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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

George W Byng conducts the Ballet Music from Gounod’s Faust

I received an email recently asking if I knew where George W Byng’s recording of the Ballet Music from Gounod’s Faust might be found. Some six years ago, before I had this website I did a transfer of the recording, so the time seemed apt to revisit it for a new transfer. Listening again, I get a sense of Byng’s experience as a theatre conductor – there is great life in these pieces.

Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music
Royal Opera Orchestra, Covent Garden, George W. Byng

Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 1


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 2


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 3


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 4


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 5


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 6


Gounod – Faust – Ballet Music – Byng – part 7

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

His Master’s Voice C 1462-3
Matrices CR 1443-II, 1444-I, 1445-I, 1446-II (side numbers 5-0677 to 5-0680)
Recorded 13th July 1927, Queen’s Hall, London

Ted Andrews and his Canadian Singing Sisters – Come to the fair and What can the matter be; National Symphony Orchestra (with George W Byng?) – Barber of Seville overture

While other projects are ongoing, I want to try and get a few small items onto this site with some regularity. So there are just two items for ths latest update.

Ted Andrews was stepfather to Dame Julie Andrews, and accompanied her on some of her early 78s. This disc was privately recorded at the Star Sound Studios (just off Baker Street in London), on an unknown date, and features “Ted Andrews and his Canadian Singing Sisters.” They perform upbeat renditions of Easthope Martin’s “Come to the Fair” (which Andrews recorded with young Julie in more sedate fashion on a Columbia 78) and “Oh dear, what can the matter be?”

Easthope Martin – Come to the fair
Traditional – Oh dear, what can the matter be

Ted Andrews and his Canadian Singing Sisters

Download – Two Songs – Ted Andrews

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

Star Sound Studios – private recording without catalogue number or matrix number
Recorded 1940s?

Perhaps a more traditional offering for this site is a 10” slightly abridged electrical Zonophone recording of the overture to The Barber of Seville. This was recorded in London in 1929 with the “National Symphony Orchestra”. No conductor is named on the label or in the matrix listings, though George W Byng was the most frequent conductor for other sessions with this group.

Rossini – The Barber of Seville – Overture
National Symphony Orchestra

Download – Rossini – Barber of Seville – Overture – NSO

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

Zonophone 5569
Matrices Yy 16727-II, 16728-II (30-777/8)
Recorded 27th August 1929, Kingsway Hall, London

Side 1: bars 1-5, 11-19, 22-90 + 1st beat of bar 91
Side 2: bars 92-250, 255-264

Lilian Stiles Allen; Hamilton Harty and Henry Wood – Schubert; winners of Columbia’s Schubert competition; Lilac Time

The first selection of recordings this time is of the soprano Lilian Stiles-Allen. She was widely respected in her day, though her performances were confined to the concert platform and broadcasting as she was “not suited to the operatic stage.” She was one of the original sixteen soloists in Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, and went on to teach Dame Julie Andrews. She recorded a number of sides for the Edison Bell company, with the recordings appearing on various of its labels. The recordings have only rarely been reissued, and having gathered a number of them, seeing Julie Andrews perform in London prompted me to transfer these recordings of her teacher.

Mediafire link for Lilian Stiles Allen – Edison Bell recordings

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

Handel – Messiah – Rejoice greatly
Handel – Theodora – Angels ever bright and fair
Edison Bell Velvet Face 700
Matrices X1663B-1, X1664E-1
Recorded c1922
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
Orchestra

Verdi – Aida – Act 2. Neath the chances of battle… Tremble, thou art discovered
Edison Bell X546
Matrices X1840J, X1841D
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edith Furmedge, contralto
Orchestra

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Miserere
Edison Bell Winner L5397
Matrix 13747F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Hardy Williamson, tenor
Orchestra, Orazio Fagotti

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – O rejoice that the Lord has arisen
Edison Bell Winner L5397
Matrix 13746E-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen,
soprano
Orchestra

