The new CHARM offensive

James Jolly22nd Mar 2010
CHARM's sound files siteCHARM's sound files site

One of the most important archives of historic recordings has been unveiled by the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) under the aegis of King’s College London. CHARM’s philosophy states that “even when music does exist as a written text, performers play an essential role in creating the experience that, for most people, is the music. CHARM was established to promote a musicology that better reflects the nature of music as experienced in the twentieth century and beyond.” 

As part of that aim, over 5000 sound files (largely of out-of-copyright recordings) have been made available to stream (MP3) or download (FLAC files) from the CHARM website free of charge. Many of the recordings fall into CHARM’s project “Musicians of Britain and Ireland, 1900-1950”, and offer a unique opportunity to experience changing performance practices in the first 50 years of recorded sound. For example, you can listen to William Byrd madrigals recorded by The English Singers in 1923, John Barbirolli and his Chamber Orchestra in Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro in 1929, or even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle speaking about spiritualism in 1930. There’s even a thrilling recording of Mischa Spoliansky and the Julian Fuchs Symphony Orchestra playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1927.

 

More about the site on James Jolly’s Classical Downloading blog in the coming days…

 

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