Ansermet / L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande – Rimsky-Korsakov Program (US pressing, mono)

# Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
# Orchestra: L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
# Conductor: Ernest Ansermet
# Vinyl (year of release unknown, CM 9186)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 13
# Label: London
# Size: 24/96kHz (863MB) and 16/44.1 (223MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: FileFactory, FilePost


This opera, composed in 1889 – 1890 to a libretto by Vladimir Belsky, was introduced at Moscow on November 3, 1900. “Little Pictures” for triple winds, brass, several drums, metal percussion, harp, celesta, and strings were extracted.

In the New Grove entry on Rimsky-Korsakov, Gerald Abraham branded most of the operas “musico-scenic fairy tales” lacking in specific characterization. Alexander Pushkin’s writings exerted a mighty influence, inspiring three of the 15 operas: Mozart and Salieri in 1897, The Golden Cockerel (Rimsky’s last) in 1907, and — to give the work its full title — The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of his son the famous and mighty hero Prince Guidon Saltanovich, and of the beautiful Swan Princess, all in a prolog with four acts.

Rimsky introduced all four acts with the same brass fanfare (Stravinsky used the same idea as a snare-drum roll in Petrushka). For the original three movements of the Tsar Saltan suite — The Flight of the Bumblebee became a separate concert-piece, although it is usually performed with “Little Pictures” — Rimsky retained the fanfare as an idée fixe (he had read Berlioz, too).
The marches in “The Tsar’s Departure and Farewell” comprise the prelude to Act I. “The Tsarina in a Barrel at Sea” was the prelude to Act II. The prelude to scene 2 in the final act became “The Three Wonders” — first, the Swan Princess herself; second a whistling squirrel that cracks nuts with emerald meats, and third, a flood of Guidon’s island that leaves behind 33 golden-helmeted warriors. The Bumblebee was extracted from Act III. Both the first and third “Little Pictures” are brimful of melodies and orchestral flourishes, but more remarkable is the stormy, sea-tossed centerpiece, a tour de force without any melody, just orchestration at the service of pure harmony. – Roger Dettmer,

Track listing

Side One
The Tale Of Tsar Saltan – Suite, Op. 57
01 – I. The Tsar’s Departure and Farewell (Introduction to Act 1)
02 – II. The Tsaritsa and her son afloat in the cask (Introduction to Act 2)
03 – III. The Three Wonders (Introduction to Act 4, Scene 2)

Side Two
04 – May Night – Overture
05 – Russian Easter Festival – Overture on Liturgical Themes, Op. 36

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio Reso-Mat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only)

Note: This is an unfolded mono recording. Feel free to fold it on your own.


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16 thoughts on “Ansermet / L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande – Rimsky-Korsakov Program (US pressing, mono)

  1. This particular LP is a London reissue of Decca SXL 2221. The original album was recorded in November of 1956, and would have been released in early 1957.

    • Thanks for the info, Aquaria. Do you happen to know when this particular copy was released? I couldn’t find anything online about it.

  2. I don’t know the exact year of this particular release, but I think it’s from a series of re-releases Decca put out on their London US label. I’d have to do more research on it, but I’m relatively certain that the London logo is from the mid- to late-60s.

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