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Stokowski/NPO: Overtures (Leonore No. 3, William Tell, etc.) - Pye/Nixa PCNHX 6

$9.00 USD

Pye-Nixa (LP)

Jacket NM / LP EX / UK pressing

This handsome gatefold LP from Pye · Nixa (PCNHX 6, English pressing, black/silver label, Quadraphonic stereo) features Leopold Stokowski conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra in a stunning selection of great overtures, recorded in demonstration quality sound at West Ham Central Mission, London, in March 1976.

The exact track list, taken from Discogs, is as follows:

A1

Beethoven

Overture, Leonore No. 3, Op. 72b

 

 

A2

Schubert

Rosamunde Overture, D 644

 

 

B1

Berlioz

Le Carnaval Romain - Ouverture Caractéristique, Op. 9

 

 

B2

Mozart

Don Giovanni Ouverture, K 527

 

 

B3

Rossini

Guillaume Tell Overture

 

Of EMI’s CD re-issue of these performances, the eminent critic Ivan March wrote in his review for the April 1992 issue of The Gramophone:

The recordings were made at the unlikely venue of West Ham Central Mission, in November 1975 and March 1976 when the great conductor was 93, yet they display enormous energy and charisma. Indeed he is on his finest form and he conjures consistently electrifying playing from Sidney Sax's ad hoc National Symphony Orchestra, a group of London's finest freelance players, with Sax himself playing the violin solo with great elan in Saint-Saens's Danse macabre (a riveting performance). Stokowski had his own ideas about many of these pieces. He thought Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture should quote from the finale of the opera and whether or not this is permissible, his addition makes a highly dramatic coda. His own scoring of Sousa's Stars and Stripes even includes a xylophone, and the playing is irresistible in its racy pep. He was a very good Beethoven conductor indeed, and this Leonora No. 3, with its trumpet entry dramatically distanced, is quite as exciting as the Berlioz Carnaval romain, which is saying a good deal. Rosamunde has glowing romantic warmth and a delightful rhythmic lift, and William Tell is as spectacular as you would expect, though at the end (partly because of the resonance) the violins swamp the texture and the busy internal detail that makes Reiner's famous RCA version so invigorating, is lost here. But overall the full hall reverberation suits the music-making admirably—there are few better Stokowski collections than this. The great old man is clearly enjoying himself; so is the orchestra, and so are we.”

This album was produced by Anthony Hodgson and engineered by Ray Pickett. On the interior of the gatefold jacket there is a striking 2-panel photo from the actual recording session, as well as are excellent liner notes by Edward Johnson, printed in English only. The album design was executed by Paul Chave of Tactics.

CONDITION:

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 some minor instances of creasing, the album appears almost as new. There are no seamsplits, bends, or owners' markings, and the album remains very solid, bright, glossy, and extremely attractive in appearance – overall, a very fine collector's copy.

The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. Though there is light surface noise throughout, in general the playback remains quite fine. However, those wanting a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as an excellent collector's copy.

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