Damian's 78s (and a few early LPs)

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Bransby Williams as Scrooge (1926)

After Christmas carols earlier in the week, today it’s another Dickensian helping from Bransby Williams. His 1912 Columbia recording of his Scrooge monologues, together with a Micawber speech appeared here last year. These were replaced with later acoustic recordings in 1924, but these were swiftly rendered redundant by the advent of electrical recording. Thus in 1926, Williams recorded these scenes again, on the same catalogue numbers with an R appended (for “re-recording”). The first record of this set has appeared here previously, but I’ve now acquired the second record, so I present it here in full.

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s advice to David Copperfield
Bransby Williams,
actor

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream (1926) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – The Dream (1926) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – After the Dream (1926) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s Advice to David Copperfield (1926) – Bransby Williams

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Columbia 347R (81.8rpm)

Matrices WAX 1397-2, 1396-2 (6043, 6042)
Recorded 31st March 1926
Available from May 1926 to February 1944

Columbia 348R (81.8rpm)

Matrices WAX 1398-1, 1399-1 (6041, 6040)
Recorded 31st March 1926
Available from June 1926 to February 1944

A Bransby Williams discography can be found elsewhere on this site.

Stanford Robinson’s Nutcracker and Bransby Williams’s Scrooge

With Christmas nearly here, it’s time for my customary festive posting. On the orchestral side of things, Stanford Robinson conducts the Nutcracker Suite, and then there’s a feast of Dickensian recordings from Bransby Williams. Then as a non-festive bonus, a monologue from Wilfrid Brambell, best known as Albert Steptoe in Steptoe and Son. He apparently created the character of “David Bright” and is heard here in “A Bright Day” recorded for Radio Eireann in 1946, according to the written note on the record sleeve.

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite Op.71a
National Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 1. Miniature Overture – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 2. March – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 4. Russian Dance (Trepak) – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 5. Arab Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 6. Chinese Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 7. The Reed Pipe Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 8. Waltz of the Flowers – Robinson

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

DECCA AK 1142-4
Matrices AR 9056-3, 9057-2, 9058-2, 9081-2, 9079-2, 9080-2
Recorded 18th January 1945 (tracks 1-5) and 26th January 1945 (tracks 6-8), Kingsway Hall, London
Released September 1945

Bransby Williams was a regular on the music hall stage, famed for his impersonations of great actors of the time, for his humorous monologues, and particularly for his performances of Dickensian characters. He recorded extensively from at least 1905 to 1948, starting with Edison cylinders, then HMV and Zonophone, Pathé, Winner, Columbia and Decca. He recorded his interpretation of Scrooge in 1905, 1906 and 1912 (Edison), 1909 (HMV), 1912 (Winner), 1912, 1924 and 1926 (Columbia) and 1948 (DECCA). I present here his 1912 Columbia and 1948 DECCA accounts. The Columbia is coupled with Micawber’s advice to David Copperfield, which can also be heard on a separate DECCA recording from 1947.

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s advice to David Copperfield

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – The Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – After the Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s Advice to David Copperfield (1912) – Bransby Williams

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Columbia 347-8
Matrix 6275-2, 6276-2, 6277-1, 6278-1
Recorded 1912, London
Available from December 1912 to May 1924 (replaced by recordings made April 1924)
Play at 81.1rpm

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – The Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – After the Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle – Bransby Williams

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

DECCA AK 1963-4
Matrix AR 12497-1, 12498-1, 12499-1, 12500-1
Recorded 7th July 1948, London

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – David Copperfield – Wilkins Micawber – Bransby Williams

Dickens – David Copperfield – Dan’l Peggotty – Bransby Williams

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

DECCA F 9277
Matrix DR 12529-1, 12530-2
Recorded July 1948, London

Brambell – A Bright Day

Wilfred Brambell, actor

Brambell – A Bright Day

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Broadcasting Service 455/12/DS
Recorded 1946, Dublin?

