Reiner: Wagner Gotterdammerung, etc. - RCA ARP1-4738-A (Half-Speed Master)
Jacket GOOD / LP NM / US pressing
This superb LP – a “half-speed” master issue – from RCA (ARP1-4738-A, US pressing, “5 Series”, Red Seal label, original inner sleeve included) features an audiophile re-issue of Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s magnificent all-Wagner album, recorded in the rich acoustics of Orchestra Hall, Chicago on 18 April 1959 (producer: Richard Mohr / engineer: Lewis Layton).
The exact contents are as follows:
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Act III: Aufzug der Meister (Entrance of the Meistersingers)
Act III: Tanz der Lehrbuben (Dance of the Apprentices)
Act I: Vorspiel (Prelude)
Act III: Vorspiel (Prelude)
Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt (Siegfried’s Rhine Journey)
Siegfrieds Tod (Siegfried’s Funeral March)
Of an RCA CD re-issue that included these performances, the erudite critic Erik Levi in his review for BBC Music Magazine:
“Tantalisingly brief chunks that make one regret all the more that Reiner never made a studio recording of a complete Wagner opera. There’s no question that these performances must rank among the most gripping in the catalogue. Not only is the playing stunningly disciplined in execution, but Reiner manages to draw an infinite range of colours from the orchestra. Sound quality in the earlier RCA Victor Orchestra sessions is more variable, but it does not detract in any way from the obvious attractions of this release.”
Incidentally, there are excellent liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Louis Biancolli, printed in English only. The front cover art was executed by Rafal Olbinski.
This re-issue was produced by John Pfeiffera nd engineered by Edwin Begley.
CONDITION – PLEASE READ VERY CAREFULLY:
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is GOOD. There is a slight bend/crease to the lower-right corner, wear at corners and to the top edge and mild ringwear. However, there are no seamsplits, bends, owners' markings, or other defects and the album remains solid, bright, and highly attractive in appearance – overall, still a very decent copy.
The condition of the LP is near-MINT and playback is superb – overall, a truly fine collector's copy.