With Christmas nearly here, it’s time for my customary festive posting. On the orchestral side of things, Stanford Robinson conducts the Nutcracker Suite, and then there’s a feast of Dickensian recordings from Bransby Williams. Then as a non-festive bonus, a monologue from Wilfrid Brambell, best known as Albert Steptoe in Steptoe and Son. He apparently created the character of “David Bright” and is heard here in “A Bright Day” recorded for Radio Eireann in 1946, according to the written note on the record sleeve.
Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite Op.71a
National Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Robinson
(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)
DECCA AK 1142-4
Matrices AR 9056-3, 9057-2, 9058-2, 9081-2, 9079-2, 9080-2
Recorded 18th January 1945 (tracks 1-5) and 26th January 1945 (tracks 6-8), Kingsway Hall, London
Released September 1945
Bransby Williams was a regular on the music hall stage, famed for his impersonations of great actors of the time, for his humorous monologues, and particularly for his performances of Dickensian characters. He recorded extensively from at least 1905 to 1948, starting with Edison cylinders, then HMV and Zonophone, Pathé, Winner, Columbia and Decca. He recorded his interpretation of Scrooge in 1905, 1906 and 1912 (Edison), 1909 (HMV), 1912 (Winner), 1912, 1924 and 1926 (Columbia) and 1948 (DECCA). I present here his 1912 Columbia and 1948 DECCA accounts. The Columbia is coupled with Micawber’s advice to David Copperfield, which can also be heard on a separate DECCA recording from 1947.
Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s advice to David Copperfield