Forgotten CDs

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Adrian3 wrote:

  Possibly the first classical lp I bought.   Decca Ace of Clubs.  Cost 10s 6d.(52 p) if my memory serves me right.

I'm fairly certain Ace of Clubs cost 21 shillings. Full price was £2, except for DGG at 41 shillings. What a bargain CDs are nowadays! Why was my first LP of the Beethoven 5th under Böhm? It was recommended by the shop manager - I only found out later that it was the most expensive version available.


 

You know I think you're right.  Now I've got it again on cd and it's nice to own it.  I really can't rememeber how the original sounded but the transfer is clean and not compressed.  I'm trolling through my memory to see what others I can get.

RE: Forgotten CDs

Were there really an Eduard Flipse and Ricardo Osnopoff? Sounds like the invented pseudodyms some of the pioneering budget labels, which appeared around the early 1960s, used on some of the recordings they obtained from central & eastern Europe and the USSR! Saga was one of the main players with an interesting catalogue of both their own & licenced recordings of which I now wish I had bought more at the time (I was but a young student!). Their Lp pressings were though pretty atrocious (it was said they used cheap recycled & scrap vinyl they bought from another pressing plant) and we could do with some CD reissues if the masters still exist (pianists Albert Ferber & Maria Donska come to mind). The label was of course run for a time by Ted Perry who later went on to found Hyperion Records. They were sold widely through small shops and it seems strange to recall today that many newsagents would have a rotating display rack of classical LPs.

The other major player was the now notorious WH Barrington-Coupe, husband of the late Joyce Hatto, with his Delta, Fidelio & Concert Artist labels and who I think gave us the first 12s 6d LP. He scored quite a few coups (sorry!) giving British record Buyers their first Mahler 3 on a Viennese recording and the first LP recording of a Bax synphony, No4, with none other than a young Vernon Handley and his Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, with the real Joyce Hatto and the same orchestral forces, Bax's Symphonic Variations described as "still very acceptable...excellent playing well caught" in Lewis Foreman's biography of the composer. B-C also seemed to have spotted other rising talent in particular the superb pianist Sergio Fiorentino who made many recordings for B-C some now reissued on his Concert Artist Cds and others by Brian Crimp on APR. Sadly he doesn't seem to have taken care of his masters and Crimp states in his booklet notes many items have had to be taken from LP copies as the masters are lost.

They were some interesting days for collectors...Was it EMI's collaboration with Paul Hamlyn in bringing out "Music for Pleasure" Lps at 12s 6d which finished off Saga and B-C's labels I wonder? Have we now gone full circle with budget Naxos exploring new young talent in often previously unrecorded works forcing the previous "majors" to rethink their position which seems to be mainly to promote unmercifully the likes of Lang Lang, Evgeny Kissin, Nicola Benedetti & their ilk in works that are not exactly short of recordings.

RE: Forgotten CDs

Interesting post from you too, Tagalie, I'd forgotten about those Great Musicians magazines; wasn't it a 10 inch LP they included? I vaguely remember buying one or two but they must have disappeared long ago, unlike the MFP Shostakovich 5 you mentioned which still gets played as my favourite version. CFPs came, I seem to recall, with a price hike to 17s 6d but with many new recordings, rather than re-issues, sponsored by a cigarette company!   CFP was probably a 100 percent EMI venture whereas Paul Hamlyn's Eastern European connections and involvement no doubt brought in the MFP Supraphon reissues with his radical views for the time as to how classical records should be marketed.

World Record Club seemed to have become EMI's historic output for a time when they were available from normal outlets and I have Beecham's pre war Magic Flute, a box of Cortot's Schumann and a box of Beecham reissues on that label which also included a biographical book on the conductor. The 78 transfers were generally very good. I didn't get any Golden Guineas at the time but snapped all the Barbirolli Halles  that appeared in (EMI digital transfers) on Royal Classics Cds some years ago at around a fiver each, brilliantly spontaneous and generally exciting performances where one feels the orchestra is really pulling out all the stops for their much loved conductor.

Vox Turnabout was one of my favourite labels introducing me to many new composers of the baroque/classical period, particularly Hummel and although some, including the pianist himself, would not agree, I think that in many cases Brendel's Vox & Vanguard issues are not bettered by his later Philips re-recordings. The label's founder George Mendelssohn (he later added Bartholdy and claimed somewhat dubiously to be a descendant) was another of those trained musicians come entrepreneurs to whom I feel indebted. Not being an enthusiast of period instrument ensembles I still treasure many of Joerg Faerber's Wurtemburg recordings on that label and my favourite recording of the ubiquitous 4 seasons is still his stunningly recorded version with Suzanne Lautenbacher. I could go on.....

RE: Forgotten CDs

Happy memories.

MFP continued alongside CFP in the '70s, but mostly focussed on popular repertoire. Wills, then John Player sponsored quite a lot of recordings.

I particularly enjoyed the Pritchard Haydn 44 and Schubert 9

Turnabout was full of all sorts of interesting stuff. Shame they never paid Brendel much for all those lovely Mozart recordings.

Heliodor was often interesting - the old grey topped ones were good for older recordings.

P

RE: Forgotten CDs

As an impoverished student in the early 70s budget labels were all I could afford. I would add Eclipse to the list of labels, a successor to AoC. Many supermarkets did sell bargain LPs and I remember a 50p purchase of the Emperor Concerto played by Hanae Nakajima and conducted by Rato Tschupp. Much to my surprise it was the recommended recording on R3. It seems locked in the bargain bin and has reappeared on the Tuxedo label!

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