Classical covers to cry for

In the wake of the most horrific classical CD cover of 2011, Classical KUSC has come up with a list of the Worst Classical Albums of All Time. Ever. Really. Top of the list is a truly appalling offering from the London Philharmonic – they really can’t keep out of trouble, can they? –

As well as such delectables as this all time favourite:

But allow me to append some of my own. Start with Carlos Kleiber’s Rosenkavalier. Or is it Einstein at the Blackboard Hiding Behind his Favourite Pupil when Mrs Einstein Dropped In?

This is a man playing Chopin. Really.

And so is this one. Really.

This café does not serve hot drinks.

These people are waiting outside, gasping for a coffee
These two ladies are very bored. That’s why they’re Handelling each other.
This instrument was very seriously mishandled before the recording
And if you have an earthly what’s going on here, please drop it in the Comments box as you leave.

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  • Let me take a stab at the last one. It’s Napoleon’s hat, and the colouring on it suggests the move from sunrise (i.e. Beethoven dedicating the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte) to sunset (i.e. Beethoven tearing up the dedication when Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor).

  • Eroica: Means “Heroic.” Beethoven had originally begun to compose this as a tribute to Napoleon (hence the hat) before he changed his mind about Napoleon’s politics.

  • I remember a “Stockhausen’s Greatest Hits” (no really!) from the seventies that featured a photo of the mid-section of a woman wearing white denim shorts with the zipper pulled down and just a hint of pubic hair. I kid you not.

      • I don’t blame you for being doubtful! But I remember it clear as day. It was one of a series of “Greatest Hits” issued, by, I think, DGG. They did a lot of different composers and thought, hey, why not Stockhausen too. The cover was all white: white background, white skin, white denim, zipper down. It was probably a take off on the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers cover:

        I saw it in the early 70s sometime. A search on the web for Stockhausen album covers didn’t turn it up, but that’s not too surprising. In the early 70s classical companies did a lot promotion they would just as soon forget…

        Does anyone else remember this album?

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