Ansermet / OSR – Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, Overture from “Prince Igor” (Speakers Corner / London, 180g pressing)

# Composer: Alexander Borodin
# Orchestra: L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
# Conductor: Ernest Ansermet
# Vinyl (1954 / 1996)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Speakers Corner / London | CS 6126
# Size: 1.1GB (24/96) + 308MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory / File Post

From the Speakers Corner website:

Anyone believing in the old adage that science and the fine arts do not mix must rethink his ideas when he becomes acquainted with Alexander Borodin’s biography and his music. The Russian professor of chemistry constantly stole time from his lectures in order to compose; it was musical elements and formulas rather than chemical ones that occupied him.

Without a doubt, the Second Symphony in B minor best reflects Russian feeling and temperament. Its rather harsh and mechanical theme is contrasted first by a lively little song and later by a conciliatory second subject. Cheerful and soothing melodies are heard in ever new combinations until the main theme returns once again and the movement is brought to a powerful close. The Scherzo, with its throbbing horns, march rhythms and thrilling woodwinds, is equally electrifying. The contemplative Andante is followed by a highly explosive Finale based on two Russian dance melodies which are widely varied during the course of the music.

Both old and new friends of Russian symphonic music are highly recommended to experiment in their own “sitting-room laboratories” with this musically and chemically pure vinyl pressing.


Decca first began experimenting at Victoria Hall Geneva with stereo recording in May 1954. These Borodin performances were taped in October-November, thus placing them among Decca’s earliest stereo productions. The sound is very good indeed: a trifle raw at treble extremes, but otherwise vivid and forward, with excellent presence and detail plus a lively ‘3-D’ soundstage. Moon & Gray rate the original issue (Decca never released it here as an SXL) very highly, giving it a 9 out of 10 for performance and a 10 for sound.

I have a Japanese London pressing from UK Decca metalwork (matrix 1s on both sides), but this reissue is, I think, better: it sounds cleaner and more evenly balanced tonally, though some might prefer the added brilliance of the Japanese London. Performances are enthusiastic and committed, with plenty of energy and life. the start of Borodin 2 is perhaps lacking in tautness and discipline, but this is playing from a gentler, less frenetic age than ours. Excellent pressing. – James M. Hughes, HiFi News

Track Listing:

Side One
Symphony No. 2 in B Minor
01 – Allegro
02 – Scherzo (Prestissimo)
03 – Andante
04 – Finale (Allegro)

Side Two
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor (completed by Glazunov)
05 – Moderato assai
06 – Scherzo (Vivo)

Prince Igor (completed by Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov)
07 – Overture

There is 10 seconds of silence between tracks 4 and 5.

Additional info can be found here.

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 ResoMat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX2

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19 thoughts on “Ansermet / OSR – Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, Overture from “Prince Igor” (Speakers Corner / London, 180g pressing)

    • I should have the new cartridge today, They tried to deliver it yesterday, but I wasn’t here to sign for it.

      Realistically, I’d say within a month. Sooner (hopefully) if time allows. The cartridge will need to be setup, aligned, broken in, etc.

      In the meantime, I still have some things ripped that I haven’t gotten to yet and I will be posting those during the break-in period.

  1. Thanks for this intriguing early stereo recording. Ansermet never really got his dues from many reviewers of his recordings. He made the Swiss orchestra into a very fine ensemble.

    • I never quite understood why was disrespected back then. I was a fan from the first time I heard him.

      Hope you enjoy the rip!

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