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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

400 years

Although I have had not had a great deal of time to work on recordings for this site recently, I could not let the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death pass unmarked. There are several spoken word Shakespeare recordings to be found on site and music based on his works (just enter Shakespeare in the search box). But as a new addition, I have transferred Landon Ronald’s 1911 recording of the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Music.

Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Scherzo – New Symphony Orchestra, Landon Ronald

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

His Master’s Voice 0681
Matrix ac5550f
Recorded 7th October 1911, London

Another great writer, Miguel de Cervantes died on the same day as Shakespeare. He is best remembered for Don Quixote, and to celebrate this anniversary, I’ve transferred Chaliapin’s 1927 recording of the death of Don Quixote, from Massenet’s opera.

Massenet – Don Quixote – The Death of Don Quixote (Act 5) – Fyodor Chaliapin

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

Fyodor Chaliapin (bass) as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
Olive Kline (soprano) as the voice of Dulcinea
Orchestra, Rosario Bourdon
His Master’s Voice DB 1096
Matrices CVE-38334-I, 38335-I (sides 2-032114/5)
Recorded 7th April 1927, Liederkranz Hall, New York for Victor.

Coates and Shakespeare

April 23rd is Shakespeare day, and also the birthday of the great Albert Coates.

Firstly, two songs by Peter Warlock, the first to a Shakespeare test, sung by Parry Jones.

Warlock – Take, o take those lips away (Shakespeare)
Warlock – There is a lady sweet and kind
(Thomas Ford)
Parry Jones,
tenor with piano

Warlock – Take, o take those lips away – Parry Jones

Warlock – There is a lady sweet and kind – Parry Jones

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

Columbia DB 1443
Matrices CA 14645-1, 14647-1
Recorded 4th September 1934, London
Play at 78rpm

Next, two unaccompanied choral works conducted by Coates.

Sterndale Bennett – God is a Spirit
Sullivan – O Gladsome Light (from The Golden Legend)
British National Opera Company Chorus, Albert Coates

Sterndale Bennett – God is a Spirit – BNOC Chorus, Coates

Sullivan – O Gladsome Light – BNOC Chorus, Coates

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

His Master’s Voice E 397 (side numbers 4984, 4985)
Matrices Bb 6404-II, 6405-II
Recorded 27th July 1925, Hayes
Play from 77.9 to 80.7 and 81.8rpm

Finally a selection of Wagner, for which Coates was justly famed.

Wagner – The Valkyrie – The rock is surrounded by fire. Finale of opera (Loge, hear)
Orchestra, Albert Coates
Clarence Whitehill,
bass

Wagner – The Valkyrie – Loge, hear – Whitehill, Coates

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

His Master’s Voice 3-0782
Matrix Cc 1524-I
Recorded 22nd June 1922, Hayes, Room 1
Plays from 78.4 to 77.5rpm

 

Luisa Tetrazzini and Percy Pitt

Over the past year or so I’ve produced several CD reissues for CRQ Editions. These included 3 CDs of Percy Pitt’s Columbia recordings, followed by a 2CD set of his HMV recordings with singers. In compiling the last I listened to and did initial restoration on many more records than the set could accommodate, and I hope to present several of these “collateral restorations” here. First up are three sides with Pitt conducting for the great Luisa Tetrazzini. Two of these are from Pitt’s first HMV recording session, which was also Tetrazzini’s first. The third comes from a session the following year.

Thomas – Mignon – Polonaise (Io son Titania)
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Thomas – Mignon – Polonaise – Tetrazzini

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

Gramophone Monarch 053142
Matrix 2171f
Recorded 20th December 1907, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm – original record has a lot of wear, so the sound is noisy in places

Delibes – Lakmé – Bell Song (Dov’e l’Indiana bruna)
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Delibes – Lakmé – Bell Song – Tetrazzini

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

His Master’s Voice 053150
Matrix 2172f
Recorded 20th December 1907, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Waltz
Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano with Orc
hestra conducted by Percy Pitt

Gounod – Roméo et Juliette – Tetrazzini

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

His Master’s Voice 053195
Matrix 2524f
Recorded 1st July 1908, London
Plays in score pitch at 76.8rpm

Shakespeare Day

Although I’ve not posted much here recently, I’ve been doing plenty of restoration, for CRQ editions – there are now four volumes of Percy Pitt recordings available, and one of Lorenzo Molajoli.