Written on the record sleeve: Wilfred Brambell as “David Bright” for “A Bright Day”, written by him and broadcast Radio Eireann 1946

Shakespeare Day

Although I’ve not posted much here recently, I’ve been doing plenty of restoration, for CRQ editions – there are now four volumes of Percy Pitt recordings available, and one of Lorenzo Molajoli.

My reason for posting today though is to honour Shakespeare’s birthday. I’ve transferred a recently acquired late acoustic Vocalion of Henry Baynton (1892-1951), one of the last actor-managers, performing Shakespearian excerpts. The first side is one of his own concoctions, I think, called “Shakespeare’s War Cry” consisting of a shortened verions of Richmond’s speech  from Richard III, Act 5 Scene 3, the last three lines of Philip the Bastard from King John Act 5 Scene 7, and the St Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V Act 4 Scene 3, followed by a brief conclusion “God keep us thorough to the end. God prosper your affairs. God grant us everlasting peace.”

Shakespeare’s War Cry (from Richard III, King John, Henry V)
Shakespeare – The Seven Ages of Man (from As You Like It); Hamlet’s Soliloquy
Henry Baynton

Shakespeare’s War Cry – Baynton

Shakespeare – Seven Ages of Man, Hamlet’s soliloquy – Baynton

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Vocalion K-05216
Matrices 04273, 04274X
Recorded c 1924
Transferred at 79.5rpm in line with some roughly contemporary matrices.

The day cannot go by either without at least a brief tribute to the great Albert Coates. I’ve not had time to do any new transfers of his recordings, so I thought his wonderful account of Dvorak’s Carnival Overture needed to reappear here.

Dvorak – Carnival Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Dvorak – Carnival Overture – Coates

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Electrola EJ 591
Matrices Cc 17860-IIA, 17861-IIA (32-1049/50)
Recorded 6th November 1929, Kingsway Hall, London

Shakespeare recordings by pupils of the Guildhall School of Music, Basil Maine and John Gielgud; Albert Coates conducts Siegfried’s Funeral March

Today marks the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and death, and is also St. George’s Day. To mark the first of these, there are two quite different Shakespeare recordings from 78s, which are linked by a review in Gramophone magazine. Then there’s a set of Linguaphone recordings of John Gielgud performing Shakespeare. This is different to the set that has appeared here previously (though he does perform some of the same excerpts.)

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of the conductor Albert Coates, so I present here his 1926 recording of Siegfried’s Funeral March from Götterdämmerung.

Shakespeare – As You Like It: Rosalind’s Speech, Act III, Scene V
Miss Margaret Littlefair,
actor
Shakespeare – Twelfth Night: Garden Scene Duologue, Olivia and Viola, Act III, Scene 1
Miss Winifred Cain,
actor
Miss Bronwen Rees, actor

Shakespeare – As You Like It: Rosalind’s Speech – Littlefair

Shakespeare – Twelfth Night: Garden Scene – Cain, Rees

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Columbia 4396
Matrices WA 3717-3, 3715-2 (23549, 23547)
Recorded 1927
Available from June 1927

Paul Berton, BA, BCI, FGSM, Professor of Dramatic Art and Declamation at the Guildhall School of Music, with the aid of some of his students, made the following 8 recordings demonstrating his principle of “Logical-Rhetorical Dissection of Speech”

This is the third of four records. This set was roundly demolished in a review in Gramophone in August 1927:

You all know the lines about little victims heedless of their doom, and here have I been sitting hard at work to-day quite unaware of the doom in store for me in a little heap of unplayed records. This afternoon the blow fell. I have played them all through, and if I say that they are more depressing than any recent weather forecast I shall actually be understating their effect. These records, four in number from Columbia, are announced as follows :–” TRAINING FOR SPEAKING. A Series of Columbia Records of Declamatory Art Demonstrating the Logical-Rhetorical Dissection of Speech by the Students of Paul Berton, B.A., etc., Professor of the Guildhall School of Music.”

