- Actors: Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Directors: Charles Munch
- Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: Exempt
- Studio: ICA Classics
- DVD Release Date: 9 Feb. 2011
- Run Time: 1961 minutes
- ASIN: B004FFBMCQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,646 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Various: Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger Excerpts/ Symphony/ Pelleas Et Melisande) [DVD]  [NTSC]
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Access to the publicly broadcast BSO concerts from this era has been extremely difficult even for researchers. This series of DVDs will make these performances available for the first time since they were broadcast. Munch launched the BSO into television in 1955. He was an immensely popular conductor and well suited to being filmed. This material represents some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony and Charles Munch, and has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art techniques. It is of exceptional musical interest and historical value. Faurés Pelléas and Mélisande is quintessentially French, repertoire for which Munch was best known his recordings of French repertoire remain a permanent standard of reference. The Fauré was performed by Munch and the BSO no fewer than 23 times between 1947 and 1966, and according to the announcer, Bill Pierce, proceeds like well-bred discourse.
Munch handles the Wagner in a masterly, memorable and deeply human manner, with great depth of tone and feeling. --(Richard Dyer)
Munch's manner creates a vibrant and deeply felt interpretation. Performance **** Picture & Sound *** --BBC Music Magazine,July'11
rescued from a TV archive,Munch and his Bostonians live at Harvard --Gramophone,Sept'11
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The featured pieces are: Orchestral excerpts from Wagner's "Die Meistersinger" (beautifully performed by the orchestra), Franck's Symphony in D minor (the 3rd movement is spectacular, and the solo work is just amazing), and finally Faure's Pelleas et Melisande Suite (it just doesn't get any better than this!!!). Mr. Munch conducts cleanly and from the heart, and his depth of feeling of the music seems to channel straight through to his musicians and from there to the audience. I have to wonder if season ticket sales for the BSO went through the roof after some of this footage was broadcast - it's that good. According to the informative liner notes, Mr. Munch returned a second time to acknowledge the applause for the Franck, and the announcer (William Pierce) exclaimed, "[This] is turning out to be an ovation." I felt the same way, as it was difficult to resist the urge to applaud.
Of course, the video quality is not quite up to Blu-ray standards owing to the time period in which it was recorded, but it is certainly good enough to see what Mr. Munch and the BSO are doing - and what really matters is the music, which comes through loud and clear. This DVD is wonderful, and I am pleased to have it in my collection.