Borodin: Prince Igor; Mussorgsky: A Night on Bare Mountain; Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
Lovro von Matacic, conductor
Price range: $32-400, mean $170 on popsike
Comments: This is one of my favorite Columbia SAX recordings. First, it has three of my favorite Russian orchestral works. The combination of Borodin's Prince Igor (including the Polovtsian Dances), Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture makes for a Russian powerhouse album, and the performances are, in my humble opinion, outstanding. Second, this is one of von Matacic's few EMI stereo recordings, and I think it might be his best. Third, it has a pretty cool cover. Fourth, the sound, although not demonstration quality, is very good. With these very dynamic pieces, you want to have great sound quality to really enjoy the music. I'd describe the sound as warm. Just drop the needle on the opening of Night on Bare Mountain, and you'll know what I mean. As you can see from the price, it'll cost more than a few bucks to pick up a decent copy of this record. Fortunately, if you're interested in sampling the music before investing in the blue/silver pressing (I've never seen a second label pressing of this record, although I believe it was reissued on a later budget EMI label), Testament remastered the Matacic recordings on CD, although this album ended up being split onto two different CDs. These also sound excellent and are worth picking up.