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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

A Night at the Proms with Henry Wood

On Friday 17th July the BBC Proms began. It’s 120 years since the first Proms season, and for the first fifty seasons, Sir Henry Wood did the lion’s share of the conducting.

Wood’s discography is large, and includes many works he performed at the proms. In 1934, Columbia made a compilation record of excerpts of Wood’s recordings from 1925 to 1933, titling it “A Night at the Proms.”

A Night at the Proms – music by Bizet, Schubert, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Bach and Nicolai – conducted by Sir Henry Wood

Wood – A Night at the Proms

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

Columbia DX 724
Matrices CAX 7731-1, 7730-1
Recorded 19th April 1934, London
Issued August 1934

Contents

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude to Act 1
(from L1208R, 1st October 1926, New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, 78.7rpm)
Schubert – Symphony No.8 in B minor- “The Unfinished” – start of first movement
(from DX 551, 30th October 1933, London Symphony Orchestra, 77.4rpm)
Rossini – William Tell – Overture – final section
(from 5059, 13th July 1928, New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, 76.1rpm)
Mendelssohn – Fingal’s Cave – Overture – opening
(from 9843, 4th March 1929, New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, 75.7rpm)
Mendelssohn – Spring Song – opening
(from 9844, 4th March 1929, New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, 75.7rpm)
J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G – start of first movement
(from LX 173, 16th June 1932, British Symphony Orchestra, 76.1rpm)
Nicolai – Merry Wives of Windsor – Overture – final section
(from L 1723, 7th December 1925, New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, 80.1rpm)

The original recording speeds of the records Columbia re-recorded for this compilation vary somewhat, so for this transfer, I’ve repitched each selection to A440.

 

 

Lorenzo Molajoli orchestrals, and opera in America

Over the past year or so I’ve produced several CD reissues for CRQ Editions. One of these was devoted to orchestral recordings conducted by Lorenzo Molajoli. The following set arrived too late for inclusion on the Molajoli CD.

Verdi – Nabucco – Overture
Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 1
Milan Symphony Orchestra, Lorenzo Molajoli

Verdi – Nabucco – Overture – Molajoli

Bizet – Carmen  Prelude Act 1 Molajoli

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

Columbia D 12274-5 (in album)
Matrices WB 1632, 1633, 1634 (30129, 30125, 30124), WB 1730 (30526)
Recorded 3rd November 1927 (Verdi), 19th November 1927 (Bizet), Milan
Verdi plays in score pitch at 75.2rpm, Bizet at 76.9rpm

The next track is one of the curious “collateral restorations” to my work on CDs of Percy Pitt. In 1909 Pitt conducted Peter Cornelius and Minnie Saltzmann-Stevens singing part of the final scene of Wagner’s Siegfried. When HMV reissued this on a double-sided record they chose to couple it with a Victor recording of the famous duet from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, with Lambert Murhpy and Reinald Werrenrath.

Verdi – La Forza del Destino – Solenne in quest’ora
Lambert Murphy, tenor.
Reinald Werrenrath, baritone.
Orchestra

Verdi – La Forza del Destino – Solenne in quest’ora – Murphy and Werrenrath

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

His Master’s Voice D 305
Matrix C-12174-5 (A12174) (70103, 2-054051)
Recorded 5th November 1913, Camden, New Jersey
Plays in score pitch at 75.3rpm

Marguerite d’Alvarez – Silent Night, Habanera, Ai nostri monti (with Giulio Crimi); George Baker – Toreador Song, Il balen

Aeolian Vocalion records are the source for a quintet of vocal recordings in time for Christmas. They also serve as a little coda to the pile of Carmen recordings that I posted here in October. The English-born contralto, Marguerite d’Alvarez, sings Silent Night, and then the Habanera from Carmen, and, with tenor Giulio Crimi, “Ai nostri monti” from Verdi’s Il Trovatore. This is followed by two more recordings from the same works – baritone George Baker, in a lesser known corner of his discography, made a number of operatic sides for Aeolian Vocalion.

Gruber – Silent Night, Holy Night
Orchestra
Marguerite d’Alvarez,
contralto

Gruber – Silent Night – d’Alvarez

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

Aeolian Vocalion C-01054 (12” single-side)
Matrix AM 7619
Recorded June 1921
Play at 78.4rpm

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera
Orchestra
Marguerite d’Alvarez,
contralto
Verdi – Il Trovatore – Ai nostri monti
Orchestra
Marguerite d’Alvarez,
contralto
Giulio Crimi, tenor

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – d’Alvarez
Verdi – Il Trovatore – Ai nostri monti – d’Alvarez, Crimi

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

Aeolian Vocalion A-0200 (12” double-side)
Matrices AM 5151, AM 7359
Recorded 1920?, April 1921
Play at 78.5rpm and 77.9rpm respectively

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song
Orchestra
George Baker,
baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song – Baker

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

Aeolian Vocalion C-01004 (12” single-side)
Matrix 01576
Recorded c1920
Play at 81.8rpm for score pitch

The record label says “in Italian”, but Baker is singing in English.

Verdi – Il Trovatore – The tempest of the Heart (Il Balen)
Orchestra
George Baker,
baritone

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Il balen – Baker

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

Aeolian Vocalion C-01005 (12” single-side)
Matrix 01593
Recorded c1920
Play at 81.8rpm to play in A flat major (a tone below score pitch)

Carmen excerpts: 1920 Columbia abridged recording; highlights on LP from Walter Goehr and Erasmo Ghiglia; orchestral and choral excerpts – Weingartner, Pitt, Maclean, Ronald, Sabajno, Matacena, Mackenzie-Rogan, Weissmann, Coates; excerpts from 1911 Pathé recording; other vocal excerpts in French, English, German, Italian and Russian

It has taken a long time to prepare this update, which focuses on Bizet’s Carmen. The centrepiece is the abridged 1920 Columbia set on 10” records. This is complemented by two LPs of excerpts from the 1950s, and then a wide selection of 78s of orchestral and vocal excerpts, whether in more or less their original forms, or as “gems.” The sung languages range from French, via Italian, English and German to Russian. Where Carmen excerpts occupy only one side of a record, the other side is, as usual, given here too. In some cases additional recordings by the same performer are included.

