Markevitch in Moscow: Symphony of Psalms + Mussorgsky - Philips L 02.232 L
Jacket EX / LP NM / French pressing
This beautiful gatefold LP from Philips · Trésors Classiques (L 02.232 L, French pressing, red/white Trésors Classiques label, mono, cloth spine) features Igor Markevitch conducting music by Stravinsky and Mussorgsky in Moscow, remarkable momentos of a visit the great maestro made to Russia’s capital in 1962, leading there the USSR Symphony Orchestra.
Of particular interest are the Mussorgsky Songs, which Markevitch orchestrated himself.
The exact contents are as follows:
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms
> with the USSR State Academy Chorus
Of Philips CD re-issue of this performance in its “The Early Years” series, The Gramophone wrote in its February 1995 review:
“The Symphony of Psalms commemorates another gala occasion which Markevitch supervised on his return to the former Soviet Union during Khrushchev's 'Thaw'. The results are fascinating, if raw sounding, a fervent act of repatriation squaring nicely with Markevitch's nationalistic view of the composer. Woodwind keys clatter, brass pitch erratically— the chorus is certainly top-heavy as miked (Markevitch employs a boys' choir)—but the overall effect will move anyone not in thrall to the glacial severity (and greater technical security) of the composer's own 1963 version.”
Mussorgsky (orch. Markevitch): Six Songs
> with Galina Vishnevskaya, soprano
The Magpie (after Pushkin)
Night (after Pushkin)
Where are thou, little star?
On the Dnieper (after Schewtschenko)
Lullaby (after Ostrowski)
Wrote the superb critic David Wright for MusicWeb-International:
“The Six Songs has Galina Vishnevskaya in marvellous voice. I was very impressed. She is almost as good as Fassbaender. The songs are very strong, often dramatic and very exciting. My, those upward vocal glissandi.”
Incidentally, the striking cover photo of Markevitch is credited to Aubert, Philips. There are fine liner notes by Marcel Marnat on the left interior panel of the gatefold jacket, printed in French only. On the right interior 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.
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+. There is minor wear at corners, and some small notations on the left interior panel (movement timings). 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 near-MINT. Although surfaces are not absolutely 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.