Flip flopped orchestra?

Last night while listening to an LP of "1812 Overture" I've owned since the 70's and heard countless times, I was struck by how crappy it sounded (RCA/Victor red label), and that the violins were on the right side of the sound field, and the cellos and basses were on the left! Imagine my dismay! After all these years I JUST noticed? Huh?! Anyone else ever notice something similar? Could this have anything to do with the often discussed polarity/phase issue?

I remember this question being ask years ago and the answer then was that sometimes the musicians were arranged in this manner. Or the channels could have been switched in the recording process or in your system. No way to tell.
I do have some records with musicians arranged in really odd manner. Most of these are Jazz LPs. One (I don't recall which - I think it's Bill Evans LP) has the drummer on the far right - beyond the right speaker.
Just to be sure (because there was a recent post by someone with the same observation on a recording he was listening to), you didn't happen to be recently re-wiring your system and reversed the left and right channel interconnects by mistake, did you (which is what that poster did)?
My friend has a Harmon Kardon Citation-2 and there is a stereo reverse switch for exactly these scenarios.
Actually you are listening from *behind* the orchestra.
Welcome at the high end audio! This is the stuff you will from now on be exposed to every time you listen to recordings from different labels,times and productions.....have fun!
Many engineers haven't got a clue about the sound field. They just start in with the panpots without any regard for reality. One of my favorite sonic presentations is on the
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "Midnight Sugar" record. Aside from his awful playing, the listener feels like he's sticking his head up through a hole cut in the soundboard of the piano. There should be a law. Then again, I believe most listeners have no idea what real acoustic instruments sound like in real space, so it really doesn't matter.
How interesting.
To compound the issue some conductors in the old days moved the instruments around based on hall acoustics. eg Stokowski was well known to swap orchestra sections such as brass from one side to the other in some concert halls.