From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Hello, Steve and all,

just before leaving for the CHARM Symposium

I would just like to see if I have understood you, Steve, properly;

you answered on 28 March 2006

> George, et al,
> I responding from home without a copy of the magine to consult, but I hope I
> recall enough of the text to respond accurately below, wherever I start a
> sentence with "George,":  (what a puntctuation cluster!!)
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 7:37 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Which U.S. Orchestra Recorded First?
> > From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> >

> > ----- I am still a bit uncertain about your personal definition of an
> > "orchestra". It seems that one criterion you use is "massed strings", but
> > several criteria are imagineable. Another could be that at least one
> > instrument per voice in the original score should be represented in the
> > recording personnel. A third could be that the players are all chosen from a
> > well-known orchestra, albeit reduced, with corresponding arrangement, but
> > under one of their regular conductors. What is an orchestra?
> >
> George,  It's the third- more than one string to a part, as I believe I 
> implied, and not an ensemble assembled only for recording purposes.  I state
> that it is a group which charged admission for their performance.  Perhaps
> this was edited out and, me being too close to the text, didn't notice on the
> final draft they sent me.
> > We do know for a fact that in the Victor Orchestra (conductor Walter 
> > Rogers)
> > in 1905, all the first and second violin & viola were Stroh instruments. A
> > trombone for 'cello part and another trombone for the trombone part, and a
> > Helicon bass for the bass part. Calvin Child said "We have been unable to
> > use the local musicians [i.e. musicians not from New York] to any advantage,
> > as their style is extremely loggy and heavy". For this reason I doubt that
> > technical recording staff were mixed in with the proper musicians to handle
> > the Strohs.
> >
> George,  This is a difference of opinion between us.  I can't imagine the
> string players chosen for recording being asked to learn to play Strohs, at
> least without some anecdotal survival of that experience making it down the
> years.  The publishers of CRC also publish Strad and, I assume, infused that
> magazine's past content to filter my article.

----- I may have misunderstood you: you probably meant that members of the 
VTMC in-house recording "orchestra" (not the technical recording staff, as I 
thought at first) were mixed in with those that constitute what you define as 
an orchestra. Would you think that one could say that the proper (admission-
charging) orchestra was AUGMENTED by Stroh string players? On the other hand, 
first of all, in the beginning, the space did not permit even 64 members in 
the same recording studio, so it was probably first REDUCED before being 
AUGMENTED, secondly, at least in England, the deputy system was at work, i.e. 
those players who were present at rehearsals would not be the ones playing at 
the performance, although the orchestra in question had the same name.

----- on the other hand, my acoustic test recordings with Strohs showed that 
they are no different to play, only the violin feels lopsided, i.e.  
unbalanced as to weight distribution. So, even the real (admission-charging) 
orchestra members could easly just substitute their instruments. Certainly, 
the Gramophone Co. had sets of Strohs (and other instruments) permanently 
standby in storage at their foreign recording locations, even though they did 
not have a regular recording studio.

----- all in all I think that if a named orchestra was playing for recording 
it was its normal members and no AUGMENTATION or substitution of personnel.

----- I am eagerly waiting for the second part of the article!

Kind regards,