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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterly, thrilling, 29 Dec 2009
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
A strange coupling, this. The only common thread between the two pieces is Monteux. But what performances he gives us. They seem to come from a very different world to today's ... a world where conductors sometimes gave us passionately committed performances of enormous clarity and integrity and fused them together at white heat! But at the same time here you get this in recorded sound that is really first rate.

Monteux's Petrushka is fresh and shocking so that you get some sense of what it must have sounded like when it was a daring new work. Monteux keeps it together so it doesn't suffer - as it has in some hands - from seeming overly episodic. And he gives us a performance of enormous conviction and excitement. Petrushka is not my favourite Stravinsky piece but there is something about this performance that makes me want to return to the piece regularly.

The Franck symphony seems to have fallen out of fashion. All too often it can sound too solid and dour, a little boring, even. But if it were always played as it is here then it would surely be still be very popular. Perhaps it lacks the advocacy of any of today's great conductors? Certainly there is no hint of the dull from Monteux. This is a towering performance: tough and muscular but exciting, too. There is no better version in the catalogue, of that I am sure. And when it sounds this good the Franck Symphony stands also as one of the truly great Romantic Symphonies. The foundation of this performance is an orchestra on top form. Add a clear, coherent and magnificent conception of the work and then further add Monteux's inspired direction - the performance truly sounds to be an event - and you have a classic of recorded music.

These recordings from the early sixties have come up very well indeed and no adjustment to the sound of yesteryear is needed. Even if it had been, though, these performances would demand to be heard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear improvement over the last Living Stereo version, 22 Mar 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
This new coupling and remastering is a clear improvement of these recordings made in 1959 (Petrouchka) and 1961 (Franck). The two performances themselves are both famous but the Franck suffered from shrill tone at climaxes with some tendency to distortion. The Stravinsky needed the clarity and fuller sound-stage it now has.

Monteux has been closely identified with these two works for most of his very long working life. Indeed he conducted the premier of the Stravinsky ballet. That is a very important consideration as, quite apart from anything to do with recorded sound, what we have here are the correct speeds that would apply to what would be possible to dance to on the stage. By comparing this performance with DVDs of the actual ballet it is obvious that Monteux provides a ballet performance rather than a concert performance. This is,of course, exactly what the composer had in mind.

The improvement in the sound allows far more detail to show and it is quite obvious that this score, nowadays regularly played by youth orchestras with great accuracy, was a source of technical problems for the strings especially which can be heard to be out of synchronisation with the rest of the orchestra as they occasionally scrabble for the notes. That probably accounts for the 3 days it took to record this short ballet score compared to the one day for the slightly longer Franck symphony. Nevertheless these issues are of no real significance compared to the great advantage of hearing Monteux's interpretation of these two works in good sound.

The Franck now has no shrillness of string tone and the suggestion of distortion has been completely removed. This is a total success as is the performance.

In summary I would strongly suggest that this disc is fully worthy of very serious consideration from anyone remotely interested in the program.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cesar Franck, 27 May 2009
By 
C. Gadsby (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
Bought this for the recording of one of my favorite symphonies (Franck Symph in D minor) after reading a lot of reviews of the available recordings. This seemed to be one of the most highly recommended despite its age (recorded in 1961), and I have not been disappointed in either the performance or the recording quality. Most of the comments elsewhere refer primarily to the Stravinsky 'Petrouchka' and this is certainly a marvellous performance and a crisp recording. The Hybrid SADC played perfectly on my ageing Linn Karik CD player, and the sound is rich and lively with no hint of it being recorded over 45 years ago. The bass is really stunning, as too is the percussion. Can't say what the other formats sound like. Highly recommended and costing less than £8 it's amazing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Franck really comes to life, 30 Oct 2014
By 
JRF - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
The length of Franck's Symphony in D Minor can sometimes lead to an over-weighty performance, perhaps even to the extent the listener is not particularly sorry when the end comes. Not so here. Monteux and the CSO deliver what just might be the definitive version, serious yet sprightly and (most importantly) enjoyable and uplifting.

The Petrushka makes a suitable companion work, so you really get your money's worth with this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Monteux!!, 19 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. A. McMahon (Eastbourne E Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
This is magnificent stuff!! A huge improvement on the original recording. The Franck is superb for it's date but the Stravinsky utterly mind blowing in the detail and depth of recording - buy it and so reasonably priced !!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Towering Dm Symphony, 23 Nov 2008
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) (Audio CD)
This is a welcome reissue of the classic recording of Franck's monumental Dm Symphony conducted by Monteux. Few conductors match his towering rendition of the work, thickly painted in detail and finely sculpted. The sound has plenty of realistic presence.
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Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux)
Symphony In D Minor/Petrushka (Monteux) by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Audio CD - 2005)
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