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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

A festive feast of Wagner and Verdi

To round off the Wagner and Verdi bicentenary year, I’ve gathered a varied selection of music by these two operatic greats, in various guises.

Dajos Béla recorded extensively in many genres. The following abridged version of the Tannhäuser Overture is one of his more straightforwardly classical recordings, though the scoring is adapted for his band of the time – a piano can definitely be heard contributing.

Wagner – Tannhäuser – Overture (abridged)
Künstler-Kapella Dajos Béla

Wagner – Tannhäuser – Overture – Dajos Béla

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

Odeon AA79816-7
Matrices xxBo 7551, 7552-II
Recorded 24th April 1923
Plays in A440 at 80rpm
Dan Godfrey has appeared here on many occasions, but this is the first time I’ve transferred anything by his eldest son, Dan Godfrey Jr. He very much followed in his father’s footsteps. He was appointed by the nascent BBC to conduct the 2LO Military Band with whom he recorded some 50 sides for the Edison Bell company, mostly arrangements of serious classical fare.

Wagner – The Rhinegold – Entry of the Gods into Valhalla
2LO Military Band, Dan Godfrey Jr

Wagner – Rhinegold – Entry of the Gods – 2LO Military Band, Godfrey Jr

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

Winner 4112
Matrices 8921B-1, 8922B-1
Recorded and issued 1924
Plays in A452 at 80.3rpm

 

The Dresden-born Emil Enderlein (b 1887) started as a lyric tenor, before developing into a Heldentenor. He sang Walther in Die Meistersinger at Bayreuth in 1925, and Parsifal and the Götterdämmerung Siegfried at the Zoppot Forest Opera in 1927-28. After his Bayreuth performances he changed his stage name to Erik Enderlein, and continued to perform well into the 1930s. After retirement he worked as a singing teacher in Berlin. He recorded for Pathé, Parlophone, Polyphon and Polydor as Emil Enderlein, but this curious
piano accompanied account of two excerpts from the Ring cycle appeared on the Piccadilly label, an offshoot of the Metropole label. The recordings are likely to have been made in 1929 when he sang at Covent Garden.

Wagner – The Valkyrie – Spring Song
Wagner – Siegfried – Forging Song
Eric Enderlein, tenor with piano

Wagner – Valkyrie – Spring Song – Enderlein

Wagner – Siegfried – Forging Song – Enderlein

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

Piccadilly No.5020
Matrices 1914, 1915
Recorded 1929
78.3rpm

 

The Carl Rosa Opera Company was a mainstay of opera in English from 1873 to 1960 (before being revived in 1997) performing in London and all round Britain. The selection from Lohengrin is conducted by Arthur Hammond (1904-1991) who joined the company in 1928, but by 1936 was working at Covent Garden. Imperial records were produced by the Crystalate company from 1920 to 1934, probably placing this record in the early 1930s. None of the soloists are named, but are likely to be Carl Rosa regulars of the period (but probably not among the top rank singers who were contracted to other recording companies.)

Wagner – Lohengrin – Vocal Selection
Arthur Hammond, Carl Rosa Orchestra, Carl Rosa Opera Company

Wagner – Lohengrin – vocal selection – Carl Rosa Co, Hammond

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

Imperial Z 115
Matrices T.I. 146.A, 148.A
Recorded c1931-32
79.1rpm

 

The French tenor Paul Franz (1876-1950) was born François Gauthier in Paris. He did not train as a singer until he was almost 30, but soon was in demand across a wide repertoire.

Wagner – Tristan & Isolde – Ou Tristan va se rendre
Wagner – Le Crépuscule des Dieux – Mort de Siegfried
Paul Franz, tenor with Orchestra

Wagner – Tristan und Isolde – Ou Tristan va se rendre – Paul Franz

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – Siegfried’s Death – Paul Franz

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

Pathé No.0286 (29cm, paper label, edge start)
Recording numbers 2376, 2494 R
Recorded c1919-20
Disc transfers 8th Jan 1924, 4th September 1924
73.1rpm, 76.5rpm

 

Borghild Bryhn-Langaard (1883-1939) was a Norwegian soprano, taught partly by Grieg’s wife Nina Hagerup. She sang the Rhinegold Fricka and Valkyrie Brünnhilde in Richter’s English Ring cycle at Covent Garden in 1908.

Wagner – Tannhäuser – Elizabeth’s Greeting
Wagner – Die fligende Holländer – Senta’s Ballad
Borghild Bryn (Borghild Lindvig Bryhn-Langaard), soprano with Orchestra

Wagner – Tannhäuser – Dich teurer Halle – Bryn

Wagner – Die fliegende Holländer – Senta’s Ballad – Bryn

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

Pathé 729
Recording numbers 77198, 77201
Matrices 24198 G, 47320 GR
Recorded 1917-18, Berlin
Play in score pitch at 94.4rpm, 91.5rpm

 

The cellist W.H. Squire recorded extensively for the Gramophone Company and Columbia, with large works interspersed with lighter pieces or arrangements of standards.

Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve
W.H. Squire, cello with piano

Wagner – Tannhäuser – O Star of Eve – WH Squire


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

His Master’s Voice 7886
Matrix ak 14731e
Recorded 5th January 1912, London
78.4rpm

 

Landon Ronald needs little introduction for those who know this site well. A Wagner celebration could not go by without including something from him.

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – Siegfried’s Funeral March
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Landon Ronald

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – Siegfried’s Funeral March – RAHO, Ronald


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

His Master’s Voice D 502
Matrices HO 4434af, 4433-IIaf (3-0529, 3-0530)
Recorded 11th June 1920, Hayes
79.6rpm
John Barbirolli is also a name that requires little introduction, and his later recordings are well known. But early efforts like this operatic selection have received less attention.

Wagner – Tannhäuser – Selection (arr Alfonso Gibilaro)
London Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli

Wagner – Tannhäuser – selection – LSO, Barbirolli


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

His Master’s Voice C 2293
Matrices 2B 1102-1, 1103-1 (32-2441, 32-2442)
Recorded 25th September 1931, Queen’s Hall, London
77.6rpm

 

The Zoppot Forest Opera ran from 1921 to 1944 in Sopot (now in Poland) and was known as the Bayreuth of the North. Many prominent singer and conductors performed there, though by 1942 when Siegfried and Die Meistersinger were performed, the singers were perhaps not such big names, but still acquit themselves well.

Wagner – Siegfried:
Siegfried und die Stimme des Waldvogels a.d. 2 Akt – Freundliches Vöglein, dich frage ich nun
Zwischenspiel a.d. 3 Akt
Berlin State Orchestra, Robert Heger
Heinz Kraayvanger, tenor.
Cova Wackers, soprano

Wagner – Siegfried – Woodbird scene – Kraayvanger, Wackers, Heger

Wagner – Siegfried – Interlude to Act 3 Scene 3 – Heger


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

Polydor 67922
Matrices 1880½-GS9, 1891½-GS9
Recorded 18th June 1942 “Aufnahmen mit Künstlern der Zoppoter Waldoper 1942”
77.1rpm

 

Giuseppe Lenghi-Cellini, born in Italy in 1881 had a substantial career in Britain, performing in concerts and opera. He recorded extensively for Parlophone, but can also be heard on Regal and Piccadilly.

This particular record has a bad fracture affecting the first minute or so of each side.

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Ah si ben mio; Di quella pira
Giuseppe Lenghi Cellini, tenor with Orchestra

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Ah si ben mio – Lenghi-Cellini

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Di quella pira – Lenghi-Cellini


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

Piccadilly No.5032
Matrices 3556-2, 3559
Recorded c1930
79.3rpm (Di quella pira transposed down a semitone)
Alick Maclean is a favourite conductor of mine, though few of his recordings have appeared here so far. He recorded extensively with the NQHLO, and also regularly conducted the Scarborough Spa Orchestra.

Verdi – Aida – Selection
The New Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, Alick Maclean

Verdi – Aida – selection – NQHLO, Maclean


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

Columbia L 1439
Matrices 75089-2, 75090-2
Recorded 11th May 1922, London
Available from 10/1922 to 2/1928
(Intended replacement on AX491-2; 492-2; recorded 2nd July 1924 conducted by Eugene Goossens II; test pressings made; but not issued)
80.3rpm

 

The shortlived British violinist Mary Law has appeared here before. These operatic fantasias were standard fare for her in the recording studios.

Verdi – Il Trovatore: Fantasia; La Traviata: Fantasia
Mary Law, violin with piano

Verdi – Trovatore fantasia – Mary Law

Verdi – Traviata fantasia – Mary Law


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

Zonophone Record The Twin Serial A 177
Matrices AL 8350f, AL 8354f (Z-047919, Z-047920)
Recorded 8th June 1915, London
77.9rpm

 

Stanley Chapple was the house conductor for the Aeolian Vocalion company, conducting orchestral works, as well as substantial operatic excerpts like the following. As usual, the soloists are unnamed, though I suspect that Frank Titterton can be heard on the Rigoletto selections.

Verdi – Vocal Excerpts from “Il Trovatore”
Grand Opera Company, Soloists, Full Orchestra, Stanley Chapple

Verdi – Il Trovatore – vocal excerpts – Chapple


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

Broadcast Twelve 5187-8
Matrices LO 733, 734, 735x, 736
Recorded 1930
79.0rpm

Verdi – Vocal Gems from “Rigoletto”
Grand Opera Company, Soloists, Full Orchestra, Stanley Chapple

Verdi – Rigoletto – vocal gems – Chapple


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

Broadcast Twelve 3094
Matrices LO 1108x, 1109x
Recorded 1931-2
78.5rpm

 

This HMV issue of US Victor masters of vocal gems from Aida in English disguises under the heading of “Grand Opera Company” an ensemble that includes the young Richard Crooks as Radames.

