Dear List Members,
I have been subscribing to the ARSC Discussion List for quite a while now and I am very impressed by the accumulated knowledge on the list. Time for me to pick your brains, if I may.
I my spare time (beside an entirely unrelated profession) I am working on a scholarly discography of the great harpsichordist/organist and early music pioneer Gustav Leonhardt and have come up against a problem that I have not been able to solve so far. In the early 1960s Leonhardt made a small number of recordings for Cambridge Records, based in Massachusetts (Wellesley, Sudbury, Framingham). The first two were dedicated to works by Sweelinck and Froberger, respectively. One side of each contained organ music, the other harpsichord pieces. These are the details:
(1) J.P. Sweelinck, A Recital of Organ and Harpsichord Pieces: CRM 508 and CRS 1508. Released in 1963 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Sweelinck’s birth. The organ pieces were recorded in the St Laurens Church in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, the harpsichord music on ‘a French harpsichord of the early eighteenth century’, presumably the famous 1730 Blanchet owned by Charles Fisher, the owner of Cambridge Records. The stereo version of this record was remastered and reissued in 1974 as CRS 3508.
(2) J.J. Froberger, Organ and Harpsichord Pieces: CRM 509 and CRS 1509. Released in 1964. Organ pieces recorded in the St Michael’s Church in Zwolle; harpsichord pieces in Framingham, Mass., Summer 1962, using the same instrument as on the Sweelinck record.
So far so good, but the problems start with the next issue:
(3) Organ and Harpsichord Pieces by the English Virginalists: CRM 510 and CRS 1510. Announced with these numbers on the sleeve of the Sweelinck record as ‘to be released during 1963’. On the Froberger record sleeve this program is announced as two separate records, CRM 510/CRS 1510 for the organ pieces, CRM 511/CRS 1511 for the harpsichord pieces, both ‘to be released in 1965’. In a Cambridge Records brochure issued in Oct. 1965 these recordings are announced as a 2-record set, CRM B510, CRS B1510, to be released in 1966. In the Fall Classical Release List in Billboard Oct. 8, 1966 they appear as 'Organ and Harpsichord Pieces by the English Virginalists. Gustav Leonhardt. Cambridge’, but without number. I have never seen either release, let alone a boxed set, nor have I been able to find a trace of them is various library catalogues, including the LC. All I know is that the Organ recital came out separately as ‘Organ Music of Elizabethan England’ in 1974 as CRS 3510 (unfortunately misprinted on the sleeve as CRS 2510). Has anybody ever seen or does anybody know of the existence of the purported original releases? And what could have held up the release time and again, especially since the recording was clearly made as early as 1962?
Finally, even more enigmatic:
(4) The brochure mentioned above also lists the following item as to be released in 1966:
JACOBEAN CHAMBER MUSIC. First recordings of Fantasy Suites for one or two violins, viola da gamba and chamber organ by Wm. Lawes and Giovanni Coperario (alias John Cooper). Rarely performed, these tuneful yet sofisticated pieces date from the last days of the glorious English Renaissance. Performed on baroque instruments by Robert Koff, formerly of the Juilliard Quartet; Judith Davidoff, formerly of the New York Pro Musica; Marie and Gustav Leonhardt of Amsterdam’s Leonhardt Consort.
Again, I have seen hide nor hair of this record either in the flesh or in library catalogues. That the recording was made is certain, for Ms Judith Davidoff (of the New York Consort of Viols) kindly sent me the details of her contract which states that the recording sessions took place between April 13–15, 1963. She does not recall having seen the actual record, however.
Did items (3) and (4) actually ever appear? And if not, why not, seeing as Cambridge Records continued to flourish well beyond the early 1960s. Does anyone perhaps have an idea where I might contact those involved in Cambridge Records at the time? Is Mr Charles Fisher himself still alive perhaps?
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Jacobus van Dijk
Dr Jacobus van Dijk
University of Groningen
+31 (0)50 549 39 77
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Dr Jacobus van Dijk
+31 (0)50 549 39 77
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