C1636. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Boston S.O.: 'Deliciae Basiliensis' Symphony #4 (Honegger); w. CHRISTIAN FERRAS: Violin Concerto in D (Brahms). [The Symphony #4 by Swiss composer Arthur Honegger is a work for orchestra, written in 1946 on a commission from Paul Sacher. Subtitled 'Deliciae Basiliensis', it was first performed on 21 January 1947, by the chamber orchestra Basler Kammerorchester under Sacher. Containing musical quotations from two Basel folk songs it expresses the composer's happiness during a pleasant stay in the Swiss countryside after the end of World War II. Despite the pastoral and often joyous mood throughout much of the symphony, the closing minutes include some tragic or more serious elements.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-608, Live Performance, 7 March, 1959, Symphony Hall, Boston. [Live performances brilliantly displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Christian Ferras was a French violinist who, at the age of 10, won the first prize of the Nice Conservatory and won the first prize of the Paris Conservatory in 1946, where he studied with Rene Benedetti and Joseph Calvet. He started an international career with leading orchestras and conductors, notably recording the romantic concertos of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and others with Herbert von Karajan. Since the recent retirement of Zino Francescatti, he was considered France's leading concert violinist.
Mr. Ferras, who made his New York debut in 1959 when he was 25, won consistently high praise for his musicianship. Howard Taubman, music critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES, wrote that Mr. Ferras was 'uncommonly gifted’ and that his playing had ‘fire and brilliance’. Over the years, the violinist appeared on the concert stage as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony and other leading orchestras. His grasp of the violin repertory, and in particular the works of Bach, Brahms and Mendelssohn, was enhanced by what Mr. Taubman called ‘a texture and muscularity that reflects the Gallic style’ of playing the instrument.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 Sept., 1982
“Small of stature but sumptuous of tone, Christian Ferras represented the best of the Franco-Belgian violin school. Of his two main teachers, René Benedetti inculcated a respect for technique and George Enescu broadened his outlook - he was to command a much wider repertoire than most French violinists of his era. In the 1960s he was the favoured violin soloist of Herbert von Karajan and their recordings together sold by the thousand. Unfortunately the illness that was to lead to his death often kept Ferras away from the concert hall. But today his reputation continues to grow, as his records are discovered by a fresh audience.”
"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