Comprising a total of 80 CDs across five themed boxes, 11 DVDs and a hardback book, The Menuhin Century draws on the unequalled 70-year relationship between the violinist and the record company HMV/EMI. That collaboration produced a total of some 300 discs, which are now part of Warner Classics’ unrivalled catalogue.
While The Menuhin Century is impressively extensive, spanning the 53 years from 1929 to 1998, it does not aim for completeness; rather, its particular focus is on the violinist’s landmark interpretations and on recordings never before released, or appearing for the first time on CD. About a third of the CDs in The Menuhin Century comprise rare or unreleased recordings, so the set offers a thrilling voyage of discovery both to Menuhin aficionados and to music-lovers experiencing his artistry for the first time.
The Menuhin Century has been curated in close collaboration with Bruno Monsaingeon, a film-maker, violinist and close friend of Menuhin, who directed several of the documentaries that appear on the DVDs in the set. Monsaingeon is also the author of the eloquent and insightful text of the lavishly illustrated hardback book, running to over 250 pages, which complements the CDs and DVDs (Though previously available in French, the book appears in English and German for the first time exclusively as part of The Menuhin Century).
As an artist with an open and creative mind, Menuhin was a pioneer of ‘crossover’ music-making in the purest sense of the word, transcending genres and cultures by performing and recording with the jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli and the sitar-player Ravi Shankar. Both these artists feature in the The Menuhin Century.
“It is immensely exciting that Warner Classics are marking my late father’s hundredth year with such a splendid tribute as The Menuhin Century” says Zamira Menuhin Benthall, Menuhin’s daughter and Life Patron of the Menuhin Competition. “I am specially pleased that it is curated by the great film-maker Bruno Monsaingeon, who was probably Yehudi’s closest personal friend. His book Passion Menuhin: The album of a life is an intimate portrait, and no-one has written more eloquently of Yehudi’s distinctive sound, explaining as a fellow-violinist how it was achieved.”
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