Complete or substantial excerpts:

Bizet – Carmen (abridged)
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
sung in Italian

1. Prelude
2. Chorus of Cigarette Girls – Suono la campana
3. Habanera – E l’amore
4. Duet – Ah, mi parla di lei
5. Duet – Mio vegga ancor
6. Seguidilla – Presso il bastion di Siviglia
7. Duet – Carmen quest’ ufficiale
8. Bohemian Song – All’ udir
9. Bohemian Song – Or ben Pastia desia
10. Toreador Song – Part 1 (Con voi ber)
11. Toreador Song – Part 2
12. Quintette – Part 1 – Noi s’lia in vista un bell’ affar
13. Quintette – Part 2 – Certo la cosa
14. Duet – Alfin sei qui
15. Duet – Al quartier
16. Flower Song – Il fior
17. Duet – No, tu non m’ami
18. Duet and Finale (Part 1) – No, piu non ti voglio
19. Finale, Act 2 (Part 2) – Dubbio non c’e
20. Trio – Part 1 – Io ci veda
21. Trio – Part 2 – Invan par evitar
22. Ensemble – E nostr’ affar il doganier
23. Aria – Io dico
24. Recit & Duet Part 1 – Ma non m’inganno
25. Duet Part 2 – Per amante ell’ avveva
26. Finale Act 3, Part 1 – Ola! Jose
27. Finale Act 3, Part 2 – Ah! bada a te
28. Finale Act 3, Part 3 – Ah! paventa
29. Duet – Se tu m’ami
30. Duet – Sei tu?
31. Finale Act 4, Part 1 – Piu non m’ama il tuo cor?
32. Finale Act 4, Part 2 – No davver

Fanny Anitua, mezzo-soprano – Carmen
Luigi Bolis, tenor – Don José
Ines Maria Ferraris, soprano – Micaëla
Cesare Formichi, baritone – Escamillo
Lina Garavaglia, soprano – Mercédès
Rosa Garavaglia, soprano – Frasquita
Enrico Spada, bass – Zuniga
Luigi Baldassare, bass – Il Dancairo/Moralès
Carlo Paltrinieri, tenor –  Il Remendado
La Scala Chorus

Mediafire link for Bizet – Carmen – acoustic Columbia – Acts 1 & 2
Mediafire link for Bizet – Carmen – acoustic Columbia – Acts 3 & 4

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia D 5582-97
Matrices 42436, 42381, 42384, 42427, 42398, 42416, 42431, 42412, 42411, 42382, 42383, 42395, 42396, 42413, 42414, 42415, 42420, 42429, 42430, 42406, 42388, 42424, 42426, 42392, 42397, 42389, 42434, 42421, 42385, 42432, 42435, 42433
Recorded 1920

Play at 82.6rpm (1, 19, 31-2), 78rpm (2-5, 7, 10-14, 16-18, 21, 24), 81.6rpm (6, 8, 9, 15, 22-3, 28, 30), 79.6rpm (20, 25-6), 83.4rpm (27), 80.9rpm (29)

Sides in order of matrix number:
2, 10, 11, 3, 29, 21, 26, 24, 12, 13, 25, 5, 20, 9, 8, 14, 15, 16, 6, 17, 28, 22, 23, 4, 18, 19, 7, 30, 32, 27, 31, 1

This recording, though of course publicised as the complete opera, is heavily cut, with substantial omissions at the start of Acts 1 and 4, among others. It’s still an interesting performance, though Luigi Bolis (Don José) tends to pronounce Carmen so that it sounds like Carmeng!

The first record in my copy of this set is broken, and I’ve done my best to repair it for this transfer.

Bizet – Carmen – Concert performance
Orchestra del Teatro Comunale, Firenze, Erasmo Ghiglia

1. Act 1. Habanera: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
2. Parlez-moi de ma mère
3. Seguidilla: Près des remparts de Séville
4. Act 2. Chanson bohème (abridged, solo)
5. Toreador Song: Votre toast
6. Flower Song: Le fleur que tu m’avais jetée
7. Act 3. Card Scene
8. C’est des contrabandiers… Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante
9. Duet Escamillo/ Don José
10. Act 4. Si tu m’aimes, Carmen… C’est toi! C’est moi!

Franca Sacchi, mezzo-soprano  – Carmen
Eddie Ruhl, tenor – Don José
Alberta Hopkins, soprano – Micaela
Antonio Boyer, baritone – Escamillo

Mediafire link for Bizet – Carmen – concert performance – Ghiglia

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

Saga XID 5264
Matrices XID 5264A, 5264B
Recorded 1950s
Play at about 32.7rpm (-2%)

The record label notes “First issued 1965”, but this is likely to have been recorded in the 1950s. Ghiglia is credited as Ghili, and Ruhl as Rhul on the record sleeve. The soloists sing in French, but the chorus sings in Italian throughout.

Bizet – Carmen – Opera in four Acts – a concise version
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Walter Goehr
(Performers credited on label as:
Orchestra and Chorus of The Opera Classica Society of New York. William Stellar, conductor)

1. Prelude Act 1 (without Coda)
2. Habanera (abridged)
3. Parle-moi de ma mère (abridged)
4. Seguidilla (tenor is a bar behind in final section)
5. Act 2. Chanson bohème
6. Toreador Song (omits L’amour interchange at end)
7. Flower Song
8. Act 3. Smugglers’ march
9. Card Song and Trio
10. Micaela’s aria
11. Act 3. Finale
12. Intermezzo Act 4
13. Act 4. Finale (abridged)

Cora Canne Meyer, Carmen
Leo Larsen, Don José
Corry van Bekkum, Micaëla
Gerard Holthaus, Escamillo
Rick van Veen, Frasquita
Betty de Jong, Mercédès

Mediafire link for Bizet – Carmen – concise version – Goehr

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

The Classics Club Rembrandt X64
(Originally issued by The Musical Masterpiece Society)
Matrices X64A1P, X64B1P
Recorded 1953-4
Reviewed in July 1954
Play at about 33.6rpm

This Classics Club reissue is slightly later than the original MMS issue.

Orchestral:

Wagner – Die Walküre – Magic Fire Scene
Bizet – Carmen – Overture and Intermezzo Act IV
Grand Symphony Orchestra, Felix Weingartner

Wagner – Die Walküre – Magic Fire – Weingartner
Bizet – Carmen – Overture, Intermezzo IV – Weingartner

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

Columbia L 1097 (pale blue label)
Matrices 36914-2, 36916-1
Recorded 23rd March 1914
Available from September 1916 to May 1928
(Previously available on D17724 from September 1914 to October 1916)
Play at about 79rpm (though speed is a little variable)

These recordings were among Weingartner’s earliest, made in America.

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen selection
New Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, Alick Maclean

Bizet – Carmen – selection – Maclean

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

Columbia L1485
Matrices 76991-2, 76992-2
Recorded 10th May 1923
Available from September 1923 to February 1928

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen – selection
BBC Wireless Symphony Orchestra, Percy Pitt

Bizet – Carmen – selection – Pitt

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

Columbia 9125
Matrices WAX 1509-1, 1510-1 (6172, 6174)
Recorded 28th April 1926
Available from March 1927 to April 1941

The recordings below contain Landon Ronald’s complete orchestral excerpts from Carmen and almost all of his recordings from Delibes’s Sylvia – only the early 1913 account of the Prelude is missing (recorded on the same day as the Pizzicato)

Delibes – Sylvia – Prelude les Chasseresses
Bizet – Carmen – Intermezzos, Acts 3 & 4

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Delibes – Sylvia – Prelude les Chasseresses – Ronald
Bizet – Carmen – Intermezzos, Acts 3 & 4 – Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 134
Matrices HO 1867ac, 3640af (side numbers 2-0698, 2-0912)
Recorded 27th May 1916, 8th March 1919
Play at 78.1rpm, 77.2rpm

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude
Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Intermezzo

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald
(label for Mascagni “late New Symphony Orchestra”)

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude – Ronald
Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Intermezzo – Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 137
Matrices HO 456 aj, Cc 2755-I (side numbers 0863, 0739)
Recorded 8th February 1913, 27th March 1923
Play at 77.8rpm, 76.5rpm

This is the later of Ronald’s two recordings of the Cavalleria Intermezzo

Delibes – Sylvia – Cortège de Bacchus
Mendelssohn – Spring Song, Bees’ Wedding

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Delibes – Sylvia – Cortège de Bacchus – Ronald
Mendelssohn – Spring Song, Bees’ Wedding – Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 160
Matrices HO 406aj, Cc 2754-I (side numbers 0845, 0738)
Recorded January 1913, 27th March 1923
Play at 76.6rpm, 77.2rpm

Ronald recorded the Mendelssohn pieces on 18th November 1911, but this side was not issued. On 6th January 1912 the side was recorded twice more, with the second attempt being issued. The 1923 remake given here (the first of two takes made on the same day) was his last issued recording of these works.

