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Very impressive achievement. I have a bunch of Stransky/NY Phil recordings
made more or less at the same time and none of them get nearly as much
sound on the disc. I'm sure these recordings had nowhere near a 90-piece
orchestra on hand. Though I only have a couple hundred 78s at most, many of
them are early orchestra or band recordings and I see Prince on a lot of
them, but I know a lot less about him than I do about most other names I
see on old recordings. Do you have information on where the recording took
place?

Thanks for sharing this.

Peter Hirsch

On Sun, May 3, 2015 at 6:16 PM, Mickey Clark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'd love to see one. I was told that Prince recorded the Schubert
> Unfinished Symphony in 1910 - I have that too. The limit in the 1910 studio
> was 13 musicians. A different studio was used for the 1917 recording. This
> info came fron Jolyon Hudson - he kindly recorded the 1910 for me - I was
> doing my Prince anthology wanted wanted to include some milestone
> recordings that were attributed to him.-Mickey Clark
> Follow me on Twitter
> https://twitter.com/MickeyRClark
> M.C.Productions Vintage Recordings
>    710 Westminster Ave. West
>             Penticton BC
>                V2A 1K8
>            1-250-462-7881
>    http://mcproductions.ca
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]
> >
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 2:34 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>
>
>  Are there any photos of this recording session? I'm surprised by how much
>> bass content was picked up by the horn, also that there is detail to the
>> violins when the horns are playing. I'm guessing they used a very large
>> horn and set the orchetra up in a very specific way. I wonder if there is
>> an article with a photo in one of the old record magazines from the period.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mickey Clark" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 4:21 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>
>>
>>  Hello - I have done a high definition transfer of the 1917 recording of
>>> the Rienzi Overture as conducted by Charles A.Prince. Any one on the list
>>> is welcome to download  The record label boasts that 90 musicians were used
>>> to record this milestone - I have put a wav soundfile for you -
>>> thanks-Mickey
>>> https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l76p5necoanlnvs/AABDqeCW3CbSDoncPuugvN9ra?dl=0
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 9:10 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>
>>>
>>>  I've been working on this at the acoustical recording end.  The pieces
>>>> are
>>>> finally coming together and I expect to give a presentation at ARSC in
>>>> 2016.
>>>> Rather than go into the hardware,  I'm analyzing the improved (or not)
>>>> results by year based on a number of criteria.  Stay tuned to this horn.
>>>>
>>>> Steve Smolian
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brandon Michael Fess
>>>> Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 11:50 AM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>
>>>> Thank you,  gentlemen. While I'm just starting my professional career in
>>>> audio preservation, this project may be on the back burner for a while.
>>>> That
>>>> said, I'm seriously interested in seeing if I can't begin gathering
>>>> material
>>>> for an eventual history. I've considered doing the same sort of work on
>>>> live
>>>> sound production for several years, so they might turn into
>>>> joint/complementary productions.
>>>>
>>>> Brandon Fess
>>>> LIS Candidate, Class of 2015
>>>> Graduate Assistant, Belfer Audio Archive
>>>>
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of John Haley <
>>>> [log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Saturday, May 2, 2015 12:55 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>
>>>> HI, Brandon,
>>>>
>>>> Keep in mind that the ARSC Journal happily publishes articles exploring
>>>> topics involving recordings, especially historical recordings.
