“The 13-year tenure of Charles Munch as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1949-62) was a watershed in the annals of orchestral performance,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (12/14) Chicago Tribune. “Sony Classical is honoring his 125th birthday anniversary with ‘Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection,’ a handsome, 86-CD box set containing all of the recordings he made with the Boston Symphony for RCA Victor, augmented by the few he taped for Columbia with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra before and after his BSO tenure, respectively…. Munch’s [stereophonic] recordings, made in Boston’s sonically superior Symphony Hall, still sound wonderful more than 60 years after their initial release…. Munch performances … could sweep you along in a tidal wave of emotion…. Victor invested heavily in making Munch-Boston synonymous with Debussy-Ravel. In Boston he recorded seven works by each composer.… Munch’s wide-ranging commitment to contemporary music was a hallmark of his Boston years [including recordings of] symphonies by Arthur Honegger, Walter Piston, Bohuslav Martinu, Easley Blackwood and Alexei Haieff…. ‘There will be joy,’ Munch predicted at the start of his Boston tenure. Prophetic words. Now we have his entire American discography, gathered in a jumbo package.”

Posted December 15, 2016