Holiday Shop


Charles Munch

Biography

Born: September 26, 1891; Strasbourg, France   Died: November 6, 1968; Richmond, VA  
A genial conductor with a particular gift for French music, Charles Münch extended the Boston Symphony's glory years (begun under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky) into the early '60s. Münch was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, which at the time (1891) was controlled by Germany and has long hovered between two cultural worlds. Münch himself benefited from both French and German musical training, and his first important musical posts were Read more in Germany. Yet he came to be regarded as the quintessential French conductor, and his recordings of French repertory with the Boston Symphony remain standards by which others are judged. Münch studied violin at the Strasbourg Conservatory, where his father was a professor, and, from 1912, in Paris with Lucien Capet. As an Alsatian, he was conscripted into the German army at the outbreak of World War I. Gassed and wounded as an artillery sergeant, he nevertheless survived the war through sheer resiliency. In 1919, upon returning to Alsace-Lorraine (now back in French hands), he took French citizenship, and a violin professorship in Strasbourg. Nevertheless, his professional interests soon sent him to Germany; he studied violin with Carl Flesch in Berlin, then moved to Leipzig to take a violin professorship at the conservatory there, and then became concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1926 to 1933, during Furtwängler's tenure.

But it was back in Paris, in 1933, where Münch made his successful conducting debut in a self-financed concert with the Straram Orchestra. He conducted the Paris Orchestre de la Société Philharmonique (1935-1938) and in 1937 was named director of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris, a post he held through World War II. Münch introduced many new works, including, in 1945, Messiaen's L'Ascension; he quickly became known as a conductor attentive to music's larger formal structures, as well as details of color and sonority. Despite his allegiances 25 years before, Münch refused to collaborate with the Nazis, and indeed supported the French resistance; he was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1945.

Münch's career quickly accelerated after the war. In 1946, he made his debut with the Boston Symphony (and several other American orchestras) as a guest conductor, and he toured America with the French National Radio Orchestra in 1948. The following year, he was appointed music director of the Boston Symphony, which he took on an unprecedented tour of the Soviet Union in 1956. Münch retired from the BSO in 1962 but continued to guest conduct, and helped Serge Baudo launch the Orchestre de Paris in 1967. On tour in America with that orchestra, he died the following year.

Münch was easygoing in rehearsal, reluctant to drill the spontaneity out of an orchestra. He was particularly noted as an elegant, colorful interpreter of French music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; his recordings of that material with the Boston Symphony for RCA are still regarded as classics of their kind. He was a strong advocate for the Franco-Swiss composers of his own generation, especially Roussel, Milhaud, and Honegger. But he also had a good touch with the conservative contemporary music of other lands, as may be heard in his few but important recordings of Martinu, Piston, and Barber. Indeed, during his Boston years Münch's commitment to American music was almost as strong as his allegiance to new French works. Read less
Berlioz: L'enfance Du Christ, Les Nuits D'été / Munch, Reiner
Release Date: 12/26/2007   Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal  
Catalog: 61234   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $24.98
ArkivCD $19.99
Special Order
On sale!   $24.98   ArkivCD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

Browse 1-25 of 144 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5 6
  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $199.98   CD:  $139.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
    CD: $104.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $125.98   CD:  $104.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $125.98
    CD: $103.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $125.98   CD:  $103.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7761382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Osian Ellis,  William Primrose,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $22.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Legendary Conductors of the BSO
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5115 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Erich Leinsdorf,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $64.49
    In Stock
    DVD:  $64.49 Add DVD to Cart

  • 6.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $67.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $69.98   CD:  $67.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $59.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 7.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2013009 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Byron Janis - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 548440 Release Date: 04/16/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  George Gershwin,  Ferde Grofé  ... 
    Performer:  Byron Janis
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $64.98
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $64.98   CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 9.
    Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6; Violin Concerto No. 2
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1396 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Charles Munch
    CD: $9.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Beethoven: Concerto, Sonatas, Trios
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1915552 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Jacob Lateiner,  Leonard Pennario  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $23.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $23.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Charles Munch Conducts Romantic Masterworks
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 826732 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $23.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $23.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Late Romantic Masterpieces / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 899792 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Henryk Szeryng,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Maureen Forrester
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $23.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $23.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    Special Order
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    The Claude Debussy Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 193179 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Ann Murray,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Leslie Caron  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Pierre Boulez,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $64.98   CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Handel: Water Music; Mozart: Symphonies 36 & 38 / Munch, BSO
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5057 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 16.
    Music & Painters - Music Of The Era Of Monet, Chagall, Courbet & Picasso
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5283 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Gastinel,  Daniel Blumenthal,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Noel Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Alain Lombard,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kasbek Ensemble,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    Munch Conducts Roussel & Other French Composers
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9809 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Albert Roussel,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    Schumann: Genoveva Overture, Symphony No 2; Schubert: Symphony No 5 / Munch
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5052 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 19.
    Chopin: Ballades, Piano Concerto No 1; Mendelssohn / Gary Graffman
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802083 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Gary Graffman
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 20.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 4 / Munch, Boston Symphony
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5039 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 21.
    Henry Merckel Plays Hubeau, Delannoy & Saint-saens
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9805 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Hubeau,  Marcel Delannoy,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  H. Merckel
    Conductor:  Eugčne Bigot,  Charles Munch,  Piero Coppola
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    Honegger: Symphonies 1-5; Cello Concerto; Concerto Da Camera; Pacific 231
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94673 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Honegger
    Performer:  Luben Yordanoff,  Jonathan Snowden,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  John Solum
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Charles Munch,  Victor Dubrovsky,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 23.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Munch, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5029 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 24.
    Haydn: Symphony No 98; Bruckner: Symphony No 7 / Munch, Boston Symphony
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5028 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 25.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 / Munch, Boston Symphony
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68953 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $6.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $6.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4 5 6