Delibes – Sylvia – Intermezzo and Valse Lente; Pizzicato
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Delibes – Sylvia – Intermezzo and Valse Lente – Ronald
Delibes – Sylvia – Pizzicato – Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 161
Matrices HO 427af, HO 448aj (side numbers 0849, 0852)
Recorded January 1913, 3rd February 1913
Play at 78.1rpm, 77.5rpm

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen – Preludes to Act 1 and 2
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Landon Ronald

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 1 – Ronald
Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 2 – Ronald

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

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

Bizet – The Toreador Song “Carmen”
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, John Mackenzie-Rogan

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song – Coldstream Guards

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

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-283
Matrix 2482(b)-WG (side number 283)
Recorded 9th October 1902

Transferred at 78rpm, to play in G minor/major at A452.

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude to Act III (Intermezzo)
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Carlo Sabajno

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 3 – Sabajno

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

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-760
Matrix 8121b (side number 760)
Recorded May 1906, Milan

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen – Selection I
Bizet – Carmen – Preludio Atto I
La Scala Symphony Orchestra, Carlo Sabajno

Bizet – Carmen – Selection I – Sabajno
Bizet – Carmen – Overture – Sabajno

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

Bizet – Carmen – Preludio atto IV
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Carlo Sabajno

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 4 – Sabajno

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

His Master’s Voice C428
Matrices: 925c, 1045c (side numbers 0548, 05025)
Recorded 1906, April 1907, Milan

No conductor is identified in the recording ledgers for the April 1907 sessions. Fred Gaisberg recorded various solo items with Alice Cuccini, the La Scala Chorus and La Scala Orchestra. Other items from Carmen  were recorded at these sessions. When Gaisberg returned to Milan in May 1907, after recording in Egypt, Sabajno was in the studios, and  identified as such in the ledgers. It remains uncertain, therefore, whether he was involved in the April sessions.

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-50547
Matrix 10383b (50547 IV)
Recorded April 1907

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen – Intermezzo Act IV
Wagner – Lohengrin – Prelude Act III
Musica della R. Marina Italiana, Mo. Cav. Saba Matacena

Bizet – Carmen – Intermezzo IV – Matacena
Wagner – Lohengrin – Prelude Act III – Matacena

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

Fonotipia 39471, 39470 (Nos. 1927, 1926)
Matrices: XPh 1595m 1594
Recorded 9th February 1906

These performances are certainly spirited, but it is noticeable how ragged  they are, when compared with the much more polished performances by the  Coldstream Guards and the Garde Républicaine from around the same time.

Bizet – Carmen – Orchestral selections
Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann

Prelude (Act 1)
First Intermezzo (Avec la garde montante)
Second Intermezzo (Entr’acte Act 3)
Chorus of the Smugglers (Act 3)
Third Intermezzo (Entr’acte Act 4) (Includes extra repeat to fill out disc)
Ballet (Farandole from L’Arlèsienne, Danse bohemienne from La Jolie Fille De Perth)

Mediafire link for Bizet – Carmen – Orchestral selections – Weissmann

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

Odeon 5027-9
Matrices C5027A-1, D5027B-1, A5028A-2, A5028B-5, C5029A-4, F5029B-2
Recorded 24th January 1923

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 1, Act 3
Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann

Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 1 – Weissmann
Bizet – Carmen – Prelude Act 3 – Weissmann

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

Parlophone E 11015
Matrices W 2-20769-2 ab, 2-20768 Bm
Recorded late 1920s

Play at 75.9rpm

French:

Bizet – Carmen – excerpts from complete Pathé recording
Sides 5 and 6 – Choeur des gamins (Suite); Choeur des cigarieres: La cloche a sonné
Sides 15 and 16 – Ou me conduisez-vous… [Seguidille]; Oui mais toute seule
Sides 19 and 20 – Les tringles des sistres; Tra la la la
Sides 31 and 32 – Tu m’entendras [Air de la fleur]; Non tu ne m’aime pas

Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra Comique de Paris, François Ruhlmann
Marguerite Mérentié,
soprano – Carmen
Agustarello Affre, tenor – Don José
Marie Gantéri, soprano – Frasquita
Jeanne Billa-Azéma, soprano – Mercédès
M. Dulac, baritone – Moralès
Pierre Ernest Dupré, baritone – Zuniga

Not heard on these sides:
Aline Vallandri, soprano – Micaëla
Henri Albers, baritone – Escamillo
Hippolyte Belhomme, bass – Le Dancaïre
Paul Dumontier, baritone – Le Remendado

Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 5-6 – Ruhlmann
Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 15-16 – Ruhlmann
Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 19-20 – Ruhlmann

Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 31-32 – Ruhlmann

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

Pathé catalogue number No.1652 – Carmen 5/6
Pathé catalogue number No.1657 – Carmen 15/16
Pathé catalogue number No.1659 – Carmen 19/20
(80rpm, 11½”, edge start, paper label)
Recorded 1911. Early 1920s pressings
Play at 76.6rpm, 78.1rpm, 76.4rpm

Pathé Carmen 31/32
(90rpm 11½” centre start etched label)
Recorded 1911. Early pressing.
Matrices 96460 RA, 96554 RA
Play at 87.9rpm

Auber – La Muette de Portici – Amour sacré
Orchestra
Henri Albers,
baritone
Albert Vaguet, tenor

Bizet – Carmen – Je suis Escamillo
Orchestra
Henri Albers,
baritone
Gaston de Poumayrac, tenor

Auber – La Muette de Portici – Albers, Vaguet
Bizet – Carmen – Je suis Esacmillo – Albers, de Poumayrac

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

Pathé catalogue number 1577
Recording numbers 561, 976
(90rpm 11½” centre start etched label)
Matrices 53632GR, 49578GR
Recorded 1910 – July 1912

Play at 88.0rpm and 88.6rpm

Bizet – Carmen – Couplets du Toréador
Berlioz – La Damnation de Faust – Voici des roses
Maurice Renaud,
baritone with piano

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador – Renaud
Berlioz – La Damnation de Faust – Voici des roses – Renaud

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

Pathé recording numbers 3381, 3383
(90rpm 11½” centre start etched label)
Matrices 11844Px, 11846Px
Recorded 1902-3

Play at 87.4rpm and 86.7rpm

Bizet – Carmen – L’amour est enfant; Air des cartes
Marie Delna,
mezzo-soprano with piano

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Delna
Bizet – Carmen – Air des cartes – Delna

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

Pathé recording numbers 3502, 3514
(90rpm 11½” centre start etched label)
Matrices 7845-B-x, 7866-B-x
Recorded 1903-4

Play at 89.1rpm and 85.2rpm

The opening of the Habanera was not successfully transferred from the Pathé Master Cylinder to this disc, so I’ve reconstructed it from the following bars.

