Classical 'Society' Records by Nick Morgan
This site is devoted to classical 'society' records, labels and editions of the '78 rpm' (short-play,) record era.
- the records themselves
- the artists who performed on these records
- the organisations which published these records
- the individuals who founded and ran these organisations
- (where possible and relevant) the contemporary reception of these records by the societies' members, critics and others
It is researched, written and published by Nick Morgan. It employs the open-source wiki software package , best known as the platform on which runs. This site isn't affiliated with Wikipedia, though, and it isn't a , because it can't be edited by visitors. But you are of course very welcome to send in corrections, additional information and constructive criticism.
This is the main page. It summarizes the site's genesis, aims, scope, structure, sources, quirks and so on. You can access it from any page via the 'Main page' link in the left-hand sidebar.
Once you've read this page, and if you intend to return to this site, you might find it more useful to bookmark the list of all pages. You can also access this from any page via the 'All pages' link in the left-hand sidebar.
For the date on which any page was created, or on which it was last changed, please click on the 'Page information' link in the left-hand sidebar.
The N.G.S. apparently pioneered the 'society' model of record production (see below) in 1924; no earlier instance is known of a publisher or society which financed recordings by subscription, and sold them solely or principally to subscribers and members.
From 1931, this model was taken up by the ), (first issue in late 1935) and (first issue in late 1935). All of these were more or less successful, some running to several volumes. (Also in late 1935, launched a 'Purcell Club', but it was not funded by subscription, nor were its issues for sale only to members; after this, nothing more was heard of the Purcell Club or any other Decca 'club' issues.)of Great Britain, for 'society' editions on its labels (H.M.V.; first issue in spring 1932
Many of these later 'society' editions became classics of the gramophone, and some are still available today in transfers to modern media. Much less well known are the records issued by a handful of small, independent labels which also adopted the N.G.S.'s 'society' model, initially in Japan and the USA. These labels do not seem to have been studied or documented in any detail; they, along with the N.G.S., are the subjects of this site.
Finally, after World War II, a variety of subscription and 'club' labels (some of them already active in the 78 rpm era) entered the market in long-playing records, a development outside the scope of this site.
The aims of this site are:
- To document its subject
- To contribute to the historiography of classical, (mostly) instrumental music on record
- To help music-lovers, students and collectors find recordings they may not know of, or may not have been able to track down
- To experiment with discographical content
- To experiment with publishing online
This site was originally planned as a collection of label discographies, with brief histories of each label and basic information about artists. Over time, though, the entries on artists have grown into fuller biographies, with similar treatment given to the people who ran 'society' labels. Admittedly, this has meant that some artists' histories of performance - in concert, on stage or on air - are charted in overwhelming detail. Researching these histories is time-consuming, and we can hardly expect all discographies to include them. But surely discography can no longer be divorced from artists' and entrepreneurs' careers. Yet this raises the question, how best to present the resulting mass of information. This site, with its part-text, part-table, part-bullet list pages, doesn't always make for easy or exciting reading; it's just a stab at answering that question using somewhat limited resources, skills and imagination. Ideally, what this marriage of discography and performance history needs is software which allows us to zoom in, from a readable overview of an artist's career, to full details of concerts, broadcasts and recordings, while preferably also displaying historical sources such as concert programmes in their original typography. Discography needs to be brought into thefold, perhaps by harnessing something like .
This seems some way off yet. Still, publishing online already has obvious advantages. Web pages can be created, corrected and updated more easily and cheaply than printed pages (especially if all this is done for nothing). Perhaps most importantly, they can be searched and searched for. (It's often claimed that leafing through printed reference works throws up serendipitous finds; but so does browsing websites.) And they can make better use of the rich resources of the internet. So, wherever possible, this site links to online reference sources (including Wikipedia - though not as a discographical source, haters will be relieved to learn), digitized historical documents, images, sounds and so on.
None of the above is intended in anyway to disparage existing printed discographies, many of which are justly famous, highly respected and unlikely to be surpassed. But print publishing is not the way forward, and discographies both old and new are moving online.
What were record 'societies'? They have not been studied in depth, academically or for a general readership.
