Episode 5 – Russian revolutions (part two)

After the mixed success of the recording trip to Russia in 1900, it is a curious decision of Fred’s to return to the country the following year. But back he goes – twice ­– with a point to prove. Still waiting for that elusive breakthrough, The Gramophone Company has diversified into typewriters and Fred’s not happy. He needs good music, fast. He records opera stars and fine musicians before making one of the more curious decisions of his career. Finding himself dumped by letter by his London-based girlfriend, Fred heads inland to record music from the Russian steppes. He becomes obsessed with Tatar music, a decision that he comes to rue once he hears what the genre actually has to offer.


A Russian recording


From zinc to wax: how recording materials have changed over time


Lovely early 78 record labels




Sinkler Darby with recording equipment in St Petersburg
Sinkler Darby demonstrates the gramophone in Russia

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We hope you enjoy listening as much as we’ve enjoyed recording them!

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