>>>>
>>>> Best,
>>>> John Haley
>>>>
>>>> On Sat, May 2, 2015 at 11:21 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>  Hi Brandon:
>>>>>
>>>>> If you undertake research, ping me off-list and I'll share what I know
>>>>> and point you to what I've found online. This is definitely a topic
>>>>> deserving of some macro-view writing -- how orchestral music has been
>>>>> recorded over the eras.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Brandon Michael Fess"
>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: Saturday, May 02, 2015 10:52 AM
>>>>>
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>  Tom,
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks for the brief introduction. I have some recording experience
>>>>>> myself, but as graduate assistant at Belfer for the past 2 years, my
>>>>>> interest in historic recording in every sense of that phrase) has
>>>>>> really been piqued. I'll have to investigate the suggestions you
>>>>>> make. Thanks for pointing me towards good starting points.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Brandon Fess
>>>>>> LIS Candidate, Class of 2015
>>>>>> Graduate Assistant, Belfer Audio Archive
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <
>>>>>> [log in to unmask]> on behalf of Tom Fine <
>>>>>> [log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> Sent: Friday, May 1, 2015 9:23 AM
>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi Brandon:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It's a topic that could use a good summary, written in plain English
>>>>>> (but scholarly in the sense of having plenty of references and
>>>>>> footnotes). Going back to the acoustic era, there were different
>>>>>> methods used in different places. You could start by reading the
>>>>>> Sooey brothers' memoires, online at the David Sarnoff Library's
>>>>>> website. Also should read books and memoires by early EMI people and
>>>>>> other Berliner associates. In the electronic recording era, it's
>>>>>> worth paying attention to methods used by EMI/HMV, Columbia, RCA
>>>>>> Victor and other major producers of orchestra recordings in the 78
>>>>>> era. My interest has mainly been in the tape era, specifically about
>>>>>> 1950 into the 1970s. I also have interest in the early digital era,
>>>>>> but haven't focused on what if any changes were made in such things
>>>>>> as how sessions ran and microphone techniques (and there were
>>>>>> changes, simply for the fact that early digital rigs didn't offer as
>>>>>> much multi-track/remix options as people at Columbia, RCA and EMI
>>>>>> were used to by the late 70s).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In more recent years, the big change has been the shrinking budgets
>>>>>> and marketplace for orchestral classical recording, which has forced
>>>>>> mostly live recording in the US.
>>>>>> The typical recording is
>>>>>> primarily live performances with a "patch up" session held after a
>>>>>> performance. Low-budget labels like Naxos mine overseas broadcast
>>>>>> orchestras (sometimes just releasing broadcast recordings) and
>>>>>> 3rd-tier US ensembles either without unionized musicians or with
>>>>>> cheap/flexible contracts, to make low-budget recordings, usually with
>>>>>> quantity trumping quality.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>> From: "Brandon Michael Fess" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> Sent: Friday, May 01, 2015 8:49 AM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>  I've known Deb Fox for years; I was an early supporter of Pegasus
>>>>>> Early
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Music when they were just
>>>>>>> starting out. The Hochstein concert was my only option for seeing
>>>>>>> the concert, as I work in Rochester on weekends.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Thanks for all the interesting info on early orchestral recording.
>>>>>>> It's rather fascinating for me, as someone surrounded by thousands
>>>>>>> of such records at Belfer, to have that information as part of my
>>>>>>> understanding. Are there any other written works on the history of
>>>>>>> orchestral recording practice that you know of? If not, I can sense
>>>>>>> an opportunity for some scholarly work of my own...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Brandon Fess
>>>>>>> LIS Candidate, Class of 2015
>>>>>>> Graduate Assistant, Belfer Audio Archive
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <
>>>>>>> [log in to unmask]> on behalf of Tom Fine
>>>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2015 9:05 PM
>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carl, thanks again for referring us to that article. It makes for
>>>>>>> interesting reading.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If I do my presentation on the evolution of classical recording in
>>>>>>> the US again, I'll definitely use some info from it.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Those mic diagrams illustrate some of the reasons that classical
>>>>>>> recordings from that era don't sound very good to my ears. There are
>>>>>>> too many mics with too many arrival times. Even with post-session
>>>>>>> mixing from the multi-tracks, there is no way to prevent the problem
>>>>>>> of collapsing stereo image when the orchestra gets going full-tilt.
>>>>>>> The sound becomes muddy and the image collapses because there are
>>>>>>> too many sounds arriving at too many different times to too many
>>>>>>> mics.
>>>>>>> Perhaps today, you could transfer those multi-track tapes to a
>>>>>>> Protools rig and mess with time-alignment during the loud passages,
>>>>>>> to clarify the stereophony.
