Richter-Haaser/Karajan: Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 - Columbia SMC 91052 (w/g)
Jacket EX / LP EX / German pressing
This handsome LP from Columbia (SMC 91052, German pressing, white/gold label – ED1, stereo) features Hans Richter-Haaser’s magisterial account of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major Op. 83, recorded with conductor Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker in in the rich acoustics of the Grunewaldekirche, Berlin, in November 1958.
Incidentally, in the Andante the solo cello part is played by BPO principal Eberhard Finke.
Richter-Haaser playing with commanding heft and golden tone, Karajan and the BPO supplying richly upholstered accompaniment, the sound absolutely first-class throughout.
There are fine liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Dr. Wolfram Schwinger, printed in German only. The striking cover photo of Richter-Haaser was taken by Gertrud van Dyck, while the image of Brahms is from the Historia Foto Archive, Berlin.
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 wear at corners, as well as minor shelfwear and a stamp and mild discoloration to the rear panel.However, there are no seamsplits, bends, owners’ markings, or other defects. The fine laminate finish is perfectly intact and the album remains solid, bright, glossy, and highly attractive – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. There is a small pressing bubble toward the close of the first movment that causes a soft sound (between a bump and a tic) for about 1 minute. Otherwise, the surfaces are problem free and the the sound is superb. However, those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy are advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this is an excellent collector's copy.