Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'll be back in December

Hi all. Sorry for the long absence. I will be back in December, after a month long trip to Southeast Asia starting today. If you want to follow my travels, I have started a travel blog at where I hope to post pictures and reflections on my journey. Though there are a few preliminary posts up, nothing of real interest will appear until the weekend, I imagine, or early next week.

Again, I hope to start posting music again in December, finishing the Bach Sacred Songs. The Haydn project is done on my end and should be out on CD after the beginning of the year. I'm afraid the delay is my doing; it took me a long time to finish the work.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bach Geistliche Lieder. Cuenod. Roessel-Majdan Vol 3

Here is the next installment, volume 3 in the ongoing Bach Geistliche Leider with Hugues Cuenod and Hilde Roessel-Majdan.

I changed preamps between this post and the last, volume 2. There is some improvement, I think, although I hope it is not so drastic as to spoil the four renovations as a "set". I will compare the discs I have burned, and if I think it is a problem, I will redo the first two, though I do not promise that any time soon. They all sound pretty good, though, even if they end up not being an exact match.

Link to all files

Text and Music compliments of Neal's Historical Recordings

Friday, March 4, 2011

Haydn/Schneider Quartet links removed

CD's now available:

To all the visitors to Vinyl Fatigue who found your way here through a web search for the Schneider Quartet Haydn recordings: Thank you. Thank you, too, to all who have supported my Haydn project and have left such encouraging comments. I owe you all an explanation of why I have removed the links to my restorations.

Very recently, after a couple of months of preliminaries, I have begun a project that will see the Haydn Society/Schneider Quartet recordings issued complete, by the current owner of the original tapes, in a commercial CD edition. The result should be superior to what I have been able to achieve here, and it has long been my desire to see such an edition brought forth. I never in my life imagined I would be involved in such a venture, and I feel privileged to be so.

I was not asked to remove the links to my previous work. I felt, however, that leaving them up would be a serious conflict of interest, not to mention a breach of simple etiquette. My primary goal in starting the series on Vinyl Fatigue was to make these fine performances digitally available. It was my hope from the start that a show of interest would encourage making a CD edition. I am deeply gratified that hope will shortly be realized. For me it is a dream come true.

I thank you for your understanding and for your many kindnesses.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roessel-Majdan, Hugues Cuenod, Bach Geistliche Leider Volume 1

When Hugues Cuenod died a few months ago at the age of 108, I was unable to get a post up to recognize his long and productive career. The current offering is a good example of his art; he sings these sacred songs with honest simplicity and the beautifully straightforward vocalism for which he was known. The wonderful Hilde Roessel-Majdan we have come across before on this blog, in Bach cantata recordings conducted by Hermann Scherchen. A fine singer in many genres, it is hard to best her in Bach.

Cuenod's contribution to the current project was issued previously on 2 CDs, but they are no longer available. In any case, I find the alternation of the tenor and alto in the present recording --the first of the four LP set -- affecting and effective. The two voices compliment each other beautifully and provide, I believe, needed variety to songs very similar in style and intent.

I will be adding the other three volumes over the next days. They are all from the same later pressings in Westminster's "Collectors Series" -- the ones so many of us treasure, with those eye-assaulting orange covers. The music and text, kindly provided by Neal at Neal's Historical Recordings, is available from the link below.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nancarrow: Studies For Player Piano

The present studies, by Conlon Nancarrow, were composed for specially altered player-pianos in the composer's possession, and the present recording was supervised by him at his studio in Mexico City. The contents of the studio are now in Basle, Switzerland at the Paul Sacher Foundation.

Largely unknown until late in his life, Nancarrow wrote wonderfully appealing music, written for mechanical instruments able to realize his fiendishly difficult rhythmic experiments. The Wikipedia article ( provides some valuable information.

The complete Studies for Player Piano were released on Wergo, though I do not know the circumstances of the recording. In any event, recordings of this music are not commonplace, to say the least, so the present post is more than justified. Ligeti thought Nancarrow was the most important musical discovery since Webern and Ives, and if you listen carefully, I think you will appreciate that enthusiastic recommendation.

Link to all files

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beecham conducts Favorite Overtures (LPO)

First off, my thanks to jsserraglio for fixing the picture above. The original post included an image with serious barrel distortion that he fixed and sent back to me. I appreciate it a lot.

I have had these two overtures ready for some time, but got stuck on the third of the fourth in the 78rpm set, Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, which is in fairly poor shape. Having been absent from posting for so long, I have decided to put up the two that are done and to add the other two, including The Merry Wives of Windsor, at a later date, if and when I can bring them into decent sonic shape.

These pieces are all readily available in recordings with Beecham made with the Royal Philharmonic. I love his RPO recordings, but his London Philharmonic records have always had a very special place in my affections, and he is a conductor about whom I am a completest; I want every recording he ever made. He was my first "favorite", and although I no longer describe my response to artists in those limiting terms, my regard for his music-making has only grown through the years. The musical world is richer for his recordings of Sibelius, Mozart, Haydn, and for the few opera recordings that have come down to us. Would there were more. His recording of the Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony is still my favorite after all these years, his LPO recordings of Mozart are peerless, his Delius (a composer I like a lot) set the standard. His sometimes mordant wit, known in countless retellings, has sometimes made him more famous for what he said than for the sterling performances passed down to us in recordings.

He introduced Richard Strauss to England, and the live performance of his Elektra with Paul Schoeffler, Elisabeth Höngen, Ljuba Welitsch, and Erna Schlüter in the title role, is a chilling account of murder, and the psychological cost of vengeance. But despite his important achievements in music of great seriousness and profundity, he is best known to many for his "Lollipops" --- overtures and light fare, which, in fact, nobody did better. Listen to his recorded RPO performance of the "La Gazza Ladra" overture; it is pure genius.

So, while I will continue to work on the other two overtures of this set as time allows, I just did not want to wait any further to post the Mozart Don Giovanni and Berlioz's Roman Carnival. Enjoy!

Links to all files

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Margaret Whiting Remembered

I was saddened when I returned home from a trip, and had time on the internet, to learn of the death of Margaret Whiting. Buster, at Big 10-Inch Record (, posted one of her early albums, perhaps the first. All I can do here is post a photograph I was privileged to take of this fine singer in Albuquerque several years ago.

In my first years in Albuquerque a friend of a friend brought Whiting to New Mexico for several private concerts. During that time I was fortunate enough to meet her, go to dinner with her and her accompanist, Tex Arnold, and to sit in on rehearsals and performances in order to take photographs.

The above was taken during rehearsal; I believe she was singing "Misty" at my request. Forever after, for me at least, it has been a song that she owned.

She was a gracious lady, unfazed by the silly fawning we made around her, seemingly confident in her talent, but by no means impressed with herself. I have long liked the picture of her I am sharing. Others I took are technically better, but this one has always spoken to me, and fits the fond memories I have of those hours.