A genial conductor with a particular gift for French music, Charles Munch extended the Boston Symphony's glory years (begun under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky) into the early 1960s. Munch was so venerated that conservative Bostonians even declined to fuss over rumors that he was having an affair with his niece, pianist Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer; they wrote it off as part of his romantic French nature. Paradoxically, Munch was not precisely French. He was born in Alsace-Lorraine, which at the time (1891) was controlled by Germany and has long hovered between two cultural worlds. Munch himself benefitted from both French and German musical training, and his first important musical posts were in Germany…
“I do not know precisely what is my destination: however, I do know that 1 evening, after for the 1st time hearing a symphony by Beethoven, I became feverish & ill. As soon as I recovered, I became a musician.” Thus Richard Wagner described the enormous impression that Beethoven’s music had made on him in his novelette Eine Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven (a pilgrimage to Beethoven). Although it is difficult to separate fact & fiction in this novelette, Beethoven’s music did indeed exert a major influence on the life of the young composer. Wagner was 17 years old when he 1st heard Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a work which was to play a central role during his entire life, & which he was, for instance, to conduct in 1846 at the opening of the Festival Theatre in Bayreuth.
Otto Klemperer was born on 14th May 1885 in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland) and died on 6th July 1973 in Zurich and hence next year we mark 40 years since his passing. Although disfigured by a stroke suffered whilst a brain tumour was being removed he became a world-renowned conductor whose recordings became and remain touchstones for the EMI catalogue.
"…Lehár also was a strongly original voice whose harmonic and textural experiments resulted in the striking Debussyian whole-tone scales toward the end of Altwiener Liebeswalzer ("Old Vienna Love Waltz"), or the Wagnerian snarling horns at the start of the Grützner Waltz. (…) All pieces receive expert and enthusiastic performances by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Michail Jurowski, and CPO's warm, vibrant, and fully-present sound enhances a thoroughly enjoyable program." ~classicstoday.com
A broad selection of 33 Overtures (Orchestral Suites) by Georg Philipp Telemann is here collected in one generous 8-CD set. Telemann, one of the most prolific and gifted composers of the 18th century, wrote many charming, graceful suites in the fashion of his time - comprised of a three-part French overture followed by shorter dance movements, chaconnes, character pieces, and more. The historically-informed performance of Collegium Instrumentale Brugense under Patrick Piere shows that these bright, varied works truly rival the suites of Handel and Bach.
Giuseppe Patanè (1 January 1932 – 29 May 1989) was an Italian opera conductor.
Giuseppe Patanè was born in Naples, the son of the conductor Franco Patanè (1908–1968), and studied in his native city. He made his debut there in 1951. He was principal conductor at the Linz opera from 1961 until 1962. He also was chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1985 until 1989.
Patanè collapsed suddenly from a heart attack while conducting a performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, on 29 May 1989. He was taken to hospital where he died. He and his wife Rita, from whom he was separated at the time of his death, had two daughters.
Esoteric have produced a remarkable transfer that preserves beautifully the hall sound, spatial information and detail. The brass and mass strings have excellent detail, revealing a lot of subtle harmonies and variation – a boon for anything Wagner. This contributes to an overall impression of sophistication and restraint and goes perfectly with Karajan's Wagner.