Furtwangler/VPO: Beethoven "Eroica" Symphony (rec. 1952) - Electrola E 90050
Jacket EX / LP EX / German pressing
This beautiful LP from Electrola (E 90050 / WALP 1060, German pressing, red/black label, mono) features Wilhelm Furtwangler and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's resplendent account of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major Op. 55 'Eroica', recorded in the fabled acoustics of the Musikvereinsaal on 26/27 November 1952 (producer: Lawrence Collingwood / engineer: Robert Beckett) – a stunning account of this work by any measure.
Wrote the late John Ardoin in his indispensible volume The Furtwängler Record: "[T]he second EMI version is notable for the finale's great strength of purpose and the way its variations flow convincingly together. The marcia funebre, always the heart of a Furtwängler Eroica, is also uncommon in the binding character of its transitions and in the splendor of the arch that is raised. It is played on an immense scale, and there are moments towards its close where time seems suspended and the music moves almost in slow motion."
Incidentally, the striking cover art – "Bronzestudie und Foto" – is by Evmari.
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 very slight bumping at corners, minor edgewear, a few instances of creasing, and quite mild ringwear to the rear panel. However, there are no seamsplits, bends, or owners' markings, and the whole remains extremely solid, bright, and very striking in appearance – overall, a very handsome collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Although the surfaces are not CD silent, in general the playback is superb. Only those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy need hesitate. Overall, this rates as a truly excellent collector's copy.