Used Classical LPs, CDs, Books & Music Memorabilia for Sale

Loveday/Marriner: Vivaldi The 4 Seasons (rec. 1969) - Argo ZRG 654

$8.00 USD

Argo Records (LP)

Jacket EX / LP NM / English pressing

This beautiful and famous LP from Argo (ZRG 654, English Decca pressing, green/silver square label, stereo, insert included) features the original 1970 issue of violinist Alan Loveday and conductor Neville Marriner's landmark recording of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" Op. 8 Nos. 1-4, recorded at St. John's, Smith Square, London during 8-10 September 1969 (producer: Michael Bremmer / engineers: Stanley Goodall and Tryggvi Tryggvason).

In his brilliant little book The Life and Death of Classial Music, the wonderful writer and novelist Norman Lebrecht listed it among his "100 Milestones of the Recorded Century", recounting the difficult recording sessions that had left the musicians drained and rather unmotivated to complete: "On their return from lunch, several musicians seemed visibly worse for wear. On the red light, Alan Loveday, the New Zealand-born leader, took up his fiddle and played without pause for forty blistering minutes…Among the 400 versions [of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"], Loveday's stands out for its to-hell-with-it attitude, something any musician must feel after running the syrup five times."

Its vibrant fierceness and purity remain a refreshing tonic to the over-egged versions so often encountered, particularly in "big-band" Vivaldi.

Worth noting – and praising – is the extraordinary contribution of Simon Preston on organ and harpsichord continuo.

There are excellent liner notes by M.R. on the reverse side of the jacket, printed in German only.

Finally, the fine liner notes were written by Gramophone contributor Stanley Sadie. Also worth noting – included is the single-page insert with Vivaldi's original poems (in Italian) with their English translations. Incidentally, the striking cover art reproduces a detail from Claude Lorrain’s “Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca”.

CONDITION – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

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. The only real flaw barring a NM grading concerns a former owner’s name written in large magic marker on the reverse side. However, there are no seamsplits or other defects, and the jacket remains solid, bright, glossy, and attractive – overall, an excellent 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.

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