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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Waltzing in the New Year – Krips, Scotney and Bertin

Following the Christmas festivities, I like to ring in the new year with the Strausses. To that end, here are three of his most famous waltzes, one in purely orchestral form, one in both orchestral and vocal versions, and another only in its vocal form. The two singers had their Strauss waltzes backed by the waltz song Je veux vivre from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

Josef Krips recorded numerous Strauss waltzes for DECCA with at least four orchestras, and sometimes with vocal soloists. These are his earliest DECCA accounts of this repertoire.

Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube Waltz
National Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Johann Strauss II – The Emperor Waltz
New Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

J Strauss II – Blue Danube – National SO, Krips

J Strauss II – Emperor – New SO, Krips

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

DECCA LW 5011 (10″ LP)
Matrices TRL 29-1A, 30-1B
Transfers from original 78rpm matrices AR 11669, 11670 (Blue Danube), AR 12162, 12163 (Emperor)
Recorded 17th October 1947 (Blue Danube) and 7th April 1948 (Emperor), Kingsway Hall, London

DECCA attempted to record both waltzes during the 1947 session, but only the Blue Danube was completed. By the time the next sessions came round, the contract with the National Symphony Orchestra had expired, so the New Symphony Orchestra were called on instead. The LP sleeve however references only the earlier orchestra. The two sides of each recording were transferred to the 33rpm matrices at inconsistent speeds, necessitating a drop in speed of about 0.3rpm halfway through each waltz (at the side join).

The Australian soprano Evelyn Scotney (1896-1967), after early studies in her homeland, was heard by the great Nellie Melba and dispatched to Paris to study with Mathilde Marchesi. She later had lessons from Tosti in London. Her career took in the Boston Opera House, the Metropolitan in New York (with Caruso) and in the UK in the 1920s.

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Je veux vivre
Johann Strauss II – Blue Danube Waltz (in Italian)
Evelyn Scotney,
soprano
Aeolian Orchestra

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Je veux vivre – Scotney

J Strauss II – Blue Danube – Scotney

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

Aeolian Vocalion A-0213
Matrices AM 8480, 10581
Recorded c1923, London
Play at 77.3rpm

The French soprano Suzanne-Marie Bertin recorded in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Several operetta sides have been reissued by Symposium, and her recording of a Reynaldo Hahn song can be heard on Youtube. This Piccadilly recording however sees her firmly in the coloratura repertoire.

Johann Strauss II – Blue Danube Waltz (in Italian)
Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Je veux vivre
Suzanne-Marie Bertin,
soprano
with Orchestra

J Strauss II – Reves du Printemps – Bertin

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Je veux vivre – Bertin

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

Piccadilly No.5018
Matrices 1867-2, 1868
Recorded c1930, London
Play at 77.8rpm

Luisa Tetrazzini and Percy Pitt

Over the past year or so I’ve produced several CD reissues for CRQ Editions. These included 3 CDs of Percy Pitt’s Columbia recordings, followed by a 2CD set of his HMV recordings with singers. In compiling the last I listened to and did initial restoration on many more records than the set could accommodate, and I hope to present several of these “collateral restorations” here. First up are three sides with Pitt conducting for the great Luisa Tetrazzini. Two of these are from Pitt’s first HMV recording session, which was also Tetrazzini’s first. The third comes from a session the following year.

Thomas – Mignon – Polonaise (Io son Titania)
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Thomas – Mignon – Polonaise – Tetrazzini

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

Gramophone Monarch 053142
Matrix 2171f
Recorded 20th December 1907, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm – original record has a lot of wear, so the sound is noisy in places

Delibes – Lakmé – Bell Song (Dov’e l’Indiana bruna)
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Delibes – Lakmé – Bell Song – Tetrazzini

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

His Master’s Voice 053150
Matrix 2172f
Recorded 20th December 1907, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Waltz
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Tetrazzini

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

His Master’s Voice 053195
Matrix 2524f
Recorded 1st July 1908, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm

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

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
(No longer available due to bogus copyright claim)

(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

(No longer available due to bogus copyright claim)

(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

(No longer available due to bogus copyright claim)

(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

(No longer available due to bogus copyright claim)

(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.

