Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alfred Gallodoro & The Stuyvesant Qt. play Brahms Quintet

Alfred Gallodoro, when he was playing with the NBC orchestra or in other classical venues, and "Al" when he was playing jazz, including alto sax for Paul Whitman, was a clarinetist of considerable refinement and tonal beauty. I am posting this record (an LP issue of a 78 set recorded in 1947/48) despite its sad condition, because the performance it contains is notably lovely, and for the historical importance of its players.

The inner grooves of the first side of the LP, comprising the last minutes of the beautiful and delicate second movement, look like they were played by a roofing nail, and my heart sank when I saw this damage to an LP in otherwise well used but OK condition. A conical stylus, tracking at a higher weight, though still by no means heavy (2.5gm) picked up less distortion than the fine line or elliptical stylus, so that is was I recorded it with. The last minute and a half of the second movement is the worst of it, but with some careful treatment of that section I was able to minimize the obvious effect of the abuse. There is some distortion, but it does not jump out and overwhelm the music, as it did on the first play I made of this disc.

The performance is well worth putting up with this small area of ameliorated sonic imperfection, though I urge anyone who might have a better copy of this recording to post it, or send me a sound file from it to post --with due acknowledgement, of course.

Oh! And the record is red vinyl. I can't help it; as many as I have seen, that still tickles me -- not red exactly, but pink.

Link to all files


  1. Hi Larry,

    This should be quite enjoyable. I love all these recordings by Concert Hall, and others, which allowed many of New York's finest to take on great solo parts. And, that red vinyl :)


  2. Thank you so, so much! I have been wanting to hear this for some time and I'm not disappointed, it's a beautiful performance! Mind you, who plays this amazing work badly? And - who now owns these Concert Hall Society masters? They were recorded on tape and include some real treasures. Someone should get onto this case. Best wishes, Nick

  3. Hi Nick: It is always especially satisfying to post a performance someone has been wanting to hear, so thanks for letting me know. And good question: Who does own those old master tapes? Maybe someone here will know the answer.

    Fred: I never heard Gallodoro in classical music except for this recording, but he certainly knows the medium. The bio on Wikepedia is fun to read, as he had a very interesting career.

  4. Hi Larry,
    This is a marvelous performance. I've been enjoying your posts enormously. You might be interested in another transfer of this recording available on the European Archives:

    I haven't compared the transfers yet, but I like your work!

    Best wishes,

    Daniel Frank

  5. Hi Daniel:
    Thanks for the information regarding the file on the European Archive. It almost certainly is from an LP in better condition than the one I used. I'll be following your link post haste!

  6. I love the piece and am tempted by interesting old performances so thanks.


    Some additions to your Red LP's from Concert Artists [scans of both LP labels and covers inside each WinRar file. Hope you like them.

  8. Bruce: thanks for commenting. I love the piece too. All those late Brahms works for clarinet are wonderful.

    La Danse de Puck: Thanks for the links. When I get a minute to download, I'll follow them and get the performances. Your site looks very interesting. My Spanish is -- limited, to put it mildly, but I'll go explore it the best I can.

  9. Beautiful piece of work.. Thank you.

  10. Al Gallodoro lived in my part of upstate NY and died in 2008 at the age of 95. He played very frequently in and around my town and never lost his phenomenal talent on pretty much any single reed instrument. Everybody loved him, so it's nice to seem him acknowledged here. My local library has a CD the includes this Brahms quintet in excellent sound. I'll email you with more info.