Album Covers: “A Little Russian”

(Last Updated On May 25, 2022)

Our last posted album cover did prompt some discussion including the bad use of word play to sell albums in that time period. I also commented that we were unlikely to see anything bizarre with classical music covers, but now I have to eat my words. The following cover is from an obscure release of Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony (known as “Little Russian”) by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. As you can see, this is a kind of tasteless play on words that, I assume, was meant to be eye-catching. Alfred Van Weth conducted that orchestra roughly between 1955 and 1965 but if anyone has more exact details out there, it would be much appreciated. Also, if anyone actually has this album, perhaps the photographer is credited as well.

Album Cover – (Photographer Unknown) (c1960)

9 thoughts on “Album Covers: “A Little Russian”

  1. Another thought that I had regarding this picture is the fact that the taken-off clothes are visible in the picture. It suggests a happy, uninhibited child who quickly undressed in order to play in the water. That is also true in THIS picture.

    • I’m not sure I agree about your example. The stiffness of the pose makes the whole image somewhat awkward, even uncomfortable. That may, however, be a cultural difference.

    • Well, you and my father would get along great. He likes low-brow humor too. I prefer humor with a more sophisticated wit. -Ron

      • I guess I too don’t see what’s low-brow about the image. Is there some pun on “Russian” I’m not getting?

        Oh well, I have the album as a download and the notes have no info about the photographer. It was a budget rerelease, and those are often of dubious provenance.

          • In case not everybody here is familiar with the original meaning of the title of the work, perhaps I should add this quote from Wikipedia:

            Because Tchaikovsky used three Ukrainian folk songs to great effect in this work, it was nicknamed the “Little Russian” (Russian: Малороссийская, Malorossiyskaya) by Nikolay Kashkin, a friend of the composer as well as a well-known musical critic of Moscow.[1] Ukraine was at that time frequently called “Little Russia”.

          • Yes, perhaps I should have made some mention of how The Ukraine is sometimes referred to as Little Russia. -Ron

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