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.

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

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

Gordon Jacob’s William Byrd Suite – Coldstream Guards Band (1925); Stanley Chapple – Brahms Hungarian Dances, Elgar Pomp and Circumstance No.1; Franz André – Eric Coates, Elgar, Gershwin; Frieder Weissmann – Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung; Arthur Meale – Thalberg’s “Home Sweet Home”, Ascher’s “Alice, Where Art Thou?”; Capiton Zaporojetz – The Song of the Flea, Drinking (In cellar cool); Early recordings by Julie Andrews

It’s been more than a month since my last update, so there are quite a number of items to add this time. The recordings range from acoustic 78s through to mono LP, and include military band, orchestra, piano and vocal recordings.

Gordon Jacob – Suite by William Byrd

Mediafire link for Jacob – William Byrd Suite – Coldstream 1925

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

No.1 – The Earle of Oxford’s Marche (¾ side)
No.5 – Wolsey’s Wilde (¼ side)
No.6 – The Bells (1 side)

His Master’s Voice C 1215
Matrices Cc 5982-II, 5983-I (single-side numbers 2-0419/20)
Recorded 2nd April 1925
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, Lieut. R.G. Evans

Gordon Jacob’s arrangement of a number of keyboard pieces by William Byrd was made for Military Band in 1923 and orchestra in 1924. It is likely that this late acoustic recording was the earliest recording of these three movements.

Between 1909 and 1927, A=452Hz was the standard pitch for British military bands. A change to the Kings Regulations in 1927 adopted modern pitch of A=439Hz. At 78rpm the record plays at about the expected A=452Hz, slightly more than a semitone sharper than modern pitch.

Brahms – Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2
Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1

Download – Brahms – Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2 – Stanley Chapple

Download – Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 – Stanley Chapple

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

Broadcast Twelve 5033
Matrices Lo.104x, LO.103
Recorded c1929
Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Stanley Chapple

Chapple (1900-1987) was music director for the Aeolian Company, and conducted frequently for them, though the recordings are hard to find now. These  Broadcast Twleve sides are badly affected by the persistent whistle which seems so common a feature of records on this label. I have done my best to alleviate this problem, so when you notice the remnants of it, bear in mind that it was originally much worse than it sounds now. As the whistle oscillates in pitch, whilst also gradually decreasing pitch and increasing amplitude until the end of the record, correcting it proved to be a major task!

 

Coates – London Suite

I. Covent Garden (Tarantelle)
II. Westminster (Meditation)
III. Knightsbridge (March)

Coates – London Bridge
Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D major Op.39
Gershwin – An American in Paris

Mediafire link for Coates, Elgar, Gershwin – Franz André

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

Telestar 10049
Matrices LP-071621-I, LP-038079-III
Recorded 2nd to 7th April 1958 (Coates), 20th April 1957 (Elgar), 19th April 1957 (Gershwin)
L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

 

R. Strauss – Tod und Verklärung – Symphonic Poem Op.24

Download – Strauss – Tod und Verklärung – Weissmann

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

American Decca 25350/2
Matrices 2-21619-2, 21620, 21621-2, 21622-2, 21623, 21624 C
Recorded c1930
Philharmonic Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann

I originally transferred this recording about four years ago, before this website was born. The present file is a completely new transfer, in much improved sound.

 

R. Thalberg – Home, Sweet Home
Ascher – Alice, Where Art Thou?

Download – Thalberg – Home, Sweet Home – Arthur Meale

Download – Ascher – Alice, Where Art Thou? – Arthur Meale

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

His Master’s Voice B 3166
Matrices Bb 17255-III, 17256-III (single-side numbers 30-833/4)
Recorded 19th August 1929, London, Small Queen’s Hall, Studio C
Arthur Meale, piano

Arthur Meale was the regular organist of the Queen’s Hall. He made many organ recordings in a light and popular classical vein. This record gives us the rare opportunity to hear him as a pianist, in two nineteenth century virtuoso salon pieces. For UK comedy fans, Ascher’s melody is the one that was used as the title music for the Ronnie Barker and David Jason sitcom “Open All Hours”.

