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Szell/Concertgebouw: Sibelius Symphony No. 2 (rec. 1964) - Philips 6580 051

$10.00 USD

Philips (LP)

Jacket VG / LP NM / Dutch pressing

This beautiful LP from Philips (6580 051, Dutch pressing, blue/silver label, stereo) features George Szell and the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s majestic account of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 43, recorded in the rich acoustics of the Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, in November 1964, still one of the truly great readings of this work fifty years on.

The actual track listing is as follows:

A1

Allegretto - Poco allegro - Tranquillo, ma poco a poco ravvivando Il Tempo al allegro

9:20

A2

Tempo Andante, ma rubato - Andante sostenuto

12:35

B1

Vivacissimo - Lento e suave - Largamento -

B2

Finale (Allegro moderato)

19:20

A wonderful performance, capturing a slightly more relaxed Szell with a European orchestra at peak form, and in one of the finest acoustics in the world.

Of a Philips CD re-issue of this recording, the wonderful author and critic David Hurwitz wrote for ClassicsToday:

Szell's Sibelius Second has stood as a reference edition of the score since the day the recording was made. Once again, there is a live rendition (with Cleveland made on tour in Tokyo) that arguably surpasses this one in some respects, but at present it's only available on a limited basis from Japanese Sony, and hearing this dazzling recording, with it's warmly glowing strings, perfectly judged first movement climax, jaggedly brilliant brass in the second movement, sizzling scherzo, and effortlessly grand finale, it's easy to forget all about any other performance you might have heard or currently own. Frankly, no other even approaches Szell's knockout combination of discipline and excitement, though some (such as Barbirolli's on Chesky or Bernstein's on Sony) offer a marginally greater sense of spontaneity, albeit with markedly less spectacular playing.”

There are insightful liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Bonnie Jacobson, printed in English only. The lovely cover art is uncredited, alas.

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 VERY GOOD. There is edge wear, more so at corners,. However, there are no seam splits, owners' markings, bends, or other defects, and the whole remains solid, bright, glossy, and very striking in appearance – overall, a very good collector's copy.

The condition of the LP is near-MINT and playback is superb – overall, a truly fine collector's copy.

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