>>>>>>> These techniques evolved
>>>>>>> because producers and engineers wanted to ever greater "inner detail"
>>>>>>> clarity during soft
>>>>>>> passages.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carson Taylor used fewer mics than the Columbia and RCA guys, and he
>>>>>>> generally mixed the orchestra to 2-channel at the sessions. But he
>>>>>>> got some strange frequency combing by using those coincident stereo
>>>>>>> mics at different distances from the orchestra. On some sessions,
>>>>>>> he'd put an AKG stereo mic about just behind the strings and a
>>>>>>> Neumann stereo mic above and behind the conductor, out in the hall.
>>>>>>> The problem is, if the brass gets going, it makes a very
>>>>>>> strange-sounding balance between primary sounds and reverb because
>>>>>>> both are hitting the stereo mics at different times. But, with the
>>>>>>> other mics Taylor used, he was building on the classic Lewis Layton
>>>>>>> RCA Living Stereo approach of filling in the quieter sections and
>>>>>>> mixing the mics low relative to the front array. This worked very
>>>>>>> well for Layton into the early 60s, but he kept adding mics and the
>>>>>>> sound got muddier, as detailed in Mike Gray's history of recording
>>>>>>> Reiner/Chicago original published in The Absolute Sound.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:19 AM
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>  Parenthetically, the 1/1972 issue of Recording Engineer/Producer
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> contains a
>>>>>>>> very informative article on the contemporary orchestral recording
>>>>>>>> practices of the three major US producers, via interviews with Max
>>>>>>>> Wilcox, John McClure, and Carson Taylor. Taylor speaks about his
>>>>>>>> rearrangement of seating for Cleveland and his experience in
>>>>>>>> Chicago.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Scans are available at http://www.americanradiohistory.com/
>>>>>>>> originally from the collection of Doug Pomeroy.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I recently recorded performances of Monteverdi's Vespers conducted
>>>>>>>> by Paul O'Dette. Their tuning was A466, determined in part by the
>>>>>>>> tuning of the cornetti. That was mean-tone, so it's a whole
>>>>>>>> different scheme and effect.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 9:57 PM
>>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Part of John Marks' research into that article included contacting
>>>>>>>> the Cleveland Orchestra's music librarian and archivist. Not
>>>>>>>> surprising to those familiar with George Szell's music and
>>>>>>>> biography, he was an absolute stickler for consistent tuning to
>>>>>>>> A=440.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> The bigger issue I was surprised and somewhat dismayed to learn
>>>>>>>> details of is EMI's practice of using 3rd generation dub tapes as
>>>>>>>> their master of record for almost everything recorded by Carson
>>>>>>>> Taylor in the U.S. That got me acquiring some copies of the
>>>>>>>> original LPs and I was shocked to hear how much better many of them
>>>>>>>> sound, even compared to late 90s "Recordings of the Century"
>>>>>>>> remasters by Abbey Road. It goes to show that even if you have a
>>>>>>>> good playback and a good digital chain, with skilled engineering,
>>>>>>>> if you have a several-generations dub tape there's only so much
>>>>>>>> fidelity you can get out of it. Plangent would help, but it's still
>>>>>>>> better to get as close to first generation as is practical,
>>>>>>>> particularly with classical music (because the dynamics, pitch and
>>>>>>>> instrument tones are so effected by the slightest aspects of
>>>>>>>> output<>input inherent to all tape dubs).
