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Some other things to note.  The excellent clarity of that Hallelujah Chorus
recording is also due to the musical arrangement and the singers, a group
of stalwart choristers, but very few of them.  There are places ("For he
shall reign for ever and ever..") where you are hearing a solo quartet, and
only a few times does it sound like more than 2 voices on a part.  I am
guessing that the "lead horses" with strong voices (of good quality) were
right in front of the big horn, or multiple horns, with maybe one or two
choristers per part standing right behind them, so the "lead horses" don't
come off totally as solos.  They could also be doubling each other in spots
(singing another part besides your own when your part is silent, a common
enough practice in many choral groups).  If I am remembering correctly, the
Hallelujah Chorus is in only 4 parts, being regular SATB.  A certain amount
of room resonance adds to the illusion of more voices, but this couldn't be
more than about 12 people, and possibly as few as 8.  Whatever they did, it
works well here, thanks in large part to the quality of the singers.

Re sound quality of cylinders generally, if you have heard Marston's set of
"Edison Tests," being largely unplayed test records recorded on cylinders,
some of them sound startlingly real.  Similarly, the Edison disc test
pressings released by Marston sound amazing.  These formats were obviously
capable of great things.  That promise remained largely unrealized because
Edison was virtually deaf, he was musically uneducated with pedestrian
taste in music, and he was his own limiting factor because he would not
delegate responsibility to others who did not have his limitations.

Best,
John Haley



On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 4:05 PM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Only through the start of 1915. From there on, the DDs were the "master
> records." I don't have my reference for such things handy, but once in hand
> I may be able
> to find the actual cutoff. Homer Rodeheaver was among the last of the
> artists to make "original" BAs.
>
> UD
>
>
> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > I thought I read in "A Phonograph In Every Home" that many of the DD's
> > were actually dubs of Blue Amberols. I might be remembering this wrong.
> >
> > -- Tom Fine
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 12:34 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] That Allelujah chorus cylinder
> >
> >
> >
> >  Mal,
> >>
> >> Not necessarily. The early Edison DDs were made out of material that
> IMHO
> >> were pretty bad for making records. If the disc was in the catalog a
> long
> >> time,
> >> then you may have a chance of finding one on a better pressing. Or if
> you
> >> find a DD that has hardly been played. But the BAs, despite presenting
> >> their own
> >> bag of issues, have slightly friendlier surfaces in a lot of cases.
> >>
> >> UD
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM, Malcolm Rockwell <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>  Yeah, but... isn't this cylinder a dub of a take of Edison DD 80292-R?
> >>> And wouldn't the fidelity be even better on the "original"??
> >>> Malcolm
> >>>
> >>> *******
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On 9/4/2014 12:35 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> >>>
> >>>  Agree that is remarkably good sound for a cylinder!
> >>>>
> >>>> I'm guessing quite a large horn was used and a lot of care was used
> >>>> arranging and balancing the singers.
> >>>>
> >>>> Even so, there's still typical acoustic recording issues with dynamics
> >>>> (over-modulates anything loud, fails to capture anything soft). But
> the
> >>>> usable dynamic range of this recording system is much greater than
> early
> >>>> cylinder systems. Again, I'm guessing a large horn and more compliant
> >>>> cutting aparatus.
> >>>>
> >>>> -- Tom Fine
> >>>>
> >>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]
> >
> >>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >>>> Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 1:18 AM
> >>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] That Allelujah chorus cylinder
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>  Hi folks:
> >>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I was right -- finding Paul Fucito's page required going to the
> Wayback
> >>>>> Machine for Dec 16, 2007:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> http://web.archive.org/web/20071216110008/http://
> >>>>> paulfucito.blogspot.com/2007/12/vintage-christmas-wax-revisited.html
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Scroll down to the list of recordings; it's the fourth one down. The
> >>>>> notes suggest it *was* an Edison recording, presumably a Blue
> Amberol.
> >>>>> Given that it's an acoustical cylinder, delivered as an .mp3, I think
> >>>>> the
> >>>>> sound is remarkable.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Peace,
> >>>>> Paul
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>
> >>
>