The Menuhin Century was curated in close collaboration with the film maker Bruno Monsaingeon. Monsaingeon not only directed a number of films which appear on the DVDs in the box, but was a close friend of Menuhin's with an apparently encyclopaedic knowledge of all Menuhin's performances. This means that the set includes many recordings which lovers of Menuhin's art many not have or may not know of. The complete set is available from Amazon.co.uk and the individual boxes are available separately.
|Yehudi Menuhin & Edward Elgar |
at Abbey Road Studios
Copyright: Warner Classics Archives
The original idea for the set was to make it complete (Menuhin stayed with the same recording company, originally HMV throughout his life), but this would have meant 193 very full CDs. As it is, the set is 80 CDs and seems to have been something of a labour of love not just for Monsaingeon but for the executives as Warner Classics. It is certainly a long way from a simply re-boxing of existing recordings.
The set is organised thematically with six boxes.
- Box 1 is unpublished recordings and rarities including a version of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Sir Adrian Boult specially edited for this set.
- Box 2 is historic recordings, not just the Elgar Violin Concerto made with the composer but Menuhin's pioneering recording of the Bach sonatas and partitas from the 1930's.
- Box 3 is live performances including the first ever concert he recorded, in 1940 at Carnegie Hall with Bach's E major concerto BWV 1042 and the set ends with Menuhin the conductor with recordings with his Bath Festival orchestra on CD for the first time.
- Box 4 is the complete recordings Menuhin made with his sister Hephzibah, 20 CD's in all with recordings ranging from the 1930's to the 1970's including a recording of Beethoven's Archduke Trio which was specially edited for this set and represents a new addition to the Menuhin discography.
- Box 5 is his virtuoso and landmark recordings from youthful recordings of Sarasate, the complete Beethoven sonatas with Louis Kentner and his last recording as a violinist, made with his son Jeremy.
- Box 6 is Menuhin on film, with 11 DVD's including Bruno Monsaingeon's three hour Conversations with Yehudi Menuhin - Mykonos, June 1994 and his first recording on film dating from 1947. There is also Bruno Monsaingeon's book Passion Menuhin which has previously appeared in French but appears in French and German for the first time.
Available from Amazon.co.uk, iTunes and Spotify
Elsewhere on this blog:
- 70th birthday retrospective: Trevor Pinnock's engaging Journey - CD review
- Vivid & intense: Pop-Up Opera in the round in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Opera review
- Bonkers fun: Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest - Opera review
- Evocative & engaging: Elena Langer's Landscape with three people - CD review
- Dublin version: Handel's Imeneo - CD review
- The Shepherd on the Rock in context: Music by Schubert his contemporaries from Elena Xanthoudakis - CD review
- Simply remarkable: The Passion from Streetwise Opera and The Sixteen - Opera review
- Trying a bit too hard? Saimir Pirgo Il mio canto - CD review
- 20th century Spanish nights: Palomos Nocturnos de Andalucia from Christoph Denoth - CD review
- Nocturnal moments: Myrthen Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall - concert review
- Fascinating and illuminating: Mendelssohn edition of Handel's Israel in Egypt - CD review
- Intense: Kimiko Ishizaka in Bach's The Art of Fugue with her own completion - concert review