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> According to what I learned from talking to people with knowledge
>>>>>>>> of EMI Classics' practices (still in effect with Warner Classics),
>>>>>>>> using the 3rd generation tapes is the path of least resistence
>>>>>>>> because Capitol had some way to keep what were Angel master tapes
>>>>>>>> in the US and only send out dubs for UK pressing. Apparently in the
>>>>>>>> cases when a UK crew came over here and made recordings (standard
>>>>>>>> practice after about 1980), then the master tapes were retained in
>>>>>>>> England. In those cases, if the Angel LP was cut at Capitol, it was
>>>>>>>> likely cut from a dub tape, so the UK EMI LP is likely to sound
>>>>>>>> better. Taking it back to the modern era, I still can't get a
>>>>>>>> definitive answer if the Capitol-made EMI classical recordings'
>>>>>>>> tapes are in a vault here, and if they'll ever be used to make a
>>>>>>>> new series of remasters.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>>> From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:51 PM
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  I can't find the references at the moment, but I gave a paper at a
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> long-ago
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  ARSC about this issue.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  I'm depending on memory for the dates, but it'll be pretty close.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> The U.S. Navy adopted A-440 in 1916.  The National Bureau
>>>>>>>>> Standards did so
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  in or about 1918.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I'm pretty sure that the bands of most or all U.S. Armed Service
>>>>>>>>> bands
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  that were in training and
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  later participated in WW I were equipped with A-440 instruments.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> It is my speculation that many older instruments were given by
>>>>>>>>> masters to
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  servants or found their
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  way into hock shops, which thus made such instruments available to
>>>>>>>>> poorer
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  musicians.  I've not
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  seen any writing about this issue during the formative jazz band
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> years.
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  Those more versed in the
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  reminiscences of the early layers may have encountered comments
>>>>>>>>> about
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  adjusting or not adjusting
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  tunable instruments and, where impractical, living with the sound.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> In the early 1960s I contacted a piano tuner through Steinway, a
>>>>>>>>> fellow
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  whose responsibilities
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  included the instruments used by Victor during Caruso's day.  He
>>>>>>>>> told me
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  that they always tuned
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  tuned to A= 440.  I believe I included this somewhere in one of my
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  American Record Guide columns
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  then as a result.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Each orchestra has a collection of tuning forks, or, at  least,
>>>>>>>>> used to,
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  and their period of use
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  is often documented.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> As to older situations, read "The Story of A" by - can't recall
>>>>>>>>> his name.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  It carefully explain s
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  and documents pitch issues over the centuries when a court in
>>>>>>>>> Germany
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  hired an Italian or French
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  court composer who then had instruments made for use during his
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> tenure.
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  It also talks about the
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  issues of different pitches for instrumental and instruments with
>>>>>>>>> vocal
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  music and organ keyboards
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  that played in either of two pitches, depending on the type of
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> service.
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Pitch is also affected by temperature.  The way concert halls are
>>>>>>>>> and were
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  heated had a direct
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  effect as well.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> It's really complicated and fascinating.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Steve Smolian
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: Tom Fine
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 6:12 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] speaking of pitch
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> http://www.stereophile.com/content/fifth-element-89
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> This is a good telling of John Marks' tortured journey on
>>>>>>>>> discovering a
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  seemingly small but very
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  audible pitch error.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I did some further reporting with people I know who are very
>>>>>>>>> familiar with
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  the EMI classical
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  library. Apparently, the fast-pitched tape from which all digital
>>>>>>>>> media
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  have been mastered came
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  from
>>>>>>>>> Capitol USA, and no one can locate the original 2-track master
>>>>>>>>> tape made
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  by Carson Taylor, from
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  which the first edition USA albums were mastered.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Now, after all of this consternation, it seems to me that one
>>>>>>>>> could do as
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  I did -- own the
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  HDTracks
>>>>>>>>> 96/24 download and then simply apply pitch-correction software to
>>>>>>>>> it. I
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  couldn't hear any audible
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  degradation after doing that and, in fact, it sounded better
>>>>>>>>> because it
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  turns out that once it's
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  in
>>>>>>>>> A=440 (to which Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra strictly tuned),
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  music relaxes and flows
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  better, just from that very slight slow-down in tempo.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> My personal opinion is that John Marks' dream of remastering this
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  recording from the 4-channel
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  Dynatrack tapes will never happen, but I do hope that Carson
>>>>>>>>> Taylor's
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  original 2-track master (ie
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  a
>>>>>>>>> second-generation tape, made directly from the Dyntrack session
>>>>>>>>> tapes)
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>  will be found and this
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  pitch
>>>>>>>>> error then corrected in all current in-print media.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> ---
>>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>
> ---
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