Ormandy: The Art of Swan Lake - Columbia KS 6308 (lavish book-LP issue)
Jacket EX- / LP EX
This beautiful and rare LP-Book gatefold set from Columbia Masterworks (KS 6308, US pressing, black/gray 6eye label, stereo) entitled "The Art of Swan Lake" features a remarkable issue limited-edition deluxe issue that combines an in-bound 24-page, lavishly illustrated booklet with a superlative pressing of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Ballet Suite, brought off with poetry and panache by conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, a glittering performance recorded in the rich acoustics of Town Hall, Philadelphia, on 19 February 1961..
The production values for this set are quite impressive, consisting of a very heavy and glossy front panel that opens to reveal a 24-page booklet entitled "The Art of Swan Lake - An Affectionate View of Tchaikovsky's Greatest Ballet" by Leo Lerman. Included in this booklet are the following:
> a complete plot synopsis.
> extensive notes on the work's composition.
> a wealth of documentary material (photos and bios of some of the more famous dancers who have undertaken the principal roles, illustrations of costumes from famous productions, reproductions of caricatures of famous names associated with this work, a discussion of the ballet's performance history at the Bolshoi, productions mounted by Ballanchine, and elsewhere).
Really, it is an extraordinary compendium of documentary information and history of Swan Lake, beautifully produced and printed on heavy archival paper.
Incidentally, the cover photo reproduces Edgar Degas's "The Dance Foyer at the Opera", held at the Louvre in Paris. As mentioned above, the texts were written by Leo Lerman, with the generous support of the New York Public Library.