OP0565. LILAC TIME (Berte & Clutsam, based on Schubert), recorded 1923, w.Raybould Cond. Clara Butterworth, Courtice Pounds, Percy Heming, Violet Essex, Thorpe Bates, Jameson Dodds, etc. (incl. members of Original Cast, 22 Dec., 1922, Lyric Theatre, London); plus additional orchestral sides by Marek Weber's orchestra with its sweet, mellifluous string tones and mid-European style; w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 28pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the Lyric Theatre production. (England) Palaeophonics 80. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm rarities.
“DAS DREIMÄDERLHAUS (House of the Three Girls), adapted into English language versions as BLOSSOM TIME and LILAC TIME, is a Viennese pastiche 'operetta' with music by Franz Schubert, rearranged by Hungarian Heinrich Berté (1857–1924), and a libretto by Alfred Maria Willner and Heinz Reichert. The work gives a fictionalized account of Schubert's romantic life, and the story was adapted from the 1912 novel Schwammerl by Rudolf Hans Bartsch (1873–1952). Originally the score was mostly Berté, with just one piece of Schubert's (‘Ungeduld’ from DIE SCHÖNE MÜLLERIN), but the producers required Berté to discard his score and create a pasticcio of Schubert music.
The original production opened at the Raimundtheater in Vienna on 15 January 1916 and ran for over 650 performances in its original run in Austria and for hundreds more in Germany, followed by many successful revivals. It starred Fritz Schrödter as Schubert and Anny Rainer as Hannerl. Schrödter was already 60 in 1916. In 1886 he had sung the part of the ‘Prince of Song’ (i.e. Schubert) in Franz von Suppé's operetta about Schubert. The operetta spawned a sequel entitled HANNERL. Débuting during World War I, the operetta's popularity was fueled by the public's taste for nastalgia, harnessing an old-fashioned, sentimental story and Schubert's familiar music. Schubert worked hard during his lifetime to become a successful opera composer but found little success in this genre of music. With DAS DREIMÄDERLHAUS, ironically, his music finally became famous in a stage work.
Charles Courtice Pounds, better known by the stage name Courtice Pounds, was an English singer and actor known for his performances in the tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and his later roles in Shakespeare plays and Edwardian musical comedies. As a young member of D'Oyly Carte, Pounds played tenor leads in New York and on tour in Britain and continental Europe. After being promoted to principal tenor at the Savoy Theatre, he created the principal tenor roles in THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, THE GONDOLIERS, THE NAUTCH GIRL and HADDON HALL. After leaving the D'Oyly Carte company, Pounds was a prominent performer during the transition of light musical theatre from comic opera to musical comedy, creating roles in the West End in both genres between the 1890s and the 1920s. The new musical comedies in which he starred included the hits CHU CHIN CHOW and LILAC TIME.”
- Z. D. Akron
"Thomas Thorpe-Bates studied at the Guildhall and the Royal Academy of Music. He sang as principal baritone at provincial Music Festivals, Choral Societies, Promenade Concerts and the Hallé and Brand Lane Concerts, Manchester. He played in THE YANKEE PRINCESS in New York in 1922. He also appeared in THE MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS, THE REBEL MAID and many other plays. Bates’ daughter was the actress Peggy Thorpe-Bates, perhaps best remembered as one of three actresses who played Hilda Rumpole in the TV adaptations of John Mortimer’s RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY novels.”
- Ned Ludd
“A gentleman farmer with a love of Edwardian and early Twentieth Century music has created a home industry of preserving early Musical and Revue scores as recorded on 78 and cylinder, the latter of which he is certainly a specialist. It is an impressive list of shows that Dominic Combe has digitalised and issued on Compact Disc. Not only is it the recordings but the lovingly created books that attach.
Early theatre recordings abound in Great Britain, more so than in the United States where it took them some time to start recording original cast material. And so, many early scores are available to be heard. But what Dominic discovered when he started assembling these scores was that often latter day British 78 and cylinder record collectors turned their noses up on recordings of dance music or covers and ‘best of’ or ‘gems’ making them hard to find. And, it is those recordings which can often contain songs not otherwise recorded. He has built strong connections with other collectors willing to lend material to make each issue as complete as possible.
Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then.
Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS.”
- y phayward, OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017