December 1, 2013

101 Reel-To-Reel Tapes 29: Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering (promotional recording)

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering
front cover photographer unknown    

In addition to my vinyl collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I'm selling. This is an entry about one of them. Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering, will be for sale on eBay in December of 2014 (see link below for others now on sale). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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Leontyne Price was born Mary Violet Leontyne Price on February 10, 1927. She made her first appearance on the grand operatic stage in San Francisco on September 20, 1957, singing the role of Madame Lidoine in the U.S. premiere of Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc. A few weeks later, Price sang her first Aida, stepping in for Italian soprano Antonietta Stella. It was performed at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in October, I believe, 1957. I saw that performance (with real live elephants, see: Paul Simon at the Greek Theater); it was the first time I saw an opera live. I remember thinking at the time that the casting of Price in the role of Aida was brilliant. What an incredible experience! The chance of a lifetime, really!

I believe my sealed and never-opened copy of this reel-to-reel tape by Leontyne Price, A Christmas Offering, is a promotional copy*. The reason: it is different than the one usually seen (photo above); the cover is plain with no photo of any kind (typical of promo albums) . . .

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering
reel-to-reel tape box cover
photo by Styrous®

. . . and (except for shrink wrap) there is nothing on the back of the tape box (also typical of promotional albums). 

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering
reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering
reel-to-reel tape box spine edge
photo by Styrous®

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering
reel-to-reel tape box spine edge detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Besides the United States, there have been issues of this recording in Canada, Holland and the UK.

Canada pressing                                Holland pressing
UK pressing

Leontyne Price, Herbert von Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic* ‎– A Christmas Offering
Label: London Records ‎– OS 25280
Format: tape 7½ ips - LON 70049
Country: US

Recording Date: June, 1961

Genre: Classical
Style: Romantic

Track list:

Side 1:

1 - Silent Night        
2 - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing        
3 - We Three Kings Of Orient Are        
4 - Angels We Have Heard On High        
5 - O Tannenbaum        
6 - God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen        
7 - It Came Upon The Midnight Clear        
8 - Vom Himmel Hoch    

Side 2:
1 - Sweet Li'L Jesus        
2 - Ave Maria        
3 - 3 O Holy Night        
4 - Ave Maria        
5 - Alleluja

Duration: 39:23

Franz Schubert
Johann Sebastian Bach
Charles Gounod


Herbert von Karajan conducting members of
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,
The Singverein deer Gesellschaft deer Musikfreunde and
The Wiener Grosstadtkinderchor

Vocals – Leontyne Price

Leontyne Price on YouTube:
     Silent Night
     Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
     O Tannenbaum
     O Holy Night
     Ave Maria -(Bach-Gounod)

* A promotional recording, or promo, is an audio or video recording distributed for free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available. Promos are normally sent directly to broadcasters, such as music radio and television stations, and to tastemakers, such as DJs and music journalists, in advance of the release of commercial editions, in the hope that airplay, reviews, and other forms of exposure will result and stimulate the public's interest in the commercial release.

Promos are often distributed in plain packaging, without the text or artwork that appears on the commercial version. Typically a promo is marked with some variation of the following text: "Licensed for promotional use only. Sale is prohibited." It may also state that the promo is still the property of the distributor and is to be returned upon demand." However, it is not illegal to sell promotional recordings,[1] and recalls of promos are extremely rare and unenforced.[2]

Because promos are produced in smaller quantity than releases made available to the general public, they are sometimes considered valuable collectors' items. They are never intended for sale in record stores.

A promo single (short for promotional single) is a single that is made available to radio stations, nightclubs, music publications, and other media outlets by a record label for the express purpose of promoting a forthcoming commercial single or an entirely new album. A song may be released as a promotional single even if no commercial version of the single is available to buy, usually if this is the case it is for the purposes of promoting an entire album. While intended specifically for use by professional disc jockeys and not for resale, they are frequently sought out by music collectors nonetheless.

The promo single is usually recognized by its limited liner notes and cover artwork as well as its unique catalog number (or the occasional lack thereof). Quite often, vinyl records will be issued in a generic cardboard jacket or white paper sleeve while CDs will be issued in a slimline jewel case or cardboard sleeve.

There may also be promotion-specific terms stamped on the disc or its cover, most notably "For Promotional Use Only."

Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering on eBay

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

more reel-to-reel tapes on the Styrous® Viewfinder:
                                             reel-to-reel tape archive

Styrous® ~ December 1, 2013


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