C1778. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Walther Straram Concerts S.O.: Adagio & Fugue in c, K.546 (Mozart); CHARLES MUNCH Cond. London Phil.: Symphony in C; La Jolie Fille de Perth - Danse bohémienne (both Bizet); CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Paris Conservatoire Orch.: La Mer (Debussy); w.Richard Charmy, André Navarra, Myrtil Morel & Fernand Oubradous: Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat, Hob.105 (Haydn). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-920, recorded 1938-47, l'Oiseau-Lyre, English Decca & Disque Gramophone. [What a charming jewel! This program offers the infrequently-played Bizet Symphony which leaves one catching one's breath!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Charles Munch...had a gleam in his eye for Haydn....Lighter than Beecham and just as infectious, Munch makes these works seem carefree. More than that, they return to feeling essential, as they were to audiences back then, who could not have foreseen the current neglect of Haydn on the concert programs of major orchestras (as opposed to the super-abundance of HIP recordings, usually with diminished, even chamber-sized forces)."
- Huntley Dent, FANFARE
“In 1920, Munch became professor of violin at the Strasbourg Conservatoire and assistant concertmaster of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra under Joseph Guy Ropartz, who directed the Conservatory. In the early 1920s he was concertmaster for Hermann Abendroth's Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne. He then served as concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler and Bruno Walter from 1926 to 1933…..Munch also studied conducting with Czech conductor Fritz Zweig, who had fled Berlin during his tenure at Berlin's Krolloper. At the age of 41, Munch made his conducting debut in Paris on 1 November 1932.
Following this success, Munch conducted the Concerts Siohan, the Lamoureux Orchestra, the new Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, the Biarritz Orchestra (Summer 1933), the Société Philharmonique de Paris (1935 to 1938), and the Orchestre de la Société des concerts du Conservatoire (1937 to 1946). He became known as a champion of Hector Berlioz, and befriended Arthur Honegger, Albert Roussel, and Francis Poulenc. During these years, Munch gave first performances of works by Honegger, Jean Roger-Ducasse, Joseph Guy Ropartz, Roussel, and Florent Schmitt. He became director of the Société Philharmonique de Paris in 1938 and was featured in the French epic LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS, filmed (1945) during the German occupation of Paris. He taught conducting at the Conservatoire de Paris from 1937 to 1945.
Munch remained in France conducting the Conservatoire Orchestra during the German occupation, believing it best to maintain the morale of the French people. He refused conducting engagements in Germany and also refused to perform contemporary German works. He protected members of his orchestra from the Gestapo and contributed from his income to the French Resistance. For this, he received the Légion d'honneur with the red ribbon in 1945 and the degree of Commandeur in 1952.”