For the purposes of this site, they can can divided into two types:
- societies formed by owners and users of records and record-players, so as to further their knowledge and enjoyment of both
- societies which commissioned and/or published recordings principally for their members
The second type is the principal subject of this site.
Several languages have words which can be translated into English as 'society' but which, in the context of commerce or industry, denote a 'company' (see below). In general, the 'societies' documented here offered their members repertoire which commercial companies considered too limited in appeal to sell on records. Instead of selling via retail, two societies financed their issues by subscription, payable in advance, while a third required payment only on delivery. Issues were available solely or mainly to subscribers or members, but some were also sold freely (at the time or later). The Friends of Recorded Music operated as a society but did not finance its issues by subscription; nevertheless, it is included here because it overtly modelled itself on the National Gramophonic Society, issued only previously unrecorded repertoire, and was not a legally constituted commercial entity but a sideline of its parent business, a record magazine. Likewise, the two smaller societies documented here had no legal status. All these organisations contracted out the production of their issues to commercial record companies, who had the industrial facilities needed to record and press shellac discs. 'Society' editions were limited, and in principle were not re-pressed once sold out, although this principle too proved flexible.
Thus, the principal features of society labels were, in varying combinations:
- specialist, uncommercial repertoire
- limited editions
- non-legal, informal constitution
The large commercial companies' 'society' editions shared some or most of these attributes, except the last.
The earliest societies documented on this site issued mainly chamber and solo instrumental music, and only a small amount of vocal music. There were several reasons for this. Compton Mackenzie, founder of the National Gramophonic Society, was especially fond of chamber music, and outraged by what he saw as the commercial record companies' wilful neglect of it: in the early 1920s, the same few works seemed to be recorded again and again, often excerpted as 'snippets' (although he conceded that these had some value). He was not wrong: at that time, classical chamber music made up a very small proportion of commercial record production, whereas vocal music, especially operatic solo and ensembles, had long been a mainstay of the catalogues. From roughly 1907 onwards, orchestral music, too, was increasingly recorded, so that by the mid-1920s Beethoven's symphonies, for instance, were all available in more than one commercial recording (though not in all markets or at the same time), unlike his string quartets, trios or instrumental duo or solo sonatas. Mackenzie founded the N.G.S. to redress this imbalance: chamber music (for two to eight instruments) made up just over 80% of its issued output, with orchestral and instrumental music well behind, at just under 10% and nearly 7%, respectively.
Another reason was cost: chamber and instrumental music were relatively inexpensive to record (although this was also true of, say, vocal solos or duets). And chamber music undeniably had a certain 'highbrow' cachet. But Mackenzie's predilection, and the N.G.S.'s bias towards chamber music, also reflected a divergence among record-buyers which was noted by one British critic in the 1920s:
'The gramophone public tends to divide into several different communities, which seem to have little in common. [... A] cleavage presents itself between those who acquire performances and those who acquire music. The former will sometimes brag very confidently of a record they have of some great singer or instrumental virtuoso, and betray the foggiest of notions concerning the music interpreted by them. As if to balance this element, members of the other contingent will frequently express their satisfaction over the possession of some work which they had never hoped to possess in disc-form, and quite possibly forget who it was that made the record.'
(Whether intentionally or not, the writer omitted to mention a third, important 'contingent' of gramophone users, namely those who were chiefly or entirely interested in the sonic and technical aspects of recordings - volume, timbre, spatial effects, surface noise, pressing quality and so on.) However exaggerated and over-simplified, this characterisation still rings true today. It is possible for music-lovers to become very familiar with works in recorded form, without necessarily developing a critical interest in performance; one listener warned against this in the 1920s, urging that record companies' choice of artists 'be guided with great tact and discrimination'. Mackenzie's N.G.S. based its recording programme entirely on 'music' rather than 'performances', and its membership certainly seemed to conform to the picture painted above, showing little appetite for vocal records (which was, in any case, well served by commercial production). In 1928, Mackenzie mooted art and folk songs for possible recording by the Society, but his proposal was rejected by members, and the N.G.S. issued just 7 vocal sides out of a total of 332. Its imitators outside Britain showed a similar preference for instrumental over vocal and orchestral music. In Japan, the N.G.S.'s earliest imitator initially commissioned a set of two piano sonatas, followed by a string quartet. Admittedly, it then went to the opposite extreme, with Beethoven's Missa solemnis in D major Op.123, occupying twenty-one sides, the most substantial issue documented on this site; but this was probably motivated as much by the 1927 centenary of Beethoven's death, and by the expanded capabilities of electrical recording, as by the music's vocal character. The Chicago Gramophone Society's output was split half-and-half between solo piano music and songs, but the Society folded too early to show any meaningful trend. Solo piano music made up two thirds of the output of The Friends of Recorded Music, followed by chamber music with a fifth and vocal music with a tenth, proportions reminiscent of the N.G.S. catalogue.
