Boult: Prokofiev Lt. Kije Suite / Love of 3 Oranges Suite - London LL 1294, beautiful copy
Jacket NM / LP EX / LP pressed in the UK - jacket printed in the USA
This truly beautiful LP from London Records (LL 1294, LP pressed in England, jacket printed in the USA, red/silver FFRR label, mono – no stereo edition exists) features Sir Adrian Boult in a pungent and brilliant all-Prokofiev album, with honors divided between the London Philharmonic Orchestra and l'Orchestra de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.
Included are the following works of Prokofiev:
Lieutenant Kije Suite Op. 60 – with the PCO
> rec. at the Maison de la Mutualité, Paris on 9 June 1955
(producer James Walker / engineer: Roy Wallace)
The Love of Three Oranges Suite Op. 33a – with the LPO
> rec. at Kingsway Hall, London on 27 June 1955
(producer: James Walker / engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson)
Wrote critic R.F. in his May 1956 review for The Gramophone:
"This is an excellent disc, with spirited playing and lively, realistic quality. But one's choice is not made any easier by this as the same can be said of some of the other discs listed above. (Not, I think, of Scherchen, whose performance suffers from a rather shrill quality.) Horenstein gives an equally vivid account of Lieutenant Kije, and gets it onto three-quarters of a side, whereas the others take a whole side for it. (The Horenstein version has Prokofiev's ballet Chout occupying the remaining sideand-a-quarter.) Boult, like Horenstein, takes the "Birth of Kije " rather too fastDesormiere is to be preferred here—but is excellent in the Romance, with its tonguein-the-cheek double-bass solo. The cornet solo in the Wedding movement is good, though lacking the snap Horenstein gives it. Personally I find Love of Three Oranges musically much more interesting than Kije. Here, too, Boult is vital, though not more so than Malko. But the latter spoils things a little by finishing on the exqusitely beautiful music for the Prince and Princess —the only slow and lyrical part of the suite—whereas Boult adds the bustling music from the very end of the opera and so gives the Suite more shape ; also he plays the Prince and Princess music with a little more feeling than Malko. But I suspect that Desormiere really had the measure of these dry, witty suites better than any of them, though his performances are not quite so brilliantly recorded."
Incidentally, the fine liner notes are by long-time Gramophone contributor Joan Chissell. The striking cover art is uncredited.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is near-MINT. Really, there are almost no flaws to speak of (some minute spots of discoloration, perhaps, but that is all) and the jacket appears virtually as new – overall, a lovely collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Though there is some occasional light surface noise, in general the playback is quite fine. However, those wanting a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as an excellent collector's copy.