Great Conductors of the 20th Century – Andre Cluytens

Great Conductors of the 20th Century – Andre Cluytens


Great Conductors of the 20th Century was a 2CD series from IMG Artists and EMI featuring famous conductors of the 20th century. As per the norm, the website has disappeared, so here is all the information [and more] that was included for this great series.

Features a stunning live Berlioz Symphonie fantastique in stereo from Tokyo in 1964 and studio recordings of Ravel, Bizet and Schumann on CD for the first time.

Catalogue no: 7243 5 75106 2 2

CD1 [76:28]

Bizet: Symphony in C
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Studio des Champs-Élysées, Paris
October 1953

Debussy: Images
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
Salle Wagram, Paris
September 1963

Ravel: La Valse
Philharmonia Orchestra
Kingsway Hall, London
November 1958

CD2 [75:54]

Schumann: Manfred Overture
Berliner Philharmoniker
Grunewaldkirche, Berlin
February 1957

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
Metropolitan Festival Hall, Tokyo (Live)
May 1964

Wagner: Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 3
Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris
Salle Wagram, Paris
June 1959

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov: Prologue, Scene 2 – Coronation & Entry of Boris
Boris Christoff (Boris) & John Lanigan (Shuisky)
Chorus of the National Opera of Sofia Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
Salle Wagram, Paris
September 1962


Best known for his interpretations of French music and his cycle of Beethoven symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic, André Cluytens was a native of Antwerp, where his father was conductor of the Théâtre Royal. In 1927, he succeeded him, making his début with Bizet’s Pêcheurs de perles. In 1932 he conducted at the Toulouse Opera and from 1935 at Lyon and Bordeaux, becoming a French national. After the war he was appointed to the Opéra-Comique in Paris (1947-53) and in 1949 succeeded Charles Munch as conductor of the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra. He was the first French conductor to appear at Bayreuth, and, after Munch, the most respected French conductor of his day, recording with such artists as Solomon, Gilels, Oistrakh and Shostakovich.


This compilation features a representative selection of Cluytens’s recordings of the French, German and Russian repertoire with which he was associated throughout his life. His live performance in stereo of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra in Tokyo in 1964, a rarity given the small amount of good broadcast material available, is a must for collectors. Bizet’s Symphony in C (acclaimed on its first release in 1954) appears on CD for the first time and the stereo recording of Debussy’s Images (from 1963) is also a rarity. La Valse, with the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1958, is new to the CD catalogue and predates Cluytens’s complete edition of Ravel’s orchestral music with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra in the early 1960s. Schumann’s Manfred Overture (from 1957) represents Cluytens’s close association with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he recorded a famous Beethoven symphony cycle. The short Wagner excerpt (from 1959) is a reminder of the conductor’s connections with the Bayreuth Festival. Cluytens performed and recorded a great deal of Russian music, but the most celebrated is his complete recording of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov made in 1962 with Boris Chistoff in the title role.



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