Friday, March 8, 2013

Columbia SAX 5284

SAX 5285

Brahms Symphony No. 2, Tragic Overture

George Szell, conductor
The Cleveland Orchestra

Pressing:  ER1 (semi-circle first label)

Condition:  EX+

YAX 3347-1
YAX 3348-1

Performance:  9/10

Sound:  7/10


The third Brahms symphony release by George Szell and the Clevelanders in the SAX series.  Sound quality is quite good, though, to my ears, not quite as excellent as that on the recording of Symphony No. 1.  This is pretty subjective.  This was never released on the Epic label, and I'm not sure it was ever released as a single standalone album on the U.S. Columbia label.  It was included as part of the boxed set of the 4 Brahms symphonies.  Again, this has U.K. stampers, so I suspect that it may have been remastered and re-pressed in the U.K.  I don't have the U.S. Columbia record for comparison.  Another beautiful cover with what looks like a photograph of Schloss Neuschwanstein in Germany.  The covers of the U.K. releases of Szell doing the Brahms symphonies definitely beat out the U.S. covers in terms of design and quality, with the exception of Symphony No. 3, which essentially has the exact same cover in both the U.K. and the U.S.  Again, pretty rare.     

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