Monday, August 12, 2013

Columbia SAX 2315 Oistrakh's Classic Beethoven

SAX 2315

Beethoven Violin Concerto

David Oistrakh, violin
Andre Cluytens, conductor
French National Radio Orchestra

Pressing: ED1


Condition: NM

Stampers:
YLX 1006-6
YLX 1007-16

Performance: 10/10

Sound: 8/10

Price range: $300+ on popsike


Comments:  A very valuable Columbia SAX.  I can't believe how high prices for this album have been inflated on Ebay.  I just checked popsike, and though for some unclear reason I wasn't able to get statistics, I could see that auction prices went from around $300 to as much as 700+ GBP (!!$!).  I'd recommend skipping Ebay and looking for this from a UK dealer.  I bought mine from an online UK dealer about 10 years ago and paid about 145 GBP for a NM copy.  In fact, I just checked and saw that a EX copy is selling on Classical Vinyl for 140 GBP, so it looks like this price might be fairly consistent. 

To my knowledge, Oistrakh recorded the Beethoven Violin Concerto twice for EMI.  The first time was in 1954 with Sixten Ehrling and the Stockholm Festival orchestra in mono (33CX 1194).  In 1959, he recorded it again, this time in stereo, with Andre Cluytens and the French National Radio Orchestra, and I believe that this is the one which is better known.  The album is simply wonderful.  I would describe the performance as majestic.  Oistrakh's violin is very nicely recorded -- you can just hear him playing center stage right in front of you.  Cluytens and orchestra accompany him well and never overpower, creating a nice sonic balance.  As far as analog versions of this concerto go, this may be my favorite, although other choices include Wolfgang Schneiderhan's classic stereo recording for Deutsche Grammophon and Nathan Milstein's stereo Capitol recording.  I have never heard Leonid Kogan's Columbia SAX on vinyl, but I can imagine it could very well be sublime (I've heard the CD remastering, and at the very least the performance is charged).  This is a cornerstone of the Columbia SAX collection.


18 comments:

  1. The Concert Classic of this is an option, SXLP30168, but is a little late of a pressings. Blue and silver going around $400 lately for NM. Semi-circle $90, Magic Notes $50. Over 415 sold on popsike which is a lot. The fairly high price of these records speaks to the performance and sound. I posted on the plethera of Kogan reissues of the same piece I believe on the Milstein SAX.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is something I have not been able to understand. The price this album sells for is astonishing considering how many copies go up for sale. You'd think supply and demand would regulate its price, but in spite of the seemingly endless supply, the price remains high. You can get it for less than Ebay from Classical Vinyl, if it's still available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have this on Blue silver with the same 6/16 stampers as aqlam and also on the notes 3rd label with 8/21 stampers. Both are good but I think the earlier pressing just edges it. Certainly doesn't justify the huge price difference though

      Delete
    2. It's insane how much this album sells for on Ebay in its blue/silver pressing ... $400+, sometimes higher. I was lucky to snatch mine 10+ years ago from a UK dealer for between $100-200 and that was stretching my budget big time back in 2004.

      Delete
    3. Where did you find your copies?

      Delete
  3. The Blue/ Silver copy was bought at Camden Market from a Japanese guy who was moving back to Japan and was selling all his worldly possessions. I bought a lot of records from him at £5 each. The 3rd label copy was from a charity shop where records were 3 for £1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it... I am moving to England.

      Delete
    2. I bought my one way ticket yesterday. I can't wait to hit the bargain bins there!

      Delete
    3. I don't think the UK is any better than anywhere else, you just need to have a little luck and be at the right place at the right time. Some of my best finds have come from the junkier type of antique shops.

      Delete
    4. Well, these pressings are non-existantant in the US. Your suggestion on antique shops is a good one.

      Delete
  4. On the subject of Oistrakh, I have recently found a couple of Meloydia stereo recordings with David Oistrakh Conducting

    Victor Pikaize playing Dvorak's Concerto and Ysaye's Mazurka in B Minor with the Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra 33CM 1903-4

    Mikhail Fichtengoltz playing Mozart Concerto No 7 K271a, Adagio K261 and Rondo K373, with the Soloist Ensemble of Moscow State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. 33CM 0275-66(a)

    I am unfamiliar with the work of either of these violinists but if the standard on these recordings is anything to go by I will be searching out more. Whilst these are Russian pressings and the vinyl quality is not as good as the EMI pressed Meloydia's, the quart of the recording and musicianship shines through the slight vinyl roar present.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember having found two cheap Russian Melodiyas in the last couple of years: the Borodin String Quartet playing Shostakovich's 8th SQ and Evgeny Svetlanov conducting the Moscow Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky's 5th. Sound quality on the chamber recording was a bit better than the Tchaik 5, but both were decent. I wonder if there are more Melodiyas with Oistrakh as a chamber music artist (piano trios).

      Delete
    2. Is EMI Melodyia good? I kind of avoid them out of principle/ignorance.

      Delete
    3. Decent. I've owned maybe one or two ... I remember a Prokofiev 7th symphony years back.

      Delete
    4. Some of the best ASD's are Meloydia recordings. You should try HMV ASD 2448, Bizet Shchedrin The Carmen Ballet. Gives Ballet Music From the Opera a run for it's money.

      Delete
    5. What a great recommendation! And I am about to post on LSC-2400 as part of the Decca/RCA series ...

      Delete
  5. Not a trio but I have an early MK mono recording of the Schubert duet for violin & piano Op 162 & Grieg Sanata No 2 for violin and piano with Oistrakh and Obrin. SQ is actually very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AQL and I are monophobes and it really does not make sense with chamber music to go mono. Good buddy of mine called Russian Mike is into vintage mono chamber music (and newer stereo) and all related equipment from the period. I've got a mono Hollywood String Quartet LP I need to pull out along with some other decent mono items and rethink my biases.

      Delete