Susskind/Philh: Mussorgsky orch. works - early Spanish Odeon MOCL 102
Jacket GOOD / LP VERY GOOD / Spanish pressing
This handsome and quite rare LP from Spanish Odeon (MOCL 102, early Spanish pressing, green/silver label – ED1, mono – no stereo edition exists) features what was then a rather unusual program, one devoted entirely to Mussorgsky (here orchestrated by Liadov and Rimsky-Korsakov), but not including Ravel's legendary orchestral transcription of Pictures at an Exhibition. Recorded at EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London in March 1953 conductor Walter Susskind and the Philharmonia Orchestra deliver a superb Mussorgsky disc, imbued at turns with a hushed evocativeness, and a truly brilliant panache – mesmerizing playing.
The exact contents are as follows, all by Mussorgsky:
Night on the Bare Mountain – orch. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Sorochintsky Fair: Introduction (Act I) and Gopak (Act III) – orch. by Anatole Liadov
Intermezzo in B minor – orch. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Khovanshchina: Prelude "Dawn on the Moscow River" (Act I), Dance of the Persian Slaves (Act IV), Prelude "Entr'acte" (Act IV) – orch. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Scherzo in B-flat Major – orch. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Turkish March, from The Capture of Kars – orch. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
To my knowledge, these remarkable performances have never been re-released on compact disc. Susskind was a truly superlative conductor – he was very highly rated by cellist Janos Starker – and he is an artist whose recorded legacy is richly deserving of systematic re-issue and renewed appreciation on disc.
There are fine liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket, provided in Spanish only, by Charles Reid.
CONDITION – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of jacket is GOOD. There is flattening along the spine, considerable edgewear, more so at the corners, some creasing, discoloration, and ringwear to the rear panel. On the plus side, there are no seamsplits, owners' markings, or other defects, and the album remains solid and presentation worthy – overall, this is still a quite decent copy.
The condition of the LP itself is VERY GOOD. Though there is some occasional light surface noise, in general the playback is quite fine. However, those wanting a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as a very good collector's copy.