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera
Handel – Célèbre Largo
Orchestra
Alice Raveau,
contralto

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Raveau
Handel – Largo – Raveau

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

Pathé No.0484 (11½”, edge start, paper label)
Recording numbers 1129, 1135 c
Recorded 1925 (Sides are dated 7th August 1925, 22nd August 1925)

Play at 78.4rpm (Handel transposed down a semitone into E major)

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE (new restorations):
Bizet – Carmen – Chanson du Toréador

Victor Orchestra
Emilio de Gogorza,
baritone

Victrola 88178
Matrix C-3349-4 (P88178)
Recorded Date 11th June 1906
Plays at 76.2rpm

In this recording (which has only one verse), the chorus members disagree over the language. De Gogorza has been happily singing in French, and most of the chorus follow this with “Toréador, en garde,” but some go for the Italian version “Toreador, attento.” Carmen was still frequently given  in Italian in the early 20th century, and at the Met it was not unknown for the soloists to sing in French while the chorus sang in Italian.

Rossini – Il Barbiere di Siviglia – Largo al factotum
Victor Orchestra, Rosario Bourdon
Emilio de Gogorza,
baritone

Victrola 88181
Matrix C-6867-2 (D88181)
Recorded 8th March 1909
Plays at 78.6rpm

In this recording,  at “uno alla volta” de Gogorza and the orchestra disagree over which edition of the score is being used: the singer uses the version which has the pattern F-E-F-E-D#-E, while the orchestra goes for  F-E-D#-E-D#-E.

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador – Gogorza
Rossini – Barbiere – Largo al factotum – Gogorza

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

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera; Seguidilla
Orchestra
Sigrid Onegin,
mezzo-soprano

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Onegin
Bizet – Carmen – Seguidilla – Onegin

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

Brunswick 15128
Matrices E21530, E21533
Recorded 17th February 1927

Italian:

Bizet – Carmen – Romanza del fiore
Thomas – Mignon – Addio Mignon
Orchestra
Angelo Bendinelli,
tenor

Bizet – Carmen – Romanza del fiore – Bendinelli
Thomas – Mignon – Addio Mignon – Bendinelli

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

Columbia-Rena Opera Record D 5503
Matrices 11243, 11266
Recorded c1912
sung in Italian

The Carmen aria is sung a semitone below score pitch, playing at 78rpm. The Mignon aria plays at 79.8rpm.

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera
Donizetti – La Favorita – O mio Fernando

Orchestra
Nini Frascani,
mezzo-soprano

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Frascani
Donizetti – La Favorita – O mio Fernando – Frascani

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

Columbia D 5505
Matrices 11113, 11115
Recorded c1912
sung in Italian

Play at 81.2rpm

English:

Gounod – Faust – Even Bravest Heart
Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song

Orchestra
Thomas Chalmers,
baritone

Gounod – Faust – Even bravest heart – Chalmers
Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song – Chalmers

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

Edison Diamond Disc 82060
Matrices 2826-B-5-4, 2997-A-2-1 (82060-L, -R)
Recorded 18th February 1914, 1st May 1914, New York

Play at 80.5rpm (Gounod), 79.6rpm (Bizet)

Bizet – Carmen – My Mother I Behold (Act I)
Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty
Elsa Stralia,
soprano
Frank Mullings, tenor

Bizet – Carmen – My Mother I Behold – Stralia, Mullings, Harty

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

Columbia 7258
Matrix 74106-2
Recorded c 14th May 1920
Available from March 1922 to April 1924

Plays at 83.7rpm
This was reissued on double sided 7332 in April 1924, coupled with Stralia’s 1920 account of Micaela’s aria.
This was available until January 1925 when the Micaela aria was replaced with a 1924 remake – this new issue was available 22nd January 1925 to August 1930.

Bizet – Carmen – The Toreador Song
Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve
Orchestra, Clarence Raybould
(Bizet), Robert Ainsworth (Wagner)
Harold Williams,
baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador – Williams
Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve – Williams

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

Columbia 9873
Matrices WAX 3226-1, 4552-2 (side numbers 8480, 11189)
Recorded 7th August 1928, 15th January 1929

Play at 76.9rpm and 78.0rpm.

Bizet – “Carmen” – Vocal Gems

Intro.: Act1; Habanera; Micaela – Don Jose Duet; Seguidilla; Toreador’s Song, Act 2
Flower Song, Act 2; March, Act 4; Escamillo-Carmen Duet, Finale

Sadler’s Wells Orchestra, Warwick Braithwaite
Noel Eadie,
soprano
Nancy Evans, contralto
Webster Booth, tenor
Dennis Noble, baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Vocal gems – Eadie, Evans, Booth, Noble, Braithwaite

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

His Master’s Voice C 3143
Matrices 2EA 8190-I, 8191-I
Recorded 21st December 1939

Bizet – Gems from “Carmen”
Orchestra
Zonophone Operatic Party
Carrie Tubb,
soprano
Violet Elliott, mezzo-soprano
Ernest Pike, tenor
Harold Wilde, tenor
Stewart Gardner, baritone
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone

Bizet – Carmen – gems – Zonophone

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

Zonophone The Twin Serial A 50
Matrices z5447f, 5449f (side numbers Z-044509. Z-044510)
Recorded 15th September 1911

Plays at 75.6rpm

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera; Gipsy Song
Orchestra

Edna Thornton,
contralto
(credited on label as Madame Violetta)
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano
Ernest Pike, tenor
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Thornton
Bizet – Carmen – Gipsy Song – Thornton

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

Zonophone Celebrity Record G.O.9
Matrices 11589e, 11590e (side numbers 43205, X43207)
Recorded 14th April 1910

Plays at about 78.5rpm.

Thornton enters a beat early for the final verse of the Gipsy Song, but somehow she and the orchestra get themselves back together again after some time.

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song
Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve

Orchestra
Roy Henderson,
baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Toreador Song – Henderson
Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve – Henderson

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

Broadcast Twelve 5100/3231
Matrices L 0241, L 0245 (5100-A/3231-A, 5100-B X/3231-B X)
Recorded January 1929
Sides play at about 77rpm, and 78rpm

Gounod – Faust – Even bravest heart
Rossini – The Barber of Seville – Room for the City’s Factotum

Orchestra
Roy Henderson,
baritone

Gounod – Faust – Even bravest heart – Henderson
Rossini – Barber of Seville – Largo al factotum – Henderson

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

Broadcast Twelve 5089
Matrices L 0242, L 0246 (5089A X, 5089B)
Sides play at about 77rpm, and 78rpm
Recorded January 1929

At these speeds the Bizet and Wagner arias both play in score pitch. The Gounod plays in D flat, putting the introduction at score pitch, and the aria a tone below. The Rossini plays in A, a surprisingly large transposition of a minor third below score pitch.

