Help me find more information on my 1968 Bach Messe in H-Moll records.
April 19, 2004 10:15 PM   Subscribe

I have spent the last day looking for information in a particular set of records I own. They are in perfect condition, 1968 Bach's Messe in H-Moll. It is first run, original. More inside.

This is what it says on the front:

Johann Sebastian Bach
Erstaufnahme mit Originalinstrumenten

On the left side says Das Alte Werk, on the right side is a sticker that says Grand Prix Du Disque.

There is an image depicting Jesus at a table.

On the back it says

Royal Sound Stereo BWV-232
SKH 20/1-3

First recording with original instruments as stipulated in the autograph.

Made in Germany TELDEC Telefunken
Western Germany

It includes all three records, the last record is one sided with white label on the back with no grooves. I have looked on Google and Ebay with no luck. Can someone help me figure out if this is rare, and if so, what it should be worth? Thanks.
posted by Keyser Soze to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Disclaimer: I am by no means an LP expert, but my first thought is... have you ever gone into a thrift store/flea market and seen the overflowing bins of classical records ("Uh... yeah... my Grandma passed away and she had all these records... do you think they're worth anything?") selling for 1-3 dollars apiece? I would imagine the chances of this recording being rare are slim.

As an aside, you might want to give us a bit more data - it's difficult to figure anything out about classical recordings without information about the soloist, choir, orchestra, or conductor. It might be worth something to a collector if it is a "lost" or out-of-print recording of a big star in the classical scene, but even then I wouldn't hold out much hope for it making you big bucks.
posted by scribblative at 10:36 PM on April 19, 2004

From the date it must be Harnoncourt's first recording of the b minor mass with Concentus Musicus Wien. No idea how much it's worth; most LPs don't fetch more than a few pence these days. I imagine there are still plenty of copies of this around as it was a ground breaking (and, obviously, award-winning) recording. I'd love to have it on LP but have no turntable at the moment...
posted by cbrody at 10:38 PM on April 19, 2004

I don't know if this also goes for LP's, but as far as CD's go, the Mass in Bm tends to be a bit rarer - maybe due to its length (ie 2 CD's or in this case 3 LP's)?
posted by nomis at 11:57 PM on April 19, 2004

You should be able to find a "rare record price guide" directory for Germany I would have thought. Perhaps you could try to find someone in Germany to look in a public library for you. I have one (published by Record Collector magazine) for the UK, but it only covers domestic, not European stuff.

You can get reasonable prices for some records, but I don't know much about classical. You're not going to retire on the proceeds though. The rarest of rare, home-published, short-run, elaborate-sleeved, posthumously-rated 70s prog-rock records LPs fetch £250 at the absolute top of the range, and they tend to be rare as hen's teeth. If your records are worth £20 - £35 (or whatever the US$ equivalent is), then you could probably count them as fairly rare. Don't forget to bear in mind sleeve and record condition in your valuation too.
posted by bifter at 9:52 AM on April 20, 2004

Records aren't as worthless as they seem - my dad has among his thousands of records Backaus' complete Beethoven sonatas, first edition or something, and he checked it on eBay and it's like $160 worth. It's not very rare, but it's relevent, and people have interest. He's got others, too. Records in flea markets go cheap for lack of wide interest, but for any substantial record collection there's usually one or two that a collector will take interest in.
posted by abcde at 6:34 PM on April 20, 2004

Mm, bleeding italics.
posted by abcde at 6:34 PM on April 20, 2004

My local used book/record store won't even look at used classical records. I've gotten good prices on blues, punk, other stuff, but the owner says classical buffs simply aren't interested in vinyl, they only want CDs. This may or may not be generally applicable. But I doubt the Alte Werk set you're talking about is that valuable anyway -- I think I used to have a copy myself, they weren't hard to find.
posted by languagehat at 5:43 PM on April 21, 2004

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