My reason for posting today though is to honour Shakespeare’s birthday. I’ve transferred a recently acquired late acoustic Vocalion of Henry Baynton (1892-1951), one of the last actor-managers, performing Shakespearian excerpts. The first side is one of his own concoctions, I think, called “Shakespeare’s War Cry” consisting of a shortened verions of Richmond’s speech  from Richard III, Act 5 Scene 3, the last three lines of Philip the Bastard from King John Act 5 Scene 7, and the St Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V Act 4 Scene 3, followed by a brief conclusion “God keep us thorough to the end. God prosper your affairs. God grant us everlasting peace.”

Shakespeare’s War Cry (from Richard III, King John, Henry V)
Shakespeare – The Seven Ages of Man (from As You Like It); Hamlet’s Soliloquy
Henry Baynton

Shakespeare’s War Cry – Baynton

Shakespeare – Seven Ages of Man, Hamlet’s soliloquy – Baynton

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

Vocalion K-05216
Matrices 04273, 04274X
Recorded c 1924
Transferred at 79.5rpm in line with some roughly contemporary matrices.

The day cannot go by either without at least a brief tribute to the great Albert Coates. I’ve not had time to do any new transfers of his recordings, so I thought his wonderful account of Dvorak’s Carnival Overture needed to reappear here.

Dvorak – Carnival Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Dvorak – Carnival Overture – Coates

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

Electrola EJ 591
Matrices Cc 17860-IIA, 17861-IIA (32-1049/50)
Recorded 6th November 1929, Kingsway Hall, London

Shakespeare recordings by pupils of the Guildhall School of Music, Basil Maine and John Gielgud; Albert Coates conducts Siegfried’s Funeral March

Today marks the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and death, and is also St. George’s Day. To mark the first of these, there are two quite different Shakespeare recordings from 78s, which are linked by a review in Gramophone magazine. Then there’s a set of Linguaphone recordings of John Gielgud performing Shakespeare. This is different to the set that has appeared here previously (though he does perform some of the same excerpts.)

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of the conductor Albert Coates, so I present here his 1926 recording of Siegfried’s Funeral March from Götterdämmerung.

Shakespeare – As You Like It: Rosalind’s Speech, Act III, Scene V
Miss Margaret Littlefair,
actor
Shakespeare – Twelfth Night: Garden Scene Duologue, Olivia and Viola, Act III, Scene 1
Miss Winifred Cain,
actor
Miss Bronwen Rees, actor

Shakespeare – As You Like It: Rosalind’s Speech – Littlefair

Shakespeare – Twelfth Night: Garden Scene – Cain, Rees

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

Columbia 4396
Matrices WA 3717-3, 3715-2 (23549, 23547)
Recorded 1927
Available from June 1927

Paul Berton, BA, BCI, FGSM, Professor of Dramatic Art and Declamation at the Guildhall School of Music, with the aid of some of his students, made the following 8 recordings demonstrating his principle of “Logical-Rhetorical Dissection of Speech”

This is the third of four records. This set was roundly demolished in a review in Gramophone in August 1927:

You all know the lines about little victims heedless of their doom, and here have I been sitting hard at work to-day quite unaware of the doom in store for me in a little heap of unplayed records. This afternoon the blow fell. I have played them all through, and if I say that they are more depressing than any recent weather forecast I shall actually be understating their effect. These records, four in number from Columbia, are announced as follows :–” TRAINING FOR SPEAKING. A Series of Columbia Records of Declamatory Art Demonstrating the Logical-Rhetorical Dissection of Speech by the Students of Paul Berton, B.A., etc., Professor of the Guildhall School of Music.”

