties in Washington, D.C., the duo still managed to perform over 1,200 concerts in North America alone."
- Steinway & Sons
"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