Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Andante Cantabile
Glinka: Jota Aragonesa
Rimsky-Korsakov: "Tsar Sultan" Suite
Paul Kletzki, conductor
Pressing: ED1 (white/gold)
Date first published: 1959
Price range: $25-326, mean $134 on popsike
Comments: This is another rare and outstanding release from one of the "4 K's" of EMI, blessed with the combination of a delightful program and glowing tube sound. Listening to this album this morning for the first time in months -- and the first time on my current audio setup -- I was impressed by a number of different facets. To begin with, surface noise was quite minimal, allowing subtleties of the music to really surface. Secondly, the musical program varies greatly in terms of dynamic contrast, and the recording very nicely captures everything from the softest passages of the Andante Cantabile to the more energetic orchestral tuttis of the Capriccio Italien and Tsar Sultan Suite without any hint of distortion. Overall, there is a warm and pleasing tube sound to the recording that adds a certain sonic magic. As I have found on many of these early, valve EMI recordings, bass extension is quite decent. This is not one that pops up frequently on Ebay, but if you can land a copy and are willing to dish out some dough, you won't be disappointed. Most of the album was reissued on CD with EMI's Artist Profile series back in the 1990s, and this can be found used for relatively cheap. It would be really nice to see Warner (which took over EMI last year) release all of Paul Kletzki's EMI recordings in a comprehensive Icons boxed set.