…I find in these four records every fault of the professional elocutionist. It is all very well to dissect Shakespeare, but there is surely no reason why he should be murdered first, for murdered he is by these pupils of Mons. Paul Berton. Miss Winifred Cain has a really good voice; if she were properly taught she might make a good Shakespearian actress, and I am not sure that something might not be made of Miss Bronwen Rees. But no amount of logical-rhetorical dissection can compensate for the monotonous two notes, which is all that Mons. Berton seems to allow his pupils. I am aware that most Rosalinds rebuke their Phoebes in the style of a coy governess, but this particular version of the speech by Miss Margaret Littlefair outdoes all previous Rosalinds.

…It is dreadful to think what may be going on under our ears all the time without our being aware of it. I don’t know how long Mons. Berton has been a professor of declamation and dramatic art at the Guildhall School of Music, but he has evidently been there long enough to write a book about it, and a fine nonsensical piece of work it seems to be, to judge by the extracts. I had never thought of the Guildhall School of Music as a dangerous institution until I played through these records to-day.

….these elocutionary records are not a success, and I shall not send any of my young friends to the Guildhall School of Music. Does Shakespeare pay ? No, and he never will pay until we can get somebody to act him. Mr. Basil Maine the other night read three or four lines from Shakespeare so well that I wish he would record John of Gaunt’s glorious speech. Then there is the chief announcer of the B.B.C. He knows how to read. It is all very fine to have a Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, but we shall soon have to start a Society for the Protection of Ancient Poetry, with appeals to The Times signed by Mr. J. C. Squire, etc., calling on the public to help in preserving Hamlet’s soliloquies from logical rhetorical dissection. Columbia ! Columbia ! Why did you publish these records ?

The Gramophone reviewer’s request was soon answered, as Basil Maine made a number of recordings, both for HMV in 1929, and for Parlophone a little later, including John o’Gaunt’s speech from Richard II.

Shakespeare – Richard II – John o’Gaunt’s Speech
Shakespeare – Macbeth – The Dagger Speech
Basil Maine,
actor

Shakespeare – Richard II – John o’Gaunt –  Maine

Shakespeare – Macbeth – Dagger – Maine

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

Parlophone E5987
Matrices W1549, W1550
Recorded c1930

Around 1930, John Gielgud recorded a number of Shakespearian excerpts for Linguaphone. These were issued on five 78s, and have been available on this site before, but they are available to download again below. Some years later, Gielgud recorded again for Linguaphone, another set of five 78s. He is named as Sir John Gielgud on the labels, which places the records no earlier than 1953. There are a few overlaps with the earlier set, but most selections are new. In both sets, the records are numbered only by matrix – there are no disc numbers.

Shakespeare – excerpts from plays and Sonnets – Sir John Gielgud

Mediafire link for Shakespeare – excerpts – Gielgud (c1953)

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

Linguaphone – Shakespeare Series A
Matrices given below
Recorded c1953

ENG 242-2 – Much Ado About Nothing (Act 2, Scene 3)
ENG 243-2 – King Richard the Second (Act 3, Scene 2); Sonnet XXX
ENG 244 – King Richard the Second (Act 3, Scene 3); King Henry the Fifth (Act 1, Scene 1)
ENG 245 – Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 4)
ENG 246-2 – Romeo and Juliet (Act 5, Scene 3); Cymbeline (Act 4, Scene 2)
ENG 247 – Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2)
ENG 248 – Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 4); Measure for Measure (Act 2, Scene 2)
ENG 249-2 – Richard II (Act 3, Scene 3)
ENG 250-2 – Henry V (Act 4, Scene 1)
ENG 251-2 – Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 7); Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5); The Tempest (Act 4, Scene 1)

Shakespeare – excerpts from plays and Sonnets – John Gielgud

Mediafire link for Shakespeare – excerpts – Gielgud (c1930)

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

Linguaphone – Shakespearian Records by John Gielgud
Matrices given below
Recorded c1930

