Irving: Ballet excerpts (Adam, Delibes, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky) - Electrola SME 83 956 (w/g)
Jacket EX+ / LP EX+ / German pressing
This excellent LP from Electrola / EMI (SME 83 956, German pressing, white/gold label – ED1, stereo) entitled "Immortal Pas de Deux" features conductor Robert Irving and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a truly captivating selection of ballet sequences, recorded on 24 March 1958 in the rich acoustics of Kingsway Hall. Irving was a real man of the theater and his well-chosen tempi and sense of drama evoke a true dancer's performance – lovely.
Wrote W.S.M. in his review for the March 1959 issue of The Gramophone: "I can see a good public for this selection. Not necessarily for anyone who intends to build up a comprehensive library of ballet music, but for someone who wants a few attractive ballet records, this is a clever selec•tion of famous and memorable pas de deux, playedwith great élan by a first-class orchestra under a conductor who knows the style backwards. Irving almost effortlessly obtains the authentic rush of blood to the head in Tchaikovsky's numbers, the bounce and glitter of Giselle, the vapid lilt of Minkus, and the pink and white fondant of Prokofiev. I raised my eyebrows at Mr. Staryk's intonation now and then in the Sylvia solo, chiefly because I don't connect him with lapses from accuracy. Here and in all the instrumental solo passages one remarks the cleanness and character of the underlying accompaniments. The bloom of this orchestra's sound is accurately caught by the engineers, and the surges of brass emerge particularly well."
Included are the following works:
Adam (arr. Jacob): Waltz, from Act I of Giselle
Chopin (arr. Douglas): Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2: No. 7 from Les Sylphides
Delibes: Violin Solo from Act III of Sylvia (No. 16b)
> with Steven Staryk, violin
Tchaikovsky: Pas de deux, No. 14 from The Nutcracker Op. 71
Minkus (arr. Irving): Pas de deux from Don Quixote
Rossini (arr. Respighi): "In the Magic Shop" from La Boutique Fantasque
Prokofiev: Pas de deux, No. 6 from Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1 Op. 64a
Tchaikovsky: Pas de deux, No. 28 from The Sleeping Beauty Op. 66
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 slight bumping/wear at corners, as well as some mild discoloration, but that is all. There are no seamsplits, bends, owners' markings, or other defects, and the album remains solid, bright, and glossy – overall, a truly fine collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT++. The surfaces are not always CD silent, but in general the playback is superb – overall, an excellent collector's copy.