This record is in very poor condition, with a serious fracture, and a noisy surface with significant distortion – it’s still a fun listen, though.

Mussorgsky – Song of the Flea
Traditional – Drinking (In cellar cool)

Download – Mussorgsky – Song of the Flea – Capiton Zaporojetz

Download – Trad – Drinking (In cellar cool) – Capiton Zaporojetz

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

Columbia L 1991
Matrices WAX 2739-1, 2740-1 (7664/5)
Recorded 12th May 1927
Available from October 1927 to April 1941
Capiton Zaporojetz, bass with piano

I was prompted to transfer this after seeing Zaporojetz’s name mentioned in a couple of places recently. Firstly, in the booklet notes for “Firebirds of Paris”, a Ward Marston CD of French recordings of Russian repertoire from around 1930. Zaporojetz is noted as singing Prince Yuri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kitezh in 1926 in Paris, then in 1929 in the premiere of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. He also sang the same role in Kitezh in 1935.

A few weeks after reading this, I was reading the June 2010 issue of “The Record Collector”, and the article on Marguerite D’Alvarez mentioned a concert on 2 October 1927 in London, where Thomas Beecham conducted “An Afternoon of Grand Opera” at the Royal Albert Hall. with Austral, Burke, D’Alvarez and Zaporojets.

 

Gounod – Romeo  & Juliet – Je veux vivre
Easthope Martin – Come to the fair (from “Songs of the Fair”)

Columbia DB 2470
Matrices CA 20923-2, 20924-1
Recorded c1948
Julie Andrews, soprano
Ted Andrews, baritone (Come to the fair)
Barbara Andrews, piano

Mozart-Adam – Ah! vous dirai-je mama
Benedict – The Wren

Columbia DB 2553
Matrices CA 21114-1, 21115-1
Recorded c1948
Julie Andrews, soprano
Orchestra, Ted Andrews

Mediafire link for Julie Andrews – early recordings

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

The first of these records has appeared here previously. It has been retransferred to be presented here with another of Julie Andrews early 78s.

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)

Mario Rossi conducts Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony, Robert Easton sings Mendelssohn and Gounod

As Mendelssohn’s 200th birthday arrives, it seems apt to provide a few more items by this wonderful composer. Thus we have a symphony, and a wonderful bass aria which was much loved by English speaking singers, yet seems sadly neglected now.

Mendelssohn – Son and Stranger – I am a roamer
Gounod – Philemon and Baucis – Vulcan’s song
Columbia 9210
Matrices WAX 2330-1, 2331-1 (7116/7)
Recorded 7th April 1927
Available from September 1927 to January 1946
Orchestra, A W Leggett
Robert Easton, bass

Download – Mendelssohn – Son and Stranger – I am a roamer – Robert Easton

Download – Gounod – Philemon and Baucis – Vulcan’s Song – Robert Easton

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

The Mendelssohn plays in C major at 80rpm, the Gounod in A minor (a semitone below score pitch).

This recording was reviewed in The Gramophone, September 1927:

Robert Easton. – The two records on this disc present a singular contrast – the same fine bass voice in both pieces, but a difference of style and effect that is simply astonishing. It is, however, no mystery, no problem beyond solution. The singer knows how to make every point in I’m a roamer. He gets away with it from the starting-gate, and from that point is a winner as well as a roamer – tone, rhythm, words, humour, everything pat and perfect to the finish. With Vulcan’s Song it is otherwise. Here too slow, there too fast; now too deliberate and heavy; nearly always too lugubrious – the true significance of Vulcan’s allusive remarks and the satire of his own ugliness and deformity, showing what a mistake it is for him to quit Venus and his own fireside to go on nocturnal adventures – the humour of all this is utterly lost, thanks partly, perhaps, to the fatuity of the English translation. That, I suppose, is why Santley always insisted on singing this song in French.

