Munch/BSO: Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 "Organ" - French RCA LSC 630.531
Jacket EX / LP EX
This handsome LP from French RCA (630.531; equivalent to LSC-2341, French pressing, red/silver label, stereo) features Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s classic recording of Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 in C minor Op. 78 ‘Organ Symphony’ (with pianists Leo Litwin and Berbard Zighera, and organist Berj Zamkochian), sumptuously recorded in the rich acoustics of Symphony Hall, Boston, on 5 April 1959.
Some 55 years after its first issue, in surveys of this work on record, Munch’s reading consistently remains at or near the top, a not unremarkable feat given the extraordinary number of recordings this audience favorite has received, eclipsing such worthy latter-day challengers as Barenboim, Levine, Ozawa, Jansons, Dutoit, et al.
From first to last there is a freshness and inventiveness of interpretation, allied to virtuoso playing, and in the finale, a majesty that has remained undimmed since RCA taped this performance in what will soon be a half-century ago. A recording to make one wonder anew at Saint-Saën’s marvelous conception.