The Record of Singing


The Record of Singing

"The Record of Singing" is the most important compilation of singing from the first half of the 20th century, the era of the 78 rpm record.

It was published by EMI, successor to the British company His Master's Voice (better known as HMV), the leading organization in the early history of audio recording.

It covers the period of the earliest recordings, at the turn of the 20th century, until the last 78 rpm records in the early 1950s. Singers are divided into groups by 'schools' and fach or voice type. In practice this means that there are Italian, German, French, Anglo-American and East European classifications.

Rather than concentrate on famous singers whose recordings are widely available elsewhere, "The Record of Singing" includes a large number of lesser-known artists in order to give a broad picture of the contemporary opera world. Singers such as Caruso, Chaliapin, Flagstad, Ponselle and Callas, are represented but only by a few recordings in each case.

The origin of the compilation

The original idea for the series came from the collector Vivian Liff, who chose the recordings used in the first two volumes, almost all of which came from the Stuart-Liff Collection, together with photographs of the singers. Michael Scott was asked to write the books that accompanied Volumes 1 and 2 with a critical (sometimes controversial) commentary (see below). Bryan Crimp of EMI was responsible for the transfers. Keith Hardwick was responsible for the final two volumes.

Publication on LPs

EMI first released the collection on vinyl long playing records (LPs).

Volume 1 first appeared in 1977, with a second edition in 1982 including corrections to the pitch of many of the recordings. The supplement also appeared around 1982. Volume 2 was published in 1979. Volume 3 and Volume 4 were released around 1984 and 1989 respectively.

The complete set was on 47 discs. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 each occupied 13, with Volume 4 having 8 discs. (The original intention was apparently to produce 12 LPs per volume, however the choice of singers in Volume 1 was controversial and an extra record (the 'Supplement') was added. Volumes 2 and 3 were then assigned 13 records.)

Compact discs

Volume 4 was republished on 7 compact discs (CD) by EMI Classics under the title "The Record of Singing Volume Four" in 1991. This was not apparently a commercial success and they did not go ahead with republishing the first three volumes in the same format.

Volume 3 was subsequently republished in 1999 on 10 CDs by Testament under the title "The EMI Record of Singing Volume Three: 1926-1939)". This is still available in record shops (as of 2007).

Documentation

The collection was published with extensive documentation, including the numbers of the original recordings and full biographies of the singers.

The first two volumes were accompanied by books by Michael Scott:

The Record of Singing to 1914, London, Duckworth, 1977 ISBN 978-0-7156-1030-5
The Record of Singing Volume Two: 1914-1925, London, Duckworth, 1979

They were republished by Northeastern University Press in 1993, ISBN 978-1-55553-163-8

(The books are still widely available from second-hand book sellers.)

The Record of Singing Volume 1 (1899-1919)

The Castrato Voice: Alessandro Moreschi

The Old School: Adelina Patti, Emma Albani, Marcella Sembrich

Melba and the Marchesi Pupils: Nellie Melba, Sigrid Arnoldson, Emma Eames, Lilian Blauvelt, Suzanne Adams, Ellen Beach Yaw, Blanche Marchesi

English-speaking singers

Dramatic sopranos: Agnes Nicholls, Lillian Nordica, Olive Fremstad, Geraldine Farrar, Susan Strong, Zelie de Lussan

Contraltos: Louise Homer, Louise Kirkby Lunn, Clara Butt

Tenors: Edward Lloyd, Ben Davies, Dan Beddoe, Evan Williams

Baritones and basses: Charles Santley, George Henschel, Harry Plunket Greene, Robert Watkin-Mills, Andrew Black, David Bispham, Emilio de Gogorza, Clarence Whitehill

The French

Tenors: Émile Scaremberg, Charles Dalmores, Lucien Muratore, Charles Rousselière

Lyric tenors: Victor Capoul, Edmond Clément, Adolphe Maréchal, Albert Vaguet

High Cs and Heroic Voices: Léon Escalais, Agustarello Affre, Georges Imbart de la Tour, Albert Alvarez

