#ClassicsaDay #Summerof78s Week 4

Classical music performers have been recording for over a century. The Classics a Day team declares July the Summer of 78. Or rather, the summer of 78s. For July, post recordings that were originally issued on 78 rpm discs.

Many legendary performances have been captured on 78 rpm. And more than a few 20th Century composers playing or conducting their own music. Here are my postings for the fourth and final week of #Summerof78s.

07/25/22 Giacomo Puccini: “Un bel di vedremo” from Madama Butterfly
Rosa Ponselle, soprano

Ponselle made this recording in 1919 for Columbia. It’s important to remember that the composer, Giacomo Puccini was still alive at the time.


07/26/22 Modeste Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Feodor Chaliapin, bass

Chaliapin championed Russian opera on his tours of Europe and America. He recorded these excerpts in the mid-1930s. The US label Stinson licensed Soviet recordings for reissue and Western distribution.


07/27/22 Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5
Philadelphia Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, conductor

This ground-breaking 78 was the first for the PO and Stokowski with Columbia. Unlike other conductors, Stokie didn’t compromise to accommodate the limits of recording technology. He insisted that all 90+ players perform rather than a smaller core ensemble.


07/28/22 Russian Christmas Music (arr. Stokowski)
Philadelphia Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, conductor

Stokowski was known for his transcriptions and arrangements as much as he is for his conducting. This is an arrangement of a carol originally ascribed to Ippolitov-Ivanov.


07/29/22 Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Berlin State Opera Orchestra; Max Feidler, conductor

Conductor and pianist Max Fiedler almost exclusively recorded Brahms. He knew the composer personally and had attended concerts of Brahms conducting his own works. These recordings were made by Polydor in 1930.


Next month: Fun in the Sun


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