Saturday, November 25, 2017

Beethoven Between the Boobs, the infamous Daniel Barenboim Westminister gold series LP

Dutch NPR radio 4 initiated a “vinylweek” november 25th till december 1st 2017. Classical music recordings, not yet on Spotify or CD, bargain finds for an euro and of course the cover art of classical LP’s. 

One of the most (in)famous classical music covers -and therefore very much sought after!!- is the 1970 re-issue of Daniel Barenboim’s performance of Beethoven’s 3rd piano concerto. The cover is known as the “Beethoven between the boobs” cover (see below the Spotify widget on this page)

The cover was designed by Christopher Whorf for the Westminister Gold series. Originally, the cover of the 1965 Lp was quite traditional, as can be seen here. Whorf managed to make it one of the most whimsical and silly coves ever to be produced on the classical market…

Interesting to know that Christopher Whorf actually did make magnificent record covers, as he has been nominated four times for a Grammy award for best sleeve design, and won the Grammy in 1974, for his design of Mason Proffit’s “Come and gone”. 

But, most interestingly, almost no one seem to know the music on this LP, a 22 year old Daniel Barenboim on the brink of an international break-trough. So, here is the chance, thanks to a fine transfer by Deutsche Grammophon (who bought te tapes of the Westminister label), to hear the performance on of the most infamous LP’s in classical music history. 


Ludwig van Beethoven 

Track 01-03 Concerto For Piano And Orchestra In no 3 C Minor, Op. 37
Track 04 Fantasia For Piano, Chorus And Orchestra, Op. 80

Daniel Barenboim, Piano
Vienna State opera orchestra
Laszlo Somogyi, conductor
Vienna Academy Chamber Choir
Recorded in Mozart Hall, Vienna, May 1964

(Spotify Webplayer link)

The Christoper Whorf design...