Munch/BSO: Debussy La Mer / Ibert Escales - RCA 640.511 (red/silver stereo)
Jacket GOOD / LP EX / French pressing
This beautiful LP, in stereo and equivalent to the U.S. LSC-2111 Shaded Dog, from French RCA (640.511, French pressing, orig. red/silver “Living Stereo” label) features conductor Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony in magnificent performances of Ibert’s Escales and Debussy’s La Mer – true gramophone classics.
Both works were taped in the fabled acoustics of Symphony Hall, Boston, the RCA engineers achieving a demonstration quality sound that truly exemplifies the 'Golden Age of Stereo'.
The exact discographic details are as follows:
Claude Debussy: La Mer
(recorded on 9 December 1956)
Jacques Ibert: Escales
(recorded on 10 December 1956)
When Munch and the BSO's La Mer was first released, the critic T.H. wrote in his review for the December 1957 issue of The Gramophone:
"This is a fine performance and recording of La Mer. Reviewing Paray's record last month I said that, though he gave a meticulously clear performance of the score, he seemed to me to have forgotten what the music was about. Munch makes no such mistake but gives a superb series of impressions of the sea. Here is the colour and the sweep, the forward-flowing movement. It is certainly among the most recommended issues of this music: indeed, I think, one would only consider the superb Toscanini disc as a rival. The orchestral playing itself is of virtuoso standard."
There are superb liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Henry Jacques, printed in French only. The striking cover photo is uncredited, alas.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is GOOD. There is wear at corners and along the open edge of the jacket, ringwear and discoloration to the rear panel, and general aging. However, there are no seamsplits, owners' markings, or other defects, and the remains solid, bright, glossy, and attractive – overall, this rates as a very good collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Though there is some occasional light surface noise, in general the playback is quite fine. However, those wanting a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as an excellent collector's copy.