Today we publish the first of two episodes following Fred on recording expeditions to Russia. In early 1900, with their bosses dissatisfied with what they’ve recorded to date, Fred and his colleague William Sinkler Darby are under pressure to find fascinating sounds. Their agents in St Petersburg, charged with finding singers and musicians, are useless and corrupt so Fred and Sinkler go it alone. They scour the city’s streets and theatres by sleigh, recording what they can. But their new-fangled gramophone invention piques the interest of the court of Tsar Nicholas II, and the men are summoned to his palace. Will they succeed in capturing the voice of the most famous man in Russia? And will they survive an equipment-related disaster that strikes on their way home?
Fred heads to Russia
The record industry in Russia, 1894-1914
Tsar Nicholas II
We hope you enjoy listening as much as we’ve enjoyed recording them