Walter/NYPO: Beethoven Ninth + Brahms - FCX 113/114 (2-LP box set, ED1)
Box EX / LPs EX / French pressing
This superb and rare 2-LP box from French Columbia (33 FCX 113/114, French pressing, blue/silver label, mono, cloth box holding individual jackets, booklet included) preserves Bruno Walter’s commanding reading of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor Op. 125 “Choral”, recorded with the New York Philharmonic at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, on 16 April and 4 May (Movement IV) 1949.
Joining Walter and the NYPO in this thrilling Ninth were the Westminster Choir (Chorus Master: John F. Williamson) and vocal soloists Irma Gonzalez (soprano), Elena Nikolaidi (alto), Raoul Jobin (tenor), and Mack Harrell (bass).
Filling out the 4th side of this magnifcent 2LP set is Walter’s equally inspired account of Brahms’s Schickaslied (Song of Destiny) Op. 54, made with the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir (Chorus Master: John F. Williamson) at Liederkrenz Hall, New York, on 15 December 1941.
Included is the original booklet, so often missing from these issues, with extensive liner notes, illustrations, and Schiller’s Ode – all texts in French only. As noted above, this particular issue consists of a cloth box housing two individual jackets. Here there are liner notes by P. Hiegel and R. Lyon – again, in French only.
The striking cover design on the box front (and gracing both jackets) was executed by A. Enz.
Incidentally, the striking cover art was designed by the legendary Alex Steinweiss. There are eloquent liner notes by Claude Samuel on the interior panels of the clam-shell box, printed in English only.
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 the box is EXCELLENT. There is shelfwear and aging, but that is all. There are no corner breaks, seamsplits, owners’ markings, or other defects, and the box remains perfectly solid and highly attractive – an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the two individual jackets is EX. There are no seamsplits, owners’ markings, or other defects.
The condition of the booklet is EX and it shows only some aging and discoloration.
The condition of the 2 LPs is EXCELLENT. Though there is occasional light surface noise, as well as a few tics, in general playback remains quite fine. However, if you must have flawless or NM copies, then please do not buy this set. Overall, these are excellent collector's copies.