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This handsome LP – a fine collector's copy – from London (CS 6419, English
pressing, red/silver NB FFSS "STEREOPHONIC" label, original inner sleeve and insert
included) features Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjanim Britten's famous accounts
of the latter's Symphony for Cello and Orchestra Op. 68 and Haydn's Cello
Concerto in C Major H 7b No. 1 (with cadenzas penned by Britten himself).
In both works, Britten
himself conducts the estimable English Chamber Orchestra.
The Britten was recorded in
the fabled acoustics of London's Kingsway Hall, while the Haydn was set down at
Decca's West Hampstead Studio, London on 16 July 1965. Both
recordings were produced by the great John Culshaw and engineered by Gordon
Wrote critic M.K. in his
September 1989 review for The Gramophone:
"It cannot be denied; good as
the recent recordings of Britten's Cello Symphony have been (YoYo Ma on CBS
outstandingly good), interestingly varied though the interpretations of this
elusive work are, the composer's own recording with Rostropovich, here
transferred triumphantly to CD, surpasses them all. Under his direction, its
tragic brooding, angry intensity and final, slightly unconvincing jubilation
coalesce into a compelling and sombre experience. He made the ECO play with an
almost tangible tension.
"Then, of course, there
is Rostropovich himself. It is not merely his big tone, dictating terms and
dominating climaxes, but that steely, precise pizzicato and the wonderful
pianissimo playing. In the quiet sections he and Britten conspire together to
create an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery and imminent tragedy. When the
almost vulgar trumpet tune erupts in the finale, the release of tension is
phenomenal. Perhaps, if one is to be hypercritical, the orchestral playing is
occasionally ragged, but the whole point of this performance is that one senses
that this is how the music sounded in its creator's mind and for that reason
alone this recording is a pearl without price.."
There are been
few more inspired partnerships than this – truly a gramophone classic.
The gradations of condition
I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket
is EXCELLENT. There is minor bumping at corners, as well as some mild
discoloration (mostly to the rear panel). However, there are no seamsplits,
bends, owners' markings, or other defects and the album remains solid, bright,
and very striking in appearance – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP
itself is EXCELLENT. Although the surfaces are not absolutely CD silent, in general the playback is superb - overall, a truly excellent collector's copy.
PLEASE NOTE: The
I've provided are of the actual item you are potentially bidding
on - these are not stock images or images I've taken from other sites.
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Please see my other classical LP and CD auctions, and
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