C1010. Johann Strauss Collection, early recordings, 1901 – 1951. (Japan) 8-Opus Kura 1006/13, recorded 1901-51. Specially priced. - 4582158684067
“…the release of Opus Kura’s fabulous anthology entitled JOHANN STRAUSS COLLECTION – EARLY RECORDINGS ON 78s including 116 recordings made between 1901 and 1951 [gives unparalleled listening pleasure]. All the recordings in this album (except those on a bonus CD) have been transferred from Mayumi Cho’s collection of Strauss discs. This eight-CD set is made up of six parts: ‘An der schönen blauen Donau’, Great Conductors, Operettas, Singing Johann Strauss, Strauss Salon Concert and Historical Acoustic Recordings (1901-1924), plus Part 2 of the 1954 New Year’s Concert as a bonus. Of these, I particularly enjoyed the salon music section, in which are featured such dear old names as Dajos Béla, Kölner Klavier-Trio, Barnabas von Géczy, Hans Bund and Grosses Tanzorchester, Tommy Dorsey, Josephine Tumminia, Jimmy Dorsey, Adalbert Lutter, Alfred Rode and his Gypsy Band, Harry Horlick, Carmen Cavallaro, Adolf Wreege, Paul Godwin, Marek Weber, and Vienna Boheme Orchestra. Just as interesting is the part containing pre-electrical recordings, which begins with the 1901 Emil Berliner recording of ‘An der schönen blauen Donau’ with Carl Wilhelm Drescher conducting his own Viennese orchestra, followed by artists including Leopold Stokowski, Josef Holzer, Willem Mengelberg, Frederick Stock, Charles Adams Prince, Marcella Sembrich, Maria Barrientos, Maria Ivogün, Selma Kurz, Karl Meister, Alfred Grünfeld, Arthur Pryor Band, and Samuel Stern and the Künstlerkapelle vom Hotel Adlon Berlin. To these are added from other sections recordings made by Johann Strauss III, Felix Weingartner, Shige Yano, Frieda Hempel, Erna Sack, Josef Lhévinne, John Philip Sousa, Howard Barlow, Julius Prüwer, Ferdinand Leitner, Wilhelm Franz Reuss, Arthur Fiedler, Serge Koussevitzky, Karl Alwin, Alois Melichar, Leo Blech, Lotte Schöne, Lotte Lehmann, Karin Branzell, Grete Merrum-Nikisch, Richard Tauber, Waldemar Stegemann, Frieder Weissmann, Elisabeth Schumann, Dol Dauber, Friedrich Eugen Engels, Josef Schmidt, Elisabeth Rethberg, Elna Gerhardt, Leo Schützendorf, Selmar Meyrowitz, Hansgeorg Otto, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rupert Glawitsch, Walter Lütze, Luise Sabo, Irene Eisinger, Comedian Harmonists, Herbert Ernst Gloh, Otto Dobrindt, Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons, Adele Kern, Miliza Korjus, Lea Piltti and Maria Cebotari, in addition to famous names like Erich Kleiber, Clemens Krauss, Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Over three-quarters of these recordings make their first appearance on CD. I often consider that the music of the Strauss family would be the best case to study when surveying the musical tastes and performing styles of the early twentieth century through recorded sound. Such was the popularity of Strauss waltzes in those days that they were played all over the world, reflecting a variety of local fashions. Claude Arnold, in his detailed study, The Orchestra on Record, 1896-1926 (Greenwood Press, Westport, USA, 1997), counts as many as 82 recordings made of ‘An der schönen blauen Donau’ alone. If you add to them arrangements for other instruments and popular bands, this Strauss piece is undoubtedly the most recorded musical work in the pre-electrical era.
This is an enormous treasure mine, with excellent transfers executed by Cho himself: they faithfully convey the warm, resonant sound preserved on the original shellac discs. This boxed set will never fail to please you.”
- Shuichiro Kawai, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011