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Santuzza’s Song
Edison Bell X523
Matrix X1763D
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
John Barbirolli’s Symphony Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 1. Love duet, finale
Edison Bell X523
Matrix X1762F
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano.  Dan Jones, tenor
John Barbirolli’s Symphony Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 2. Flower duet: Shake the cherry tree… Not a flower left
Edison Bell Electron 0282
Matrices 11963N-1, 11964A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edith Furmedge, contralto
Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 2. One Fine Day
Edison Bell Electron 0178
Matrix 11142A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen,
soprano
Orchestra

Gounod – Faust – Finale Trio
Edison Bell Electron 0178
Matrix 11143F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edward Leer, tenor. Edward Halland, bass
Orchestra

HG Pelissier – Awake (Ballad)
Maude Craske Day – Arise, O sun (Ballad)
Edison Bell Winner 5199
Matrices 12845B-1, 12846A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano with piano

Monckton – A Country Girl (excerpts) (Rhajah of Bong; Under the Deodar; Two Little Chicks; Farewell; Pink Hungarian Band; Try It On Johnnie; Yo Ho Little Girls; Coo; My Own Little Girl; Speak And Tell)
Edison Bell Winner L5379
Matrices 13786F-2, 13787F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Tessa Deane, mezzo-soprano. Anthony Quorn, tenor
London Concert Orchestra

Lehar – Frederica – Why did you kiss my heart awake
Edison Bell Winner 5171
Matrix 13001F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
Orchestra

Lehar – Frederica – O maiden, my maiden
Edison Bell Winner 5171
Matrix 13002B-2
Recorded c1930
Hardy Williamson, tenor
Orchestra

The remaining recordings here focus around Schubert and English Columbia. Sir Hamilton Harty, as well as recording a stunning account of Schubert’s Great C major Symphony, also recorded substantial parts of the Rosamunde music, including both the Alphonso and Estrella overture, and the Zauberharfe one.

Mediafire link for Schubert – Rosamunde music – Sir Hamilton Harty

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

Schubert – Rosamunde – Overture (Die Zauberharfe)
Columbia L 1998
Matrices WAX 2654-1, 2655-2 (7526, 7530)
Recorded 2nd May 1927
Available from December 1927 to June 1947
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

As is common with many UK Columbias from this period, the stated 80rpm, turns out to be unreliable, with both sides starting at that speed and ending about  81.2rpm. The recording is somewhat cut, with side 1 containing bars 1-83 and 104-185, and side 2 containing bars 206-375 and 396 to the end.

Schubert – Rosamunde Incidental Music

Overture (Alphonso and Estrella) (2 sides)
Entr’acte No.1 (2 sides)
(a) Entr’acte No.2; (b) Shepherd’s Melody (for Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn)
Entr’acte No.3 (in B flat major) (without repeats)
Ballet Music No.1 – Andantino (in G major) (without repeats)
Ballet Music No.2 – (a) Allegro Moderato; (b) Andante un Poco Assai (without repeats)

Columbia L 2122-5
Matrices WAX 3549-2, 3550-2, 3551-1, 3552-1, 3554-3, 3555-2, 3556-2, 3553-2 (9230, 9228, 9229, 9248, 9239, 9240, 9235, 9238)
Recorded 27th April 1928
Available from September 1928 to August 1946
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

Sir Henry Wood recorded Schubert’s Unfinished symphony in a very abridged acoustic version, before making two electrical versions in 1926 and 1933.

Mediafire link for Schubert – Unfinished Symphony (1926 & 1933) – Henry Wood

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

Symphony in B minor (Unfinished)

I. Allegro moderato (3 sides – no repeat)
II. Andante con moto (3 sides)

Columbia 9513-5
Matrices WAX 1490-1, 1491-2, 1492-2, 1493-2, 1494-2, 1495-2 (S654, 653, 657, 658, 652, 655)
Recorded 23rd April 1926
Originally issued on L1791-93 available January 1927 to October 1928
This issue available October 1928 to December 1933 (when it was replaced by the 1933 recording)
The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood

All sides play at the stated 80rpm

Symphony No.8 in B minor (Unfinished)

I. Allegro moderato (3 sides – no repeat)
II. Andante con moto (3 sides)

Columbia DX 551-3
Matrices CAX 6975-1, 6976-1, 6977-1, 6978-2, 6979-2, 6980-1
Recorded 30th October 1933
Available from December 1933
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood

Frank Merrick’s Two Movements in Symphonic Form and John St.Anthony Johnson’s Pax Vobiscum were the English Prize Works in the Schubert Centenary – Columbia International Composers Contest.

