Dorati: Pictures at an Exhibition / Beinum: Firebird - Philips L. 00.437 L
Jacket EX / LP EX / French pressing
This beautiful gatefold LP from Philips · Trésors Classiques (L. 00.437 L, French pressing, red/silver "Minigroove" label, mono, cloth spine) features two stunning performances from the Philips catalog: Antal Dorati in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Eduard van Beinum in Stravinsky's The Firebird (1919). Both were made with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on resplendent, high-octane form, captured in sumptuous and technicolor sound.
The exact discographic details are as follows:
Mussorgsky (orch. Ravel): Pictures at an Exhibition
> with Antal Dorati conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra
(rec. in the Grote Zaal, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, on 21 February 1952)
Stravinsky: l'Oseau de feu (vers. 1919)
> with Eduard van Beinum conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra
(rec. in the Grote Zaal, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, on 6 April 1956)
Either recording could serve as a reference version – both are trenchant, glittering accounts that even 60 years on stand as remarkable exemples of what orchestras and conductors could achieve together – and the rich analog sound is absolutely first rate.
Incidentally, the extraordinary cover art was executed by Maurice Apelbaum. There are fine liner notes (uncredited) on the left interior panel of the gatefold jacket, printed in French only. On the rear panel are printed full-color reproductions of other titles from the Tresor Classiques catalog. Also included with this copy is the original plastic slipcase cover (a bit worn), which is embossed with the Philips logo in the lower-right corner, in gold lettering.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the heavy gatefold jacket is EXCELLENT. The jacket is slightly "cocked" (a bookseller's term meaning the upper panel has, over the years, been pushed slightly forward of the lower panel). Also, there is minor wear at corners. But, really, these are minor flaws. There are no seamsplits, bends, owners' markings, or other defects, and the album remains solid, bright, and highly attractive – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT+. Though the surfaces are not absolutely silent, this is a fine copy and the playback is quite superb, very close to NM. However, if you must have absolutely flawless surfaces then please do not buy this LP – overall, this rates as a truly fine collector's copy.