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ARSCLIST  December 2011

ARSCLIST December 2011

Subject:

Jammed up against a wall with certain conductors

From:

Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 9 Dec 2011 12:26:40 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

Thanks to the ARSC members who have helped me with the mysteries surrounding Alfred Scholz 
and his nefarious activities. Tom got me in touch with CrucialMusic who owns the catalog, but the 
archivists attempting to help me keeps referring to Haydn symphonies as songs (that's how they 
market them). I don't have a lot of faith, after talking with her, that she knows much more than I 
already do. She said she'd talk to Jim Long (the co-owner). Sad thing is there are at least 23 
symphonies in limbo because of Scholz's shady character.

While I chew on my nails, it occurs to me that I have several other intractable questions fellow 
members may be able to help me with. Leslie Jones and the Little Orchestra recorded a whole 
series of symphonies in the late 60's, early 70's. Nonesuch's data consists of the session dates and 
producers for the English Overture (an inconsequential piece) that means nothing. That's all they've 
got. I realize this was a joint venture with Pye Records in London. EMI (in transit) now owns the Pye 
classical catalog. I received a very nice letter from EMI's head of arts and repertoire saying they had 
put a researcher on the case and had been unable to find anything. I also contacted the recording 
venue, but their files do not go back that far. No one keeps paper anymore.  Any ideas, oh patient 
detectives.  I should mention that the indefatigable Mike Gray took images of 18 master tape, 
"Leslie Jones" boxes with just the right information I was looking for, although what I.B.C. master 
tapes were doing in a Warner's vault in Los Angeles is a bit of a mystery.  Anyway, thanks as always 
to Mike and his resourcefulness. There are still lots more Jones-Haydn Symphonies to go, so I 
haven't given up hope.

Second, Musical Heritage Society in New Jersey is privately owned, but I've been able to get through 
to Jeffrey Nissam's office. Problem is, they claim a heavy snow storm earlier this year caused a 
warehouse collapse and destroyed all their records. I don't buy this. The recording history I'm 
looking for involves Ernst Maezendorfer, the first conductor to actually complete a full set of all 
106 Haydn symphonies (yes, he beat out Dorati).  There is virtually no information on this guy at 
MHS and he probably accomplished one of the most significant achievements in the history of the 
company (that and the 725 Vivaldi bassoon concertos they put out). Maerzendorfer was someone 
to be proud about. Certainly since the recordings came out in the late 60s and early 70's, MHS has 
been asked questions about them before, and certainly before that proverbial roof caved in with 
the convenient result that there was no need to go digging for this information anymore. Any ideas 
on this one? Or should I go ply myself at Jeffrey Nissam's door?  Hard to do when you still live in 
Hawaii.

Third, and final. I love the French (doesn't everyone?) but they are slow to work with, even when 
you can get someone to speak the language. In the big cities, they all speak English, but just don't 
want to let you know.  After many years of obfuscation, H.C. Robbins Landon finally acknowledged 
in 1982 that the illustrious "Haydn Foundation Orchestra" who had made 17 middle period 
symphony recordings in the early 70's (some of them first recordings) had actually used the 
Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française, more commonly known as the French National 
Radio Orchestra to produce the work.  Landon should know, he produced the recordings along 
with conductor Antonio de Almeida. I tried La Bibliothèque nationale de France, since they have 
one of two known extant copies of this box set in their possession. Paid a tidy sum too to get label 
images and insert material reproduced in hopes it might have some relevant information. No luck. 
Philips put out the recordings, but doesn't have any record of their existence currently. Makes a big 
boy want to cry.

Sorry for the length, but these are my driving issues in trying to pin down what may in reality be 
the un-pinnable.  Had great luck in Germany with some very helpful people. Made several polite 
suggestions to the British Library that they fix rather blatant misinformation and achieved a good 
bond with their head recordings librarian because of it.  So all is not bad.

Can someone out there give me an idea of where I might go to help solve these frustrations. The 
attitudes at MHS seem unreasonable and it would certainly be in their interest to help get a good 
story of true leadership out there. Or maybe the maestro got in trouble somehow.  If it can happen 
to an Irish Archbishop, it can happen to anyone.

Again, thanks for your time and trouble and any help you might be able to provide.

-- Alex

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