Ormandy: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique" (rec. 1952) - Columbia ML 4544
Jacket EX / LP NM / US pressing
This beautiful LP – a fine collector’s copy – from Columbia Masterworks (ML 4544, US pressing, gray/black 6eye label, mono – no stereo edition exists) features conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s trenchant account of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor Op. 74 “Pathetique”, recorded at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, on 6 April 1952.
Ormandy and the “Fabulous Philadelphians” made no less than 5 commercial recordings of the “Pathetique”, from their 1936 78rpm set on RCA to their final 1981 digital recording on Delos. This 1952 version was their first on the new long-play format and for many it remains the high watermark of their achievement in this work on disc. Ormandy galvanizes the orchestra into a thrilling performance, imbued with true slavic ardor and given sumptuous sound, so immediate and well-balanced that one does not even registers the absence of stereo.
Incidentally, the lovely cover art is by Clark Hulings (1922-2011). There are excellent liner notes (uncredited) on the reverse side of the jacket, printed in English only.
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 a discreet, barely visitble 1” split (more a crack) to the upper edge, as well as minor bumping at corners and mild discoloration to the rear panel. However, there are no other seamsplits, nor are there any owners’ markings, bends, or other defects, and the album remains solid, bright, glossy, and highly attractive in appearance – overall, this rates as an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is near-MINT. Although surfaces are not completely silent (and thus I have rated it NM vs. MINT), this is a fine copy and playback is superb. However, if you must have perfect surfaces, then please do not buy this LP – this is a lovely collector's copy.