Ormandy: Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances / Casella Paganiniana - Columbia ML 5605
Jacket EX / LP NM
This handsome LP from Columbia Masterworks (ML 5605, US pressing, gray 6eye label, mono) features conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in a stunning album pairing major orchestral compositions by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alfredo Casella, the former dedicated to Ormandy and the “Fabulous Philadelphians”.
The exact contents are as follows:
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances Op. 45
The pairing is a very interesting one, the Rachmaninov now a central repertoire piece, the Casella seldom heard either on record or in the concert hall. Both are brilliantly orchestrated and richly melodic. The Ormandy/Philadelphia Symphonic Dances has seldom been equalled, rivaled only by recordings by Ashkenazy (Decca), Previn (EMI), and Kondrashin (Melodiya). The Casella now enjoys a few more modern recordings, but Ormandy remains the benchmark here. An outstanding album in every way.
Both works were recorded in the warm acoustics of the Broadwood Hotel, Philadelphia. There are fascinating liner notes (uncredited) on the reverse side of the jacket, provided in English only. The memorable cover photo of Rachmaninoff was taken by Adrian Siegel.