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

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Stanford Robinson’s Nutcracker and Bransby Williams’s Scrooge

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

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 1. Miniature Overture – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 2. March – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 4. Russian Dance (Trepak) – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 5. Arab Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 6. Chinese Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 7. The Reed Pipe Dance – Robinson

Tchaikovksy – Nutcracker Suite – 8. Waltz of the Flowers – 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

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – The Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – After the Dream (1912) – Bransby Williams

Dickens – David Copperfield – Micawber’s Advice to David Copperfield (1912) – Bransby Williams

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

Columbia 347-8
Matrix 6275-2, 6276-2, 6277-1, 6278-1
Recorded 1912, London
Available from December 1912 to May 1924 (replaced by recordings made April 1924)
Play at 81.1rpm

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – The Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Scrooge – After the Dream – Bransby Williams

Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle – Bransby Williams

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

DECCA AK 1963-4
Matrix AR 12497-1, 12498-1, 12499-1, 12500-1
Recorded 7th July 1948, London

Dickens – Scrooge – Before the Dream; The Dream; After the Dream
Dickens – Dombey and Son – Captain Cuttle

Bransby Williams, actor

Dickens – David Copperfield – Wilkins Micawber – Bransby Williams

Dickens – David Copperfield – Dan’l Peggotty – Bransby Williams

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

DECCA F 9277
Matrix DR 12529-1, 12530-2
Recorded July 1948, London

Brambell – A Bright Day

Wilfred Brambell, actor

Brambell – A Bright Day

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

Broadcasting Service 455/12/DS
Recorded 1946, Dublin?

Written on the record sleeve: Wilfred Brambell as “David Bright” for “A Bright Day”, written by him and broadcast Radio Eireann 1946

Lilian Stiles Allen; Hamilton Harty and Henry Wood – Schubert; winners of Columbia’s Schubert competition; Lilac Time

The first selection of recordings this time is of the soprano Lilian Stiles-Allen. She was widely respected in her day, though her performances were confined to the concert platform and broadcasting as she was “not suited to the operatic stage.” She was one of the original sixteen soloists in Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, and went on to teach Dame Julie Andrews. She recorded a number of sides for the Edison Bell company, with the recordings appearing on various of its labels. The recordings have only rarely been reissued, and having gathered a number of them, seeing Julie Andrews perform in London prompted me to transfer these recordings of her teacher.

Mediafire link for Lilian Stiles Allen – Edison Bell recordings

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

Handel – Messiah – Rejoice greatly
Handel – Theodora – Angels ever bright and fair
Edison Bell Velvet Face 700
Matrices X1663B-1, X1664E-1
Recorded c1922
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
Orchestra

Verdi – Aida – Act 2. Neath the chances of battle… Tremble, thou art discovered
Edison Bell X546
Matrices X1840J, X1841D
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edith Furmedge, contralto
Orchestra

Verdi – Il Trovatore – Miserere
Edison Bell Winner L5397
Matrix 13747F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Hardy Williamson, tenor
Orchestra, Orazio Fagotti

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – O rejoice that the Lord has arisen
Edison Bell Winner L5397
Matrix 13746E-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen,
soprano
Orchestra

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Santuzza’s Song
Edison Bell X523
Matrix X1763D
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
John Barbirolli’s Symphony Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 1. Love duet, finale
Edison Bell X523
Matrix X1762F
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano.  Dan Jones, tenor
John Barbirolli’s Symphony Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 2. Flower duet: Shake the cherry tree… Not a flower left
Edison Bell Electron 0282
Matrices 11963N-1, 11964A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edith Furmedge, contralto
Orchestra

Puccini – Madam Butterfly – Act 2. One Fine Day
Edison Bell Electron 0178
Matrix 11142A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen,
soprano
Orchestra

Gounod – Faust – Finale Trio
Edison Bell Electron 0178
Matrix 11143F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Edward Leer, tenor. Edward Halland, bass
Orchestra

HG Pelissier – Awake (Ballad)
Maude Craske Day – Arise, O sun (Ballad)
Edison Bell Winner 5199
Matrices 12845B-1, 12846A-1
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano with piano

Monckton – A Country Girl (excerpts) (Rhajah of Bong; Under the Deodar; Two Little Chicks; Farewell; Pink Hungarian Band; Try It On Johnnie; Yo Ho Little Girls; Coo; My Own Little Girl; Speak And Tell)
Edison Bell Winner L5379
Matrices 13786F-2, 13787F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano. Tessa Deane, mezzo-soprano. Anthony Quorn, tenor
London Concert Orchestra

Lehar – Frederica – Why did you kiss my heart awake
Edison Bell Winner 5171
Matrix 13001F-2
Recorded c1930
Lilian Stiles Allen, soprano
Orchestra

Lehar – Frederica – O maiden, my maiden
Edison Bell Winner 5171
Matrix 13002B-2
Recorded c1930
Hardy Williamson, tenor
Orchestra

The remaining recordings here focus around Schubert and English Columbia. Sir Hamilton Harty, as well as recording a stunning account of Schubert’s Great C major Symphony, also recorded substantial parts of the Rosamunde music, including both the Alphonso and Estrella overture, and the Zauberharfe one.

