Ormandy: Sibelius Symphony No. 2 (rec. 1957) - Philips ABL 3214, fine copy
Jacket EX / LP EX / English pressing
This beautiful LP from Philips (ABL 3214, English pressing, plum/silver label, mono) features conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s resplendent account of Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 43, recorded at the Broadwood Hotel, Philadelphia, on 17 March 1957. Although he never commanded a reputation as such, Ormandy was a fine Sibelian, had the full measure of this composer, and was wholly within in his soundworld.
Wrote the critic M.M. in her review for the May 1958 issue of The Gramophone: “On the new Philips disc Ormandy gives a forceful reading of the symphony, allowing little of the tremendous impulse of the music to escape him. In this the orchestra support him well, and the result is a dramatic performance. A full weight of string tone is in evidence throughout, and in the studio this must have contributed to an extremely satisfying overall sound.”
Incidentally, on the reverse side of the jacket is reproduced a photo of Sibelius and Ormandy together. The composer was still living when this recording was made, though whether or not he heard it I cannot say – he died at his home near Helsinki on 20 September 1957. There are fine liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket – in English only – by Charles Burr.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is EXCELLENT. There is slight bumping/wear at corners, as well as some discoloration and a stray pen mark to the rear panel, but that is all. However, there are no seamsplits, bends, or other defects, and the album remains very solid, bright, glossy, and quite handsome in appearance – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Although the surfaces are not absolutely silent, really this is a very fine copy and the playback is superb. Those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this is an excellent collector's copy.