At one point, maybe 1962-3, Urania physically combined its distribution warehouse with that of Haydn Society. The same staff packed and shipped orders for both labels. I visited this warehouse then, in the company of a friend who was running Haydn Society for its owners and had arranged this accommodation.
During various conversations at about this time, it was clear that tapes were a small market for Urania. They were more focused on LP records by a long shot. Their extensive catalog of wartime and postwar German radio performances supplied by an entity in East Germany was the backbone of its catalog.
The issue of the day was less about tapes than if mono records should be made in fake stereo as well and if it was necessary to describe them as mono originals that had been altered to give this effect- an ethical problem for all manufacturers at the time and worth of study.
Tapes for Haydn Society and Urania were duplicated by Julie Koenens (sp?) at Dubbings, a small facility that I visited about this time. If there was more than one employee, doing secretarial services, I didn't see him. I no longer recall if they were made in real time or double speed, but it was deliberately slow compared with other duplication houses to get better quality. These were 2 track, of course.
The Paul Price records (I think there were two) were issued and reissued many times, increasingly as cheaper products as Urania changed hands. A history of the company appeared in Classic Record Collector in multiple issues.
The Price, the Kansas City Philharmonic and other U.S. made recordings were of such nature that I always thought they were privately underwritten. From casual conversations at the time I know the company had no capital for this kind of adventure on its oiwn.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lewis
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2016 9:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Craft Urania "Ballet Mécanique" -- anyone got the t ape?
I have here the album "Percussion!" (Urania UX 134; the mono version) which opens with George Antheil's "Ballet Mécanique" as performed by the late Robert Craft and what is called the "Los Angeles Contemporary Music Ensemble," recorded in 1959 or so. Urania would have issued this also as a stereo LP, but their main activity was in manufacturing open reel tapes for high end hi-fi audio equipment -- the LPs were something of an afterthought.
So this LP of "Ballet Mécanique" is unique and interesting in that it begins at about letter "C" of the 1954 Weintraub edition of Antheil's piece; that's kind of like issuing a recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony without the "dat da da dahhh" part, and it's missing about the first three minutes of the work.
But I wonder if the tape is complete and the missing three merely trimmed off the LP for lack of time? So, if anyone has that tape, I'd like to know if it opens with "dat dat dat dat dat dat (!crash) dat dat dat dat" rather than the lead-in to the first "Oh, my baby" canon, as it does here.
Uncle Dave Lewis