…I find in these four records every fault of the professional elocutionist. It is all very well to dissect Shakespeare, but there is surely no reason why he should be murdered first, for murdered he is by these pupils of Mons. Paul Berton. Miss Winifred Cain has a really good voice; if she were properly taught she might make a good Shakespearian actress, and I am not sure that something might not be made of Miss Bronwen Rees. But no amount of logical-rhetorical dissection can compensate for the monotonous two notes, which is all that Mons. Berton seems to allow his pupils. I am aware that most Rosalinds rebuke their Phoebes in the style of a coy governess, but this particular version of the speech by Miss Margaret Littlefair outdoes all previous Rosalinds.

…It is dreadful to think what may be going on under our ears all the time without our being aware of it. I don’t know how long Mons. Berton has been a professor of declamation and dramatic art at the Guildhall School of Music, but he has evidently been there long enough to write a book about it, and a fine nonsensical piece of work it seems to be, to judge by the extracts. I had never thought of the Guildhall School of Music as a dangerous institution until I played through these records to-day.

….these elocutionary records are not a success, and I shall not send any of my young friends to the Guildhall School of Music. Does Shakespeare pay ? No, and he never will pay until we can get somebody to act him. Mr. Basil Maine the other night read three or four lines from Shakespeare so well that I wish he would record John of Gaunt’s glorious speech. Then there is the chief announcer of the B.B.C. He knows how to read. It is all very fine to have a Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, but we shall soon have to start a Society for the Protection of Ancient Poetry, with appeals to The Times signed by Mr. J. C. Squire, etc., calling on the public to help in preserving Hamlet’s soliloquies from logical rhetorical dissection. Columbia ! Columbia ! Why did you publish these records ?

The Gramophone reviewer’s request was soon answered, as Basil Maine made a number of recordings, both for HMV in 1929, and for Parlophone a little later, including John o’Gaunt’s speech from Richard II.

Shakespeare – Richard II – John o’Gaunt’s Speech
Shakespeare – Macbeth – The Dagger Speech
Basil Maine,
actor

Shakespeare – Richard II – John o’Gaunt –  Maine

Shakespeare – Macbeth – Dagger – Maine

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Parlophone E5987
Matrices W1549, W1550
Recorded c1930

Around 1930, John Gielgud recorded a number of Shakespearian excerpts for Linguaphone. These were issued on five 78s, and have been available on this site before, but they are available to download again below. Some years later, Gielgud recorded again for Linguaphone, another set of five 78s. He is named as Sir John Gielgud on the labels, which places the records no earlier than 1953. There are a few overlaps with the earlier set, but most selections are new. In both sets, the records are numbered only by matrix – there are no disc numbers.

Shakespeare – excerpts from plays and Sonnets – Sir John Gielgud

Mediafire link for Shakespeare – excerpts – Gielgud (c1953)

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Linguaphone – Shakespeare Series A
Matrices given below
Recorded c1953

ENG 242-2 – Much Ado About Nothing (Act 2, Scene 3)
ENG 243-2 – King Richard the Second (Act 3, Scene 2); Sonnet XXX
ENG 244 – King Richard the Second (Act 3, Scene 3); King Henry the Fifth (Act 1, Scene 1)
ENG 245 – Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 4)
ENG 246-2 – Romeo and Juliet (Act 5, Scene 3); Cymbeline (Act 4, Scene 2)
ENG 247 – Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2)
ENG 248 – Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 4); Measure for Measure (Act 2, Scene 2)
ENG 249-2 – Richard II (Act 3, Scene 3)
ENG 250-2 – Henry V (Act 4, Scene 1)
ENG 251-2 – Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 7); Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5); The Tempest (Act 4, Scene 1)

Shakespeare – excerpts from plays and Sonnets – John Gielgud

Mediafire link for Shakespeare – excerpts – Gielgud (c1930)

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Linguaphone – Shakespearian Records by John Gielgud
Matrices given below
Recorded c1930

