Top 10 Aussie Sopranos

By Roger Neil Someone started a thread on the unofficial BBC Radio 3 message boards asking for nominations for the top ten sopranos. It seemed to me that the emerging lists were filled with the usual suspects, and since I’m currently in the process (with Tony Locantro) of finishing up a 4 x CD setContinue reading “Top 10 Aussie Sopranos”

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Recording Pioneers- Part 6

Frederick William Gaisberg 1873 – 1951 “Fred was clearly one of those Children with a natural talent for the keyboard, and his mother made the most of this opportunity from the moment she began to teach him when he was four.” -Extract from ‘A Voice in Time’ – Jerrold Northrop Moore  Name:      Continue reading “Recording Pioneers- Part 6”

Nipper 1884 – 1895

Name:            Nipper Born:              1884 Resident:        London Occupation:   Posing for paintings, attacking Gramophones, looking for His   Masters Voice Loves:              Being a world famous icon, treats Francis Barraud’s painting of a fox terrier to an early gramophone remains one of the oldest and best-known of trademarks and records logos. It was a brilliantly conceivedContinue reading “Nipper 1884 – 1895”

The New Sound Of Music 1979

The New Sound of Music is a fascinating BBC historical documentary from the year 1979. It charts the development of recorded music from the first barrel organs, pianolas, the phonograph, the magnetic tape recorder and onto the concepts of musique concrete and electronic music development with voltage-controlled oscillators making up the analogue synthesizers of theContinue reading “The New Sound Of Music 1979”

The History of the Major Record Companies in the UK #2 Columbia

We’ve stumbled across a wonderful book called “The Talking Machine Industry” written by Ogilvie Mitchell in 1924. It is a bit of a hack job to be frank. Mr Mitchell’s style is frothy and he gallops across a range of subjects to do with the history of recorded music at that point (i.e. less thanContinue reading “The History of the Major Record Companies in the UK #2 Columbia”

Recording pianists, gypsies and tenors…in Leipzig, Budapest and Vienna

Fred Gaisberg and side-kick William Sinkler Darby were sent from London to the Continent to make more recordings for the Gramophone Company in 1899. The new Gramophone technology was in great demand and the company was struggling to keep up with it. The company had established a new disc manufacturing plant in Hanover that wasContinue reading “Recording pianists, gypsies and tenors…in Leipzig, Budapest and Vienna”

It was 123 years ago today. The first ever UK recordings.

I think we have to mark this particular anniversary. We found this video on youtube described by the following text: “On Friday 29th June 1888, from 2pm, a performance of Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt was captured on a number of wax cylinder recordings. This performance was part of the trienniel Handel Festivals mounted inContinue reading “It was 123 years ago today. The first ever UK recordings.”

Rivalry and co-operation

We’ve seen that Alfred Clark left Berliner’s employ in favour of Edison and moved to Paris to set up a rival to the Gramophone Company in Europe. This put the two old friends, Alfred Clark and Fred Gaisberg, in direct competition for new recordings in 1899. Clark, pictured above, proved to be a canny businessman.Continue reading “Rivalry and co-operation”

“Stop Yer Tickling Jock”: The great Scottish singing swindle – Russell Hunting day #5

This is the final part of a five-day series of blog entries about Russell Hunting, a maverick who was involved at the start of the very start of the record business when its pioneers were searching to find the best business model to capitalise on the new sound-recording and playback technology. Hunting tried all sortsContinue reading ““Stop Yer Tickling Jock”: The great Scottish singing swindle – Russell Hunting day #5″

Russell Hunting stories #2 1896: obscenity, filth, lasciviousness; the record business discovers smut sells!

This week we are planning to run a five day series of blog entries about Russell Hunting, a maverick who was involved at the start of the very start of the record business when its pioneers were searching to find the best business model to capitalise on the new sound-recording and playback technology. Hunting triedContinue reading “Russell Hunting stories #2 1896: obscenity, filth, lasciviousness; the record business discovers smut sells!”