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From 1979 until his death in 1996, enigmatic conductor Sergiu Celibidache was Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic. This, presenting recordings from 1979 to 1987, is the third release from the Munich Archives.

Celibidache’s ear for timbre is remarkable: the Daphnis suites are sensuous and graphic; painting in sound like you may well never have heard before. There is excitement here, too. One moment deep and burnished, the next magical and floating, this is masterly. ‘Daybreak’ positively glows. It is only on careful listening that one realises that every note is perfectly formed in and of itself. The Munich Philharmonic Chorus is superb. Ravel’s La Valse rouses itself from primeval sludge to a heady, hallucinogenic climax (sadly here the recording is rather over-resonant). The Tombeau reinforces Celi’s reputation for slow speeds (particularly the ‘Forlane’), but underpinning the balletic magic is rock-solid rhythm. Stunning and absolutely unmissable.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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