Albert Sammons – Vieuxtemps’s Ballade et Polonaise; Adela Verne – Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat major Op.53

Albert Sammons (1886-1957) was a much loved violinist, nicknamed the English Kreisler. He made several concerto recordings which are still highly regarded. The recording below was the first orchestrally accompanied version of Vieuxtemps’s Ballade et Polonaise, though with wind band accompainment. British military pitch at this time was A=452Hz, so this is the standard I’ve adopted in this transfer, giving a speed of 83.6rpm.

Vieuxtemps – Ballade & Polonaise
Albert Sammons, violin
Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards, Dr Albert Williams

Download – Vieuxtemps – Ballade & Polonaise – Sammons (A-452)

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

Columbia L1165
Matrices 6964-2, 6963-2
Recorded 1916, London
Available from May 1917 to March 1926

The Ballade is given complete on the first side. The 31 bar transition to the Polonaise is omitted, and the second side starts with the Tempo di polacca. A number of cuts are made (b10 to 1 before E, 14 after G to 18 after G, 21 after G to I, 8 after M to R, S to W in the piano score)

Adela Verne (1877-1952) was a member of a musical family. She was acknowledged as one of the greatest pianists of her era, and a successor to Teresa Carreño. Her sister Mathilde, was one of the greatest piano teachers, and a pupil of Clara Schumann. Although Adela played for Clara, she did not have the opportunity to study with her, but was taught by Mathilde, who also taught Solomon, Lympany, and Harold Samuel. She made her debut in the Tchaikovsky first concerto aged 13. She studied Chopin with Paderewski, and also played a number of his works. She performed extensively at the Proms, and in 1902 played a Liszt Rhapsody in the Grand Coronation Concert, in which Clara Butt sang the first performance of Land of Hope and Glory. Other soloists were Santley, Albani, Kennerley Rumford and Lady Hallé.

Chopin – Polonaise in A flat major Op.53
Adela Verne, piano

Download – Chopin – Polonaise Op.53 – Verne

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

Columbia L1213
Matrices 75979-2, 75980-2
Recorded 1917, London
Available from December 1917 to May 1928

The first side of this record begins at 78.9rpm and rises to 79.8rpm, while the second rises from 80.9 to 81.0rpm if we take A-440Hz

Leave a Reply