Classical 7″ … singles and EPs
Classical EPS … for what it’s worth. Not a lot.
Early EMI classical and opera singles
Early Decca classical and opera singles
Go back to the origins of vinyl in the late 1940s when RCA were promoting 45 rpm 7″ records, while Columbia were pushing 33 1/3 rpm 12″ and 10″ albums. It was generally held by the early 1950s that the 7″ record had won the popular market, and the LP had won the Classical / Opera / Stage Musicals / Hi Fi Easy Listening market.
Classical fans were early adopters, so yes there are classical 45s from early on. There are plenty of recent ones too, but these are almost always because of TV or film soundtracks, or because they were used in TV adverts.
They tend to go for the same tunes too. Pachebel’s Canon from the TV series, Vietnam, Vietnam (a 1968 recording used in 1977) then a different recording for the film Ordinary People (by James Galway in 1981).
Early EMI and Decca classical EPs. Generic sleeves, no illustration
There are way more EPs around than singles. Classical EPs and singles don’t rate very often as collectables. They’re mainly mono too. The generic sleeves beloved of EMI and Decca didn’t help. In the USA, the value of an illustrated sleeve was already apparent.
DGG’s Archive series is aggressively austere:
Bach Brandenburg Concert No 2 BWV 1047, DGG Archive Production
Not even Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is collectable, and they combine first-rate recordings of their era , with specially-commissioned illustrations on the sleeves. Plus there’s something appealing abut that yellow band series identity.
Grieg, Sigurd Jorsalfar etc, Kurt Graunke, Bavarian SO, DGG 1958.
None for sale online. One earlier version at £2.
Mozart: Die Zauberflote, Maria Stager etc, DGG
It was done with at least three different sleeves. Two for sale online at £1.50
Rossini Overtures: The Silken Ladder / Italian Girl in Algiers, Ferenc Fricsay DGG 1957
None on sale online.
Having said that, I like the sleeves and I pick clean ones out of the 99p boxes.
Various mail order record cubs produced large numbers of classical EPs:
Purcell Trumpet Voluntary: World Record Club
As with albums, there are high-priced exceptions.
Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jnr, by the Century Symphony Orchestra 1956
A 1956 RCA Camden budget EP (Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jnr, by the Century Symphony Orchestra) fetched £3,554 on eBay in 2012, solely because of the Andy Warhol sleeve art. There’s one in the Warhol museum, but few others have been found. It’s a budget recording. I’d hazard no purchaser cares about the music.
Herb Alpert’s The Lonely Bull EP is not classical, but has a Picasso sleeve, and is quite common.
Generally though, classical EPs are worthless, in spite of those DGG sleeve designs. The main run of LPs are usually “worth little.” Many charity shops have large numbers of classical LPs and any price over £1 was optimistic circa 2010.