Pioneering recordings from the 1960s and early 70s in first-rate stereo sound
In the late 1960 and early 70s Karl Münchinger and his Stuttgart forces were mainstay of the record catalogue when it came to Barock repertoire. Their recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was a bestseller in its day, and had an very long life in the record catalogues. Münchinger and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, whilst not period instrument musicians, were pioneers in what was then thought of as more authentic performance practice. These are clean performances with small-scale forces used with great precision, with all the 19th century excesses that had been necessary at one time to re-introduce these masterworks to the repertoire stripped away to reveal to many for the first time the true sound of the music. These recordings were the audio equivalent of seeing a restored painting by a great master for the first time.
Münchinger was astute in his choice of soloists, and the cast list for these recordings reads like a role call of the great names of the period. These are recordings that are both important historical documents, and that can hold their own alongside today’s period practice interpretations.
‘I enjoyed every moment of the fine performance, and the excellent recording, and found it alive from start to finish’ (Christmas Oratorio) Gramophone, December 1967
‘Many will be glad to hear Peter Pears’s superb performance of the Evangelist’ Gramophone, March 1965
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.