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KARL MUNCHINGER: THE BAROQUE LEGACY (8 CDS)

KARL MUNCHINGER: THE BAROQUE LEGACY (8 CDS)

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A newly remastered treasury of Baroque ensemble music from Gabrieli to Haydn, including several recordings receiving their first international CD release. The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra was founded by Karl Munchinger in 1946, and it was only after six months of intensive rehearsals that the 31-year-old conductor allowed it to make it's debut. The orchestra gave 124 concerts in it's first year, and was hailed as the finest chamber-music ensemble in Germany. When Decca issued it's first LP in Europe, it was of two Brandenburg Concertos played by the ensemble, and their recordings soon acquired an enviable reputation for Munchinger's infallible musical instincts and his orchestra's lively and polished playing. Having returned to circulation several fine Decca recordings which showcase the conductor's excellence in choral and Romantic-era music, as well as his classic Art of Fugue arrangement (4825187), Eloquence now presents the most comprehensive set ever released of the Stuttgart CO/ Munchinger Baroque albums, made in mono and stereo between 1951 and 1975. Organized in chronological order of composition, the set opens with a selection of Sonatas and Canzonas by Gabrieli, perfectly illustrating the timeless values of Munchinger's interpretative vitality even in an era of performance practice vastly different from when he made these pioneering recordings. Harpsichord continuo support on that album was provided by the brilliant young (and tragically short-lived) organist Brian Runnett, and Munchinger continued to attract the brightest and best of Europe's musicians to join him in the studio. Star names included the flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal playing both Pergolesi and Bach (on a classic set of the Orchestral Suites), and the cellist Pierre Fournier, who made an impeccably stylish record of rarities by Couperin and Vivaldi. Speaking of the Venetian master, the set contains no fewer than three recordings of The Four Seasons, including the first in stereo (with Werner Krotzinger) from 1958. This was preceded by a 1951 version with the orchestra's leader, Reinhold Barchet) and followed by a 1970 remake with the Polish violinist Konstanty Kulka. All three were widely praised in their own time for the vivid characterization of not only the solo part but the naturalistic touches brought out of the accompaniment by Munchinger. Composers along the way who were revived by the Decca/Munchinger treatment included Wassanaer and Johann Christian Bach, but the set concludes with an elegantly programmed farewell to the Baroque era in the shape of both Haydn's 'Farewell' Symphony (from 1951) and a fugue album of Bach and Beethoven made the following year. It leads smoothly into a companion volume issued by Eloquence showcasing the excellence of Munchinger's ensemble in Classical-era repertoire (484 0170).


‘Why should a string orchestra be denied this magnificent music? … Münchinger’s ideas … are logical and consistent. In fact the whole thing is very well done.’ Gramophone, April 1970 (Gabrieli)

‘Superb playing by Mr Fournier …The Vivaldi and Couperin items are less commonly heard, and quite beautiful. Recording is excellent.’ High Fidelity, March 1954

‘There have been previous recordings of The Four Seasons … but none can hold a candle to the present set, played in admirably authentic fashion by this remarkable ensemble, who seem able to satisfy both musicologists and ordinary music-lovers alike.’ Gramophone, October 1951 (The Four Seasons with Barchet)

‘Listening to it again I felt that Münchinger and the soloist had really felt the amazing picturesqueness and invention of this marvellous music. The bird-calls are beautifully achieved.’ Gramophone, October 1951 (The Four Seasons with Krotzinger)

‘If there should be a living buyer left for this work he could well find that, for him, on this occasion the newest is indeed the best. Konstanty Kulka plays with sweetness and strength; so do the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra… On quality of recording, the new disc does just have the edge.’ Gramophone, April 1974 (The Four Seasons with Kulka)

CD 1*

GIOVANNI GABRIELI (1553–1612)
1 Sonata XIII
2 Canzona VII 3 Canzona a 7
4 Canzon per sonar primi toni
5 Canzona X (Symphoniae sacrae … liber secundus, 1615)
6 Canzona II (Canzoni et sonate, 1615)
7 Sonata pian e forte quarta bassa
8 Sonata con tre violini (Canzoni et sonate, 1615)
9 Canzon prima à 5
10 Sonata pian e forte

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681–1767)
Viola Concerto in G major (51:G9)
Don Quichotte: Suite
Brian Runnett, harpsichord (1–8)
Heinz Kirchner, viola
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

*FIRST INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ON DECCA CD


CD 2

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Concertos for Violin, Strings and Continuo, Op. 8 Nos. 1–4
‘Le quattro stagioni’ (The Four Seasons)*
1951 RECORDING

Concerto in E minor for Cello, Strings and Continuo
Arranged from Cello Sonata, RV 40 by Vincent d’Indy and Paul Bazelaire

FRANÇOIS COUPERIN (1668–1733)
Pièces en Concert for Cello and Strings
Arranged by Paul Bazelaire

Reinhold Barchet, violin (1–12)
Pierre Fournier, cello (13–21)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester
*FIRST INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ON DECCA CD


CD 3

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Concertos for Violin, Strings and Continuo, Op. 8 Nos. 1–4 ‘Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons)
1958 RECORDING

GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI (1710–1736)
Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major*
Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major

Werner Krotzinger, violin (Vivaldi)
Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute (Pergolesi)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

*FIRST INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ON DECCA CD

CD 4

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750)
Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066
Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068

Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute (Suite No. 2)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester


CD 5

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750)
Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Concertos for Violin, Strings and Continuo, Op. 8 Nos. 1–4 ‘Le quattro stagioni’ (The Four Seasons)
1972 RECORDING

Konstanty Kulka, violin (Vivaldi)
Igor Kipnis, harpsichord (Vivaldi)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

CD 6

UNICO WILHELM VAN WASSENAER (1692–1766)
Concerti armonici

Concerto No. 1 in G major
Concerto No. 2 in B flat major
Concerto No. 3 in A major
Concerto No. 4 in G major
Concerto No. 5 in F minor
Concerto No. 6 in E flat major

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

CD 7

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735–1782)
Symphonies, Op. 18 Nos. 1–6

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester



CD 8*

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750)
1 Fugue in A minor, BWV 947
2 Fugue in G minor ‘The Great’, BWV 542
Transcribed by Karl Münchinger

Musical Offering, BWV 1079
Transcribed by Edwin Fischer
3 Ricercare à 6

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732–1809)
Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor, H.I:45 ‘Abschieds-Symphonie’ (Farewell)

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester
Members of L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Haydn)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

*FIRST RELEASE ON DECCA CD

KARL MÜNCHINGER

 

 

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