EEG.28E – The Merchant of Venice – Gratiano’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 1); As You Like It – Jaques’ Speech (Act 2, Scene 7)
EEG.29E – King Richard the Second – John of Gaunt’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 1); Sonnet CXVI
EEG.30E – As You Like It – Jaques’ Speech (Act 2, Scene 7); The Tempest – Prospero’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 1)
EEG.32E – King Henry the Fifth – King Henry’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 1); King Henry the Fourth – Hotspur’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 3)
EEG.33E – Othello – Othello’s Speech (Act 1, Scene 3)
EEG.34E – Hamlet – Hamlet’s Speech (Act 2, Scene 2)
EEG.35E – Hamlet – Hamlet’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 4); Sonnet XVIII
EEG.36E – Richard II – King Richard’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 3)
EEG.37E – Henry V – King Henry’s Speech (Act 4, Scene 3)
EEG.38E – Midsummer Night’s Dream – Oberon’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 1); Oberon’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 2); Puck’s Speech (Act 3, Scene 2)

Albert Coates is without doubt one of my favourite conductors, though I haven’t featured him here very much at all. To celebrate his birthday, I’ve remastered his 1926 recording of Siegfried’s Funeral March from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

Wagner – The Twilight of the Gods – Siegfried’s Funeral March
Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Wagner – The Twilight of the Gods – Funeral March – Coates

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

His Master’s Voice D1092
Matrices CR 217-II, 141-III (4-0837/8)
Recorded 26th March, 25th January 1926, Queen’s Hall, London

Gordon Jacob’s William Byrd Suite – Coldstream Guards Band (1925); Stanley Chapple – Brahms Hungarian Dances, Elgar Pomp and Circumstance No.1; Franz André – Eric Coates, Elgar, Gershwin; Frieder Weissmann – Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung; Arthur Meale – Thalberg’s “Home Sweet Home”, Ascher’s “Alice, Where Art Thou?”; Capiton Zaporojetz – The Song of the Flea, Drinking (In cellar cool); Early recordings by Julie Andrews

It’s been more than a month since my last update, so there are quite a number of items to add this time. The recordings range from acoustic 78s through to mono LP, and include military band, orchestra, piano and vocal recordings.

Gordon Jacob – Suite by William Byrd

Mediafire link for Jacob – William Byrd Suite – Coldstream 1925

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

No.1 – The Earle of Oxford’s Marche (¾ side)
No.5 – Wolsey’s Wilde (¼ side)
No.6 – The Bells (1 side)

His Master’s Voice C 1215
Matrices Cc 5982-II, 5983-I (single-side numbers 2-0419/20)
Recorded 2nd April 1925
Band of H.M. Coldstream Guards, Lieut. R.G. Evans

Gordon Jacob’s arrangement of a number of keyboard pieces by William Byrd was made for Military Band in 1923 and orchestra in 1924. It is likely that this late acoustic recording was the earliest recording of these three movements.

Between 1909 and 1927, A=452Hz was the standard pitch for British military bands. A change to the Kings Regulations in 1927 adopted modern pitch of A=439Hz. At 78rpm the record plays at about the expected A=452Hz, slightly more than a semitone sharper than modern pitch.

Brahms – Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2
Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1

Download – Brahms – Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2 – Stanley Chapple

Download – Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 – Stanley Chapple

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

Broadcast Twelve 5033
Matrices Lo.104x, LO.103
Recorded c1929
Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Stanley Chapple

Chapple (1900-1987) was music director for the Aeolian Company, and conducted frequently for them, though the recordings are hard to find now. These  Broadcast Twleve sides are badly affected by the persistent whistle which seems so common a feature of records on this label. I have done my best to alleviate this problem, so when you notice the remnants of it, bear in mind that it was originally much worse than it sounds now. As the whistle oscillates in pitch, whilst also gradually decreasing pitch and increasing amplitude until the end of the record, correcting it proved to be a major task!

 

Coates – London Suite

I. Covent Garden (Tarantelle)
II. Westminster (Meditation)
III. Knightsbridge (March)

Coates – London Bridge
Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D major Op.39
Gershwin – An American in Paris

Mediafire link for Coates, Elgar, Gershwin – Franz André

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

Telestar 10049
Matrices LP-071621-I, LP-038079-III
Recorded 2nd to 7th April 1958 (Coates), 20th April 1957 (Elgar), 19th April 1957 (Gershwin)
L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André

 

R. Strauss – Tod und Verklärung – Symphonic Poem Op.24

Download – Strauss – Tod und Verklärung – Weissmann

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

American Decca 25350/2
Matrices 2-21619-2, 21620, 21621-2, 21622-2, 21623, 21624 C
Recorded c1930
Philharmonic Orchestra, Frieder Weissmann

I originally transferred this recording about four years ago, before this website was born. The present file is a completely new transfer, in much improved sound.

