Pierre Monteux Live | Somm ARIADNE50282

Pierre Monteux Live


Label: Somm

Cat No: ARIADNE50282

Barcode: 0758871502825

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Orchestral

Expected Release Date: 21st June 2024

Item is currently due
21st June 2024.

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SOMM Recordings is thrilled to announce Pierre Monteux Live, a two-CD set comprised entirely of first releases including never-before-issued performances led by the renowned conductor. Among these is a legendary 50th Anniversary performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the composer in attendance, given a half-century to the day after Monteux himself conducted the storied Paris world premiere! This recording captures an extraordinary moment of historical continuity: between 1913 and 1963 five decades elapsed in the evolution of 20th-century music, in the taste and understanding of the public and in the lives of both creator and pioneering interpreter. The concert was broadcast live on the BBC from the Royal Albert Hall and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra who referred to Monteux affectionately as their “Maître”. Both the devoted playing and the emotional audience acclaim are preserved in vividly present sound.

This set also commemorates the revered conductor – on the 60th anniversary of his death and ahead of the 150th anniversary of his birth – with moving testimony from LSO musicians involved in the landmark Stravinsky concert. These interviews were recorded between 1992 and 1995 by this set’s producer, Jon Tolansky, co-founder of Music Preserved and the author of documentary features on composers and performers. Monteux is also heard speaking on tape here, in a 1955 interview and a 1959 rehearsal of the LSO in Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, providing a window onto the man’s intellect, work ethic and rapport with fellow musicians.

Rounding out this set are still more never-before-issued recordings of Monteux conducting the BBC Northern Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in music by Haydn, Weber and Beethoven, as well as works by Ravel, who, like Stravinsky, was a composer Monteux knew personally. To the highly discriminating players of the RPO of 1960, Monteux was a favourite guest conductor. As with The Rite of Spring, he represented a direct link to the origins of Daphnis and Chloé, another Ballets Russes production that Monteux led in its world premiere. The RPO’s Principal Clarinet, Jack Brymer, remembered “this wonderfully energetic and meticulous little man” who “even in his eighties … had the touch of elegance, the humour, the exquisite good taste” and “could produce a sudden sforzato second to none by a tiny stab of his baton.”

The recordings of the performances in this album, all made privately off-air from various sources, have been fastidiously polished by Restoration Engineer Paul Baily. His restoration of the recent Sir Adrian Boult Conducts (ARIADNE 5024-2) was honoured with the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Records Critics’ Award) in the Historical Recordings category.

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