EEG.28E – The Merchant of Venice – Gratiano’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 1); As You Like It – Jaques’ Speech (Act 2, Scene 7)
EEG.29E – King Richard the Second – John of Gaunt’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 1); Sonnet CXVI
EEG.30E – As You Like It – Jaques’ Speech (Act 2, Scene 7); The Tempest – Prospero’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 1)
EEG.32E – King Henry the Fifth – King Henry’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 1); King Henry the Fourth – Hotspur’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 3)
EEG.33E – Othello – Othello’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 3)
EEG.34E – Hamlet – Hamlet’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 2)
EEG.35E – Hamlet – Hamlet’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 4); Sonnet XVIII
EEG.36E – Richard II – King Richard’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 3)
EEG.37E – Henry V – King Henry’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 3)
EEG.38E – Midsummer Night’s Dream – Oberon’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 1); Oberon’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 2); Puck’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 2)

Albert Coates is without doubt one of my favourite conductors, though I haven’t featured him here very much at all. To celebrate his birthday, I’ve remastered his 1926 recording of Siegfried’s Funeral March from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

Wagner – The Twilight of the Gods – Siegfried’s Funeral March
Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Wagner – The Twilight of the Gods – Funeral March – Coates

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D1092
Matrices CR 217-II, 141-III (4-0837/8)
Recorded 26th March, 25th January 1926, Queen’s Hall, London

Albert Whelan – Dickens; Bransby Williams – Dickens and others; Wilhelm Backhaus – Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Bach; Vladimir de Pachmann – Chopin; Mark Hambourg – Chopin, Schubert; Irene Scharrer – Chopin; Moritz Rosenthal – Chopin 1st Piano Concerto

This Christmas update brings a batch of Dickensian spoken word recordings and related items. A few of these have appeared here before, but are presented here in new transfers.

There are more items for the Chopin anniversary from various pianists, and some recordings by the same pianists of other composers, including a little festive Bach.

Albert Whelan (1875-1961) is remembered as a music hall entertainer, emigrating to England from his native Australia fairly early in his career. Given the nature of his career, it becomes hard to be sure whether these Dickens performances are intended sincerely or not. Certainly, The Death of Little Nell is worked for every ounce of sentimentality, and the orchestral backing carries it literally into the realms of melodrama as originally understood. This kind of performance makes one appreciate the reasons for Oscar Wilde’s withering put down of the scene, and is not easy to listen to after hearing more modern acting styles.

Dickens – The Old Curiosity Shop: The Death of Little Nell
Dickens – David Copperfield: Little Emily

Albert Whelan, actor
with Orchestra

Mediafire link for Dickens Monologues – Albert Whelan

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Zonophone The Twin Serial 268
Matrices 2211e, 7263e
Recorded 4th July 1905, 1907

Based on pitch of orchestral accompaniments, these have been transferred at 77.0rpm and 75.7rpm respectively.

Bransby Williams (1870-1961) is another music hall entertainer, born and bred in London. He was known very much for his impersonations (including a fine imitation of Henry Irving, the great Shakespearean), but also performed many characters from Dickens. He was particularly known for his Scrooge, and he recorded his Scrooge monologues for various companies. In  1928 he played the role in a short sound film, and also in a 1950 BBC TV production. He appeared in a number of silent films of works by Dickens. His recorded repertoire included many Dickens roles, and a number of other dramatic monologues and recitations, several of which are given here.

Mediafire link for Dickens and other recitations – Bransby Williams

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Dickens – A Christmas Carol – Scrooge No.3 The Awakening
Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities – Sydney Carton’s Farewell

Bransby Williams, actor
His Master’s Voice C 500
Matrices 3704f, 2636f (01031, 01014)
Recorded 7th October 1909, 9th October 1908

Recorded at about 81rpm and 80rpm respectively

Dickens – David Copperfield: Micawber and Uriah Heep
Cuthbert Clarke & Charles H Taylor – Devil May Care

Bransby Williams, actor
His Master’s Voice C 501 (first side also on Gramophone Monarch 01011)
Matrices 2631f, 2634f (01011, 01021)
Recorded 9th October 1908

Both sides recorded at about 80rpm

Dickens – A Christmas Carol – Scrooge: Before the Dream; After the Dream
Bransby Williams, actor
The Winner 2533
Matrices 1033D, 1034K
Recorded 1913
Available from January 1914