 

Bizet – Gems from “Carmen”
Soloists, full chorus and orchestra
with Constance Willis, mezzo-soprano

Bizet – Carmen – gems – Willis

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

Broadcast Twelve 5018
Matrices L070X, L071X
Recorded c1929
Plays at about 76.0rpm

Saint-Saëns – Samson and Delilah – Softly awakes my heart
Bizet – Carmen – Habanera
Orchestra

Constance Willis,
mezzo-soprano

Saint-Saëns – Samson and Delilah – Softly awakes my heart – Willis
Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Willis

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

Broadcast Twelve 5114
Matrices L 0208X, L 0247X
Recorded 1929
Plays at about 77.5rpm

Constance Willis is perhaps best remembered (if at all) for her impressive performance as Katisha in the 1939 film of The Mikado. She was an experienced singer both in concert and in opera by this time, and was known for her Carmen. Surprisingly she appeared only once at the Proms, in 1930, singing “Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse!” from Samson and Delilah, and two Rachmaninov songs. The second of her records listed here prompted the following from Herman Klein in the December 1929 issue of The Gramophone:

Constance Willis’s experience with the B.N.O.C. has made a dramatic singer of this artist and taught her to bring some of her stage instincts with her into the recording studio. In such cases let me assure the Broadcast Twelve operator that there is no need for indiscriminate over-amplifying; the voice and the style are quite big enough without his artful aid. The only other criticism I would make concerns the descending chromatic phrases of the Habanera; and there Miss Willis is too inclined to “slither” down from note to note when a clean scale is absolutely essential.

Earlier recordings for Vocalion were warmly received.

Bizet – Carmen – Flower Song
Gounod – La Reine de Saba – Lend me your aid

Orchestra
Frank Titterton,
tenor
(credited on labels as Francesco Vada)

Bizet – Carmen – Flower Song – Titterton
Gounod – La Reine de Saba – Lend me your aid – Titterton

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

Broadcast Twelve 5062
Matrices L 072, L 094 (5062A X, 5062B)
Recorded c 1929
Plays at about 77.4rpm. This record is very worn and scratched, particularly at the start of each side.

Puccini – La Boheme – Your Tiny Hand is Frozen
Bizet – Carmen – The Flower Song

Orchestra, Leslie Heward
(Puccini), Julian Clifford (Bizet)
Frank Titterton, tenor

Puccini – La Boheme – Your tiny hand is frozen – Titterton
Bizet – Carmen – Flower Song – Titterton

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

Decca K505
Matrices MA 486-2A, MA 746-1A
Recorded 24th September 1929, 6th December 1929
Play at about 78.5rpm and 78.9rpm.

Together, these two records provide a rare chance to hear an artist recording the same aria for two different companies around the same time.

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:
Bizet – Carmen – March Act IV
Gounod – Faust – La Kermesse
Sung in English
Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Bizet – Carmen – March Act IV – Coates
Gounod – Faust – La Kermesse – Coates

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

His Master’s Voice D 1047
Matrices Cc 7063-II, 7065-II (single side numbers 4-0749, 4-0750)
Recorded 26th October 1925, Hayes

This was recorded in a session at Hayes which also included the Boris Godunov coronation scene with Chaliapin and the Church Scene from Faust, with Chaliapin and Austral. The baritone who has a brief solo in the Faust chorus is unnamed. There is a possibility that it is Edward Halland, who was in studio with Coates the following day when some Wagner excerpts were recorded.

The sound is somewhat recessed, as these are fairly early examples of electrical recording of pieces for chorus and orchestra. Indeed, on the same day that these recordings were made at Hayes, the pianist Max Darewski was being recorded acoustically in another of the Hayes studios.

German:

Saint-Saëns – Samson et Dalila – Printemps qui commence
Bizet – Carmen – Ja, die Liebe hat bunte flügel (Habanera)

Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Leo Blech
Maria Olszewska,
contralto

Saint-Saëns – Samson et Dalila – Printemps qui commence – Olszewska
Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Olszewska

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

His Master’s Voice D1386
Matrices CWR 1291-I, 1295-II (side numbers 2-043085, 2-044029)
Recorded 27th and 28th February 1927, Berlin

Saint-Saëns – Samson et Dalila – Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix
Handel – Rinaldo – Lascia ch’io pianga

Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Fritz Zweig
Maria Olszewska,
contralto

Saint-Saëns – Samson et Dalila – Mon coeur s’ouvre – Olszewska
Handel – Rinaldo – Lascia ch’io pianga – Olszewska

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

His Master’s Voice D 1465
Matrices CLR 3961-III, CLR 3962-II (side numbers 2-033131, 2-033132)
Recorded 15th March 1928, Berlin

Across these two records Olszewska shows off her command of languages: the Saint-Saëns arias are in French, the Carmen is in German, and the Handel is in Italian.

Russian:

Bizet – Carmen – La fleur que tu m’avais jetée
Meyerbeer – Les Huguenots – Plus blanche que la blanche ermine

Orchestra
Dmitri Smirnov,
tenor

Bizet – Carmen – Flower song – Smirnov
Meyerbeer – Les Huguenots – Plus blanche – Smirnov

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

Historic Masters HMB 7
Matrices 2689c, 2857c (022312, 022338)
Recorded 21st October 1912, 15th October 1913, St. Petersburg

The sides play at about 78.6rpm and 75.2rpm respectively. This repressing from original matrices was among the earliest issues by Historic Masters.

Dolores Wilson – Lucia di Lammermoor, sextet and mad scene; Joan Sutherland – Lucia mad scene; Toscanini conducts Bizet’s Farandole (La Scala Orchestra, 1921)

Today would have been Dame Joan Sutherland’s 84th birthday. It is also exactly four weeks after her death. It seems apt to mark this with one of her earliest discs. Her Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene from 1959 was issued as part of a recital disc,  but also was issued on a mono 45rpm record. Less than two weeks before Dame Joan’s death, the American coloratura soprano Dolores Wilson died aged 82. She had recorded Lucia in 1951, and part of the mad scene and the sextet were issued on an ARC 33rpm 7 inch record in the early 1960s. This seemed an ideal opportunity to remaster both recordings by way of tribute and comparison.

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – excerpts
Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Franco Capuana

Sextet: Chi mi frena

Dolores Wilson, soprano
Ebe Ticozzi, contralto
Mario Carlin, tenor
Gianni Poggi, tenor
Anselmo Colzani, baritone
Silvio Maionica, baritone

Mad scene: Ardon gl’ incensi

Dolores Wilson, soprano
Guglielmo Fazzini, tenor
Silvio Maionica, baritone

Download – Donizetti – Lucia – Sextet – Dolores Wilson
Download – Donizetti – Lucia – Mad scene – Dolores Wilson

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

ARC 31 7″ 33rpm
Matrices HOC 31A, HOC 31B
Recorded 1951
(Taken from 1951 complete recording, though label claims “First published 1963”)

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Mad Scene:
Il dolce suono mi corpi di sua voce!…  Ardon gl’ incensi
L’Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris, Nello Santi
Paris Opera Chorus
Joan Sutherland,
soprano

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Mad scene – Joan Sutherland

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

Decca CEP 614 (45rpm 7″)
Matrices EFF-1979-1A, EFF-1980-1A
Recorded 1959

Arturo Toscanini made his earliest recordings for Victor with the orchestra of La Scala, Milan during its 1920-21 tour of the USA. These included the following record of Bizet’s Farandole.

