Reiner: 1812 Overture, Mephisto Waltz, Debussy Ibéria - RCA VICS-1025
Jacket NM / LP EX
This handsome LP from RCA (VICS-1025, US pressing, plum/silver label, stereo) features Fritz Reiner and the mighty Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an impressive mixed program.
The exact contents are as follows, all works recorded at Orchestra Hall, Chicago:
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture Op. 49
> rec. on 7 January 1956
Liszt: Mephisto’s Waltz (“Dance in the Village Inn”, espisode from Lenau’s Faust) S. 110
> rec. on 10 December 1955
Debussy: Ibéria (“Images” pour orchestra No. 2)
- Par les rues et par les chemins
- Les parfums de la nuit
III. Le matin d’un jour de féte
> rec. on 4 March 1957
Of an RCA CD re-issue of two of these performances in their “Living Stereo” series, the wonderful critic and author David Hurwitz wrote for ClassicsToday:
“Okay, there are no cannons in the 1812 Overture, but when the playing is this amazing you’re hardly going to care. These performances are fabulous. You also get Tchaikovsky’s Marche slave and the Marche miniature from his Suite No. 1; Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave Overture; Kabalevsky’s Colas Breugnon Overture; Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmilla Overture; Borodin’s Polovtsian March; Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1; and Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain. In this latter work, particularly, you’re not going to believe the precision and transparency that Reiner commands, as well as a climax that will blow you away. The couplings may be something of a grab-bag, but when everything you grab out of the bag is sensational, there’s no point in complaining. Vintage Living Stereo sound too, excellently restored. Wow!”
Incidentally, the striking cover art reproduces a detail from Jean-Antoine Watteau’s “Three Views of a Drummer”. There are fine 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 near-MINT. Aside from minuscule bumping at corners, the album appears virtually as new – overall, an outstanding collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Visually, there are rubs, papers sleeve and other non-sounding marks. In terms of sound, although the surfaces are not absolutely silent, really this is a fine copy and playback is superb, close to NM. Those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy are advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this is an excellent collector's copy.