Milton Hayes – The Green Eye of the Yellow God
Chas J Winter – The Caretaker

Bransby Williams, actor
Columbia 388 (80rpm)
Matrices 6352-3, 6353-3 (1054/5)
Recorded 2nd May 1924
Available from June 1924 to May 1926

These sides were recorded 3 times. First in 1913 (6352-1, 6353-2), available from July 1913 to June 1924. They were then replaced with versions recorded on 2nd May 1924 (6352-3, 6355-3). These were in the catalogues until May 1926, when the electrically recorded remakes of 1st April 1926 replaced them (WAX 1400-1, 1401-1). These were deleted from the catalogue in February 1943

Dickens – The Pickwick Papers – Tony Weller
Dickens – Oliver Twist – Bill Sykes

Bransby Williams, actor
Columbia-Rena 400
Matrices 6354-1 or -2, 6355-2
Recorded 1913
Available from September 1913 to June 1924

Columbia 400
Matrices 6354-4, 6355-4 (1056/7)
Recorded 23rd and 21st May 1924
Available from June 1924 to July 1929

These two versions of the same “Dramatic Recitals” show how Williams’s performances varied. The broad outline of each version is the same, but there are differences in the details. Another, slightly cut, version of the Tony Weller scene was filmed for British Pathé

Dickens – A Christmas Carol – Scrooge: Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – David Copperfield: Micawber’s Advice to Copperfield

Bransby Williams, actor
Columbia 347 (81.8rpm)
Matrices WAX 1397-2, 1396-2 (6043, 6042)
Recorded 31st March 1926
Available from May 1926 to February 1944

Columbia 348 (80rpm)
Matrices 6277-1, 6278-1
Recorded 1912
Available from December 1923 to May 1924

This set was recorded 3 times. First in 1912 (6275-2, 6276-2, 6277-1, 6278-1), available from December 1912 to May 1924. It was then replaced with versions recorded on 14th and 4th April 1924 (6275-3, 6276-3, 6277-4, 6278-3). These were in the catalogues until May (347) and June (348) 1926, when the electrically recorded remakes of 31st March 1926 replaced them (WAX 1397-2, 1396-2, 1398-1, 1399-1). These were deleted from the catalogue in February 1944

Dickens, Lee, Weston – A Charles Dickens Christmas
Bransby Williams, actor
with various other performers
Columbia DX 554
Matrices CAX 6971-1, 6972-1
Recorded October 1933, London

The pianist Mark Hambourg has already featured on this site. The latest item is one of his earlier acoustic recordings, of Chopin and Schubert.

Download – Chopin – Polonaise in A – Mark Hambourg
Download – Schubert-Tausig – Marche Militaire – Mark Hambourg

(mp3 files – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Chopin – Polonaise in A major Op.40 No.1 (“Military”)
Schubert-Tausig – Marche Militaire

Mark Hambourg, piano
His Master’s Voice D 486
Matrices HO 4160af, 4162af (05646, 05647)
Recorded 15th December 1919, London

Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969) is without doubt one of the most famous of recorded pianists, with a studio career stretching from acoustic recordings in the first decade of the twentieth century through to stereo recordings in the 1960s. The recordings below show him in core repertoire from 1913 to 1934.

Mediafire link for Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms – Wilhelm Backhaus

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Chopin – Etude in E major Op,10 No.7; Waltz in D flat major Op.64 No.1 (“Minute”)
Schubert – Moment Musical Op.94 No.3; Hark, hark the lark
Wilhelm Backhaus, piano

His Master’s Voice D 170 (81rpm)
Matrices z7358f, z7360f (05553, 05550)
Recorded 20th May 1913, London

Brahms – Variations on a Theme by Paganini Op.35 Book 1 (Theme and Variations 1-8; Variations 9 -13)
Wilhelm Backhaus, piano
His Master’s Voice D 1019
Matrices Cc 5437-II, 5438-III (05855, 05856)
Recorded 5th December 1924, London

