This Otello did come on Columbia ML. Had a light blue and white cover. I
don't recall the number.
I think I have their monthly offering leaflets in my files if anyone needs
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 11:15 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Met Opera Record Club
>I neglected to identify David Hamilton as the author of the note telling us
>that the Met has little claim to those BOMC recordings. Meanwhile, my
>original questions (apart from RCA issuing a couple of those sets
>commercially) linger. Were these albums ever sold in stores or issued
>overseas? There's an "Otello" highlights album with Steber, Vinay and Cleva
>conducting, on Philips ABL 3005. I have no equivalent Columbia version
>turning up in Schwann..I wonder if this might have been from the Met
>> Mike Richter wrote:
>>> David Lennick wrote:
>>>> What can anyone tell me about the albums produced in the 50s by Book Of
>>>> The Month as "Metropolitan Opera Record Club"? Were they ever sold in
>>>> stores, or available only by mail order? Were they issued in the UK or
>>>> Europe? Were any of them derived from commercial recordings? Are the
>>>> rights still held by the Met or Book Of The Month?
>>> They were not derived from commercial release but some were released
>>> commercially by RCA. My understanding is that rights are retained by the
>>> Met, which has issued a sort of anthology. I was told that they no
>>> longer had masters or even good copies of the audio in some cases, but
>>> understand that the digitization - as far as it goes - is quite good.
>> Here's some of a discussion from December 2005 on this list:
>> Contrary to popular belief, the Met does not own the Metropoliitan Opera
>> Record Club recordings, nor did they ever hold the masters. The entire
>> project was carried out under the auspices of the Book of the Month Club,
>> working with Columbia and RCA (the matrix numbers reveal which company
>> did the engineering and pressing). The "Metropolitan Opera Record Club"
>> was a b brand name for BOMC. The Met merely lent its name (for a
>> consideration) and BOMC was supposed to use Met performers (they began
>> near the bottom of the barrel, then discovered that names DID make the
>> recordings sell better. RCA later arranged with the BOMC to issue the
>> Périchole and the abridged Boris sung in English (in Karel Rathaus's
>> "realization" of Mussorgsky's orchestration), which they had recorded, on
>> RCA retail discs (IIRC, Bing complained in his memoirs that the Met got
>> none of the money from that.) Last I heard, nobody seems to know where
>> the masters are. And, AFAIK, all Met Opera Guild CD tracks drawn from
>> that series have been dubbed from LPs.
>> At 06:30 PM 12/9/2005, you wrote:
>> Mike Richter wrote:
>> > All the usual market forces would ensure that prices were
>> remarkably low
>> > if not for the absurd extension of copyright to ensure that the
>> > corporations holding rights to decades-old material maintained
>> > monopoly. Since they are remiss in reissues of any but the most
>> > material and unwilling to allow others to do so (with exceptions
>> such as
>> > Testament), they are destroying the heritage through malign
>> > Let me cite one instance. In the 1950s, the Metropolitan Opera
>> > Club issued a series of recordings using featured singers and
>> > who are otherwise almost undocumented. The Met holds the copyright
>> > zealously defends it, though I am told on good authority that they
>> > only have lost the masters but no longer even have good copies of
>> > of the issued LPs. So Kirsten's Tosca, Tucker's Lenski and
>> > (abridged) Walkuere are little more than rumors in terms of legal
>> > Mike
>> And those discs are coming close to the 50-year mark, if we can just
>> hold back
>> the copyright extensions for a couple of years......Canada isn't
>> going to change
>> for quite a while yet, incidentally, since there'd barely been
>> anything proposed
>> and our Parliament is now in election mode till the end of January.
>> And I have near mint copies of many of those Met sets.
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