Silvestri/Philharmonia: Franck Symphony in D minor - HMV ALP 1831
Jacket VG / LP NM
UK EMI pressing - red/gold label - mono
Stupendous performance, arguably even finer than Monteux's more widely celebrated RCA account with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
This beautiful LP from His Master's Voice (ALP 1831, UK EMI pressing, red/gold label, mono, laminated flipback jacket) features conductor Constantin Silvestri and the Philharmonia Orchestra's truly resplendent account of Franck's Symphony in D minor, sumptuously recorded in the rich acoustics of London's Kingsway Hall in January 1959.
Reviewing Warner/EMI's Icon CD re-issue of Silvestri's recordings, which includes this Franck D minor, the wonderful critic and writer David Hurwitz wrote of Silvestri:
"Perhaps the worst that can be said of Silvestri is that he could be a touch eccentric, as in the odd rhythm at the opening of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth (first sound clip). Still, it works for me, and it’s a small price to pay for the thrills on display elsewhere… It really doesn’t matter what orchestra Silvestri has to work with, or what the repertoire. His personality was so powerful that he almost invariably achieves stunning, distinctive, compelling results…Honestly, the list of highlights is simply the list of the contents of this set. You have to own it, and if you don’t, you’re life will be the merest shadow (musically at least) of what it has the potential to be. So spend some time with a genuine podium genius. It will do you good."
There are insightful liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by David Drew, printed in English only. The striking cover art reproduces a detail from David Roberts' "Interior of St. Gommar, Lierre, Beglium".