Chopin – Fantaisie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Chopin – Prelude in C major Op.28 No.1; Etude in C major Op.10 No.1
Wilhelm Backhaus, piano
His Master’s Voice DB 2059
Matrices 2B 5391-II, 5392-IV (32-4189, 32-4190)
Recorded 7th and 10th October 1933, London

Beethoven – Piano Sonata in C sharp minor Op.27 No.2 (“Moonlight”)

I. Adagio sostenuto (1 side)
II. Allegretto
(½ side)
III. Presto agitato
(1½ sides)

Bach arr Lucas – Pastorale from “Christmas Oratorio”
Wilhelm Backhaus, piano
His Master’s Voice DB 2405-6
Matrices 2EA 518-II, 519-III, 520-III, 516-II
Recorded 6th (sides 1 and 4) and 8th (sides 2 and 3) November 1934, Abbey Road Studio No.3, London

Vladimir de Pachmann (1848-1933) was highly regarded for his wonderful Chopin playing. The odder aspects of his platform behaviour carried into the recording studio, and his comments can be heard on several of the recordings here.

Mediafire link for Chopin – Vladimir de Pachmann

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Chopin – Prelude in B minor Op.28 No.6; Etude in G flat major Op.67 No.1
Chopin – Etude in G flat major Op.10 No.5
Vladimir de Pachmann, piano
His Master’s Voice DA 1302
Matrices Bb 6258-I, 11763-I (30-10220, 30-10221)
Recorded 26th June 1925, Hayes, Studio B and 3rd November 1927, C Studio, Small Queen’s Hall, London

Chopin – Nocturne in B major Op.32 No.1
Chopin – Impromptu in F sharp major Op.36 No.2
Vladimir de Pachmann, piano
His Master’s Voice DB 859
Matrices Cc 6259-II, 6261-I (05854, 05853)
Recorded 26th June 1925, Hayes, Studio B

Chopin – Nocturne in D flat major Op.27 No.2
Chopin – Etude in F major Op.25 No.3; Valse in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2
Vladimir de Pachmann, piano
His Master’s Voice DB 860
Matrices Cc 6253-I, 6260-I (05859, 05860)
Recorded 26th June 1925, Hayes, Studio B

Moritz Rosenthal (1862-1946) was a pupil of Liszt, and recorded extensively.

Chopin – Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor Op.11

Mediafire link for Chopin – Piano Concerto 1 – Moritz Rosenthal, Frieder Weissmann

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

I. Allegro maestoso
II. Romanza
III. Rondo vivace

Moritz Rosenthal, piano
Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann

Parlophone R 902-4, E 11113-4 (3 10” and 2 12” records)
Matrices W 38839, 38840, 133019, 133020, 133021, 133026, W 2-21695-3, 21696-2, 2-21697, 2-21698
Recorded 1st May 1839m 26th November 1930, 2nd March 1931, Berlin

Several sides of this recording are afflicted with a high pitched whistling noise, which I have done my best to ameliorate. Additionally, there is a twenty-six bar overlap between sides 3 and 4, so I have given two versions of the first movement, with the edit at the start and end of the overlapping section.

The recording is also somewhat cut:

1st movement:
Side 1: b1-24, b139-221
Side 2: b221-333
Side 3: b333-434
Side 4: b408-510
Side 5: b510-588
Side 6: b589-689

2nd movement:
Side 7: b12-71 (orchestral introduction omitted)
Side 8: b72-126

3rd movement:
Side 9: b1-47, b88-260
Side 10: b260-295, b327-520

Irene Scharrer (1888-1971) was one of the UK’s best known pianists. While perhaps best remembered for her recording with Henry Wood of the Litolff Scherzo, she was in fact a regular in the recording studios from around 1909 onwards. She made concerto recordings with Landon Ronald, and even attempted the Litolff Scherzo with him in 1915, though it was never issued.

