New Year’s Suppé from Basil Cameron, and Sir Henry Wood’s 1924 Enigma

For the traditional Viennese welcome to the New Year, here are three Suppé overtures, all performed by the Hastings Municipal Orchestra conducted by Basil Cameron. These Decca records from 1929 and 1930 are rather worn, and the sound is not therefore all I would hope for.

Suppé – Light Cavalry – Overture – Hastings MO, Basil Cameron

Suppé – Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna – Overture – Hastings MO, Basil Cameron

Suppé – Poet and Peasant – Overture – Hastings MO, Basil Cameron

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

Decca F1668, F1886, K529
Matrices MB 775-1A, MB 776-1A, MB 779-3A, MB 780-2A, MA 1174-1A, MA 1175-1A
Recorded 19th December 1929, 20th December 1929, 7th to 13th April 1930, White Rock Pavilion, Hastings

Sir Edward Elgar recorded his Enigma Variations in 1921 acoustically for the Gramophone Company (with a rather abbreviated version of the Nimrod variation). The Columbia Graphophone Company made the second recording, acoustically again, with Sir Henry J Wood conducting the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra. Apart from the omission of a repeat in Variation III, the work is given complete. Although recorded in the summer of 1924 the set was not issued until May the following year. It was only a few months later that electrical recordings began to be issued. Elgar himself recorded an electrical version of the Enigma Variations for the Gramophone Company in 1926, and though Wood’s version on Columbia was deleted in 1928, it wasn’t until 1932 that Hamilton Harty conducted an electrical recording for Columbia, which by this time had merged with the Gramophone Company to form EMI. Wood recorded the variations electrically for Decca in November 1935, again omitting the repeat from Variation III, and this time squeezing the variations into 7 sides, with the overture from Handel’s Solomon as a filler.

Elgar – Enigma Variations – New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, Sir Henry J Wood

(zip file – right click the link, then select “Save as”, unzip the folder when downloaded)

Columbia L 1629-32
Matrices AX 505-1, 511-1, 512-1, 513-2, 514-1, 515-1, 516-2, 522-3 (S 546, 547, 548, 549, 552, 551, 550, 553)
Recorded 9th July 1924 (side 1), 10th July 1924 (sides 2 to 7), 14th July 1924 (side 8), Columbia Studios, Petty France, London
Issued May 1925, deleted February 1928

Side 1 – Theme, Variations I (C.A.E.), II (H.D.S.-P.), III (R.B.T.)
Side 2 – Variations IV (W.M.B.), V (R.P.A.), VI (Ysobel), VII (Troyte)
Side 3 – Variations VIII (W.N.), IX (Nimrod)
Side 4 – Variation X (Dorabella) Intermezzo
Side 5 – Variations XI (G.R.S.), XII (G.B.N.)
Side 6 – Variation XIII (***) Romanza
Side 7 – Variation XIV (E.D.U.) Finale – part 1 (fig 61 to 1 bar after fig 72)
Side 8 – Variation XIV (E.D.U.) Finale – part 2 (fig 72 to end)

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