NEW YORK, May 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate Yehudi Menuhin's centenary, Sony Classical releases Yehudi Menuhin – The Complete American Victor Recordings. Available now, the 6-CD box set brings together the legendary early recordings of one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, plus previously unpublished releases and more.
Gems of this special set include newly remastered versions of Menuhin's earliest recordings at age 11. These include a set of stylishly played encore items with his "beloved teacher," Louis Persinger at the piano, and previously unreleased encore pieces by Kreisler and Wieniawski from 1929. Other highlights are the first ever releases of two previously unpublished items: The December 1949 recordings of Beethoven's "Spring" and "Kreutzer" Sonatas with Menuhin's sister Hephzibah playing the piano.
The box set also features official CD releases from original analogue master discs and tapes of Mendelssohn's teenage D Minor Violin Concerto, a work that Menuhin himself rescued, buying and editing the surviving manuscript, and premiering it at Carnegie Hall in February 1952; Bach's Sonata No. 3, a historic 1944 recording with the legendary Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska; and Bartók's Sonata No. 1, a vividly intense account of a piece that Menuhin had played for Bartók. Menuhin is impressively supported by his accompanist, and pianist Adolph Baller, a Polish-born musician who was Menuhin's chamber music partner from 1939 until after WW2, despite having had all his fingers broken by Nazi torturers in Vienna before his escape from Europe.
Making its first official appearance in CD form is a 1951 account of Bruch's ever-popular Concerto No. 1 with Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony. This piece sits alongside Menuhin's better-known 1945 recording of the same work with Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony, and his 1946 recording of Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2 with Antal Doráti and the Dallas Symphony. Additionally, the set features the first ever CD release of two songs, Rachmaninoff's "In the Silent Night," and Handel's "Ombra mai fu" with the leading Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill.
Between his birth in New York on April 22, 1916, and his death in Berlin on March 12, 1999, Yehudi Menuhin, son of Russian immigrants, grew from a brilliant child prodigy violinist at age seven, into one of the 20th century's finest and most celebrated artists. Aside from his work as a conductor and soloist, Menuhin was also a peace campaigner, civil rights activist, spiritual guru and revered senior statesman of the musical world. He ended his days as the Right Honourable the Lord Menuhin of Stoke d'Abernon, with a seat in the House of Lords. Furthermore, Menuhin established two music schools, a violin competition, and carried music beyond concert halls and into the wider community.
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SOURCE Sony Classical