Chopin – Scherzo No.2 in B minor Op.31
Irene Scharrer, piano

Download – Chopin – Scherzo No.2 – Irene Scharrer

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Columbia DX 433
Matrices CAX 6604-3, 6605-2
Recorded 5th December 1932, London

Landon Ronald – Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Wagner, Svendsen Bizet; Eugene Goossens – Tchaikovsky; Mary Law; Il Trovatore – Carrie Lanceley & Gwilym Richards; Daisy Kennedy interviewed

People are probably starting to wonder just how many Landon Ronald recordings I have. There are still plenty more to come, and a few early transfers which I’m keen to revisit. So, for the summer, a selection of Tchaikovsky, Svendsen, Wagner and Bizet, including a bonus side by Eugene Goossens.

Schumann – Carnaval

Mediafire link for Schumann – Carnaval – Landon Ronald

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice D 1840/2
Matrices Cc 18734-III, 18735-I, 18736-III, 18745-III, 18746-II, 18747-II (single side numbers 32-1373/8)
Recorded 8th (sides 1 and 2) and 11th (sides 3 to 6) April 1930, Kingsway Hall, London

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Side 1: (1) Preambule (2) Pierrot (3) Arlequin
Side 2: (4) Valse Noble (5) Eusebius (6) Florestan
Side 3: (7) Coquette (8) Papillons (9) Lettres dansante (10) Chiarina
Side 4: (11) Chopin (12) Estrella (13) Reconnaissance
Side 5: (14) Pantalon et Colombine (15) Valse Allemande (16) Paganini (17) Aveu
Side 6: (18) Promenade (19) Pause (20) Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins

Schumann’s piano suite is orchestrated variously here by Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov, Tcherepnin and Arensky. After Coquette, Replique is omitted, and Paganini includes the reprise of the Valse Allemande

Tchaikovsky – Theme and Variations from Suite No.3 in G
Tchaikovksy – Chanson sans paroles (Song without words)

Mediafire link for Tchaikovsky – Theme and Variations, Chanson sans paroles – Landon Ronald

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice D 1798/1800
Matrices Cc 17901-II, 17902-I, 17904-III, 17903-II, 17905-IA, 17906-IIA (single side numbers 32-1028/33)
Recorded 3rd December 1929, Kingsway Hall, London

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Side 1: Theme (Andante con moto) & Variations 1, 2, & 3
Side 2: Variations 4, 5, 6 & 7
Side 3: Variations 8, 9, & 10
Side 4: Variations 11 & 12 (First Record)
Side 5: Variation 12 (Second Record)
Side 6: Chanson sans paroles

The Chanson sans paroles may well be Ronald’s own orchestration.

Svendsen – Carnival in Paris
Tchaikovksy – Eugene Onegin – Polonaise (Act 3)

Mediafire link for Svendsen – Carnival in Paris, Tchaikovsky – Polonaise – Landon Ronald, Eugene Goossens

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice DB 1759/60
Matrices Cc 19735-II, 19736-II, 19737-II, 2B 598-I (single side numbers 32-1767/9, 32-2303)
Recorded 17th September 1929, Kingsway Hall, London (Svendsen)
Recorded 24th June 1931, Kingsway Hall, London (Tchaikovsky)

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald (Svendsen)
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens (Tchaikovsky).

Bizet – Carmen – Preludes to Act 1 and 2

Updated transfers now available

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice E 461
Matrices BR 936-IA, 937-II (single side numbers 6-830/1)
Recorded 21st January 1927, Queen’s Hall, London

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Landon Ronald

Wagner – Die Meistersinger – Overture

Mediafire link for Wagner – Die Meistersinger Overture – Landon Ronald

(This is an mp3 file – left click the link, download the file)

Opera Disc Company 65365
Matrices ac6117f, ac6119f (single side numbers 040760/1)
Recorded 2nd March 1912, London

New Symphony Orchestra, Landon Ronald

This recording has appeared here before, but is now presented in an improved transfer.

Mary Law was a young British violinist, born 1889, died 1919, possibly from tuberculosis. She recorded a number of sides for Zonophone in 1915, primarily of operatic fantasias – those arrangements that provided audiences the tunes they knew. In November 1915 she began a tour of Australia. The Melbourne Argus of November 23rd 1915 contains the following:

Just Arrived, Direct from London, Under Special Engagement and First Appearance in Australia of Miss MARY LAW, The Notable English Violinist. Miss Law has been honoured with Royal Commands galore, and can claim the distinction of having played before most Members of the Royal Family.

