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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Fabien Sevitzky – Arensky’s Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky; Marie Novello – Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2; Thorpe Bates – Captain’s Song from HMS Pinafore; Joseph Batten – “March of Victory” for the National Savings Movement; Henry Wood – Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music (improved transfer); Michael Zacharewitsch – violin solos

The latest selection of recordings is a typically mixed bag.

Firstly, Fabien Sevitzky, who has been heard here before with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, recorded slightly earlier with his own Philadelphia String Simfonietta. One product of his studio sessions was Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, an adaptation of the third movement of Arensky’s String Quartet No.2.

The tragically short-lived English pianist Marie Novello managed to record extensively. For Winner she recorded Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, though it’s somewhat gratingly abridged to fit on two 10” sides.

Thorpe Bates has also appeared here before in recordings from early in his career. The present pair of recordings take us earlier still, and also to the end of his career.

As a regular in the Gramophone Company studios, he featured in numerous ensemble recordings, not always credited on the label. A 1906 recording of the Captain’s Song from HMS Pinafore includes Bates as soloist. The accompanying choir includes Peter Dawson, whose distinctive tones can be heard particularly on each cry of “What never?” as he holds the final note longer than everyone else!

Bates also visited the studios in 1945, to take part in one of those curious patriotic records for the National Savings movement. This one celebrated the work of the British forces in securing victory in Europe, and was recorded after Hitler’s death, but a few days before VE Day. Bates contributes to the first side, and the second features Walter Saull, a baritone who had sung Dr Caius in the third performance of Vaughan Williams’s Sir John in Love in 1929 (part of the original run).

And staying with English singers, I’ve just acquired a fine set of original 78s of Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, which provides a much improved transfer compared to the Columbia 7” reissue that I previously transferred.

I’ve been prompted to transfer my latest Edison Bell of the violinist Michael Zacharewitsch, who has also appeared here before. As well as the new disc in my collection, I’ve also improved the transfers of the other Zacharewitsch recordings which have appeared here.

Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky, Op.35a

Mediafire link for Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovksy – Sevitzky

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

RCA Victor Red Seal DM 896 (11-8155/6)
Matrices 056558 7, 056559 1, 056560 1A4, 056561 10 (11-8155/6 auto, 11-8153/4 manual)
Recorded 1942

Part 1 – Variations 1 and 2
Part 2 – Variations 3 and 4
Part 3 – Variations 5 and 6
Part 4 – Variation 7 and Finale

Philadelphia Chamber String Sinfonietta, Fabien Sevitzky conductor

Album notes:

Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky, Op.35a

Anton Arensky was one of the most distinguished Russian composers of his period. Endowed with a natural facility of musical diction, a tenderness of feeling and a gift for simple and beautiful melody, Arensky soon won the warm friendship of his older and greater contemporary, Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. A word concerning the cordial relationship between the two men is in order, for it is a melody by Tchaikovsky which forms the basis for the variations by Arensky recorded here. Tchaikovsky found in Arensky “a man of remarkable gifts” (as he expressed it in a letter to Mme. von Meck), not the least of which was an impeccable technical equipment in the craft of composition which, in Tchaikovsky’s words, “deserves unqualified praise.” As an older and more experienced composer, Tchaikovsky occasionally felt called upon to criticize certain aspects of Arensky’s music. The criticism was kindly but firm, and, in one instance at least, reveals perhaps more about Tchaikovsky than it does about Arensky. Arensky had submitted a work (Marguerite Gautier) based on the famous La Dame aux Camelias of Dumas fils – the work which served Verdi as the foundation for his La Traviata. Tchaikovsky disapproved, failing to see how “an educated musician” could have chosen so trivial a work when such authors as Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy were available as sources of inspiration. But Tchaikovsky could be extraordinarily kind as well. He put himself to considerable trouble to gain Arensky a hearing. He recommended Arensky’s book on musical theory to Jurgenson, the publisher. He wrote to Rimsky-Korsakoff asking as a favor that one of Arensky’s works be performed at one of his concerts. The manner in which the favours was asked is unique in the history of the friendship of composers, and indicates how much faith Tchaikovsky had in his friend’s talent. He proposed to Rimsky-Korsakoff that his own Rome overture be replaced by a composition of Arensky’s, arguing that where all Russian composers find a place, room should be made for Arensky. Arensky indicated his veneration for his friend by dedicating several of his compositions to Tchaikovsky. The present series of variations – originally a part of his string quartet, Op.35 – takes as its theme a song by Tchaikovsky.

In brief, the main outlines of Arensky’s biography follow. He was brought up amidst eminently musical surroundings. His father, a doctor, played the ‘cello, and his mother was reputed to have been an accomplished pianist. Arensky supplemented his early musical training with a course of study at the Petrograd Conservatory under Rimsky-Korsakoff. Following the completion of his studies – he graduated with honors – he was appointed professor of harmony and counterpoint at the Imperial Conservatory in Moscow in 1882. In 1889 he became a member of the Council of the Synodal School of Church Music at Moscow, a post which he held until 1893. For seven years he was conductor of the Russian Choral Society. In 189 he succeeded Balakirev, upon the latter’s own recommendation, as director of the Imperial Chapel at Petrograd. This post he resigned in 1901. He died in Terijoki, Finland, on February 25, 1906 following a long illness.

Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody (No.2)

Download – Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 – Marie Novello

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

The Winner 3599 (10″)
Matrices 6849K-3, 6850R-3
Recorded November 1921
Marie Novello, piano

National Savings Movement presents “March of Freedom”

Download – March of Freedom – Joseph Batten

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

EMI JG.303 (EMI: A Private Recording)
Matrices CTPX 12923-1, 12924-1
Recorded 3rd May 1945
London Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Batten
Thorpe Bates
, baritone (Side 1)
Walter Saull, baritone (Side 2)
Michael Shepley, compere (both sides)
Chorus (both sides)

Sullivan – HMS Pinafore – Captain’s song
(My gallant crew good morning… I am the captain of the Pinafore)

Download – Sullivan – HMS Pinafore – Captain’s Song – Thorpe Bates

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

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-4404 (10”)
Matrix 8352b (4404 II)
Recorded 16th June 1906
Orchestra
Sullivan Quartette:
Thorpe Bates
, baritone
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Stanley Kirkby, baritone
Ernest Pike, tenor

Thorpe Bates listed as soloist in Gramophone Company archives. Though the record label notes “Sullivan Quartette”, the ledgers give “Sullivan Operatic Party.” As noted earlier, Dawson is distinctly audible in the chorus. The recording ledgers do not list the chorus members, but Pike, Dawson and Kirkby were all in studio on the same day, recording with Bates and Eleanor Jones-Hudson in various combinations: Kirkby (recording as Walter Miller) was accomapnied by the Minster Singers, comprising Dawson, Bates, Pike and Jones-Hudson), and when Pike was the soloist his place is the same named group was taken by Kirkby.

Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music

Download – Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music – Henry Wood

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

Columbia LX757-8
Matrices CAX 8367-2A, 8368-2A, 8369-1, 8370-1
Recorded 15th October 1938
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood
Isobel Baillie,
soprano – Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano – Elsie Suddaby, soprano – Eva Turner, soprano
Margaret Balfour, contralto – Muriel Brunskill, contralto – Astra Desmond, contralto – Mary Jarred, contralto
Parry Jones, tenor – Heddle Nash, tenor – Frank Titterton, tenor – Walter Widdop, tenor
Norman Allin, bass – Robert Easton, bass – Roy Henderson, baritone – Harold Williams, baritone

 

Mediafire link for recordings by Michael Zacharewitsch

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

Schubert – Ave Maria
Zacharewitsch – Imagination

Edison Bell Velvet Face 509
80.0rpm
Matrices X1125E-?, X1126N-?
Michael Zacharewitsch, violin with piano

Wieniawski – Legende
Svendsen – Romanze

Edison Bell Velvet Face 517
Matrices X1122D-4, X1123B-4
80.0rpm
Michael Zacharewitsch, violin with piano

Sarasate – Zigeunerweisen (Gipsy Airs)
Edison Bell Velvet Face 525
81.9rpm
Matrices X1171E-1, X1172F-2
Michael Zacharewitsch, violin with piano

Dennis Noble sings for the National Savings scheme; Eugene Goossens – Delius in Cincinnati; Andreieff’s Balalaika Orchestra; Fucik’s Entry of the Gladiators – Coldstream Guards Band; Horenstein – Dvorak’s New World Symphony; Dean Dixon – Schumann and Schubert Symphonies, incidental music to Rosamunde

The second update of 2010 brings my typical mixed bag of recordings.

The first is an unusual recording by the wonderful British baritone Dennis Noble. It is not listed in the discography of Noble which appeared in The Record Collector in 2004. The record label is a private EMI pressing made to promote the National Savings scheme. The songs on one side are a “Silver Lining Medley”, and on the other “Look for the Silver Lining.” These were presumably chosen to tie in with the film “Look for the Silver Lining”, a 1949 biopic of Marilyn Miller. In the medley, Noble sings two songs, and C Wright (a very English tenor crooner) sings another. A fourth is assigned to the chorus. The second side has Noble singing with the chorus. Both sides are introduced by actor Norman Shelley.

Next, from around the same time, a British conductor in the US – Eugene Goossens with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Delius’s The Walk to the Paradise Garden.

Some decades before, a Russian conductor made recordings in the US – Vassily Andreyev took his Balalaika Orchestra on tour there in 1911. One of the sides he made has appeared here before, when it was a coupling for Landon Ronald’s abridged recording of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony.

An altogether different sound comes from an early single-side Zonophone of Fucik’s “Entry of the Gladiators”, recorded a little before it acquired its circus connotations. The Zonophone Military Band credited on the label are actually the Band of H.M. Colstream Guards.

