Breitenbach: Berlioz Harold in Italy Op. 16 (rec. @ 1949) - Vox PL 6700
Jacket VG / LP EX / US pressing
This handsome and very rare LP from Pantheon · Vox (PL 6700, US pressing, black/silver label, mono) features Günther Breitenbach’s magnificent account of Berlioz’s Harold en Italie (Harold in Italy) Op. 16, recorded circa 1949 with conductor Rudolf Moralt and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. This was likely the first “Harold” issued during the LP era, William Primrose’s 1944 RCA account with Koussevitzky first appearing on 78s and then later on an RCA Victor LP (LCT-1146). A splendid violist, Breitenbach is perhaps more familiar to collectors as one of the members of the Vienna Octet, appearing on several Decca LPs. He shows his real virtuoso mettle here, imbuing this amazing work with great flair and fantasy.
Incidentally, there are splendid liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by future New York Times Music Critic Harold C. Schonberg, printed in Engish only. The striking cover art was designed by Herschel Levit.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is VERY GOOD. There is edgewear, more so at corners, as well general shelfwear/discoloration and a small bit of writing to the rear panel. However, there are no bends, but seamsplits, owners’ markings, or other defects, and the album remains solid, bright, and attractive – overall, this is a very good collector’s copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Although the surfaces are not absolutely silent, this is a fine copy and the playback is quite superb. Those requiring flawless or NM surfaces are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as an excellent collector's copy.