Collector’s Corner (Free MP3s) • Some Late 2019 Operatic Additions — Caruso, Scotti, Farrar, Didur, Sibiriakov, Michailowa, Chaliapin
A few new arrivals to the opera collection, added over the last couple of months — some fairly common, some quite scarce, but all personal favorites.
(Jazz and blues fans: Don’t despair, we’ll be back in a few weeks with some choice new selections. In the meantime, give a listen — a little horizon-broadening for the new year!)
ENRICO CARUSO: Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) – Siciliana (E–)
Milan: November 30, 1902
Gramophone Concert Record 52418 (mx. 2876b) Salvatore Cottone, piano
GERALDINE FARRAR & ANTONIO SCOTTI: La Bohême (Puccini) – Mimi, speravo di trovarvi qui (E)
Camden, NJ: February 18, 1908
Victor 10007 (mx. C 5087 – 2) 1923 coupled reissue of Victor 89016
ADAMO DIDUR: Mefistofele (Boito) – Son lo spirito che nega (E)
Milan: April 23, 1908
Fonotipia 92226 (mx. XPh 3176)
LEV SIBIRIAKOV: Songs and Dances of Death (Mussorgsky) –
Field-Marshall Death (EE–)
St. Petersburg, Russia: November 12, 1913
Amour 022328 (coupled #M022327) (mx. 2904c)
LEV SIBIRIAKOV & MARIA MICHAILOWA: Faust (Gounod) –
Church Scene, Part 1 (EE–)
St. Petersburg, Russia: September 27, 1910
Muzpred 024048 (coupled #022172) (mx. 2045c) Early 1920s Soviet pressing from the original stampers
FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Aleko (Rachmaninoff) – The Moon Is High in the Sky (aka All The Gypsy Camp Is Sleeping) (EE+)
London (C Studio, Small Queen’s Hall): November 11, 1929
Victor 14902 (Gramophone Co. mx. Cc 18156 – 1) Orchestra directed by Lawrance Collingwood. This is a “concert” version of the aria, with portions of the original score deleted; Chaliapin’s rendition of the complete aria can be heard on HMV D.B.691, acoustically recorded in 1923.
Not as widely known as the Discography of American Historical Recordings (although it certainly deserves to be), the UK-based CHARM website offers another outstanding online discography — in this case, of historical classical and operatic recordings. Hosted by the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, CHARM is partnership of Royal Holloway, University of London (host institution) with King’s College, London, and the University of Sheffield.
CHARM is the perfect complement to DAHR, offering hard-to-find data on foreign as well as domestic recordings, primarily from the 1920s onward. The database includes much of The Gramophone Company’s 78-rpm output (from original file data compiled by the late Alan Kelly), as well 78s and some LP series from numerous other US, UK, and European companies, including Columbia and Decca, from data supplied by Michael Gray. *
The CHARM site includes a very flexible search engine, and results can be downloaded as comma-delimited text (.csv) or Microsoft Excel files. Here’s a small part of the results from our search on Cesare Formichi’s Columbia recordings: .
In addition, almost 5000 streaming sound files are available via the Find Sound Files facility. Sound files are transferred from 78-rpm discs held by the King’s Sound Archive at King’s College London.
Like DAHR and the affiliated National Juke Box site from the Library of Congress, CHARM is an entirely free service, with no registration or log-in required.
* Dr. Alan Kelly compiled the monumental His Master’s Voice Discography for Greenwood Press during its glory days in the 1990s; when new owners pulled the plug, he completed the project on his own, self-publishing the entire run on a set of inexpensive CDs. In 2007 he was honored with the Association for Recorded Sound Collections’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael Gray — besides being one helluva nice guy — has had a distinguished career that includes a long run as director of the Voice of America’s Research Library and Digital Audio Archive projects. He served as series editor for Greenwood Press discographies, has written numerous books and articles, and is the recipient of ARSC’s 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chaliapin performs the roles of Boris, Pimen, and Varlaam, in the Rimsky-Korsokov revision of Mussorgsky’s original work. Discographic data are from the Gramophone Company and Victor Talking Machine Company files, courtesy of Drs. Alan Kelly and John R. Bolig.
FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Boris Godunov — Yet One More Tale [Pimen, Act I]
Moscow: August 31, 1910
His Master’s Voice 022157 (mx. 2016½c) Orchestra of the Imperial Moscow Opera directed by I.Semenov
FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Boris Godunov — In the Town of Kazan [Varlaam, Act I]
Camden, NJ: January 30, 1922
His Master’s Voice D.A. 100 (mx. B 26100 – 2) Studio orchestra directed by Josef Pasternack
FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Boris Godunov — Once at Eve [Pimen, Act IV]
St. Petersburg, Russia: November 26, 1911
His Master’s Voice 022252 (mx. 2548c) No conductor listed in the Gramophone Company file
FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Boris Godunov — Farewell and Death of Boris [Boris, Act IV]
St. Petersburg, Russia: October 15, 1911
His Master’s Voice 022221 / 022222 (mxs. 2492½c / 2493c) No conductor listed in the Gramophone Company file