In 1941, he became principal conductor of the Hanover Symphony, a post he held for the next two years. He held no other conducting position until the end of World War II. The year that the war ended, he founded the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, which he built into an impressive touring ensemble; it made its Paris debut in 1949 and its American debut in San Francisco in 1953. Under his leadership the orchestra issued (for the Decca label) numerous recordings, mostly during the 1950s and 1960s, and mostly of Bach's output; these included the Brandenburg Concertos (not once, not twice, but thrice), the orchestral suites, the St. Matthew Passion, the St.
John Passion, the Musical Offering, and the Christmas Oratorio. Of his and the ensemble's non-Bach releases, probably the best – and certainly the most famous, other than the Pachelbel performance mentioned earlier – is that of Haydn's The Creation. In 1977, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra became the first German ensemble to visit the People's Republic of China. Münchinger retired in 1988, two years before his death. Stylistically Münchinger's approach with his band was rather similar to those of his somewhat younger contemporaries Raymond Leppard, Sir Neville Marriner, Claudio Scimone, and the above-mentioned Paillard, though displaying an extra element of tonal solidity (not to mention a fierce rigor during rehearsals as well as performances) which might be thought of as Teutonic. With the increased fashionability of 18th-century instruments, from the 1970s onwards, Münchinger's interpretations fell dramatically from critical favor and were often dismissed as passé.
This was unfair, because he always showed himself to be a fine, tough, disciplined, and sensitive musician. There have been more profoundly imaginative German conductors than Münchinger, but there have been very few who matched his consistently high standards. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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|Pachelbel: Canon in D|
|J.S. Bach: Suite No.3 in D, BWV 1068 - 2. Air|
|Hoffstetter: String Quartet in F major, Op.3, No.5 (formerly attrib. J. Haydn) - Andante cantabile|