Collector’s Corner (Free MP3s) • Some Late 2019 Operatic Additions — Caruso, Scotti, Farrar, Didur, Sibiriakov, Michailowa, Chaliapin

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

St. Petersburg, Russia: November 12, 1913
Amour 022328 (coupled #M022327) (mx. 2904c)


Church Scene, Part 1

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.


Vox Comes to America, Advertises Chaliapin’s Daughter (1923)

Vox LPs are well-known to classical collectors, but the German company had attempted to enter the American market long before the high-fidelity era. The ads below, from The Talking Machine World for November and December 1923, announced the company’s first arrival in the U.S.

Although Vox made a high-quality record, most of its artists were unfamiliar to the average American. For their early U.S. advertisements, Vox apparently settled on Feodor Chaliapin’s daughter Lydia as the one name that Americans might readily recognize. The recognition factor, probably coupled with some lingering anti-German sentiment, seems have doomed Vox’s attempt from the start. After failing to attract much attention, the Vox Corporation of America was dissolved on March 11, 1927. Vox’s second American venture, launched in the late 1940s, fared far better.

We’ve seen just one example of the a Vox domestic red-label disc (pressed from a foreign master). Although Vox called them “Red Seals” in the ad below, that name was a registered trademark of the Victor Talking Machine Company, and it does not appear on the label of the inspected copy. We’ve yet to see a Vox “Green Seal.” The domestic label design differs markedly from the designs used on Vox’s foreign-made pressings, which were exported to the U.S. for a time and still turn up on occasion.