Baritones: Jean Lasalle, Victor Maurel, Maurice Renaud, Henri Albers, Jean Noté, Léon Melchissedec, Lucien Fugère, Gabriel Soulacroix, Jean Perier, Charles Gilibert

Basses: Pol Plançon, Edouard de Reszke, Pedro Gailhard, Jean-François Delmas, Juste Nivette, Hippolyte Belhomme

Dramatic Sopranos: Emma Calvé, Félia Litvinne, Aino Ackte, Mary Garden

Lyric sopranos: Julia Guiraudon, Marguerite Carré, Lucette Korsoff, Lise Landouzy, Alice Verlet, Blanche Arral

Contraltos: Blanche Deschamps-Jéhin, Marie Delna, Jeanne Gerville-Réache

The Emergence of Verismo

'La Gloria d'Italia': Mattia Battistini, Antonio Cotogni, Giuseppe Kaschmann, Francesco D'Andrade, Antonio Magini-Coletti, Giuseppe Pacini, Mario Ancona

Scotti, de Luca and Pini-Corsi: Antonio Scotti, Giuseppe de Luca, Antonio Pini-Corsi

Verismo triumphant: Eugenio Giraldoni, Mario Sammarco, Pasquale Amato, Titta Ruffo

The basso: Francesco Navarini, Goivanni Gravina, Andres de Segurola, Adamo Didur

Tradition and the Italian tenor: Francesco Marconi, Fernando Valero, Fernando de Lucia, Francesco Vignas, Florencio Constantino

Lyric tenors: Alessandro Bonci, Giuseppe Anselmi, Aristodemo Giorgini, Edoardo Garbin

Dramatic tenors: Francesco Tamagno, Giovanni de Negri, Giuseppe Borgatti, Fiorello Giraud, Amadeo Bassi, Giovanni Zenatello, Antonio Paoli, Enrico Caruso

Sopranos 'B.C.': Ines de Frate, Elena Teodorini, Fanny Torresella, Medea Mei-Figner, Olimpia Boronat, Ada Adini

After Cavalleria: Gemma Bellincioni, Angelica Pandolfini, Emma Carelli, Cesira Ferrani, Lina Cavalieri, Rosina Storchio, Salomea Krusceniski, Teresa Arkel, Amelia Pinto, Janina Korolewicz-Wayda

Four dramatic sopranos: Maria de Macchi, Eugenia Burzio, Giannina Russ, Celestina Boninsegna

Tetrazzini and some 'coloraturas': Luisa Tetrazzini, Regina Pacini, Josefina Huguet, Maria Galvany

Italian contraltos: Guerrina Fabbri, Eugenia Mantelli, Armida Paris-Pettinella, Maria Gay

Wagner and the German Style

The instrumental example: Irene Abendroth, Margarethe Siems, Erika Wedekind, Hermine Bosetti, Marie Gutheil-Schoder, Hedwig Francillo-Kaufmann, Gertrude Forstel, Frieda Hempel, Selma Kurz

Lilli Lehmann: Lilli Lehmann

Sopranos of the Bayreuth school: Sophie Sedlmair, Pelagie Greef-Andriessen, Hatharina Senger-Bettaque, Ellen Gulbranson, Thila Plaichinger, Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, Katharine Fleischer-Edel, Felice Kaschowska, Lucie Weidt

Gadski and Destinn: Johanna Gadski, Emmy Destinn

Contraltos: Marianne Brandt, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Rosa Olitzka, Edyth Walker, Margarete Matzenauer

Heldentenors: Hermann Winkelmann, Erik Schmedes, Ernest van Dyck, Andreas Dippel, Heinrich Knote, Karel Burrian, Alfred von Bary, Wilhelm Herold, Jacques Urlus, Leo Slezak, Karl Jörn,

Lieder singers: Gustav Walter, Felix Senius

Baritones and basses: Karl Scheidemantel, Baptist Hoffmann, Anton van Rooy, Theodor Bertram, Leon Rains, Leopold Demuth, Wilhelm Hesch

ingers of Imperial Russia

Sopranos and contraltos: Natalia Yuzhina, Antonina Nezhdanova, Marie Michailova, Alma Fohrström, Nina Friede, Eugenia Zbujeva, Anastasia Vialtzeva