Towards the end of the N.G.S.'s life, a new, quite different type of record society arose, dedicated solely to 'performances'. Whereas the earliest societies issued mainly complete, non-vocal works never previously recorded, the new societies catered to members who wanted specific recordings of specific singers, by re-pressing historical records (or, occasionally, previously unissued matrices), usually of songs, arias, ensembles or other excerpts from longer works, often well known and already much recorded (see below). Around the same time, H.M.V. entered the 'society editions' market; the fact that H.M.V.'s first 'Society' was devoted to the songs of Hugo Wolf reflected the taste of its originator, , just as Mackenzie's personal taste had shaped the output of the N.G.S., but thereafter most of H.M.V.'s 'Society' issues were of instrumental music. The 'cleavage' observed in the 1920s was still alive and well.
Initially, this site will document the following labels:
- the Chicago Gramophone Society (USA)
- Dainippon Meikyoku Rekōdo Seisaku Hanpu Kwai (大日本名曲レコード制作頒布会) (Japan)
- The Friends of Recorded Music (USA)
- Guaranteed Subscribers Recordings (GB)
- the National Gramophonic Society (N.G.S.) (GB)
For future inclusion
- L'Anthologie Sonore (France), sold by subscription in France and the British Empire, but by retail in the USA (and possibly elsewhere)
- Cherubini Society (UK)
- Croydon Celebrity Recording Society (UK)
- Handel Society (USA)
- Haydn Society (USA), both a music publisher and a record label, founded in Boston in early 1949 by a group including the musicologist and champion of Haydn  and rewarded subscribers with discounts. But its recordings sold so well that this soon became unnecessary, and the label operated for most of its existence as a standard commercial concern. It has been documented by Robbins Landon's friend and colleague , although its beginnings as a short-lived 'society' label of the 78 rpm era still merit further investigation . Funded initially by an uncle's bequest to Robbins Landon, the Society adopted subscription to finance its first issues, which were limited, numbered editions not sold via retail,
The Gramophone Company's celebrated 'society' editions, and Decca's sole 'club' edition, have been documented only rather haphazardly, in discographies and general histories, and in transfers to other media, but no dedicated monograph or discography has charted in detail their genesis, production, issue, life in the catalogues, reception and after-life; in future, if time and resources allow, these editions may be added to this site.
At the time of writing (autumn 2018), it is not known if the following labels fall within the scope of this site:
- Bach Society (US)
- Bu-Scha (Bund deutscher Schallplattenfreunde, 'League of German Record-Lovers') (Germany), a poorly documented mail-order 'club' label
- DeBeGe (Germany), affiliated with a  (Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, 'German Book Association')
- Eboracum Record Society (UK)
- Editions nationales du disque (Switzerland), a short-lived Swiss label apparently launched by the Lausanne-based music publisher and retailer Foetisch Frères, which published just one little known issue; it is not known how 'national' this venture was, whether commercial or academic, and whether it relied on or received cantonal or federal funding
- Isis society, Oxford (UK); sometimes listed as Isis Recording Studios, this may have been a custom recording business rather than a publisher
- Kauder Society (USA)
- Neglected Masterpieces Recording Company (UK); sometimes listed as Neglected Masterpieces Recording Society, probably erroneously, this appears to have been a subsidiary of the London-based commercial company Oriole Records
- Volksverband der Musikfreunde (V.d.M, 'People's Club of Music-Lovers') (Germany), a poorly documented mail-order 'club' label
Finally, if previously unknown society editions or labels are discovered, they will also be added.