Mediafire link for Merrick & Johnson – Schubert competition winners – Stanford Robinson

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

Frank Merrick – Two Movements in Symphonic Form (A completion of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony)

1. Scherzo (2 sides)
2. Poco Allegro (2 sides)

Columbia 9562-3
Matrices WAX 4180-2, 4181-1, 4249-1, 4250-3 (10437, 10436, 10575, 10574)
Recorded 20th October 1928 (sides 1,2), 3rd November 1928 (sides 3,4)
Available from January 1929 to March 1942
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanford Robinson

This plays in the expected key of B minor at 76rpm.

Based on the deliberately Schubertian structure of the Scherzo, I’ve surmised that a section of music at the end of the first side is repeated at the start of the second. I’ve included two versions of the movement, one with the repeated section edited together as I believe it should be played, and one with all the music as recorded.

John St.Anthony Johnson – Pax Vobiscum
Columbia 9564
Matrices WAX 4178-2, 4179-2 (10438, 10435)
Recorded 20th October 1928
Available from January 1929 to March 1935
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanford Robinson

This plays in C sharp minor at 76rpm, the same speed as the Merrick piece recorded at the same session.

Finally some Schubert of a rather different style – as arranged by Clutsam for the musical Lilac Time.

Download – Schubert-Clutsam – Lilac Time – selection – George W Byng

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

Schubert-Clutsam – Lilac Time – Selection
His Master’s Voice C 1098
Matrices Cc 2373-II, Cc 2376-II (3-0812/3)
Recorded 12th January 1923
Mayfair Orchestra, George W. Byng

Lilac Time – Selection, Part 1 (Just a little ring; The Flower; The Golden Song; Yours is my heart)
Lilac Time – Selection, Part 2 (My Sweetest Song of all; Maiden, try to smile; Girls and Boys)

Dan Godfrey – Mozart’s Jupiter (new transfer); Hamilton Harty – Mozart Divertimento No.17; Jean Witold – Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Pauline Aubert – Rondo alla turca; Robert Veyron-Lacroix – Piano Concertos K107 (after JC Bach), with Roland Douatte; Lener Quartet – Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Don Giovanni excerpts in English – Tudor Davies, Peter Dawson, Eleanor Jones-Hudson

The focus this time is on Mozart, with a new transfer of Dan Godfrey’s recording of Symphony No.41 “Jupiter” K551, and a selection of orchestral and keyboard items, including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, from the 1950s as presented on a French “Mode disques” LP from some time later. For a different take on Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, there is also the Lener Quartet’s 1926 recording. There are also some acoustic items from Don Giovanni, sung in English.

Mozart –Symphony No.41 in C major (“Jupiter” Symphony)

Mediafire link for Mozart – Jupiter Symphony – Dan Godfrey

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

Columbia L1938-41
Matrices: WRAX 2432-2, 2433-1, 2434-2, 2435-2, 2436-2, 2437-2, 2438-2, 2439-2
Recorded 4th February 1927
Available November 1927 to April 1934
Symphony Orchestra, Sir Dan Godfrey

This recording has a substantial overlap between sides 2 and 3. The first movement spreads over 3 sides, despite lasting only a little over 8 minutes. The first side contains the exposition (which could therefore be repeated by playing the record twice.) The second side carries through into the recapitulation, up to bar 243. The third side begins at bar 212, therefore overlapping 32 bars with the previous side, a fact acknowledged (but not explained) in the notes of the original record album.

It’s a shame that Godfrey chose this unusual side arrangement – if he’d squeezed the first movement onto 2 sides, he could have included a filler on the 8th side.

Mozart – Divertimento No.17 in D major K334

Mediafire link for Mozart – Divertimento No.17 – Hamilton Harty

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

Columbia LX 350-52
Matrices: CAX 7302-2, 7303-1, 7304-2, 7305-1, 7306-2, 7307-1
Recorded 1934

I. Allegro (1½ sides)
II. Theme and 6 Variations (1½ sides)
III. Menuetto & Trio
VI. Rondo: Allegro

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

Harty omits the fourth and fifth movements. In the second, repeats are played only in the theme and the final variation. The finale is somewhat cut, omitting bars 127-134, 1702-1861, 2072-2151, 269 and 3362-3441.

