Now we head back to the early 1920s for three English Columbia acoustic discs, featuring two of Columbia’s regular conductors: Albert W Ketelbey and Hamilton Harty. The reason for grouping these together is a little confusion in the catalogues as to who is conducting on one of the records.

Massenet – Angelus from “Scenes Pittoresques”
Luigini – The Voice of the Bells – Reverie
Court Symphony Orchestra, Albert W Ketelbey

Massenet – Angelus – Court SO, Ketelbey

Luigini – The Voice of the Bells – Court SO, Ketelbey

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

Columbia 974
Matrices AX 364-1, 360-1 (4721, 4717)
Recorded 11th and 6th March 1924, London
Available from June 1924 to July 1929

Plays at 78rpm, though stated as 80rpm on labels.

Wagner – The Meistersingers – Overture
Court Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Harty

Wagner – Meistersinger – Court SO, Harty

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

Columbia 976
Matrices AX 361-1, 362-1 (4718, 4719)
Recorded 7th March 1924, London
Available from June 1924 to August 1932

This recording is unabridged. The first side begins at 80rpm and progresses to 81rpm, while the second side remains around 80rpm.

On the record label, the performance is credited simply to the Court Symphony Orchestra, and in Columbia’s 1925 catalogue it is listed under the section for Court Symphony Orchestra conducted by Albert W. Ketelbey. However, Ronald Taylor’s discography of 12” Columbia records 1906-1930 notes the conductor as “Harty (Listed in the catalogues as Ketelbey)” Another Court Symphony Orchestra recording, from 4th March 1924 (record 980, matrices AX 356-2, AX 359-1), was issued in the UK with no conductor credited, and appears in the same section of the 1925 catalogue under Ketelbey’s name but American issues gave Harty’s name.

I’m inclined to accept the attribution of Harty as the conductor, partly because of the accelerando at the end of the overture which is not unusual for him.

Stanford – Shamus O’Brien – Overture
Rossini – Barber of Seville – Overture
Hallé Orchestra, Hamilton Harty

Stanford – Shamus O’Brien – Hallé, Harty

Rossini – Barber of Seville – Hallé, Harty

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

Columbia L 1428
Matrices 75078-1, 75080-2
Recorded 20th April 1922, London
Available from July 1922 to February 1928

Both sides play at 80rpm.

The overtures are both abridged. The Stanford is only slightly trimmed, but the Barber has been rather butchered to fit on one side.