Bizet – L’Arlèsienne Suite No.2 – Farandole
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Arturo Toscanini

Download – Bizet – Farandole – Toscanini

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

Victrola 64986
Matrix B-24984-1 (2B 64986)
Recorded 11th March 1921, Victor Church Building Studios, Camden, New Jersey

Aida excerpts and other items with Sydney Rayner, Eva Turner, Giovanni Inghilleri, Tina Poli-Randaccio, Agustarello Affre, Jane Marignan, Frank Mullings, Elsa Stralia, Andreina Beinat, Vincenzo Bettoni, Valentina Bartolomasi, Guido Fernandez, Rosita Pagani, Enrico Trentini, conducted by Beecham, Haarth, Albergoni, Barbirolli, Sabajno, Harty; Mackenzie-Rogan, Coldstream Guards Band – Orth, Tchaikovsky; Stanley Chapple – excerpts from Stravinsky’s Firebird; Franz André – Liszt, Richard Strauss

When you have a lot of free time, it sometimes turns out that the things you planned to use it for just don’t happen. Such was the case with my summer holidays. This is why it’s been two and a half months since the last update. I hope the new selection proves interesting. I’ve been exploring recordings of Aida, and this has included branching out into one or two other recordings by some of the same artists, and occasionally other recordings on the same labels. This diversification brings us several excerpts from Tosca and Cavalleria Rusticana. The recordings are presented roughly in score order for the selections from Aida (and are annotated with the pages of the vocal score.) And just to round things off, there’s some Stravinsky from Stanley Chapple, and some Richard Strauss and Liszt from Franz André.

Verdi – Otello – (Tu! Indietro! Fuggi!…) Ora e per sempre
Verdi – Aida – (Se quel guerriero io fossi…) Celeste Aida

(VS pp6-11)

Orchestra
Sydney Rayner
, Premier Tenor of the Opera Comique, Paris

Mediafire link for Otello and Aida arias – Sydney Rayner

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

Decca T.204
Matrices GA 5380-1D, GA 5382-11D
Issued April 1933
Recorded 20th December 1932

Verdi – Aida – Ritorna vincitor
Aida – Ritorna vincitor. Part 1 (VS pp52-56)
Aida – Ritorna vincitor. Part 2 (VS pp56-59)
(3½ bar overlap between sides)
Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham
Eva Turner,
soprano
Columbia L 2150
Matrices WAX 3931-3, 3932-2 (9956, 9958)
Recorded 19th July 1928
Available from mid October 1928 to August 1949

Puccini – Tosca – Vissi d’arte
Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Voi lo sapete

Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham
Eva Turner,
soprano
Columbia L 2118
Matrices WAX 3929-3, 3930-2 (9952, 9951)
Recorded 18th July 1928
Available from November 1928 to April 1950

Mediafire link for Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni arias – Eva Turner, Thomas Beecham

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

Verdi – Aida – Ballet music
Side 1: a) Tanz der Priesterinnen (VS pp65-67) b) Tanz der Mohrensklaven (VS pp85-87)
Side 2: Ballettmusik a. d. 2. Akt (VS pp122-131)
Berlin State Orchestra, Herbert Haarth
Siemens Polydor 57270
Matrices 2281½ GS9, 2280½ GS9
Recorded 1943 (Depositato 10.8.43 (on both sides))

Verdi – Aida – Triumphal March Act 2
Side 1 (VS p111-117,120-122)
Side 2 (VS p121 line 4 -122, 132-141, 196-203)
Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann
Parlophone E 11041
Matrices XXB 8479/80
Recorded probably 31st March 1930

Plays at 75.1rpm

Mediafire link for Aida Ballet music and Grand March – Herbert Haarth, Frieder Weissmann

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

 

Verdi – Aida – Act 3 Duet
Side 1: Ciel! mio padre (VS pp215-223)
Side 2: Su, dunque, sorgete egizie coorti (VS pp223-233)
Grand Symphony Orchestra, Angelo Albergoni
Giovanni Inghilleri,
baritone – Amonasro
Tina Poli-Randaccio,
soprano – Aida
Parlophone Odeon Series R 20141
Matrices XXPh 6405/6
Recorded 20th October 1928

Puccini – Tosca:
Tre sbirri, una carrozza
La povera mi cena fu interrotta (… Gia mi dicon venal)

Orchestra , John Barbirolli
Giovanni Inghilleri,
baritone
Octave Dua, tenor
His Master’s Voice D 1701
Matrices CR 2422-I, CR 2423-I (2-052426/7)
Recorded 19th June 1929

Verdi – Un Ballo in Maschera – Eri tu che macchiavi quell’ anima
Orchestra, John Barbirolli
Verdi – Rigoletto – Pari siamo!
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Carlo Sabajno
Giovanni Inghilleri,
baritone
His Master’s Voice D 1823
Matrices CR 2424-II (2-052424), CF 2359-IV (2-052394)
Recorded 19th June 1929, 10th December 1928

This record has a small chunk chipped from the rim, affecting the start of the groove on both sides.

Mediafire link for Aida, Tosca, Ballo, Rigoletto – Inghilleri, Poli-Randaccio

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


Verdi – Aida – Je te revois enfin – Duo
(Pur ti riveggo) – (VS pp233-235, 245-247, 248-249)
Verdi – Aida – Mourir ô toi si belle – Duo final
(Morir, si pura e bella) – (VS pp298-300, 303-304, 308-309)
Orchestra
Agustarello Affre,
tenor – Radames
Jane Marignan, soprano – Aida

Mediafire link for Aida duets – Agustarello Affre, Jane Marignan

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

Pathé AGPA P1503 (25) [88.6rpm, 28cm diameter, centre start]
Matrices 54579 GR, 60516 GR
Recorded c1906-11

Verdi – Aida – Nile Duet. From Finale, Act III
Aida – Nile Duet. From Finale, Act III. Part I (VS pp239-244)
Aida – Nile Duet. From Finale, Act III. Part II (VS pp244-249)
Orchestra, Hamilton Harty
Frank Mullings,
tenor – Radames
Elsa Stralia, soprano – Aida

Mediafire link for Aida – Nile Duet – Frank Mullings, Elsa Stralia – Hamilton Harty

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

Columbia 7248/9
Matrices 74063-2, 74064-2
Recorded about 3rd May 1920, 80rpm
Available from January 1921 to April 1924

This duet was reissued on double sided Columbia 7334 in April 1924, and was available in this form until August 1930

Verdi – Aida – Judgment Scene (Act IV)
Aida – Judgment Scene (Act IV) Pt.1. – Spirto del Numo
(Heavenly Spirit) (VS pp279-281(last line), 284-285)
Aida – Judgment Scene (Act IV) Pt.2. – Radames e deciso il tuo fato (We thy fate have decided) (pp285-295 (final bars omitted))
Orchestra
Andreina Beinat,
mezzo-soprano – Amneris
Vincenzo Bettoni, bass – Ramfis

Mediafire link for Aida – Judgment Scene – Vincenzo Bettoni, Andreina Beinat

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

Columbia-Rena Opera Record D 5540 (10”)
Matrices 41851, 41852
Recorded c1912

These sides form part of the abridged Columbia Aida, issued on 17 double sided records, though this particular issue is not from the main run of either the Italian or English issues.

