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ARSCLIST  March 2006

ARSCLIST March 2006

Subject:

Re: Which U.S. Orchestra Recorded First?

From:

Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 28 Mar 2006 07:59:11 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (152 lines)

Gerorge, et al,

I responding from home without a copy of the magine to consult, but I hope I 
recall enough of the text to respond accurately below, wherever I start a 
sentence with "George,":  (what a puntctuation cluster!!)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Which U.S. Orchestra Recorded First?


> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>
> Hello Steve and other readers
>
>> My just-published article referred to in the subject line expands and 
>> rewrites
>> the history of American orchestral recording.
>
> ----- congratulations, it was high time, and it spreads the message far
> beyond ARSClist!!
>
>>
>> Part one was retitled by the magazine, "Classic Record Collector" as 
>> "Strohs
>> in the Wind."  Even if you get the English magazine and glance at the 
>> table of
>> contents, you'd be hard pressed (cut?) to know this was the topic.
>
> ----- you were also shortchanged on the picture side. The Stroh 
> instruments
> that are shown in detail in no way resemble those that were used at
> orchestral sessions. Googling brings you much truer results (but perhaps
> reproduction rights to pay). Mauricio Kagel in his "1898" used an Austrian
> variety that also was a far cry from those used in recording orchestras.
>
> In 1986 I acoustically recorded an acoustic piano trio in period pieces 
> and
> with period Stroh instruments (the piano was an upright): a Stroh violin 
> and
> a normally stringed Stroh cello (both from the Musical History Museum in
> Copenhagen and restored by violin restorers Emil Hjorth & Sons in
> Copenhagen). At the ARSC annual meeting in New York in 1986 I showed 
> pictures
> of these. Just to complete the story I should report that the recording 
> horns
> were horns I had been able to borrow from the EMI Music Archives.
>
George, I sent them photos of real Strohs and referred them to the history 
published by, I think, Hill and Dale Magazine for better quality than I 
could supply.

>> This research brings the timeline back to the 1880s.  It changes the 
>> dates and
>> sequence of orchestras which made non-commercial and commercial 
>> recordings and
>> will untangle, in part 2, to appear this summer (?) a number of 
>> misascriptions
>> made for reasons not quite clear.
>
> ----- I am still a bit uncertain about your personal definition of an
> "orchestra". It seems that one criterion you use is "massed strings", but
> several criteria are imagineable. Another could be that at least one
> instrument per voice in the original score should be represented in the
> recording personnel. A third could be that the players are all chosen from 
> a
> well-known orchestra, albeit reduced, with corresponding arrangement, but
> under one of their regular conductors. What is an orchestra?
>
George,  It's the third- more than one string to a part, as I believe I 
implied, and not an ensemble assembled only for recording purposes.  I state 
that it is a group which charged admission for their performance.  Perhaps 
this was edited out and, me being too close to the text, didn't notice on 
the final draft they sent me.

> We do know for a fact that in the Victor Orchestra (conductor Walter 
> Rogers)
> in 1905, all the first and second violin & viola were Stroh instruments. A
> trombone for 'cello part and another trombone for the trombone part, and a
> Helicon bass for the bass part. Calvin Child said "We have been unable to 
> use
> the local musicians [i.e. musicians not from New York] to any advantage, 
> as
> their style is extremely loggy and heavy". For this reason I doubt that
> technical recording staff were mixed in with the proper musicians to 
> handle
> the Strohs.
>
George,  This is a difference of opinion between us.  I can't imagine the 
string players chosen for recording being asked to learn to play Strohs, at 
least without some anecdotal survival of that experience making it down the 
years.  The publishers of CRC also publish Strad and, I assume, infused that 
magazine's past content to filter my article.

> ----- you mention a mirror used by some of the players to see the 
> conductors.
> One may actually be seen in front of the French horn player in the 
> "manned"
> Ginn studio.
>
George,  That was one of the reasons I liked this picture.  Incidentally, 
the horn player is Bruno Jaenicke who remained first when the NY 
Philharmonic and the NY Symphony merged and into the late '30s, perhaps 
longer.  He's the soloist on the Brunswick Toscanini "Midsummer Night's 
Dream" Nocturne.  Labatte is the oboist (who made a solo disc for U.S. 
Pathe), Simon Barere the clarinetist, Guidi the first fiddle (he also 
recorded for Gennett), etc.

> The "von Beulow" cylinder mystery is solved
>> and some press reports whose subject is early recordings are degarbled.
>
> ----- incidentally, I also reported on one "igloo" situation in 1986. 
> However,
> that was in connection with a discussion of VTMC's remarkable DR recording
> setup. Is there any connection here?
>>
>> You can't download it, so you'll have to read all about it in the 
>> magazine.
>>
>> I'm hoping part two will be accompanied by examples posted on the 
>> magazine's
>> web site.  It's in England, where such early recordings are pd, unlike in
>> another country I could mention.
>
> ----- I was not aware that CRC made examples available in connection with
> their articles; do you have the web address for that? Also, may we hope 
> for a
> bibliography as well as a "black disc discography" at the end of part two?
>
George, Posting the examples will be a first for them, I believe.  I'm not 
sure how the footnotes and bibliography I supplied will be treated, as I 
appended them to the end of Part 2.

I'm not doing a discography.  The flat discs are covered in Father Arnold's 
book.  Some of the cylinders are so fugitive that I haven't enough data to 
put something together.

>
> Kind regards, and thanks,
>
>
> George
>
>
> -- 
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.3.2/293 - Release Date: 3/26/2006
> 

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