C1688. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. ORTF S.O.: Pan - Symphonic Poem (Johansen); Bacchus et Ariane - Suite #2 (Roussel); La Valse (Ravel) - Live Performance, 4 June, 1964, Bergen, Norway; Pelléas et Mélisande Suite (Fauré), Live Performance, 19 Aug., 1964, Edinburgh, Scotland; CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande: Symphony #2 in D for Strings & Trumpet (Honegger), Live Performance, 4 Nov., 1964, Geneva. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-774. 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
“David Monrad Johansen (8 November 1888 – 20 February 1974) came to Christiania (Oslo) in 1904 to study at the conservatory there, and he continued taking lessons with Catharinus Elling, Iver Holter and others until he went to Berlin in 1915 for further studies. In 1920, he went for a study trip to Paris, and here Stravinsky’s music came to make a huge impression on him. In addition he met Fartein Valen, who inspired him to start studying dissonant counterpoint. Later, in 1933 and 1935, he spent short periods abroad for further studies. Monrad Johansen’s study time was extraordinary diverse, and his development was affected by this. It is difficult to categorise his style, with all the different influences that he went through. Before Berlin, he was within the conservative late romanticism, clearly influenced by Edvard Grieg. After Berlin, under the influence of Alf Hurum, he started studying the French Impressionist music, and around 1920 this style is apparent in his music. This was also a very productive period.
Then, during the studies in 1933 and 1935, he turned more into a neo-classical direction, more polyphonic, more clear tonality, classical forms - also more clear sound and colours, and fewer dissonances than in the 1930s.”