Jean Martinon and the Chicago Symphony – new 10-cd set on Sony/RCA

Wonderful things here … some for the first time on CD … Mennin’s 7th and Martinon’s 4th. Also love Varèse Arcana, Martin Concerto, Nielsen 4 … a combination of powerful projection, precise execution and an intuitive understanding of each work. Comments – and on Martinon generally?

8 thoughts on “Jean Martinon and the Chicago Symphony – new 10-cd set on Sony/RCA

  1. This is quite an important reissue, for sure. Rob, Can you double check something for me (I haven’t yet received this box for review). In the Nielsen 4th Symphony, the finale should follow on the slow movement without a break, but the most recent remastering that Sony/BMG released prior to the box set has a track stop that messed this up, and you hear a break that is not in the score nor in any performance elsewhere. I mentioned this to the producers last year, and I assume that they fixed it. Thanks in advance.

    Also, in regard to the Monteux box, are the D’Indy items on pitch? This was a problem in the 15 CD 1994 set that eventually got corrected. It’s something I’ll have to check, but I thought perhaps you’d know something about this. Thanks so much – Jed


  2. Well, something happens at the start of the Inextinguishable’s finale … it sounds like a minor edit but it isn’t exactly a break. As to d”Indy, Istar strikes me as fine but the other three pieces have definitely dropped … I checked with comparisons. Is it possible that the originals were shaky, pitch-wise (this being wartime and with unstable electricity supplies, etc? I remember Annette Kaufmann [Louis’s wife] telling that that used to happen). Thanks for drawing these things to my attention Jed.


  3. Steven Swalbe.

    I used to listen to Jean Martinon, practically every Sunday on the long wave (1829. What a memory!) The series was called “Concerts Lamoureux”. I think the orchestra was “L’orchestre National de France.” As for my recordings: all Saint Saens symphonies (no 3 especially; this time NOT Barenboim.), complete “Daphnis”, Bizet, Beethoven/Brahms violin concertos Debussy to mention a few.


  4. Also worth your attention Steven (especially in view of what you’ve written here), the new Eloquence set of Lamoureux/Martinon recordings, mid-fifties and obviously not as well recorded as the Chicago set – but with some spellbinding Roussel, Debussy and Fauré.


  5. Steven Swalbe.

    Today was the the turn of SSs 40min. URBS ROMA written six years after the symphony in A composed when he was just 15. It was JM with ORTF. Can’t work out the connection with the City of Rome. Slow movement sounds like a funeral march. Sadly, not a patch on 1 or 2.


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