Verdi – Aïda – Vocal Gems
Grand Opera Company
Della Baker, soprano
Elsie Baker, contralto
Stanley Baughman, baritone
Rose Bryant, contralto
Helen Clark, soprano
Richard Crooks, tenor
Frank Croxton, bass
Royal Dadmun, baritone
Charles H Hart, tenor
Vivian Holt, soprano
Judson House, tenor
Olive Kline, soprano
Lucy Isabelle Marsh, soprano
Lambert Murphy, tenor
Ruth Rodgers, soprano
Orchestra, Rosario Bourdon

Verdi – Aida – vocal gems – Bourdon


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

His Master’s Voice C 1605
Matrices CVE-13995-20, 13996-23
Recorded 13th July 1928, Liederkranz Hall, New York
76.3rpm

 

In 1902-3 the Anglo-Italian Commerce Company made a number of recordings in Milan for Pathé. The two excerpts here are from a Verdi rarity, I due Foscari, and are sung by an unnamed baritone.

Verdi – I due Foscari – O vecchio cor che batti; Questa dunque è
unnamed baritone with piano
Verdi – I due Foscari – O vecchio cor che batti – unnamed baritone

Verdi – I due Foscari – Questa dunque è – unnamed baritone


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

Pathé 80098, 80874
Matrices 59089, 7555
Recorded c 1902-3, Milan
90.6rpm, 88.4rpm

 

France’s Garde Républicaine recorded extensively for many years for several companies. In Britain, the most comparable equivalent is the Coldstream Guards Band. These early operatic fantaisies have spoken introductions.

Verdi – Le Trouvère – Fantaisie
Garde Républicaine    

Verdi – Le Trouvère – Fantaisie – Garde Républicaine


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

Odeon 33318/33319
Matrices 33318-2 x, 33319-3 x
Recorded c December 1904
76.1rpm

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
(No longer available)

(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

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

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

German’s Welsh Rhapsody from Landon Ronald and Henry Gibson, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in La Traviata

There are just a few items today, with more to follow later in the week. Edward German’s “Welsh Rhapsody” was, surprisingly, not one of the many works that German himself conducted for the Gramophone Company. Pioneering acoustic versions were left to Dan Godfrey (on one side), Henry Gibson and the Mayfair Orchestra (2 sides) and Bainbridge Robinson with Boosey’s Concert Orchestra (4 sides). Electrical recordings followed from Landon Ronald with the LSO and Basil Cameron with the Hastings Municipal Orchestra in 1930, and the City of Birmingham Orchestra under George Weldon came later. The July 1931 issue of The Gramophone had the following to say about Ronald’s recording:

German is always likeable, because he knows his job inside out – the job of inventing good tunes, working them up into not-too-complex patterns, and orchestrating them in firm, bright colours (with a special ear to the values of the wind, as you may notice in this Rhapsody, which he wrote for the Cardiff Festival in 1904). This time he did not invent the tunes, but took them from the splendid folk store of Wales. The first movement builds on the air to “Loudly proclaim o’er land and sea This is the home of liberty” a capital, lusty opening. About a third of the way on side 2 we run right into the scherzo section, beginning with the fleet “Hunting the Hare” and using secondly “The Bells of Aberdovey” (with some neat combinations of the two). A minor-key reminiscence of the Bells tune, an inch in on side 3, changes the scene reflectively for the third movement, in which oboes and lower strings give out “David of the White Rock”, which is briefly treated, and ends pp; directly, we know what is going to happen, for the instruments hint excitingly at “Men of Harlech”, and then we sit back and, if we are not too blasé, feel a touch of the old patriotic thrill as the grand old march recalls the pageant of stormy history. All very simple and old-fashioned, you may say; but it is done by a man who, I repeat, knows his job inside out, and there are too few who have learnt their job as German did, graduating in the most valuable of all arenas, that of the theatre. Without over-smiting, the L.S.O. paints warmly and well, and no one could keep the thing in perspective better than Ronald. The tunes on which the movements are based should have been noted on the labels.

The two recordings given below are Henry Gibson’s abridged 1916 account, and Landon Ronald’s 1930 recording. In addition to these, a little opera: a test pressing of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s 1950 Addio del passato, included as an extra in a recent record order, as one of the other discs in the order had a rim flake that the seller hadn’t previously spotted.

German – Welsh Rhapsody

Download – German – Welsh Rhapsody – Henry Gibson

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

His Master’s Voice C 701
Matrices HO 1453ac, 1455ac (2-0654/5)
Recorded 27th January 1916
Issued September 1916
Mayfair Orchestra, Henry Gibson

German – Welsh Rhapsody

Download – German – Welsh Rhapsody – Landon Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 1939-40
Recorded 17th September 1930
Matrices Cc 19731-II, Cc 19732-II, Cc 19733-I, Cc 19734-1 (32-1763/6)
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

 

Verdi – La Traviata – Addio del passato

Download – Verdi – La Traviata – Addio del passato – Schwarzkopf

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

Columbia one-sided test pressing (issued on LX 1370)
Matrix CAX 10947-2
Recorded 1950
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano
Philharmonia Orchestra, Alceo Galliera