Tenors, baritones and basses: Nicolai Figner, Ivan Erschov, Leonid Sobinov, Andrei Labinsky, Alexander Davidov, Ivan Altchevsky, Tadeusz Leliva, Joachim Tartakov, Nicholai Shevelev, Waclav Brzezinski, Lev Sibiriakov, Vladimir Kastorsky, Feodor Chaliapin

upplement

Félia Litvinne, Georgette Bréjean-Silver, Léon Lafitte, Méyriane Héglon, Gemma Bellincioni, Elisa Bruno, Alice Cucini, Mario Gilion, Francesco Maria Bonini, Giuseppe de Luca, Enrico Nani, Vittorio Arimondi, Oreste Luppi, Nazareno de Angelis, Elise Elizza, Marie Dietrich, Minnie Nast, Marie Götze, Wilhelm Grüning, John Forsell

The Record of Singing Volume 2 (1914-1925)

Revolution and Russian Songs

Chaliapin: Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), George Baklanov (1880-1938), Alexander Bragin (1881-1955), Ivan Grizounov (1897-1919), Ivan Ivantzov (c.1880-?)

Smirnov: Dimitri Smirnov (1881-1944)

Kouznetsova to Koshetz: Maria Kouznetsova (1880-1966), Marianne Tcherkasskaya (1884-1919), Nina Koshetz (1894-1965)

Two 'Coloraturas': Lydia Lipkowska (1880-1955), Eugenia Bronskaya (1882-1953)

Contraltos: Elisaveta Petrenko (1880-1951), Vera Petrova-Zvanceva (1875-1944), Klavdia Tugarinova (1877-?)

The French Tradition in Decline

Franz, Ansseau and Fontaine: Paul Franz (1876-1950), Fernand Ansseau (1890-1972), Charles Fontaine (1878-?)

A Quintet of Lyric Tenors: David Devriès (1881-1936), Fernand Francell (1886-1966), Charles Friant (1890-1947), Louis Cazette (1887-1922), René Lapelletrie (1884-?)

Baritones of the Opéra: Dinh Gilly (1877-1940), Louis Lestelly (1877-1936)

Journet and the Basses: Marcel Journet (1867-1933), Hector Dufranne (1870-1951), Paul Payan (1878-1959)

Singing Actors: Jean-Emile Vanni-Marcoux (1877-1962), Jean Aquistapace (1888-1952), Alfred Maguenat (c. 1880-?), Armand Crabbé (1883-1947)

Contraltos: Suzanne Brohly(1882-1943), Marie Charbonnel (1880-?), Jacqueline Royer (1884-?)

Five International Sopranos: Marie-Louise Edvina (1880-1948), Marthe Chenal (1881-1947), Geneviève Vix (1879-1939), Yvonne Gall (1885-1972), Fanny Heldy (1888-1973)

Lyric Sopranos at the Opéra Comique: Marguerite Merentie (1880-?), Aline Vallandri (1878-1952), Zina Brozia (1880-?)

A Trio of Concert Singers: Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi (1986-1974), Berthe Auguez de Montalant (1868-?), Georgette Leblanc-Maeterlinck (1860-1941)

The Heyday of Verismo

The Duse of Song: Claudia Muzio (1889-1936)

Raisa and some Dramatic Sopranos: Rosa Raisa (1892-1963), Elena Ruszkowska (1878-1948), Maria Labia (1880-1953), Adelina Agostinelli (1880-1954), Ester Mazzoleni (1882-?)

