Documented instances where phonobombs may be used to *identify* a recording:
Discussion . . .
During the evaluation of certain items of the "RCA" catalogue, the
author has found hints which might additionally point for a couple of
items to an "East German source" and he prefers to believe in the use
of first generation copies of radio tapes in these cases, rather than
in the generally accepted version of low-quality tape recorded
The Brahms Symphony No. 4 on Royale 1239 ("Berlin Symphony Orchestra /
Franz R. Friedl", also on Allegro/Elite 3124, "Dresden State Symphony
Orchestra / Fritz Schreiber") is a studio recording of the same sound
ambience as in the Haydn No. 94 on Royale 1223 and in some other works
in their catalogue. What makes these recordings so interesting is some
extraneous noise, clearly audible during certain soft passages in the
slow movements, especially when earphones are used. However, this
could only be detected in some of the cases when the usually quieter
pressings of these performances in their incarnations on Gramophone
were inspected. In these cases there are crows of a rooster and sounds
of car horns coming in from outside the recording location!
It may not be without significance, in this respect, that sounds from
car horns also intrude into the recordings of Dvorak's 9th symphony
under Pflüger (Urania URLP 7132) as well as into Abendroth's
Beethoven 'Pastorale' from 1950 and into his Tchaikovsky 'Pathétique'
from 1952, both issued on Etema. In Schubert's 'Unfinished' on Royale
1220 ("Rome Symphony Orchestra / Dr. Felix Guenther", also on
Gramophone 2040, "National Opera Orchestra") there is another car horn
finding its way into the recording somewhere in the middle of the
first movement, and yet another one can be heard at the very beginning
of Franck's Symphony on Royale 1288 ("Berlin Symphony Orchestra /
Joseph Balzer", also on Gramophone 2088, "National Opera Orchestra").
The peak may be in Haydn's 'Surprise Symphony' on Royale 1223
("Orchestra of the Rome Symphony / Angelo Questa", also on Gramophone
2040, "Varsity Symphony Orchestra"), where a rooster's crow is
followed by a car horn and then something like the jingling bells of a
tramway, all this at the beginning of the second movement, when
Haydn's "surprise" is just about due. This extraneous noise, the
rooster's contribution in particular, is a tantalizing facet of these
"RCA" items, as this makes them likely to be connected with a very
particular, if not unique, recording location. No definite answer can
be given as yet to the question of where this location may have been.
In this author's opinion the fact of these very faint noises, captured
on a tape used for a record production would rule out a mere
off-the-air tape as a master in these instances (and many others not
"marred" by such extra-musical ornation), because it seems unlikely
that such delicate sounds should have been transmitted that clearly by
AM or FM broadcasts of those times. Record piracy indisputably is a
violation of law. Nevertheless, without a doubt, through this practice
a couple of performances have been preserved, which otherwise would be
lost for all times. In continuing his research, the author hopes to be
able to rely as much on his fellow-collectors'future support as he
could in the past. There is still much to do and surely more to
forwarded by Uncle Dave Lewis
On Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I recall reading that there are birds twittering on at least one of Les
> Paul's great hit records.
> In a message dated 8/2/2013 3:30:26 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> Insect noises? Like termites munching his Bosendorfer?
> I know of one instance where an artist dubbed in his dog barking quietly
> at the beginning of a piece. he had flubbed the beginning, stopped, went
> "Shhh... shh..." to the dog and began again. Very cute.
> On 8/2/2013 4:18 AM, Don Cox wrote:
>> On 02/08/2013, Donald Clarke wrote:
>>> Mitch Miller wanted Frank Sinatra to bark like a dog on one of his
>>> later Columbia sides, but he wouldn't do it and Miller had to get
>>> somebody else. A famous recording of Scheherezade by the Philadelphia
>>> Orchestra, transferred from 78s for the new long-playing record in
>>> 1948, had reverb added to it, using an old piece of tape that had a
>>> barking dog on it, and you could hear that on the finished LP. And
>>> there's a few live folk recordings made outdoors with barkers in the
>>> chorus; I've heard one, but I don't remember what it was. There were
>>> fiddlers playing "The Hot Canary", Leroy Anderson's "The Waltzing Cat"
>> Rudolf Serkin's version of the Diabelli Variations, recorded at his
>> home, has insect noises in the background.
>> There are many recordings from Kingsway Hall with audible tube trains.