The Dream of Gerontius  (Elgar)   (Palaeophonics 100)
Item# C0817
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Product Description

The Dream of Gerontius  (Elgar)   (Palaeophonics 100)
C0817. THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS – Excerpts (Complete, as recorded) (Elgar), w.Joseph Batten Cond. Royal S.O.; Edith Furmedge, Dan Jones & David Brazell. (England) Palaeophonics 100, recorded 17 Feb., 1917, Edison Bell. Complete, as Recorded, w.Elaborate 16pp. Brochure replete w.photos, illus. & complete texts. Newly transferred in 2018 from the legendary Edison Bell 'Velvet Face' 78rpm rarities.

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“Until 1920 [the Edison Bell Company) had been one of the foremost manufacturers of popular records….Now came a change of policy: it was decided to compete with the two ‘big fellows’, as HMV and Columbia were known….To me was assigned the onus of building a catalogue of good music….the recording on which I look back with the greatest pride was that of THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS. This oratorio had always deeply stirred me, but had it not been for a conversation with Charles Draper, the finest clarinetist of his day, and a friend of Elgar’s, I doubt if I would have braved the technical problems such a project involved….to record such music would be a labour of love, an act of homage to a great composer. And apart from the aesthetic motives, another voice whispered to me that if it could be done, what a feather it would be in my cap…to accomplish a recording which [HMV and Columbia] had declared to be impossible….it opened the way to my appointment with Columbia a few years after.”

- Joe Batten, JOE BATTEN’S BOOK, pp.56-59





“If you are interested in what original audiences of early 20th century English operetta and musical comedy heard, there is a great source for such recordings – the record label Paleophonics. Dominic Combe prepares CDs for them from his huge collection of shellacs and a few cylinders.

I came across these somewhat hard-to-find CDs on the website of the mail-order company NORBECK, PETERS AND FORD, (norpete.com) which is specialized in historical performances from the beginning of recorded sound all the way through to the 1960s.

There are now over fifty Paleophonics CDs, and more are being prepared or scheduled for future release. Each CD comes with a lavishly illustrated program booklet with reviews, information about the shows and fantastic publicity photographs, and artwork from the original London productions, in the form of reproductions of the magazine PLAY PICTORIAL.”

- Thomas Krebs, OPERETTA RESEARCH CENTER - PALEOPHONICS - A JOURNEY TO THE DAWN OF RECORDED SOUND IN MUSICAL COMEDY, 1 July, 2020