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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Strauss (and Ivanovici) for the New Year

As ever I like to ring in the New Year with a nod in the direction of a Viennese New Year’s Day Concert.

France’s Garde Républicaine returns with two pieces with a Danube theme.

Iosif Ivanovici – Flots du Danube (Valse)
Johann Strauss II – Le Beau Danube Bleu
Garde Républicaine

Ivanovici – Flots du Danube ( Donauwellen) – Valse – Garde Républicaine

Johann Strauss II – Le Beau Danube Bleu – Garde Républicaine

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

Odeon 3814/6483
Matrices 3814-4 x, 6483 x (P 2279)
Recorded January 1906
74.2rpm playing in F minor and E flat major at A435

The next two sides are classics of the gramophone, though my copies aren’t the best.
Johann II Strauss – Die Fledermaus – Mein Herr Marquis; Spiel’ ich die Unschuld vom Lande
Orchestra, Karl Alwin
Elisabeth Schumann, soprano

Johann Strauss II – Die Fledermaus – Mein Herr Marquis – Schumann

Johann Strauss II – Die Fledermaus – Spiel’ ich die Unschuld vom Lande – Schumann

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

HMV E 545
Matrices Bb 12008-I, BV 614-III (7-43097, 30-1473)
Recorded 11th November 1927, Studio C, Small Queen’s Hall, London; 6th September 1929, Mittlerer Konzerthaussaal, Vienna
76.3rpm, 76.5rpm

The final Strauss of the day celebrates his sesquicentennial anniversary this year, and is represented by his best known waltz.

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Waltz
Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Leo Blech

R Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Waltz – Blech

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

His Master’s Voice C 1819
Matrices CLR 4851-II, 4852-II (4-040730/1)
Recorded 12th December 1928, Berlin
74.2rpm

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

Works by Lumbye, Warschawsky, Kremer and Waldteufel on early Gramophone Concert records; Chimes and sounds of London, with Stanley Roper, organ

Here in London, it’s traditional that the chiming of Big Ben rings in the New Year. The following recordings, from November 1926, includes that distinctive bell, and other bells of Westminster, together with Stanley Roper playing the organ of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

St. Margaret’s Chimes, Westminster. “O God, our help in ages past”
Impressions of London (Westminster). Actual recording of BIG BEN and traffic noises. St. Margaret’s Chimes and Organ (“The Old 100th”)

Stanley Roper, organ

St Margaret’s Chimes. “O God, our help” – Roper

Impressions of London. “The Old 100th” – Roper

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

His Master’s Voice B 2398
Matrices BR 868-III, 869-I (9764, 9765)
Recorded 24th November 1926, St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, London

New Year’s Day itself brings the concert from Vienna, with waltzes, polkas, galops and so on, usually by the Strauss family. The four recordings presented here are dances of the same type, but by a wider range of composers, and ensembles.

Warschawsky (or Vasily S. Varshavsky) recorded for a number of different labels (Beka, Columbia, Favorite, Gramophone Co., Zonophone) with his “Harmonia Orchestra”. This was in fact an accordion ensemble. He conducted accompaniments for choirs and solos. More details can be found at Russian Records.

Warschawsky Polka
W. Warschawsky’s Orchester

Warschawsky Polka

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

G&T Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-20596
Matrix 1556z (20596 II)
Recorded 1903, Moscow

This plays in G major at 78rpm (with concert pitch of A440). My copy of this record is very worn, particularly at the start.

Chris Chapman was an American percussionist who recorded for Victor from 1905 to 1909, playing mainly bells or xylophone. In this recording he plays a Gavotte by Charles W Kremer, about whom I can find no further information. This is the only recording of one of his works to appear in the Victor acoustic catalogues.

Charles W Kremer – Southern Girl Gavotte
Chris Chapman, bells with Orchestra

Kremer – Southern Girl Gavotte – Chris Chapman

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

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-9383
Matrix B-4764 (Victor master – English pressing gives A4764 (9383 IV))
Recorded 5th August 1907

This plays in F major at 78rpm.

Although named on the label as “Clarkes London Concert Band,” this recording was issued in the French catalogue as being played  by the Musique de la Garde Républicaine, and its use of the o-series matrix number also suggests a French recording.

Waldteufel – Toujours ou jamais Waltz
“Clarkes London  Concert Band” – Musique de la Garde Républicaine

Waldteufel – Toujours ou jamais – Garde Republicain (G flat major)


Waldteufel – Toujours ou jamais – Garde Republicaine (G major)

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

G&T Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-2-145
Matrix 4397o (2-145)
Recorded 1904-5, Paris

Curiously, after the end of the Waldteufel, there is a gap in the grooves, and then another track – a few seconds of a steady single note on a trumpet.

The French military had already adopted diapason normal by this time and this recording plays in G flat major at 75.9rpm. At this speed, this trumpet tone appears as A440. A speed of around 80.4rpm would put the work in G major, with the test tone as a B flat, this would put result in many of the transposing instruments playing in A major and E major, which may be less likely than playing in A flat major and E flat major. However, I’ve provided transfers at both pitches, and leave it to the listener to decide which sounds more likely. The original orchestral key of E major is unfeasible!

As with the Warschawsky, there is a great deal of wear and distortion, particularly near the start of this record.

The label for the following record of music by Lumbye names “Elite Orkester”, then København, Danish Orchestra. However, the matrix listings name the Black Diamonds Band, the Gramophone Company’s house band. At the same session they recorded several other works by Lumbye, Lund, Eriksen and Wenrich, likely for the Danish catalogue.

H.C. Lumbye – Salut for August Bournonville, Galop
“Elite Orkester” – Black Diamonds Band

Lumbye – Salut for August Bournonville – Black Diamonds Band

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

Gramophone Concert Record V.*70659
Matrix 11414e (V*70659)
Recorded 4th March 1910, London

On the basis that standard military band pitch at the time was A452, I’ve transferred this at 80rpm, which puts it in B flat for this pitch standard. The original orchestral version is in D, which would give a turntable speed which is unfeasibly fast for Gramophone records of this period. It would however give the piece at a speed comparable to modern recordings of this galop!