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 fantasis – 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

Landon Ronald – Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Wagner, Svendsen Bizet; Eugene Goossens – Tchaikovsky; Mary Law; Il Trovatore – Carrie Lanceley & Gwilym Richards; Daisy Kennedy interviewed

People are probably starting to wonder just how many Landon Ronald recordings I have. There are still plenty more to come, and a few early transfers which I’m keen to revisit. So, for the summer, a selection of Tchaikovsky, Svendsen, Wagner and Bizet, including a bonus side by Eugene Goossens.

Schumann – Carnaval

Mediafire link for Schumann – Carnaval – Landon Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 1840/2
Matrices Cc 18734-III, 18735-I, 18736-III, 18745-III, 18746-II, 18747-II (single side numbers 32-1373/8)
Recorded 8th (sides 1 and 2) and 11th (sides 3 to 6) April 1930, Kingsway Hall, London

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Side 1: (1) Preambule (2) Pierrot (3) Arlequin
Side 2: (4) Valse Noble (5) Eusebius (6) Florestan
Side 3: (7) Coquette (8) Papillons (9) Lettres dansante (10) Chiarina
Side 4: (11) Chopin (12) Estrella (13) Reconnaissance
Side 5: (14) Pantalon et Colombine (15) Valse Allemande (16) Paganini (17) Aveu
Side 6: (18) Promenade (19) Pause (20) Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins

Schumann’s piano suite is orchestrated variously here by Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov, Tcherepnin and Arensky. After Coquette, Replique is omitted, and Paganini includes the reprise of the Valse Allemande

Tchaikovsky – Theme and Variations from Suite No.3 in G
Tchaikovksy – Chanson sans paroles (Song without words)

Mediafire link for Tchaikovsky – Theme and Variations, Chanson sans paroles – Landon Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice D 1798/1800
Matrices Cc 17901-II, 17902-I, 17904-III, 17903-II, 17905-IA, 17906-IIA (single side numbers 32-1028/33)
Recorded 3rd December 1929, Kingsway Hall, London

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

Side 1: Theme (Andante con moto) & Variations 1, 2, & 3
Side 2: Variations 4, 5, 6 & 7
Side 3: Variations 8, 9, & 10
Side 4: Variations 11 & 12 (First Record)
Side 5: Variation 12 (Second Record)
Side 6: Chanson sans paroles

The Chanson sans paroles may well be Ronald’s own orchestration.

Svendsen – Carnival in Paris
Tchaikovksy – Eugene Onegin – Polonaise (Act 3)

Mediafire link for Svendsen – Carnival in Paris, Tchaikovsky – Polonaise – Landon Ronald, Eugene Goossens

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

His Master’s Voice DB 1759/60
Matrices Cc 19735-II, 19736-II, 19737-II, 2B 598-I (single side numbers 32-1767/9, 32-2303)
Recorded 17th September 1929, Kingsway Hall, London (Svendsen)
Recorded 24th June 1931, Kingsway Hall, London (Tchaikovsky)

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald (Svendsen)
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens (Tchaikovsky).

Bizet – Carmen – Preludes to Act 1 and 2

Updated transfers now available

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

His Master’s Voice E 461
Matrices BR 936-IA, 937-II (single side numbers 6-830/1)
Recorded 21st January 1927, Queen’s Hall, London

Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Landon Ronald

Wagner – Die Meistersinger – Overture

Mediafire link for Wagner – Die Meistersinger Overture – Landon Ronald

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

Opera Disc Company 65365
Matrices ac6117f, ac6119f (single side numbers 040760/1)
Recorded 2nd March 1912, London

New Symphony Orchestra, Landon Ronald

This recording has appeared here before, but is now presented in an improved transfer.

Mary Law was a young British violinist, born 1889, died 1919, possibly from tuberculosis. She recorded a number of sides for Zonophone in 1915, primarily of operatic fantasias – those arrangements that provided audiences the tunes they knew. In November 1915 she began a tour of Australia. The Melbourne Argus of November 23rd 1915 contains the following:

Just Arrived, Direct from London, Under Special Engagement and First Appearance in Australia of Miss MARY LAW, The Notable English Violinist. Miss Law has been honoured with Royal Commands galore, and can claim the distinction of having played before most Members of the Royal Family.

Verdi – Rigoletto, Fantasia
Rossini – William Tell, Fantasia

Mediafire link for operatic fantasias with Mary Law

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

Zonophone Record The Twin – Serial A 187
Matrices z8393f, z8398f (single side numbers 047922/1)
Recorded 5th August 1915, London

Mary Law, violin with piano

The next item is the very traditional coupling on record of Ai nostri monti and the Miserere from Il Trovatore. This is a record on the short lived Pioneer label, which came into being in 1914, and lasted only until 1915. It’s on an earlier black label pressing, making 1914 the likely date. The two soloists are Australian soprano Carrie Lanceley and Welsh tenor Gwilym Richards. For more information on each, go to their respective pages.

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Home to our mountains; Miserere

Mediafire link for Verdi – Il Trovatore – duets with Lanceley and Richards

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

Pioneer 135
Matrices 2522, 2523
Recorded 1914, London

Carrie Lanceley, soprano
Gwilym Richards, tenor
with Orchestra

Daisy Kennedy, the Australian violinist has already appeared here, playing Saint-Saens. The present recording, is somewhat of a departure. This is an interview with Daisy Kennedy, broadcast on the BBC as the interval feature for a concert by Rafael Kubelik. The dates of the concert or the original interview are unknown. Many thanks to to Cheniston K Roland for providing a copy of this interview. Kennedy reflects on how she began to learn the violin, playing for Jan Kubelik, studying with Sevcik, and working with Landon Ronald, Percy Pitt and Henry Wood.

Daisy Kennedy, interviewed by Irene Slade

Mediafire link for Daisy Kennedy interview

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

A full transcript can be found on my Daisy Kennedy page.