Walter/NYPO: Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" (rec. 1949) - Columbia 33 FCX 232
Jacket VG / LP VG / French pressing
This excellent LP from French Columbia (FCX 232, French pressing, blue/silver label, mono) features Bruno Walter's second – and arguably finest – commercial recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major Op. 55 “Eroica”, recorded with the New York Philharmonic on blazing form at Columbia's 30th Street Studio, New York, on 21 March 1949.
Although his later stereo re-make from 1958 (with the Columbia SO) may boast finer sound, this 1949 mono account possesses a drive and frisson unmatched by Walter before (there is a 1941 Columbia recording, also with the NYPO) or since, with the New Yorkers sweeping all before them in a reading of resplendent power and, in the “Funeral March”, great pathos.
Incidentally, the striking cover art is by Grunt. On the reverse side of the jacket there are superb liner notes, provided in French only, by Pierre Drouin.
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 edgewear, bumping at corners, a small bend to the upper-right corner, and some discoloration, more so to the rear panel. However, there are no owners' markings, seamsplits, bends, or other defects and the album remains solid and handsome in appearance – overall, a very good collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is VERY GOOD. Though the surfaces are not absolutely silent, and there are some scattered soft tics, in general the playback is quite fine. Those requiring CD silent surfaces, however, are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as a very good collector's copy.