Karajan/Philharmonia: Ballet Music (Verdi, Ponchielli, etc.) - Columbia QCX 10192, truly lovely
Jacket EX / LP EX / Italian pressing
This lovely LP from Italian Columbia (QCX 10192, Italian pressing, red/white "Magic Notes" sc label, mono) features Herbert von Karajan and the Philharmonia Orchestra in a splendid mixed program, showcasing every department of what was arguably then the finest band in the world. Whatever some of the players thought of him personally, they played magnificently for Karajan, the whole brought off with a beauty, brilliance, and panache that is stunning.
Recorded in July 1954 these recordings show the Philharmonia at its very peak and demonstrates yet again what an extraordinary podium talent Karajan was.
The exact program and discographic details are as follows:
Verdi: Ballet Music from Act II of Aida
Mussorgsky (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): Dance of the Persian Slaves, from Khovanshchina
Borodin (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov): Polovtsian Dances Nos. 8 and 17, from Act II of Prince Igor
Ponchielli: Dance of the Hours, from La Gioconda
Wagner: Venusberg Music, from Tannhäuser
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 minor bumping at corners, as well as very slight evidence of ringwear/shelfwear, but that is all. There are no seamsplits, bends, or owners' markings an the album remains solid, bright, and glossy – an excellent 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 – again, an excellent collector's copy.