Albert Coates’s birthday

This year’s celebration of the anniversary of Albert Coates’s birth brings more Wagner, and some familiar Stravinsky.

When the Gramophone company was recording its sets of excerpts from the Ring of the Nibelung (in English) in 1922 and 1923, Tudor Davies was the singer for Siegmund. He initially made 2 takes of Siegmund’s “Spring song”, matrix Cc 2304, on 22nd December 1922 with Coates conducting the “Symphony Orchestra”, but these were not issued. A new attempt was made on 25th January 1923, this time with Eugene Goossens conducting the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra. The 2nd of three takes of this new matrix (Cc 2438) was issued on HMV D679. At some point a vinyl test pressing was made of Cc 2304-2 and this has found its way to me. It contains Davies’s usual sterling singingm but there was significant swish which I’ve ameliorated as best I can – this may have been the reason for it going unpublished. This session was the third day of recording for Coates in that week, with sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The orchestra for the Monday session was 4 first violins, 3 second violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, 4 flutes, 3 oboes, 1 cor anglais, 3 clarinets,, 1 bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 3 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba, 8 horns, 3 trumpets, 1 bass trumpet, 3 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 bass tuba, timpani, cymbals, with extra tubas, piano and percussion for some sides. I assume the forces remained similar for the Friday session.

Wagner – The Valkyrie – Spring Song – Davies, SO, Coates

His Master’s Voice unissued
Matrices Cc 2304-II
Recorded 22nd December 1922, Room 1, Hayes
Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates
Tudor Davies, tenor

Coates made recordings of 3 works by Stravinsky. He recorded a concoction from The song of the Nightingale in 1930, the complete Petrouchka in 1927-28, and was the first to record the complete 1911 Firebird Suite, in 1924. Coates revisited the Firebird Suite in 1928, recording only the 3rd and 5th movements. It is this later recording which is presented here. The orchestra for the session had 16 first violins, 15 second violins, 10 violas, 10 cellos, 4 double basses, 4 flutes, 4 clarinets, 4 oboes, 4 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tubas, timpani, 3 drums (sic), 2 harps, 2 cornets.

Stravinsky – The Firebird – Suite (1911) – III. The Princesses play with the golden apples – LSO, Coates

Stravinsky – The Firebird – Suite (1911) – V. Infernal Dance of all the subjects of Kastchei – LSO, Coates

His Master’s Voice D 1510
Matrices CR 1693-I, CR 1692-IIA
Recorded 15th February 1928, Kingsway Hall, London
London Symphony Orchestra, Albert Coates

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