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

Easthope Martin – Godard and Grieg; Albert Coates – Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers

There are two parts to this latest addition to my site. First, a performer who has appeared already as a composer: Easthope Martin, whose popular “Come to the fair” has been heard here performed both by Julie Andrews, and her stepfather Ted Andrews. However, in the period before the First World War, Martin recorded a number of sides for Zonophone, though he was disguised behind a pseudonym.

Godard – Second Mazurka Op.54
Grieg – Norwegian Bridal March Op.19 No.2
Easthope Martin,
piano
(credited on label as Paul Astor)

Godard – Second Mazurka – Easthope Martin

Grieg – Norwegian Bridal March – Easthope Martin

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

Zonophone Record The Twin Serial A 144
Matrices z7135f, z7136f (side numbers Z-045509, Z-045508)
Recorded 24th February 1913

To commemorate Shakespeare’s anniversary, and the birthday of the Anglo-Russian  conductor Albert Coates, I present here one of Coates’s later Decca recordings – Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers as the filler side.

Tchaikovsky – Romeo and Juliet – Fantasy Overture
Rimsky-Korsakov – The Snow Maiden – Dance of the Tumblers
National Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

Tchaikovsky – Romeo and Juliet – Coates

Rimsky-Korsakov – Snow Maiden – Dance of the Tumblers – Coates

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

Decca (Dutch) X 10068/9, X 10170
Matrices AR 9109-2, 9110-1, 9111-2, 9112-2, 9113-1, 9152-2
Recorded 8th February 1945 (sides 1 and 4), 23rd February 1945 (sides 2, 3, 5 and Rimsky-Korsakov), Kingsway Hall, London

Curiously, sides 1 to 4 are coupled in automatic sequence on X 10068/9, and side 5 and the Rimsky-Korsakov are on X 10170