 

Mendelssohn – Symphony No.4 in A major Op.90 “Italian”
Vivaldi – Olimpiade – Andante
Decca AK 1974-7
Matrices AR 11730-1, 11731-1, 11732-1, 11733-1, 11734-1, 11735-1, 11736-1, 11737-2
Recorded 1947

Mediafire link for Mendelssohn – Symphony No.4 Italian – Mario Rossi

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

I. Allegro vivace (2 sides)
II. Andante con moto (1½ sides)
III. Con moto moderato (1½ sides)
IV. Finale: Saltarello-Presto (2 sides)

Turin Symphony Orchestra, Mario Rossi

This recording received a detailed review in The Gramophone, December 1948:

Turin Symphony Orchestra (Mario Rossi): Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, “Italian” (Mendelssohn); Andante from “L’Olimpiade” (Vivaldi arr. Mortari). Decca AK1974-7 (12 in., 27s. 4d.).

I cannot imagine why Decca have decided to withdraw the Unger version in six months’ time in favour of this new one. It is true that Unger took the first movement rather deliberately and was altogether too perfunctory about the Andante; but he was well recorded, and on points his version wins hands down over this new competitor. Perhaps the idea was that it would be interesting to have an Italian orchestra playing a work which owed all its inspiration to Italy – for this is not one of your made-up titles stuck on afterwards by a publisher. Mendelssohn had started off at the age of 25 for an extended tour of Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and his sketches and letters vividly record the impressions made on his naturally vivacious mind: in 1831 he wrote from Rome, “The Italian Symphony makes rapid progress: it will be the gayest piece I have yet composed, especially the last movement. I have not yet made up my mind about the Adagio (sic), and think I shall reserve it for Naples.” He finished the work on his return home, and conducted the first performance himself in 1833 for a concert of the Philharmonic Society of London. The curious thing is that this symphony, for all its seeming spontaneity and the sunny freshness of its writing, caused Mendelssohn exceptional difficulty, and right up to the year of his death he was still considering making alterations to it.

W.R.A., writing of the recent Barbirolli recording of the Italian, said that it achieved “high clarity at the expense of warmth.” Here almost the reverse is true: there is plenty of spirit, even if the orchestra is not particularly well disciplined, but far greater definition, both of playing and recording, is necessary. Rossi starts off at an impetuous speed; the woodwind repeated chords are a mere indistinct background; the strings, when they enter with their exuberant tune, skitter over the quavers and clip the rhythm. It is all, clearly, just too fast for the players’ comfort: phrases are snatched, and there is frequently little continuity of the melodic line. But there is interesting perspective and plenty of vitality. If the staccato string passage leading to the second subject is untidy, the second subject itself is treated with the most delicious lightness and grace. It is a pity that the exposition is not repeated: it is becoming a bad habit to alter Mendelssohn’s carefully-calculated proportions by cutting the repeat.

After the first movement the rot begins to set in. The Andante is played sympathetically, but (especially at the end) oh! so slowly. This seems to have depressed the orchestra so much that it plays the third movement without much conviction, and the Trio is dreary in the extreme – it is taken very slowly, the horns ignore the phrasing (which is clearly marked in bar-lengths), and the violins’ dancing figure is laborious and leaden-footed. By contrast, in the Saltarello, the Roman carnival seems to have gone to the players’ heads, and the rhythm is none too stable (notice how the woodwind soloists jump their fourth beats at letter C, side 7). This movement certainly cannot compare with Unger’s version.

The fill-up is interesting: a gracious elegiac Andante from one of the 38 operas of Vivaldi, the red-headed priest on whose music Bach drew so much. L’Olimpiade, one of Metastasio’s most popular libretti, was set by about a dozen composers, and Vivaldi’s opera was revived in 1939 at the Siena Festival.

The LP issue was reviewed briefly in The Gramophone, September 1950:

*MENDELSSOHN. Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, “The Italian.” Turin Symphony Orchestra (Mario Rossi). Decca LX3004 ( 10 in., 29s. 6d.).

In December, 1948, my colleague L.S. devoted nearly a column to a review of the 78 version or this symphony. He wrote with no great enthusiasm, and I agree with all his strictures. Indeed, as a whole, it is a poor performance, and therefore I cannot understand why Decca has bothered to issue it on L.P. There is certainly no improvement in the quality of the recording. L.S. said that “far greater definition, both of playing and recording, is necessary.” It still is. R.H.