Cluytens/ONRF: Ravel La Valse + Rapsodie Espagnole - Pathe 33 DT 1005 (10")
Jacket GOOD / LP NM
This handsome 10" LP from Pathé (33 DT 1005, French pressing, green/silver label, mono – no stereo edition exists) features conductor André Cluytens and l'Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française in brilliant renditions of Ravel's La Valse and Rapsodie Espagnole, both vividly recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, on 30 April 1951.
These are the conductor's first commercial recordings of these works, pre-dating his Ravel cycle, which was made in stereo in the 1960s with l'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire for French Columbia.
His later stereo cycle has greatly overshadowed his earlier achievements in this repertoire, a pity given the extraordinary dynamism – these are richly colorful and evocative performances that should be better known.
There are extensive liner notes (uncredited) on the reverse side of the jacket, printed in French only. The cover design is similarly 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 GOOD. There is edgewear, particularly along the spine and at corners. However, there are no seamsplits, bends, owners' markings, or other defects, and the whole remains solid, bright, and highly attractive – overall, a decent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is near-MINT. Though the surfaces are not perfectly silent (and thus I have rated it NM vs. MINT) this is a fine copy and playback is superb. If you must have perfect surfaces, then please do not buy this LP. Overall, this rates as a NM collector's copy.