The German Catalogue, Die Stimme Seines Herrn / His Master's Voice  (Alan Kelly, Ed.)  (Greenwood Press)
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The German Catalogue, Die Stimme Seines Herrn / His Master's Voice  (Alan Kelly, Ed.)  (Greenwood Press)
B0084. THE GERMAN CATALOGUE, DIE STIMME SEINES HERRN / HIS MASTER'S VOICE: A Complete Numerical Catalogue of German Gramophone Recordings made from 1898 to 1929 in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere by The Gramophone Company Ltd. Alan Kelly, Ed. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1994. 1464pp. Performer Index; Bibliography; Gramophone Company Standard Catalogue, 1898-1929; Gramophone Company Zonophone Catalogue, 1904-12; Gramophone Company Green Label Catalogue, 1911-29; The 200000 Series; The Early Complete Opera and Operetta Sets; DGA Violet and Red Label Couplings; Notes to Catalogue Numbers; Reference Tables for dating purposes of recording sessions. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! 0-313-29220-5

CRITIC REVIEW:

“The present volume is one of a series which will cover the output of the Gramophone Company from its beginning in 1898 to 1929, when recording methods had progressed from the primitive trumpet to the sophisticated microphone. The Company operated through ten branches, and the catalogues of two of these (Italy and France) have already been published by Greenwood. This new volume adds Germany to the list, but the coverage extends to Austria, Switzerland, and Czechoslovakia and to any other country (including the United States) where there was interest in records whose source or language was German.

The principal intention of this volume is to produce a complete listing of material within this field, and not merely a selection (e.g., operatic records only). Thus, it lists not only the important recordings from Wagner operas, but those from other composers, together with all the songs, popular and serious, recorded by the most important record company of the age. Also included are all the instrumental records of the time--by pianists, violinists, cellists, and harmonica players--as well as military music played by celebrated regimental bands. Included with this is a remarkable amount of material where the executant was also the composer, an area of unusual interest. In previous years, most records from this time period were unavailable, and there was virtually no chance of ever hearing them, particularly where copies were so rare as to exist in only one collection. The introduction of the long-playing record changed the situation and the invention of the compact disc has improved availability to an extent undreamed of even a few years ago. This volume is intended to provide collectors and archivists with a comprehensive and reliable guide to the contents of their collections.

In 1988 Greenwood Press started publishing Kelly’s numerical catalogues of recordings made between 1898 and 1929 by HMV and its predecessor companies. The first volume was devoted to Italian recordings, the second to French recordings in 1990 and then in 1994 the long volume of German recordings. However an illness prevented him completing the Dutch and Belgian catalogue, which were in the end finished by Jacques Klöters in 1997. The following catalogues were issued by Kelly himself on CD-ROMs: Russian, Spanish, Czech and Hungarian, Australian and English. They all included listings of matrix numbers and unpublished recordings. He also accurately documented artists’ discographies. Kelly researched not only edited recordings, but also unpublished recordings.

Alan Kelly had started to collect records in the 1940s and soon developed an interest in opera recordings. He supplied much of the information about red label double sided records issued in HMV’s DA and DB series to J R Bennett who published them under his own name but acknowledged Alan’s contribution in his Introductions. Since then, few lists of HMV recordings have been published without Alan’s keen involvement In 1977 they published “Vienna – the first Gramophone recordings” in RECORDED SOUND, the now defunct series issued by BIRS and for many decades “Discography by Alan Kelly” was a by-word for a reliable listing in THE RECORD COLLECTOR. In 1988 he published the first of his numerical catalogues of recordings made between 1898 and 1929 by HMV and its predecessors. It covered Italian recordings.

Alan became a regular visitor both at the British Institute of Recorded Sound and the EMI Archive at Hayes. Year after year. Once Kelly, Ward and Perkins had broken the code, Alan’s real work began. The outcome was not only the breaking of the code but, first, his identification of all issued recordings with artist, title, location and, where possible, the actual date of recording. Because of the numbering system used by the Gramophone Company since its earliest days, Alan was able to compile the catalogues referred to above. His second barrel was then to catalogue each sequence of matrix numbers thereby providing us with chronological lists of everything recorded by the Gramophone Company, not merely in the great European centres but in locations extending to the near and far East. As he wrote in his General Introductions, essentially he came to have four strings to his bow: the Catalogues of all single-sided issue numbers from 1898 to 1929, the Registers for 1929 to 1934, the Matrix Cards identifying who had made each recording and the Coupling Series cards which identified what single-sided or face-numbers had been coupled on each double-sided issue. His achievement was to put it all together in a logical, coherent and digestible form.

All serious collectors will welcome Alan Kelly’s outstanding contribution to the professional documentation of a large segment of recorded history, and support this fine work.”

- John B. Milmo, THE RECORD COLLECTOR