Mediafire link for Schubert – Rosamunde music – Sir Hamilton Harty

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

Schubert – Rosamunde – Overture (Die Zauberharfe)
Columbia L 1998
Matrices WAX 2654-1, 2655-2 (7526, 7530)
Recorded 2nd May 1927
Available from December 1927 to June 1947
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

As is common with many UK Columbias from this period, the stated 80rpm, turns out to be unreliable, with both sides starting at that speed and ending about  81.2rpm. The recording is somewhat cut, with side 1 containing bars 1-83 and 104-185, and side 2 containing bars 206-375 and 396 to the end.

Schubert – Rosamunde Incidental Music

Overture (Alphonso and Estrella) (2 sides)
Entr’acte No.1 (2 sides)
(a) Entr’acte No.2; (b) Shepherd’s Melody (for Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn)
Entr’acte No.3 (in B flat major) (without repeats)
Ballet Music No.1 – Andantino (in G major) (without repeats)
Ballet Music No.2 – (a) Allegro Moderato; (b) Andante un Poco Assai (without repeats)

Columbia L 2122-5
Matrices WAX 3549-2, 3550-2, 3551-1, 3552-1, 3554-3, 3555-2, 3556-2, 3553-2 (9230, 9228, 9229, 9248, 9239, 9240, 9235, 9238)
Recorded 27th April 1928
Available from September 1928 to August 1946
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

Sir Henry Wood recorded Schubert’s Unfinished symphony in a very abridged acoustic version, before making two electrical versions in 1926 and 1933.

Mediafire link for Schubert – Unfinished Symphony (1926 & 1933) – Henry Wood

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

Symphony in B minor (Unfinished)

I. Allegro moderato (3 sides – no repeat)
II. Andante con moto (3 sides)

Columbia 9513-5
Matrices WAX 1490-1, 1491-2, 1492-2, 1493-2, 1494-2, 1495-2 (S654, 653, 657, 658, 652, 655)
Recorded 23rd April 1926
Originally issued on L1791-93 available January 1927 to October 1928
This issue available October 1928 to December 1933 (when it was replaced by the 1933 recording)
The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood

All sides play at the stated 80rpm

Symphony No.8 in B minor (Unfinished)

I. Allegro moderato (3 sides – no repeat)
II. Andante con moto (3 sides)

Columbia DX 551-3
Matrices CAX 6975-1, 6976-1, 6977-1, 6978-2, 6979-2, 6980-1
Recorded 30th October 1933
Available from December 1933
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Henry J. Wood

Frank Merrick’s Two Movements in Symphonic Form and John St.Anthony Johnson’s Pax Vobiscum were the English Prize Works in the Schubert Centenary – Columbia International Composers Contest.

Mediafire link for Merrick & Johnson – Schubert competition winners – Stanford Robinson

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

Frank Merrick – Two Movements in Symphonic Form (A completion of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony)

1. Scherzo (2 sides)
2. Poco Allegro (2 sides)

Columbia 9562-3
Matrices WAX 4180-2, 4181-1, 4249-1, 4250-3 (10437, 10436, 10575, 10574)
Recorded 20th October 1928 (sides 1,2), 3rd November 1928 (sides 3,4)
Available from January 1929 to March 1942
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanford Robinson

This plays in the expected key of B minor at 76rpm.

Based on the deliberately Schubertian structure of the Scherzo, I’ve surmised that a section of music at the end of the first side is repeated at the start of the second. I’ve included two versions of the movement, one with the repeated section edited together as I believe it should be played, and one with all the music as recorded.

John St.Anthony Johnson – Pax Vobiscum
Columbia 9564
Matrices WAX 4178-2, 4179-2 (10438, 10435)
Recorded 20th October 1928
Available from January 1929 to March 1935
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanford Robinson

This plays in C sharp minor at 76rpm, the same speed as the Merrick piece recorded at the same session.

Finally some Schubert of a rather different style – as arranged by Clutsam for the musical Lilac Time.

Download – Schubert-Clutsam – Lilac Time – selection – George W Byng

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

Schubert-Clutsam – Lilac Time – Selection
His Master’s Voice C 1098
Matrices Cc 2373-II, Cc 2376-II (3-0812/3)
Recorded 12th January 1923
Mayfair Orchestra, George W. Byng

Lilac Time – Selection, Part 1 (Just a little ring; The Flower; The Golden Song; Yours is my heart)
Lilac Time – Selection, Part 2 (My Sweetest Song of all; Maiden, try to smile; Girls and Boys)