B0763. THE ITALIAN CATALOGUE, LA VOCE DEL PADRONE / HIS MASTER’S VOICE - A Complete Numerical Catalogue of Italian Gramophone Recordings made from 1898 to 1929 in Italy and elsewhere by The Gramophone Company Ltd. ALAN KELLY, Ed. Westport, CT, Greenwood, 1988. 462pp. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! 0-313-26498-8
“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
"This discography provides, for perhaps the first time, a complete numerical catalogue of Italian gramophone recordings made by the Gramophone Company Ltd. Kelly has effectively used the archives and registers of EMI Limited (The Gramophone Company) to offer a richly detailed picture of recording activity during the years 1898 to 1929. The Gramophone Company was established in London in 1898 and by 1899 six branches had been set up in Europe, among them Milan, Italy. In each branch, matrixes were numbered serially and coded to indicate recorder, making it possible to identify not only the first Gramophone record to be made in Italy--Bice Adami singing 'Voi lo sapete' with piano accompaniment--but to follow the course of the company's activities. The main catalogue is divided into three sections: recordings issued on the Gramophone label; recordings issued on the Zonophone label, including the Trento-Trieste Supplement; and recordings issued on the Gramophone Green label. Most entries include the following information: the original catalogue number; the matrix (serial) number of the recording in its correct form; the date of recording; the name of the artist(s) involved in making the recording, including the accompaniast where known; the title of the piece; and alternate issue numbers. Kelly's introduction gives an overview of the company's history and cataloging practices. Kelly not only examines the history of the Italian Gramophone Company, but added to the discographical record of the Victor Talking Machine Company, of which Gramophone was the European, Asian, and African partner. His discography will be welcomed by anyone interested in the international history of recorded music. Record collectors will also find it a valuable resource."
- Z. D. Akron