One of the great conductors at the beginning of the stereo age, Charles Münch left a legacy of masterful recordings on RCA that are still prized by musicians and collectors. This seven-CD box set brings together several performances of late-Romantic orchestral repertoire at which Münch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra excelled. Four of the discs are devoted respectively to the music of Richard Wagner, Antonín Dvorák, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss, though three discs are reserved for Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, suggesting the dominance of his works in classical recordings of the late '50s and early 1960s. In addition to showcasing Münch and the BSO, the set also presents legendary musicians who were featured on these recordings, such as soprano Eileen Farrell
in the Wagner excerpts, contralto Maureen Forrester
in Mahler's lieder, violinist Henryk Szeryng
in the Tchaikovsky "Violin Concerto," cellist Gregor Piatigorsky in the Dvorák "Cello Concerto," and violist Joseph de Pasquale, and violinist Richard Burgin
, the last two appearing with Piatigorsky in the spectacular Strauss tone poem "Don Quixote" (the only mono recording here). The CDs are presented in thin cardboard sleeves with no liner notes, so this is a no-frills package, but the high quality of the music recommends the set to Münch's fans.