Verismo Sopranos: Tina Poli-Randaccio (1887-1956), Carmen Melis (1885-1967), Juanita Caracciolo (1890-1924), Gilda dalla Rizza (1882-1975)

Galli-Curci and the 'Coloraturas': Amelita Galli-Curci (1882-1963), Maria Barrientos (1883-I946), Graziella Pareto (1889-1975), Elvira de Hidalgo (1892-1980), Lucrezia Bori (1887-1960)

Italian Contraltos: Gabriella Besanzoni (1890-1962), Fanny Anitua (1887-1968), Luisa Bertana (1898-1933)

Lyric Tenors: Tito Schipa (1889-1965), Fernando Carpi (1876-1959),

Tradition and the Italian Tenor: Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957), Hipolito Lázaro (1887-1974), Miguel Fleta (1893-1938), Giulio Crimi (1885-1939), Ulysses Lappas (1881-1971)

Four Dramatic Tenors: Bernardo De Muro (1881-1955), Edoardo Ferrari-Fontana (1878-1936), Icilio Calleja (1882-1941), Giovanni Martinelli (1885-1969)

Principal Baritones: Giuseppe de Luca (1870-1950), Riccardo Stracciari (1875-1955), Domenico Viglione-Borchese (1877-1957), Renato Zanelli (1892-1935), Emilio Sagi-Barba (1875-1949)

Mardones: José Mardones (1869-1939)

ingers from the English-Speaking World

Alda and Mason: Frances Alda (1883-1952), Edith Mason (1893-1973)

American Concert Sopranos: Alma Gluck (1884-I938), Hulda Lashanska (1893-1974), Anna Case (1889-?), Eva Gauthier (1885-1958)

American Lyric Sopranos: Anna Fitziu (1888-1967), Carolina White (1886-1961), Lucille Marcel (1887-1921), Julia Heinrich (1880-1919), Marguerite Namara (1888-1977)

Gramophone Singers: Eleanor Jones-Hudson (1874-1946), Ruth Vincent (1877-1955), Lucy Isabelle Marsh (1878-1956), Olive Kline (1885-1976)

A Quartet of 'Coloraturas': Evelyn Scotney (1886-1967), Mabel Garrison (1886-1963), Florence Macbeth (1891-1966), Luella Paikin (1900-?)

English Lyric Sopranos: Maud Perceval Allen (1880-1955), Rosina Buckman (1880-1948)

Miura and Bryhn-Langard: Tamaki Miura (1884-1946), Borghild Bryhn-Langard (1883-1939)

Ponselle and Easton: Rosa Ponselle (1897-?), Florence Easton (1882-1955)

Contraltos: Carmen Hill (1883-?), Leila Megane (1891-1960), Carolina Lazzari (1891-1946), Edna Thornton (1875-1958), Sophie Braslau (1892-1935), Eleonora de Cisneros (1878-1934)

A Quartet of American Tenors: Riccardo Martin (1874-1952), Orville Harrold (1878-1933), Charles Hackett (1887-1941), Mario Chamlee (1892-1966)

A British Born Trio: Edward Johnson (1878-1959) (actually born in Canada), Alfred Piccaver (1883-1958), Joseph Hislop (1884-1977)

High Cs and Heroic Voices: John O'Sullivan (1878-1948), Frank Mullings (1881-1953)

The Ballad and Oratorio Tradition: John Coates (1865-1941), Gervase Elwes (1866-1921), Walter Hyde (1875-1951), Paul Reimers (1877-1942)

McCormack: John McCormack (1884-1945)

Baritones and Basses: Reinald Werrenrath (1883-1953), Peter Dawson (1882-1961), Horace Stevens (1876-1954), Malcolm McEachern (1883-1945)

The German Style in Evolution

Lyric Sopranos: Eva von der Osten (1881-1936), Luise Perard-Petzl (1884-1936), Zinaida Jurjevskaya (1896-1925), Elisabeth Rethberg (1894-1976), Grete Stückgold (1895-1977)

Lyric-Dramatic Sopranos: Elsa Bland (1880-1935), Lily Hafgren-Dinkela (1884-1965), Barbara Kemp (1881-1959), Charlotte von Seebök (1886-1952)

Dramatic Sopranos: Melanie Kurt (1880-1941), Berta Morena (1878-1952), Helene Wildbrunn (1882-1972), Gertrude Bindernagel (1894-1932), Gertrude Kappel (1884-1971), Frida Leider (1888-1975)

Schumann: Elisabeth Schumann (1888-1952), Berta Kiurina (1881-1933), Lola Artot de Padilla (1880-1933), Claire Dux (1885-1967), Vera Schwarz (1884-1964), Maria Ivogün (1891-1987)