Mozart – “Petite Musique de Nuit; Marche Turque; Concerti No.2 et 3 pour piano et orchestre”

Mediafire link for Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Rondo alla Turca, Piano Concertos after JC Bach – Various

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

Mode Disques MDINT 9 073
(disques vogues)
Matrices MD1396-A/B
Recorded 1957

Serenade in G major K525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”

I. Allegro
II. Romance: Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Rondo: Allegro

Ensemble Instrumental Sinfonia, Jean Witold

Piano Sonata in A major K331III. Rondo alla turca
Pauline Aubert, harpsichord

J.C. Bach arr. Mozart: Piano Concerto K.207 No.2 in G major

I. Allegro
II. Allegretto con variazioni

J.C. Bach arr. Mozart: Piano Concerto K.207 No.3 in E flat major

I. Allegro
II. Allegretto

Collegium Musicum de Paris, Roland Douatte
Robert Veyron-Lacroix
, piano

Mozart – Serenade in G major K525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”

Mediafire link for Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Lener Quartet

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

Columbia L 1729-30
Matrices WAX 1125-6, 1126-6, 1127-6 or 7, 1128-7
Recorded 19th February 1926
Available from Jun 1926 to July 1943 (Side 3 take 6 replaced by take 7 on 3rd March 1927)

I. Allegro (1 side)
II. Romance: Andante (1½ sides)
III. Menuetto: Allegretto (½ side)
IV. Rondo: Allegro (1 side)

Lener String Quartet

Mozart – Don Giovanni – On her contentment (Dalla sua pace)


Mozart – Don Giovanni – To her I love (Il mio tesoro)


His Master’s Voice D 957
Matrices Cc 4572-II, 4573-II (single side numbers 2-02073/4)
Recorded 5th May 1924
Tudor Davies, tenor
Orchestra, George W Byng

Mozart – Don Giovanni – Give me thy hand, Oh fairest (La ci darem la mano)


Zonophone X-44130
Matrix 10142e (X-44130-IV)
Recorded 19th May 1909
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano (credited on label as Alvena Yarrow)
Orchestra

(mp3 files – left click the link and download the file, or press play)

Luella Melius

Luella Melius is a far from well known singer.

“Luella Melius, soprano, born 21st August 1892, Appleton, Wisconsin. Date of death unknown. Her actual name was Mrs. W. Fulton Melhuish. She began her training in Chicago as a child, and then studied under Jean de Reszke in Paris. She debuted at the Vienna Volksoper under Weingartner at the start of the 1920s and gave guest appearances in Paris, Madrid, Naples and Berlin, including Gilda at the Paris Opera in 1924. In the 1925/6 season she was at the Chicago opera as Gilda in “Rigoletto” and as Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” (alongside Schipa and Bonelli). She guested in 1926 at the San Francisco Opera as Lucia di Lammermoor and as Gilda. As her career developed she broadcast for the BBC, and then American radio. She took part in numerous opera broadcasts in the 1920s. In 1926-27 she was a guest artiste at some German houses. In 1932 she created a vocal school in New York, at which such important figures as Marguerite Sylva, Adamo Didur, Carolina Lazzari and EH Gauthier taught. Records: First acoustics in England with HMV (1925); later in the USA early electrical Victors. All show a technically confident coloratura soprano.”

Time Magazine notes in October 1923 that she was heading to Europe for a year of concerting, including Gilda in Paris. On November 30th 1925, Time had this to say:

“It is rapidly becoming a convention for the critics of Chicago to hail every week as a great artist some singer hitherto ungraced by U.S. laurels. Two weeks ago it was Baritone Bonelli. Last week it was Luella Melius, coloratura singer, born in Appleton, Wis. She made her debut in Rigoletto. Staid people have been foolish enough to believe that a modern audience could not be more than politely moved by the graceful insipidities of the old score – that the days were past when a perfect trill was a signal for young men in evening clothes to unhitch the horses of a prima donna’s carriage and pull her home themselves. The Chicago enthusiasts stopped short of this. But they held up the performance after she had sung the “Caro Nome,” and gave Luella Melius ten curtain calls at the end of the act. Old Critic Glenn Dillard Gunn declared that he remembered only three such scenes in the last 25 years; others compared Miss Melius with Gali-Curci. Even the most reserved could not help agreeing that her voice is very good.”