Verdi – Aida – Sacerdoti, compiste un delitto (Scena del Giudizio, Act IVo) (VS pp288 – 295)
Verdi – Aida – La fatal pietra (VS pp296 – 298)
Grande Orchestra, Carlo Sabajno
Valentina Bartolomasi,
soprano – Aida
Guido Fernandez, bass – Ramfis
Rosita Pagani, mezzo-soprano – Amneris
Enrico Trentini, tenor – Radames
Gramophone Concert Record S 5178
Matrices 1013Aj (2-20254147), 971Aj (2-0254148)
Recorded 3rd November 1919, 27th October 1919
Issued 1920
These are sides 37-38 of a 40 side complete recording of Aida

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Scena Ia
Parte Ia – “Gli aranci olezzano” (VS p11 – 20.2.2)
Parte IIa – “Cessin le rustiche opre” (VS p20.2.3 – 26)
La Scala Chorus
Grande Orchestra, Carlo Sabajno
Gramophone Concert Record S 5094
Matrices 3017c, 3018c (2-0524500, 2-0254501)
Recorded 6th April 1915
80.8rpm
These are sides 3-4 of a 20 side complete recording of Cavalleria Rusticana

Bizet – Carmen – Preludio atto IV
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Carlo Sabajno
Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-50547 (10”)
Matrix 10383b (50547 IV)
Recorded April 1907

Donizetti – Don Pasquale – Coro dei servitori (complete)
Gounod – Faust – Kermesse
(VS pp29-41, 44-46)
CORI DELLA SCALA
Aristide Venturi,
chorus master
Orchestra, Carlo Sabajno
Gramophone Monarch Record 054502/054503
Matrices 570c (054502 III), 629c (054503L)
Recorded October-December 1905 (approved 19/3/06), May 1906 (approved 17/9/06)

Mediafire link for Aida, Cavalleria, Carmen, Don Pasquale, Faust – Carlo Sabajno

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


Orth – In a Clockmakers Shop
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, John Mackenzie-Rogan
Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-2-178 (10”)
Matrix 3393e (2-178 II)
Recorded 19th January 1906
Issued 1906

Tchaikovsky – Finale 4th Symphony
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, John Mackenzie-Rogan
Gramophone Monarch Record 0185 (12”)
Matrix 2758f (0185-1*)
Recorded 17th December 1908
Issued 1909

Mackenzie-Rogan is not named on the record label.
This recording is likely to be transposed a tone down from Tchaikovksy’s original, like the Safranek arrangement for band. The recording plays in E flat at 78rpm. However, at this time, British military pitch was around A-452, so the record should probably be played at 80rpm, to be in E flat for the appropriate pitch standard.

Mediafire link for Orth, Tchaikovksy – Mackenzie-Rogan & Coldstream

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

 

Stravinsky – L’oiseau de feu:
Danse Infernale du roi Kastchei
Opening Key A minor, Full score p118-155
Finale
Opening Key B, Full score p166-172
Aeolian Orchestra, Stanley Chapple

Mediafire link for Stravinsky – Firebird excerpts – Stanley Chapple

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

Vocalion K-05288
Matrices M.0169, M.0168
Released April 1927
R. Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Waltzes
Liszt – Les Preludes

L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

Mediafire link for Richard Strauss, Liszt – Franz André

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

Capitol Telefunken L 8173
Matrices L-8173-Y1, L-8173-Z1 (8-52)
Recorded 12th April 1952, 9th April 1952, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels

Franz André – Bizet’s Arlèsienne Suites; Ivanov, Gauk, Golovanov – Balakirev; Henry Wood – Purcell, Mendelssohn; Hamilton Harty – Tchaikovsky; Mengelberg – Johann Strauss II; The Virtuoso String Quartet – Debussy’s Quartet, Mendelssohn; Robert Carr – “The trail of the lonesome pine”, “When love creeps in your heart”

To begin the New Year, I’m looking back as well as forwards. Mendelssohn and Purcell had anniversaries in 2009, so you can hear works by them, conducted by Henry Wood. There’s also a movement from one of Mendelssohn’s String Quartets, as a filler for the Virtuoso Quartet’s recording of the Debussy String Quartet. There will be more from this quartet and from Wood in 2010. Also I hope to make more recordings by Hamilton Harty available here – so as a sort of teaser, one of those odd Columbia couplings, of Harty conducting Tchaikovksy and Mengelberg conducting Johann Strauss II (which serves as a late acknowledgement of the New Year’s Day Concert). From the LP era, comes a delightful sounding recording of Bizet’s Arlèsienne Suites from Franz André, and three Balakirev works, probably recorded in the early to mid-1950s, but here remastered from a Saga LP.

And as a curio, and a continuation of unusual vocal recordings, the widely recorded bass Robert Carr sings two songs on a Winner record, including an early recording of the Trail of the Lonesome Pine – rather more lugubrious than the version with Stan and Ollie.

Bizet – L’Arlèsienne Suites 1 & 2

Mediafire link for Bizet – L’Arlèsienne Suites – Franz André

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

Telefunken LGX 666021
Matrices LP037096-1B, 037097-1B
Recorded 1st October 1953
Issued 1954
L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

Suite No.1 – I. Prelude
Suite No.1 – II. Minuetto No.1
Suite No.1 – III. Adagietto
Suite No.1 – IV. Carillon

Suite No.2 – I. Pastorale
Suite No.2 – II. Intermezzo
Suite No.2 – III. Minuetto No.2
Suite No.2 – IV. Farandole

Balakirev – Russia
Soviet Radio Symphony Orchestra, Konstantin Ivanov
Balakirev – Overture on Three Russian Themes
Soviet Radio Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Gauk
Balakirev – Tamara
Soviet Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nikolai Golovanov

Mediafire link for Balakirev – Orchestral works

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

Saga Sovereign XID 5101
Matrices XID 5101A, 5101B
Issued 1961
Recorded 1952 (Golovanov), mid 1950s? other items. All in mono

Purcell arr. Henry J Wood – Suite in Five Movements

Mediafire link for Purcell-Wood – Suite in Five Movements – Wood

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

Decca K.975/6
Matrices TA 2967-II, 2968-II, 2969-II, 2970-III
Recorded 2nd April 1937
Available from October 1941
The Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood
George Stratton,
leader

No.1. Prelude from Act 3 “Dioclesian” (Molto maestoso)
No.2. Minuet from “Distressed Innocence” (Tempo di minuetto)
No.3. Largo from “5th Sonata for Strings, in three parts”
No.4. Song of the Birds (Allegro from “Timon of Athens”) No.5. Vivace from “1st Sonata for Strings”

