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As a musician, as a man of ideals, and as a citizen of the world, Yehudi Menuhin made an extraordinary mark on his era. The Menuhin Century marks the 100th anniversary of his birth on April 22nd 1916. 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. Luxuriously and elegantly packaged, The Menuhin Century includes a hardback book of over 250 pages, with text in English, French and German; over 30 of those pages are devoted to photographs, many never before published. The book is built around a substantial and fascinating biographical essay, Passion Menuhin, written by Bruno Monsaingeon, the French film-maker. He knew Menuhin well for many years, even studying the violin with him, and directed several of the documentaries to be found on the DVDs in Box 6 of The Menuhin Century. Passion Menuhin is based on 30 years’ worth of conversations with Menuhin, and much of it is brought alive by the great violinist’s own words.
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