Jeritza and Lehmann: Maria Jeritza (1887-1982), Lotte Lehmann (1888-1976)

Five Contraltos: Margarethe Arndt-Ober (1885-1971), Ottilie Metzger (1878-1943), Ankar Horvat (1888- c.1921), Sabine Kalter (1889-1957), Emmi Leisner 1885-1958)

The Great Lieder Singers: Elena Gerhardt (1883-1961), Julia Culp (1880-1970)

Baritones: Julius von Raatz-Brockmann (1870-1944), Friedrich Broderson (1873-1926), Heinrich Rehkemper (1894-1949), Hans Duhan (1890-1971), Hermann Weil (1876-1949), Cornelis Bronsgeest (1878-1957), Joseph Groenen (1885-1959), Joseph Schwarz (1880-1926)

Basses: Michael Bohnen (1887-1965), Paul Bender (1875-1947), Richard Mayr (1877-1935), Walter Soomier (1878-1955), Carl Braun (1886-1960), Alexander Kipnis (1891-1978)

Tauber and the Lyric Tenors: Richard Tauber (1891-1948), Alexander Kirchner (1876-1948), Johannes Sembach (1881-1944), Hermann Jadlowker (1877-1953)

East European Tenors: Ottokar Marak (1872-1939), Icnacy Dygas (1881-1955), Joseph Mann (1883-1921), Tino Pattiera (1890-1966)

Heldentenors: Richard Schubert (1885-1969), Walter Kirchhoff (1879-1951), Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973)

The Record of Singing Volume 3 (1926-1939)

The German School

Lauritz Melchior, Max Lorenz, Franz Völker, Helge Rosvaenge, Torsten Ralf, Richard Tauber, Marcel Wittrisch, Herbert Ernst Groh, Joseph Schmidt, Julius Patzak, Karl Erb, Leo Slezak, Gerhard Hüsch, Heinrich Schlusnus, Herbert Janssen, Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, Karl Hammes, Rudolf Bocklemann, Friedrich Schorr, Hans-Hermann Nissen, Alfred Jerger, Leo Schützendorf, Wilhelm Strienz, Ivar Andresen, Alexander Kipnis

Sigrid Onegin, Karin Branzell, Kerstin Thorborg, Maria Olczewska, Margarete Klose, Rosette Anday, Marta Fuchs, Elena Gerhardt, Lula Mysz-Gmeiner, Jo Vincent, Ria Ginster, Ursula van Diemen, Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Schöne, Fritzi Jokl, Adele Kern, Miliza Korjus, Erna Berger, Emmy Bettendorf, Felicie Hüni-Mihacsek, Margherita Perras, Luise Helletsgruber, Meta Seinemeyer, Margarete Teschemacher, Delia Reinhardt, Tiana Lemnitz, Maria Cebotari, Elisabeth Rethberg, Rose Pauly, Göta Ljungberg, Lotte Lehmann, Maria Müller, Maria Nemeth, Elisabeth Ohms, Nanny Larsen-Todsen, Frida Leider, Kirsten Flagstad

The Italian School

Conchita Supervia, Gianna Pederzini, Irene Minghini-Cattaneo, Ebe Stignani, Florica Christoforeanu, Pia Tassinari, Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, Bianca Scacciati, Dusolina Giannini, Maria Caniglia, Lina Bruna Rasa, Gina Cigna, Iva Pacetti, Margaret Sheridan, Rosetta Pampanini, Claudia Muzio, Hina Spani, Maria Farneti, Maria Zamboni, Mafalda Favero, Licia Albanese, Magda Olivero, Bidu Sayao, Conchita Badía, Adelaide Saraceni, Mercedes Capsir, Toti Dal Monte, Lina Pagliughi

Ezio Pinza, Tancredi Pasero, Nazzareno de Angelis, Salvatore Baccaloni, Afro Poli, Mariano Stabile, Mario Basiola, Apollo Granforte, Cesare Formichi, Carlo Galeffi, Benvenuto Franci, Giovanni Inghilleri, Carlo Tagliabue, Riccardo Stracciari, Dino Borgioli, Enzo de Muro Lomanto, Tito Schipa, Tino Folgar, Luigi Fort, Alessandro Ziliani, Galliano Masini, Francesco Merli, Renato Zanelli, Beniamino Gigli, Jussi Björling, Antonio Cortis, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Aureliano Pertile

