- Performer: Pierre Monteux
- Audio CD (1 Dec. 2014)
- Number of Discs: 40
- Format: Box set
- Label: Sony Music Classical
- ASIN: B00MAPMAFQ
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,561 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Pierre Monteux - The Complete Rca Album Collection Box set
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Sony Classical is proud to announce an unparalleled reissue of Pierre Monteux’s RCA Victor recordings. They are being issued together for the first time in a single original jacket collection of 40 CDs.
Each and every recording in this new 40-CD set comes from the best source, including previous Living Stereo, SACD and XRCD reissues. Many others have been newly remastered from the original 78-rpm matrices or tapes.
Most of Monteux’s now legendary recordings for RCA were made between 1941 and 1961 with the two US orchestras he served as music director: the Boston Symphony (1919-24) and San Francisco Symphony (1936-52). Naturally they contain music he had introduced to the world decades earlier, for example Stravinsky’s Rite (recorded in Boston on 78s in 1945 and on LP in 1951) and Petrushka (recorded in Boston, 1959) as well as Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Daphnis et Chloé. His RCA French discography also contains multiple recordings of Debussy’s Images, La Mer and Nocturnes, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and works by Chausson and d’Indy. And then there is his peerless interpretation of the Franck D minor. Monteux recorded that symphony in San Francisco in 1941 and 1950, then once again with the Chicago Symphony in 1961. Those were his last RCA sessions, and the recording it yielded is still universally regarded as the work’s finest ever.
He was far more than a French specialist, however, and his performances of the German and Russian repertoires were every bit as authoritative. Esteemed for his way with the Beethoven symphonies (2, 4 and 8 are included here from San Francisco), Monteux was a superb interpreter of Brahms, one of whose quartets he played in as a young violist with the composer in attendance. Brahms remarked afterwards: “It takes the French to play my music properly. The Germans all play it much too heavily.” Monteux made no fewer than five celebrated recordings of the Second Symphony – his favourite. Two from San Francisco (1945 and 1951) are included here, as is an unsurpassed (though too often previously unavailable) 1959 recording of Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Henryk Szeryng and the London Symphony Orchestra, not to mention an unforgettable 1945 San Francisco performance of the Alto Rhapsody featuring the great American contralto Marian Anderson. Of the Russians, Monteux recorded major works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Scriabin for RCA with both the San Francisco and Boston orchestras in the 1940s and 50s. In the late 1950s, at the helm of the Boston Symphony, he also made classic recordings of the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies and the Khachaturian Violin Concerto with soloist Leonid Kogan.
Finally there is Monteux in opera, which he loved and would have conducted more extensively but for his dislike of the atmosphere of the opera house, where, he complained, “too often music is the least of many considerations”. Luckily, in the mid-1950s, RCA’s team went to the Rome Opera to record him conducting complete studio performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Verdi’s Traviata.
Newly remastered from the original analogue discs and tapes in this edition:
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le Coq d’or: Cortège de noces (1941)
Franck: Symphony in D minor (1941)
Debussy: Images pour orchestre: Gigues & Rondes de printemps (1942)
Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Saltan: March (1942)
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 with Yehudi Menuhin (1945)
Berlioz: Grande Ouverture de Benvenuto Cellini (1945 & 1947)
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (1945)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le Coq d’or: Introduction and Cortège de noces (1945)
Milhaud: Suite symphonique No 2 (1945)
Scriabin: Le Poème de l’extase (1947)
Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture (1947)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (1949)
J. S. Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium: No. 10 Sinfonia (1949)
Brahms: Alto Rhapsody with Marian Anderson (1950)
Chausson: Poème de l’amour et de la mer (1952)
Various: French Songs with Gladys Swarthout (1952/53)
Verdi: La traviata with Rosanna Carteri & Cesare Valletti (1956)
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll (1960)
Ravel: La valse
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or - Cortège Des Noces (1941)
Indy: Symphonie sur un chant montagnard francais (Symphonie cévenole), Op. 25
Franck: Symphony in D Minor (1941)
Franck: Pièce héroique
Debussy: Images pour orchestre No. 1, Gigues (1942)
Debussy: Images pour orchestre No. 3, Rondes de printemps (1942)
Indy: Symphony No. 2, Op. 57
Rimsky-Korsakov: Tsar Sultan - March
Lalo: Le roi d'Ys – Overture
Lalo: Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21
Bruch: Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra in G Minor, Op. 26
Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini – Overture (1945)
Berlioz: Les troyens: Act II - Overture
Indy: Istar: Symphonic Variations, Op. 42
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (1945)
Indy: Fervaal Prelude, Op. 40
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sadko, Op. 5
Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53 (Nach "Harzreise im Winter") (1945)
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1945)
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 (1945)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or – Introduction and Cortège Des Noces (1945)
Milhaud: Symphonic Suite No. 2 "Protée"
Chausson: Poème, Op. 25
Grünberg: Violin Concerto, Op. 47
Milhaud: Symphonic Suite No. 2, Op. 57 "Protée"
Chausson: Poème, Op. 25
Gruenberg: Violin Concerto, Op. 47
Rimsky-Korsakov: Symphony No. 2 "Antar", Op. 9
Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No. 1
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40
Chabrier: Le roi malgré lui: Fete-polonaise
Scriabin: Symphony No. 4, op. 54 “Le poème de l'extase” (1947)
Gounod: Faust: Ballet Music
Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas, Op. 95 – Overture
Ravel: Alborado del gracioso
Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini - Overture (1947)
Berlioz: La damnation de Faust - Rákóczy March
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade: Symphonic Suite, Op. 35
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
Franck: Symphony in D Minor (1950)
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (1951)
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1913/21 version) (1951)
Brahms: Symphony No. 2, Op. 73 in D (1951)
Chausson: Symphony, Op. 20 in B flat
Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53 (Nach "Harzreise im Winter") (1950)
Debussy: Images pour orchestrstre No. 3, Gigues (1951)
Brahms: Song of Destiny, Op. 54 (Schicksalslied)
Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor
Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Sinfonia
Beethoven: Die Ruinen von Athen, Op. 113
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 in B-Flat
Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in D minor, op. 120
Scriabin: Symphony No. 4, op. 54 "Le poème de l'extase" (1952)
Liszt: Les préludes (Symphonic Poem No. 3)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A, K.414
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 18 in B-Flat, K.456
Chausson: Poème de l'amour et de la mer
Various: French Songs
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 in F
Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini - Overture (1952)
Delibes: Sylvia: Suite
Delibes: Coppélia: Suite
Delibes: Coppélia: Prélude, Mazurka (Stereo Version)
Debussy: La mer
Debussy: La mer: De l’aube à midi (Stereo Version)
Verdi: La traviata
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 "Pathétique" in B Minor
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Op. 64 in E Minor
Khatchaturian: Violin Concerto
Saint-Saens: Havanaise, Op. 83
Brahms: Concerto for violin in D, Op. 77
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, Op. 36 in F Minor
Gluck: Orfeo and Euridice
Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Franck: Symphony in D Minor (1961)
Top Customer Reviews
Another RCA Sony classics box set made of tough cardboard. A small box that you can grip with one hand. Plum red in colour, one side has pictures of CD sleeves and underneath the music that has been remastered from the original Analogue discs and tapes, from 1941-1960. The lid covers nearly the entire box, for there is a tray in which the second box sits. The sleeves are the originals, except CD 1-10 which are the colour of the 78 covers, with the red disc label in the middle. From CD 11 onwards the original sleeves with details of the music, with small writing on the back about the music, or composer. The spines of the sleeves have the composer, music, orchestra and CD number. On the CD disc which looks like a LP, there is a label, either plum red, or light plum which means it is stereo, or red which indicates it is Living stereo.
Now to the tricky bit, sound. For 18 works have been newly remastered from the original analogue discs and tapes using 24-bit/96 kHz technology. Thus, the sound for 1941 onwards is excellent. Next to the reviews where this has happened I shall place remastered, so you know. However, there are six CDs with Living Stereo on the front of the sleeve and they have been remastered. What about the others? I am assured by the booklet that b-sharp remastered them. The Booklet is hard covered with many pictures of Monteux, a essay 'Monteux remembered' by John Canarina. Although if you buy the box, listen to the bonus disc first, with Monteux speaking to a interviewer for 30 minutes.Read more ›
65 Days after posting this review, I discovered a serious problem with the Monteux box.
Not fatal, but not good.
Three of the four D'Indy compositions are transferred at the wrong speed and are pitched flat (only the Istar Variations on CD 4 in the new box is pitched correctly).
The problem dates back to the 1994 Monteux Edition on RCA.
Volume 9 had three works of D'Indy.
The original 1994 pressing (1994a) was mastered at the wrong speed (matrix number on the inner ring of the disc = 3/94).
RCA detected the problem and issued a corrected version (1994b) (matrix number on the inner ring = 10/94).
Sony has both matrixes in their vault, and unfortunately chose the wrong one for the 2014 box.
These works are spread among three discs in the new collection.
CD 1 has Symphony on a French Mountain Air:
1994a (in 2014 box) = 25:01 (11:07, 6:17, 7:37) pitched flat - My stopwatch timings
1994b (corrected) === 23:39 (10:30, 5:56, 7:13) correct pitch
CD2 has Symphony 2:
1994a (in 2014 box) = 42:12 (11:45, 11:36, 5:16, 13:35) pitched flat
1994b (corrected) === 40:44 (11:07, 10:57, 4:59, 12:51) correct pitch (B flat)
CD 5 has the Fervaal Prelude:
1994a (in 2014 box) = 5:00 pitched flat
1994b (corrected) === 4:43 correct pitch
Sony has no plans to remaster CDs 1, 2 and 5.
Still a five star box, but this is extremely frustrating:
" When creating this set, we were obviously not aware that our predecessors at BMG/RCA released CD No. 09026618882 in two differently pitched versions.
The current Pierre Monteux edition apparently uses the lower pitched European version of Vol. 9, no.Read more ›
Minus points - the original jacket shibboleth leads to some very short CDs - though many of the earlier recordings first issued without particular covers are well packed. Also you will need a magnifying glass to read the sleeve notes, which themselves have their own antique flavour.
This is a superb set which has already given me many hours of musical enjoyment - and I have only reached CD 27.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent collection - the only thing I miss is at least one (if more than one) of the recordings I used to have 50 years ago of Monteux's Mendelssohn - "Incidental Music to 'A... Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2015 by An Old-Timer