Martinon/CSO: Ravel Daphnis et Chloe Suite 2 + Roussel - RCA Victor LSC-2806
Jacket VG / Vinyl EX / US pressing
This stunning LP from RCA Victor (LSC-2806, US pressing, top dog label, 3S/3S stampers, stereo, original inner sleeve included) features conductor Martinon and the mighty Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s high-octane and atmospheric readings of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2 and Roussel’s Bacchus and Ariadne Suite No. 2, both recorded at Symphony Hall, Chicago, in December 1964 (producer: Joseph Habig / engineer: Bernard Keville).
In his 10/10 review of RCA’s CD re-issue fo the Ravel in their “High Performance” series, the superb critic Dan Davis wrote for ClassicsToday.com:
"Jean Martinon led the Chicagoans for a brief five years before he was hounded out of town by a rabid musical press and a board seduced by the prospect of a more glamorous music director. But he left a remarkably choice recorded legacy, including this authoritative all-Ravel disc. He knew Ravel, played violin under the composer's baton, and went on to re-record these and other Ravel works in France for EMI. Those later efforts, recently reissued on a two-fer, don't quite match this Chicago production, perhaps due to an orchestra incapable of the sheer virtuosity on display here.
"The Daphnis Suite is about as sure-fire a work as any in the repertoire and it gets a smashing performance here, with brilliant strings, delicately traced wind phrasing, and the full power of the Chicago musical dynamo in full roar. It's not quite as spicy as Leonard Bernstein's New York recording (Sony) but compensates with more refined playing and airier quiet passages...Spectacular sound. Ravel would have been pleased."
Incidentally, the striking cover art reproduces Edgar Degas’ Studies of Ballet Dancers (Half-Length) “from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Logan”. There are insightful liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by James Lyons, Editor of The American Record Guide.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is VERY GOOD+. There is light edgewear, minor bumping at corners, and mild shelfwear/ringwear, more so to the rear panel. However, there are no seamsplits, owners' markings, bends, or other defects, and the whole remains solid, bright, and highly attractive in appearance – overall, a very good collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Although the surfaces are not absolutely silent, really this is a fine copy and the playback is enjoyable. Those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this is an excellent collector's copy.