There are notes of concerts in various parts of the USA in the late 1920s.

It may be that Melius’s visit to Europe was longer than planned, or that she returned in 1925. Certainly the Gramophone Company made a number of recordings with her, starting with tests in May of that year, and six issued sides in August.

  • 8th May 1925: LUELLA MELIUS with Mme ADAMI, piano
    Cc 6101-1, -2 Verdi – La Traviata: Ah, fors’è lui (in Italian)
    Cc 6102-1, -2 JB Wekerlin – Fleur des Alpes (Swiss echo song) (in French)
    (Test matrices)
  • 5th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng
    Cc 6439-1▲?, -2▲? Delibes – Lakmé: Pourquoi dans les grands bois
    Cc 6444-1▲?, -2▲? Delibes – Lakmé: Bell song – Where is the young Hindu maid
  • 6th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [B Studio]
    Cc 6452-1▲?, -2▲? JB Wekerlin – Les fleurs des Alpes, Swiss echo song (in French)
    Cc 6453-1▲?, -2▲? Benedict – La capinera (in French) with GORDON WALKER, flute
  • 6th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [Room 1]
    Bb 6454-1, -2 JB Wekerlin – Les fleurs des Alpes, Swiss echo song
    Take 2 issued on 7-33071 DA722
    Bb 6455-1, -2 Benedict – La capinera with GORDON WALKER, flute
    Take 1 issued on 7-33072 DA722
  • 10th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [Room 1]
    Cc 6474-1, -2 Delibes – Lakmé: Pourquoi dans les grands bois
    Take 2 issued on 2-033103 DB883
    Cc 6475-1, -2, -3 Delibes – Lakmé: Where is the young Hindu maid (Où va la jeune hindoue)
    Take 3 issued on 2-033102 DB883
    Bb 6476-1, -2 Mozart – Il Flauto Magico: Aria di Pamina – Ah lo so
    Take 1 issued on 7-53091 DA723
    Bb 6477-1, -2 Mozart – Il Flauto Magico: Aria della Regina della Notte – Gli angui d‘inferno
    Take 1 issued on 7-53092 DA723

It’s curious that in these last days of acoustical recording at Hayes, Melius attempted four items electrically, but that her issued HMV recordings were ultimately made acoustically – and in fact the acoustic recordings of the Wekerlin and Benedict items were preferred over the electrical versions recorded the same day. On Melius’s final HMV recording day, Noel Coward was recording electrically at Hayes, as were Jack Hylton’s Kit Kat Band. And it appears that Melius was followed into the studio by tenor Tudor Davies who made 4 unissued acoustic sides, before going into Studio B and recording two of the same items electrically, one of which was issued.

Melius also made at least two issued sides for Victor – 1927 Polonaise from Mignon and Valse from Mireille (the issued takes were both number 34.)

Download – Luella Melius sings Ach, ich fühl’s

Download – Luella Melius sings Der Hölle Rache

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

Il Flauto Magico – Ah! lo so, piu non m’avanza (Pamina’s Aria)
Il Flauto Magico – Gli angui d’inferno (Queen of the Night Aria)
His Master’s Voice DA 723
Matrices Bb 6476-1, 6477-1 (7-53091/2)
Recorded 10th August 1925 in Room 1 at Hayes
Orchestra, George W. Byng
Luella Melius, soprano

Pamina’s aria plays in score pitch at 78rpm, and the Queen of the Night Aria plays in C minor (a transposition of a tone downwards) at the same speed, so that Melius produces a string of top E flats, rather than top Fs.

Pamina’s aria has the following text visible under the label, inscribed into the wax master:

BB6476

10 Aug 25

I

5/6/25

Palmina’s Aria

Magic Flute

Luella Melius

(And “Palmina” is what actually appears there, it’s not my misprint!)