Gramophone concerns whose names included a word meaning 'society' but were commercial companies producing record for retail sale, such as:
-  as far as is known, it issued mainstream repertoire of its time, marketed through normal retail channels (France), a commercial company formed by a group of artists (mainly singers) who wished to control their recording activities and earnings, active 1906-1910;
-  (Germany), during the period under study a limited (joint-stock) company
- Schweizerische Tonkunstplatten-Gesellschaft / Société Suisse des Disques Phonographiques d'Art (Switzerland), a commercial company based in Zurich, active 1919-1922
- Sociedad fonográfica española Hugens y Acosta (Spain), a commercial producer of cylinder records based in Madrid, active c.1899-1911
- Société d'édition de musique sacrée (SEMS, also widely known as 'Musique au Vatican') (France), a joint commercial venture of the Vatican and a Paris-based record company, active c.1934-1939(?), offering a curious mix of repertoire, from the very obscure to the well-known, recorded by performers mostly associated with Papal music establishments
'Society' labels catering to collectors of historical recordings of specific singers (some previously unissued):
- the Collectors' Record Society (USA), a label about which little is currently known
- the Historic Record Society (USA)
- the International Record Collectors' Club (I.R.C.C.) (USA), founded in 1932 and active into the LP era
For a variety of other reasons, the following labels are also not documented on this site:
- Clangor (Germany), label of the Schallplatten-Volksverband ('People's Record Club'), itself an offshoot of a pioneering and well-known German  Perusal of institutional holdings and sale listings makes it clear that Clangor for the most part did not offer repertoire that was commercially unviable or unavailable elsewhere, but competed on price with existing companies by issuing recordings of mainstream classical and popular material, which do not seem to have been limited editions . Clangor has not been authoritatively documented, despite its considerable interest: unverified information shared by collectors and enthusiasts suggests that it was active from 1929 to 1942, and adopted its parent company's 'book club' model.
- Concert Hall Society (USA), a subscription record 'society' of the 78 rpm and LP eras which falls squarely into the remit of this site, but is well covered in the excellent account by David Patmore and Jerome F. Weber; an existing discography is unsatisfactory and should ideally be replaced
- Les Discophiles français (France), a well known commercial label of the 78 rpm and LP eras. It appears not to have used subscription, although this remains to be verified, as does any possible connection to poorly documented groups such as the Club français de discophilie, Société française de discophilie and, especially, the influential Club des discophiles de Paris, whose name appeared on a series of LP issues on the label during the 1950s
- New Music Quarterly Recordings (later New Music Recordings) (USA), founded and run by  , and underwritten by . This label, like the N.G.S. an off-shoot of a magazine, comes well within this site's remit, but it has been authoritatively documented by Rita H. Mead and David Hall
- the Victor Record Society (USA), launched in early 1938 by RCA Victor to market its records and players; the latter were given free as an inducement to new members. Resembling a book club, the Society also published a monthly magazine, the Victor Record Review
- the Victor Record Lovers Society (Japan), apparently an initiative of the Japanese Victor Company, launched in the late 1930s to market records by well-known Western artists. Nothing is known of its aims or terms and conditions, although its issues are documented in various discographies
Likewise not documented on this site are societies and editions devoted to repertoires other than classical music, such as the United Hot Clubs of America (U.H.C.A.) and  or Nihon Ongakushu / Album of Japanese Music, devoted to traditional Japanese music, as well as those issued on LP only, such as the Society of Participating Artists (USA), an 'artist-owned' label founded by the conductor , the Society For The Preservation Of The American Musical Heritage, also founded by a conductor, Karl Krueger (1894-1979), or the Society For The Publication Of American Music, a very short-lived LP imprint of the US music publisher of the same name.(H.R.S.), both devoted to jazz,
Academic, library and national editions
Academic, cultural, national and philanthropic bodies - including several with 'society' names - employed or produced recordings for their own ends, which were not so far removed from those of the earliest 'society' labels. Educational recordings, in particular, have a long and interesting history which is still largely unwritten. The largest commercial companies, such as Victor and the Gramophone Company, established educational departments, and produced recordings and publications for use in schools, adult music appreciation and so on, as well as speech recordings for language teaching. By the mid-20th century, too, governments had started sponsoring recordings of national repertoire, some for commercial sale, some for propaganda or academic purposes. Although they fall outside the scope of this site, these editions are mentioned below for interest, and in the hope that they will one day be fully documented:
