Won the bid in eBay: Beethoven 9th symphony, including Side 4 with snippets of rehearsals of all movements by conductor Pierre Monteux. Quite interesting rehearsal morsels, including powerful unintended, unfiltered occasional bass-drum taps (the player was tapping to his own clock, not the conductor's). But the bass drum in the actual musical production seems to be filtered, with hardly any impact at all.
Listening to the rehearsal snippets brings back my choral memories of participation in similar productions...valuable for the nostalgia.
The musical production itself is very good. Mr. Monteux knew his stuff as conductor. The recording by Westminster is very good (age unspecified, around 1960?).
Instrumental locations are somewhat unorthodox, but instrumental timbres are very faithfully captured...good microphones! Breadth is favored over depth, and the chorus is somewhat dimly captured. Ah, and the clarinets...wonderful throughout...what lovely sounds from this instrument (esp. on third movement)!
For once it's thrilling to hear a world-class tenor (Jon Vickers) singing his part in strongly effective fashion! Idem on the bass-baritone part.
The overall interpretation gives a thrilling 9th, somewhat similar to the modern Solti/Chicago reissue, but with somewhat less impact than good ole Solti (the Screaming Skull?) could whip up! Orchestral finesse is, also, not up to the excruciating discipline of Berlin/Karajan, but it's very good nonetheless.
An endearing production of London Symphony Orchestra, on the World Record Club label, recorded by Westminster. Examples crop up occasionally in eBay.
P.S.- The LPs came in good condition. The 2-LP cover smells awful...it is now quarantined inside a box with several mothballs, to camouflage its odor. The LPs are freshly washed, with new sleeves, and kept in safe storage until the cover smells better.
As I watched the stars in the sky I wondered where the ceiling had gone.