The French School

Lily Pons, Leila Ben Sedira, Emma Luart, Germaine Feraldy, Eidé Norena, Ninon Vallin, Povla Frijsh, Jane Bathori, Madeleine Grey, Germaine Martinelli, Suzanne Cesbron-Viseur, Suzanne Balguerie, Germaine Lubin, Germaine Cernay, Claire Croiza, Alice Raveau

Georges Thill, René Maison, José Luccioni, César Vezzani, René Verdière, Gaston Micheletti, Miguel Villabella, André d'Arkor, Giuseppe Lugo, Joseph Rogatchewsky, Jean Planel, Charles Panzéra, Pierre Bernac, Martial Singher, Roger Bourdin, Arthur Endrèz, Robert Couzinou, André Balbon, Lucien Fugère, Jean-Emil Vanni-Marcoux, Yvonne Printemps, Reynaldo Hahn

The Anglo-American School

Lawrence Tibbett, John Charles Thomas, Dennis Noble, John Brownlee, Harold Williams, Peter Dawson, John McCormack, Roland Hayes, Charles Kullman, Heddle Nash, Thomas Burke, Richard Crooks, Walter Widdop, Norman Allin

Marguerite D'Alvarez, Madame Charles Cahier, Muriel Brunskill, Clara Butt, Marian Anderson, Susan Metcalfe-Casals, Grace Moore, Gladys Swarthout, Ina Souez, Maggie Teyte, Isobel Baillie, Dora Labbette, Joan Cross, Florence Easton, Rosa Ponselle, Marjorie Lawrence, Eva Turner, Florence Austral

The East European/Slavic School

Jarmila Novotná, Nathalie Vechor, Ada Nordenova, Maria Kurenko, Xenia Belmas, Ada Sari, Oda Slobodskaya, Maria Krasová, Maria Basilides, Mark Reizen, Feodor Chaliapin, Imry Palló, Vladimir Rosing, Sergei Lemeshev

The Record of Singing Volume 4 (1939 to the end of the 78 era, circa 1955)

The Anglo-American School

Margaret Ritchie, Gwen Catley, Dorothy Kirsten, Florence Quartararo, Elsie Houston, Eleanor Steber, Maggie Teyte, Dorothy Maynor, Joan Hammond, Astrid Varnay, Helen Traubel, Rose Bampton, Blanche Thebom, Jennie Tourel, Flora Nielsen, Gladys Ripley, Kathleen Ferrier, David Lloyd, Webster Booth, Peter Pears, Jan Peerce, Walter Midgley, James Johnston, Richard Tucker, Alfred Deller, Robert Irwin, Frederick Fuller, Igor Gorin, Mack Harrell, Leonard Warren, Robert Merrill, Norman Walker, George London, Oscar Natzka

The French School

Mado Robin, Martha Angelici, Irène Joachim, Géori Boué, Ginette Guillamat, Renée Doria, Victoria de los Angeles, Suzanne Danco, Suzanne Juyol, Irma Kolassi, Solange Michel, Hélène Bouvier, Rita Gorr, Hugues Cuénod, Raoul Jobin, Pierre Bernac, Camille Maurane, Gérard Souzay

The German School

Elisabeth Schumann, Erika Köth, Maria Stader, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Maria Reining, Elisabeth Grümmer, Sena Jurinac, Ljuba Welitsch, Gré Brouwenstijn, Leonie Rysanek, Inge Borkh, Friedel Beckmann, Hilde Konetzni, Elisabeth Höngen, Hugo Meyer Welfing, Anton Dermota, Walther Ludwig, Julius Patzak, Peter Anders, Rudolf Schock, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Erich Kunz, Marko Rothmuller, Paul Schöffler, Hans Hotter, Ludwig Weber, Josef Herrmann, Theo Herrmann, Gottlob Frick

