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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lauritz Melchior Makes an Acoustic 78 Recording

Autographed newspaper photograph of the great Danish heldentenot
Lauritz Melchior itching his broken toe with the aid of some scissors.
Photograph not currently on our web-site but in inventory, if interested please inquire for details.

I was writing back and forth with a colleague this evening about the Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann recording of Brahms Sapphische Ode.  The colleague who is a musicologist noticed some dips in the legato line.  I wrote back to her that making an acoustic record was quite an ordeal and especially with a huge voiced singer.  Many singers did not take well to the process.  Further, some arias and lieds had to be stretched to fill out the record, or shortened by speeding up the tempo.  As a matter of illustration, I sent her this Youtube clip as an example of the singer's ordeal of making a record in the days before microphones.  Watch the producer pull Melchior backwards and forwards during the making of "Walther's Prize Song" from Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg.  This is further highlighted by the orchestra moving back and forth from the horn to fill out the moments for orchestra alone!  This clip is not far from the reality of the early days of recording!

Clip from the movie Two Sisters from Boston

As a post script, look out for Melchior's dog at the end of the clip for an ultra campy moment!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this; beatiful singing and perfectly hilarious - what a wonderful combination.