Oistrakh/Ehrling: Beethoven Violin Concerto Op. 61 - Spanish HMV LALP 231 (ED1)
Jacket VG+ / LP GOOD / Spanish pressing
This fine LP, a unique issue* of this recording, from Spanish HMV · La Voz de su Amo (LALP 231, Spanish pressing, red/silver label, mono – no stereo edition exists, flipback jacket) features the great Russian virtuoso’s first Western recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 61, made at the Stockholm Festival under the direction of Sixten Ehrling 10/11 June 1954. This disc won the Grand Prix du Disque 1956 de l’Académe Charles Cros.
Four years on, he would re-make the work in stereo with Cluytens and the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française (SAX 2315), while at least five other broadcast performances survive. However, along with the ‘live’ 1954 version with Fougstedt (on an Ondine CD), this early Columbia LP remains very special. As fine a Beethoven conductor as Cluytens was, it is Ehrling who secures the better accompaniment, potent and well-proportioned, the Stockholm Festival Orchestra acquitting itself superbly. There is a greater ardor to Oistrakh’s playing here, though nearly every extant account under his bow inhabits a truly exalted plane – superb!
*This particular pressing is rather unique in that it is, to my knowledge, the only issue of this performance on the red/silver semi-circle Nipper label – in other countires (e.g., England, Italy, France, Holland, et al.) this performance was issued on the Columbia label, invariably with a blue/gold or blue/silver. In Spain, however, the distinction between Columbia label and His Master’s Voice label artists was not always maintained. Spanish Columbia did have an LCX prefix (like the FCX or 33CX) that was used under the Regal moniker, though the Regal catalog seems to have been rather small. Most Spanish EMI issues, like the Oistrakh offered here, used the His Master’s Voice – La Voz de su Amo – label. Well, one for the Oistrakh collector who has everything (-:
Incidentally, the liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket, provided in Spanish only, were written by Hubert Foss.
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 VERY GOOD+. There is slight bumping/wear at corners, as well as minor creasing and some discoloration. However, there are no seamsplits, owners' markings, or other defects and the album remains solid, bright, glossy and attractive in appearance – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is GOOD. Though there is persistent surface noise throughout, but in general playback remains enjoyable. However, those wanting a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as a decent collector's copy.