The Scandinavian School

Kirsten Flagstad, Lorri Lail, Gjurgja Leppée, Aksel Schiøtz, Stefán Íslandi, Nicolai Gedda, Jussi Björling, Hugo Hasslo, Bernhard Sönnerstedt, Joel Berglund, Kim Borg

The Russian and Slavonic Schools

Mascia Predit, Zara Dolukhanova, Claudia Novikova, Nadezhda Obukhova, Georgi Vinogradov, Ivan Zhadan, Georgi Nelepp, Beno Blachut, Ivan Kozlovsky, Pavel Lisitsian, Andrei Ivanov, Boris Christoff, Mark Reizen, Boris Gmyrya, Endre Koréh

The Italian School

Ferruccio Tagliavini, Beniamino Gigli, Giuseppe di Stefano, Luigi Infantino, Giovanni Malipiero, Giacinto Prandelli, Mario del Monaco, Paolo Silveri, Tito Gobbi, Giuseppe Valdengo, Giampiero Malaspina, Gino Bechi, Raffaele Arié, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Tancredi Pasero, Cloe Elmo, Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Ebe Stignani, Alda Noni, Elena Arizmendi, Margherita Carosio, Magda László, Alba Anzellotti, Gabriella Gatti, Renata Tebaldi, Sara Scuderi, Margherita Grandi, Zinka Milanov, Maria Callas

Personal communication from Vivian Liff

"I have become resigned to the compilation of "The Record of Singing" being ascribed to Michael Scott or to Keith Hardwick. Only Volume 2 in its LP issue gives a correct acknowledgement of the fact that the enterprise was my original concept and that the choice of records for the first two volumes was mine. It should also be mentioned that virtually all the recordings used in those volumes came from the Stuart-Liff collection, as did the photographs used in the books accompanying them. I was asked to write these books but the effort of compilation, pitching and taping for Michael Scott (whom I suggested should be asked to write the books) and Bryan Crimp, E.M.I's transfer maestro, occupied every moment of my available free time."

"A few critics writing of the initial 2 volumes did give me credit. There was a long article with photos in the August 1978 issue of the American magazine,“Opera News” on the Stuart –Liff collections with special reference to the Record of Singing. Dale Harris writing about all four volumes in the same magazine, a decade or so later, also set the record straight and was highly complimentary of my work. However, unknown and unacknowledged by all, were those innumerable tapes I had to make exclusively for the purpose of giving Michael some experience of the singers he was writing about - many of whom he had never previously heard. His often highly critical views on many favourite singers did not go down well with some reviewers but Michael's controversial writing certainly made readers want to return to the recordings, if only to disagree with his judgements."

"The appearance of volume 1 occasioned real sadness when it was discovered that many selections had been transferred at the wrong speed. Unknown, either to Michael or to me, was the fact that Bryan Crimp was seriously unwell at the time. We were not given the promised pre-issue run-through during which we could have corrected many grievous errors. In fact, the first volume should have been withdrawn and money refunded to purchasers. Unfortunately this was not done, but a corrected edition was issued a year or two later, still on LP, using a slightly changed name. This was probably to overcome the difficulties caused by the fact that the original issue was a limited one."

"Not long after the appearance of the second volume, we moved from England to the Isle of Man and the Stuart-Liff collection was sold. Keith Hardwick took over the project for the final volumes, in which I had no say. Although personally my relationship with Keith remained friendly until his death, he had such a strong antipathy to Michael Scott that he felt unable to collaborate with any of his friends. Unfortunately, to this day, the first two volumes still await transfer to CD."

Vivian Liff. 2nd March 2006

As can be seen Michael Scott appears to have "ruffled some feathers" in the closeted world of appreciation of ancient recordings. This is to some extent unfair - Scott was a relative "newcomer" and to his credit looked at the recordings afresh without the prejudices of tradition. For this he seems eternally damned.

Bibliography

*Albright, William (1990) 'The Record of Singing: A Brief Overview of a Monumental Project' in "The Opera Quarterly" 1990 7(1):31-42, Oxford University Press

External links

* [http://www.mrichter.com/opera/files/singers.pdf Full list of singers and recordings from 'The Record of Singing' on Mrichter.com]


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