Mendelssohn – Fingal’s Cave Overture; Two Songs without words

Mediafire link for  Mendelssohn – Hebrides, Songs without words – Wood

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

Columbia 9843-4
Matrices WAX 4731-2, 4732-2, 4733-2, 4734-2 (S 808, 810, 811, 807)
Recorded 4th March 1929
Available from mid-September 1929 to February 1948
The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood

All sides run at about 76.8rpm

Fingal’s Cave Overture (“The Hebrides”) (3 sides)
Two Songs without Words – (1) Spring Song; (2) Bee’s Wedding (1 side)

Tchaikovksy – Mazeppa – Cossack Dance
Matrix CAX 6279-1
Recorded 12th February 1932
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

Johann Strauss II – Perpetuum Mobile
Matrix 6428-1
Recorded 11th May 1932, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Willem Mengelberg

Download – Tchaikovksy – Mazeppa – Cossack Dance – Harty

Download – Johann Strauss II _ Perpetuum Mobile – Mengelberg

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

Columbia LX 240

Debussy – String Quartet in G minor Op.10
Mendelssohn – Quartet in Eb major Op.43 – II. Scherzo

Mediafire link for Debussy – String Quartet – Virtuoso Quartet

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

His Master’s Voice D 1058-1061
Matrices Cc 6690-II, 6691-V, 6692-VII, 6711-IIII, 6712-IIII, 6713-II, 6891-IV, 7021-I (single side numbers 08218/9, 08220/5)
Recorded 14th September 1925 (side 1), 18th September (side 4, 6) 4th December 1925 (side 2, 3, 5, 7), 21st October 1925 (Mendelssohn)

No.1. First Movement – Animé et très décidé (First Record)
No.2. First Movement – Animé et très décidé (Second Record)
No.3. Second Movement – Assez vif et bien rythmé
No.4. Third Movement – Andantino doucement expressif (First Record)
No.5. Third Movement – Andantino doucement expressif (Second Record)
No.6. Fourth Movement – Très modéré (First Record)
No.7. Fourth Movement – Très modéré (Second Record)
String Quartet in Eb major Op.44, No.3 – II. Scherzo: Assai leggiero vivace

Virtuoso String Quartet
Marjorie Hayward,
violin
Edwin Virgo, violin
Raymond Jeremy, viola
Cedric Sharpe, cello

Bennett Scott – When love creeps in your heart – Ballad (lyrics AJ Mills)
Harry Carroll – The trail of the lonesome pine – Popular song

Download – When love creeps – Robert Carr

Download – The trail of the lonesome pine – Robert Carr

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

The Winner 2546
Matrices 1058B-2, 1059W-1 (3901)
Issued February 1914
Orchestra
Robert Carr, baritone

Play in E flat and A flat respectively at 80rpm

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.

Georg Hann, Harry Secombe and Franz André conducts

The Viennese bass, Georg Hann, was born in 1897, and died in Munich in 1950, still at the height of his powers. He left a substantial recorded legacy.

Mediafire link for Georg Hann singing Verdi, Rossini, Cornelius

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

Cornelius – Der Barbier von Bagdad:
Mein Sohn, sei Allahs Frieden (Auftrittslied des Abul)

Er lebt, er lebt (Schluß-Szene)
Deutsche Grammophon 72012 (variable micrograde 78)
Matrices 01838LKK, 01839LKK (dated 30.5.50 and 5.6.50)
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Heger
Lorenz Fehenberger,
tenor
Georg Hann, bass
Karl Hoppe, baritone (only in Er lebt, er lebt)

Verdi – Falstaff – Die Ehre, Gauner!
Rossini – Der Barbier von Sevilla – Die Verleumdung sie ist ein Lüftchen
Deutsche Grammophon 68396
Matrices 01244KK, 2125-GE 9 (dated 15.6.49 and Mechan Copt. 1943 respectively)
Bavarian State Orchestra, Walther Knör (Verdi)
Orchester des Deutschen Opernhauses Berlin, Arthur Rother (Rossini)
Georg Hann, bass

Harry Secombe is well remembered in English speaking countries as one of the Goons, star of film musicals, and here in the UK, for presenting religious choral programmes on television. His tenor voice is well remembered, and he recorded extensively, including an LP of operatic arias and duets.

Harry Secombe sings operatic arias

Mediafire link for Harry Secombe sings operatic arias

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

Bizet – Carmen – Flower song
Puccini – Tosca –
Strange harmony of contrasts
Verdi – Rigoletto –
La donna e mobile
Leoncavallo – I Pagliacci –
On with the motley
Verdi – La Traviata –
The Drinking Song (Brindisi)
Flotow – Martha –
M’appari
Meyerbeer – L’Africaine –
O paradiso
Puccini – Turandot –
None shall sleep
Puccini – Tosca –
When the stars were brightly shining
Verdi – Il Trovatore –
Miserere

Wing (Philips) WL1220
Matrices WL 1220 1L, 2L
Recorded 1957 (solos) and 1958 (duets)

Orchestra, Emmanuel Young
Orchestra, Wally Stott
(Strange harmony and On with the motley)
Adele Leigh, soprano (in Brindisi and Miserere)
Harry Secombe, tenor

Recordings by Franz André (1893-1975) have appeared here on two occasions. He recorded extensively for Telefunken with L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, of which he was the founder in 1935, and remained their principal conductor until 1957. However, he did also record with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1940s, and is represented on microgroove 78s and 45rpm albums..

Mediafire link for Franck, Mussorgsky and Saint-Saens conducted by Franz André

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

Franck – Le Chasseur Maudit
Decca X 10079/80 (Issued on English DECCA K1485/6)
Matrices AR 10191-2, 10192-2, 10193-2, 10194-2
Recorded 2nd April 1946
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Franz André

Mussorgsky – Night on the Bare Mountain
Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre
Telefunken Füllschrift VSK 9012 (Microgroove 78)
Matrices 9-036712-IV, 9-036713-III
Recorded 9th April 1952, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

Debussy – La Mer

Mediafire link for Debussy – La Mer – Franz André

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

Capitol Telefunken KCM 8010 (album of three 45rpm 7” discs)
Matrices 45-8049-ID3, 8050-ID4, 8051-ID1, 8052-ID2, 8053-ID4, 8054-ID2
Recorded 17th November 1941

I. De l’aube a midi sur la mer
II. Jeux de vagues
III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer

L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André (credited as Brussels Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4 in F minor Op.36

Mediafire link for Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4 – Franz André

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

Telefunken GMA 6
Matrices LP0-36726-2A, 36727-3A
Recorded 9th April 1954, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
Released October 1954

I. Andante sostenuto
II. Andantino in modo di canzone
III. Scherzo (Pizzicato ostinato)
IV. Finale (Allegro con fuoco)

L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

Beethoven – Symphony No.4 in Bb major Op.60

Mediafire link for Beethoven – Symphony No.4 – Franz André

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Telefunken TW 30149
Matrices LP-36959-III, 36960-IV
Recorded 2nd October 1953, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
Released March 1954

I. Adagio – Allegro vivace
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro ma non troppo

L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André