Verdi – Rigoletto, Fantasia
Rossini – William Tell, Fantasia

Mediafire link for operatic fantasias with Mary Law

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Zonophone Record The Twin – Serial A 187
Matrices z8393f, z8398f (single side numbers 047922/1)
Recorded 5th August 1915, London

Mary Law, violin with piano

The next item is the very traditional coupling on record of Ai nostri monti and the Miserere from Il Trovatore. This is a record on the short lived Pioneer label, which came into being in 1914, and lasted only until 1915. It’s on an earlier black label pressing, making 1914 the likely date. The two soloists are Australian soprano Carrie Lanceley and Welsh tenor Gwilym Richards. For more information on each, go to their respective pages.

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Home to our mountains; Miserere

Mediafire link for Verdi – Il Trovatore – duets with Lanceley and Richards

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Pioneer 135
Matrices 2522, 2523
Recorded 1914, London

Carrie Lanceley, soprano
Gwilym Richards, tenor
with Orchestra

Daisy Kennedy, the Australian violinist has already appeared here, playing Saint-Saens. The present recording, is somewhat of a departure. This is an interview with Daisy Kennedy, broadcast on the BBC as the interval feature for a concert by Rafael Kubelik. The dates of the concert or the original interview are unknown. Many thanks to to Cheniston K Roland for providing a copy of this interview. Kennedy reflects on how she began to learn the violin, playing for Jan Kubelik, studying with Sevcik, and working with Landon Ronald, Percy Pitt and Henry Wood.

Daisy Kennedy, interviewed by Irene Slade

Mediafire link for Daisy Kennedy interview

(This is an mp3 file – left click the link, download the file)

A full transcript can be found on my Daisy Kennedy page.

Benno Moiseiwitsch and John Drinkwater

Regular visitors to this site will not be surprised to find a recording conducted by Landon Ronald. In this case, for the anniversary year, it’s Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Benno Moiseiwitsch. The other item is a spoken word recording – the poet and playwright John Drinkwater reading some of his own works. The two men are connected by violinist Daisy Kennedy (of whom I now have several recordings.) Moiseiwitsch was her first husband, and Drinkwater was her second.

Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor Op.25
His Master’s Voice D 969-71
Matrices Cc 5655-III, 5656-II, 5657-I, 5658-I, 5659-II, 5660-II (single side numbers 05832/7)
Recorded 27th January 1925

Download – Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No.1 – 1st movement – Moiseiwitsch, Ronald

Download – Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No.1 – 2nd movement – Moiseiwitsch, Ronald

Download – Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No.1 – 3rd movement – Moiseiwitsch, Ronald

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

I. Molto allegro con fuoco (2 sides)
II. Andante (2 sides)
III. Presto: Molto allegro e vivace (2 sides)

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Landon Ronald
Benno Moiseiwitsch, piano

 

Lecture 70: John Drinkwater reading his own poems
Part 1: Mystery; Vagabond; Moonlit Apples; Birthright
Part 2: Cotswold Love; Anthony Crumble; Mrs. Willow; Mamble

Columbia D 40140
Matrices WAX 4608-1, 4609-2 (11340, 11330)
Recorded 30th January 1929

Download – John Drinkwater reading his own poems

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

The sides are labelled as:

Made in England & Published by
Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd.
Sole Official Publishers for
International Educational Society.

The address is given on side 1 as 26, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, S. W. 1, and on side 2 as 98, Clerkenwell Road, E.C. 1

JOHN DRINKWATER (1882-1937)

Associated with Barry Jackson in the formation of the company that developed into the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, in and for which his plays up to and including “Abraham Lincoln” were written. Published New Numbers in conjunction with Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke and Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, and was a contributor to the five volumes of Mr. Marsh’s Georgian Poetry. In addition to his poetry and plays, he has written various critical studies, including volumes on Byron, Charles II, and Charles James Fox.

The texts of these poems are available on the John Drinkwater page on this site.