Maintaining the Czech theme, Dvorak’s New World Symphony receives a compelling performance from Jascha Horenstein on a Vox LP. The tempi are perhaps slow in places, but the conductor’s attention to detail makes for a highly satisfying account.

Finally, making a long overdue appearance here, the American conductor, Dean Dixon. I have more recordings by Dixon than can be given here – many are still in copyright, as he continued recording into the 1970s. The three LPs here include two symphonies by Schumann, two by Schubert, and Schubert’s Rosamunde music.

Silver Lining Medley:

Trad. – Roll away, clouds
Milton Egan – Song of the Dawn
Jack Ager – Over on the Sunny Side
Irving Berlin – Blue Skies

Jerome Kern – Look for the silver lining

Download – Silver Lining Medley – Dennis Noble, etc.

Download – Look for the silver lining – Dennis Noble, etc.

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

EMI JG.367
Matrices CTPX 14690-1, 14691-1
Recorded 1948?

Commentary by Norman Shelley
Dennis Noble
, baritone
C Wright, singer
Chorus
National Savings Symphony Orchestra, Cecil Woods

 

Record label for Dennis Noble's National Savings record

Record label for Dennis Noble’s National Savings record

Delius – The walk to the Paradise Garden (Intermezzo from A Village Romeo and Juliet)

Mediafire link for Delius – Paradise Garden – Goossens

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

RCA Victor 11-9493
Matrices D6-RC-5139, 5140
Recorded 14th February 1946, Cincinnati
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Traditional – Serenade Falet
Rubinstein – Bal Costumé – Toreador et Andalouse

Mediafire link for Andreieff’s Balalaika Orchestra

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

Victrola 18058
Matrices B9996-1, 9978-1
Recorded 20th, 21st February 1911
Andreieff’s Balalaika Orchestra, Vassily Vassilievich Andreyev

The top half of the label has a replacement stuck over it:

SPECIAL RECORD
Manufactured for
THE GRAMOPHONE CO., LTD.
HAYES,
MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND
Made in U.S.A.

Fucik – Entry of the Gladiators

Download – Fucik – Gladiators – Coldstream Guards

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

Zonophone X-40168
Matrix 2293e (X40168V)
Recorded 19th July 1905
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, John Mackenzie-Rogan
(credited on label as Zonophone Military Band)

This recording plays just sharp of A major at 78rpm and, in A flat major at 73rpm. Transposition up to B flat major seems unnaturally fast, and A is an unlikely key for a military band. The piano score of the piece is in C major.

Dvorak – Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95

Mediafire link for Dvorak – New World Symphony – Horenstein

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

I. Adagio – Allegro molto
II. Largo
III. Scherzo
IV. Allegro con fuoco

Vox PL 7590
Matrices XTV 17222-1D, 17223-1B
Recorded c1952, Vienna
Issued 1953
Vienna State Philharmonia, Jascha Horenstein

Reviewed in Gramophone, November 1953, where it was found to be better than recordings by Jorda and Kubelik.

 

Schumann – Symphony No.3 in E flat major Op.97 “Rhenish”

I. Lebhaft
II. Scherzo
III. Nicht schnell
IV. Feierlich
V. Lebhaft

Schumann – Symphony No.4 in D minor Op.120

I. Ziemlich langsam – Lebhaft
II. Romanze
III. Scherzo
IV. Langsam

Mediafire link for Schumann – Symphonies – Dean Dixon

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

Westminster WL 5285
Matrices XTV  20239-1B, 20240-1A
Issued 1954
Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Dean Dixon

Schubert – Symphony No.4 in C minor (“Tragic”)

I. Adagio molto – Allegro vivace
II. Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro

Schubert – Symphony No.5 in Bb major

I. Allegro
II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto: Allegro molto
IV. Allegro vivace

Mediafire link for Schubert – Symphonies – Dean Dixon

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

Nixa NLP 913
Issued 1954
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Dean Dixon
(credited on label as Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London)

Schubert – Rosamunde – incidental music

Mediafire link for Schubert – Rosamunde – Dean Dixon

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

Whitehall, WH 20069
Matrices M-18483-A-XTV-19105-IU, M-18483-B-XTV-19106-IU
Issued 1954

1. Overture (Alphonso and Estrella) (Andante – Allegro)
2. Entr’acte (Allegro molto moderato)
3. Ballet (Allegro moderato – Andante un poco assai)
4. Entr’acte (Andante)
5. Romance (Andante con moto) (a)
6. Chorus of Spirits (b)
7. Entr’acte (Andante)
8. Shepherd’s Melody (Andante)
9. Shepherd’s Chorus (Allegro) (b)
10. Hunting Chorus (Allegro moderato) (b)
11. Ballet (Andantino)

Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Dean Dixon
(a) Hilde Rössl-Majdan, mezzo-soprano
(b) Vienna Akademie Kammerchor