 

R. Thalberg – Home, Sweet Home
Ascher – Alice, Where Art Thou?

Download – Thalberg – Home, Sweet Home – Arthur Meale

Download – Ascher – Alice, Where Art Thou? – Arthur Meale

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

His Master’s Voice B 3166
Matrices Bb 17255-III, 17256-III (single-side numbers 30-833/4)
Recorded 19th August 1929, London, Small Queen’s Hall, Studio C
Arthur Meale, piano

Arthur Meale was the regular organist of the Queen’s Hall. He made many organ recordings in a light and popular classical vein. This record gives us the rare opportunity to hear him as a pianist, in two nineteenth century virtuoso salon pieces. For UK comedy fans, Ascher’s melody is the one that was used as the title music for the Ronnie Barker and David Jason sitcom “Open All Hours”.

This record is in very poor condition, with a serious fracture, and a noisy surface with significant distortion – it’s still a fun listen, though.

Mussorgsky – Song of the Flea
Traditional – Drinking (In cellar cool)

Download – Mussorgsky – Song of the Flea – Capiton Zaporojetz

Download – Trad – Drinking (In cellar cool) – Capiton Zaporojetz

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

Columbia L 1991
Matrices WAX 2739-1, 2740-1 (7664/5)
Recorded 12th May 1927
Available from October 1927 to April 1941
Capiton Zaporojetz, bass with piano

I was prompted to transfer this after seeing Zaporojetz’s name mentioned in a couple of places recently. Firstly, in the booklet notes for “Firebirds of Paris”, a Ward Marston CD of French recordings of Russian repertoire from around 1930. Zaporojetz is noted as singing Prince Yuri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kitezh in 1926 in Paris, then in 1929 in the premiere of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. He also sang the same role in Kitezh in 1935.

A few weeks after reading this, I was reading the June 2010 issue of “The Record Collector”, and the article on Marguerite D’Alvarez mentioned a concert on 2 October 1927 in London, where Thomas Beecham conducted “An Afternoon of Grand Opera” at the Royal Albert Hall. with Austral, Burke, D’Alvarez and Zaporojets.

 

Gounod – Romeo  & Juliet – Je veux vivre
Easthope Martin – Come to the fair (from “Songs of the Fair”)

Columbia DB 2470
Matrices CA 20923-2, 20924-1
Recorded c1948
Julie Andrews, soprano
Ted Andrews, baritone (Come to the fair)
Barbara Andrews, piano

Mozart-Adam – Ah! vous dirai-je mama
Benedict – The Wren

Columbia DB 2553
Matrices CA 21114-1, 21115-1
Recorded c1948
Julie Andrews, soprano
Orchestra, Ted Andrews

Mediafire link for Julie Andrews – early recordings

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

The first of these records has appeared here previously. It has been retransferred to be presented here with another of Julie Andrews early 78s.

Henry Wood’s Vaughan Williams

To round off this Vaughan Williams anniversary year, here are the remainder of Henry Wood’s recordings of Vaughan Williams’s music: The Serenade to Music, The Wasps Overture and the Fantasia on Greensleeves.

Download – Vaughan Williams – The Wasps – Wood

Download – Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on Greensleeves – Wood

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

Vaughan Williams – The Wasps – Overture
Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on Greensleeves
Originally issued on Decca K.821/2
Matrices TA 2136, 2137, 2138 (The Wasps), TA 2139 (Greensleeves)
Recorded 22nd April 1936
The Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood
George Stratton, leader

The present transfers are made from the Decca Ace of Clubs LP reissue, ACL 255.

Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music
UPDATED TRANSFER AVAILABLE