- The Anglo-French Music Company Series of Educational Records was launched in Britain in 1922 as a joint venture between a publisher of pedagogical scores and tutors, itself founded by the influential teacher  , and the , manufacturer of player and reproducing keyboard instruments and rolls, gramophones and records. A.F.M.C. discs offered performances by well-known teachers of the day of piano pieces from the examination syllabus of the but apparently did not sell well and are rare and little known today, despite their great historical interest. A useful selection has been remastered by APR in , a 2-CD survey of recordings by Matthay and his pupils, while brief accounts by the late Frank Andrews and others are to be supplemented by a full discography (forthcoming)
- L'Association française d'action artistique was founded (under a different name) in 1922 by France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and charged with promoting French culture around the world. It is not known to have sponsored or published recordings of music until 1942, when the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Fine Arts of the (Vichy) French State commissioned an ambitious series of forty discs of contemporary French music, recorded over one year from October 1942 and issued under the AFAA's imprint. These were not for commercial sale but were to be distributed to French embassies abroad, who would organize local broadcasts and public auditions, and donate copies to libraries. A summary account of the project leaves many details of its planning and execution unclear, and the records are now rare and little known (very few are listed in the World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music)
- Carnegie Corporation Music Sets were assembled from existing commercial recordings, printed music and reference books, and donated by the well-known  a 1937 report from the shows just how munificent this gift was, comprising as it did '150 books and scores and 900 records, with a value of $2,500' , along with a gramophone, to smaller universities and colleges in the US 'to enable the teachers to carry on music appreciation more thoroughly and extensively.' Two selections were made, in 1933 and 1936, by panels of musicians, academics and librarians, and were surveyed in an article by Philip L. Miller, although without a full discography;
- Česká akademie věd a umění (the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts), a joint enterprise between the Academy, the French company Pathé and Czech companies. Chronicled by Gabriel Gössel, this ambitious but chequered project grew out of an academic initiative to establish a Czech national sound archive. In the autumn of 1929, some 500 matrices were recorded in Prague by Pathé engineers, supervised by , director of the University of Paris's Institute of Phonetics and Museum of Speech and Gesture, and a pioneer recordist of ethnic musics and speech. In 1933 and 1934, the Czech company Esta recorded a small additional number of matrices of Moravian folk music and speech. The repertoire spanned the expected genres: folk art, literary, theatrical, academic and political spoken word, and a little classical music (plans to record operatic excerpts foundered on contractual and financial obstacles). Pressings were made by Pathé and Esta; it appears only the latter are branded 'Česká akademie věd a umění'. Unusually, some of the records were also intended to be put on commercial sale, both at home and abroad (it is not known which or how many). Test pressings of nearly the whole corpus from 1929 are now held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which has digitized most of them, along with accompanying recording sheets, and made them via its portal 
- the Committee for the Promotion of New Music, founded in Britain in 1943 at the suggestion of the composer  , aimed to further performances and recordings of new music written by 'composers who at present lack recognition'. Peter Adamson has comprehensively its activities in Hillandale News (the journal of the or CLPGS), including the recording programme which Chagrin persuaded Decca to undertake, and which resulted in the issue of three 10-inch (25 cm) and nine 12-inch (30 cm) discs between July 1944 and December 1949, all in Decca's standard commercial series
- Dahlemer Musikgesellschaft zur Förderung junger Künstler (Dahlem Music Society for the Promotion of Young Artists), set up in 1947 in the American-occupied sector of Berlin, was a joint venture between US and German cultural officials. Its main activity was the promotion of concerts, but a small number of discs of modern German music, recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, was issued under its name. These were distributed to US libraries, universities, music critics and institutions; they are due to be documented by Peter Adamson in a forthcoming issue of (the renamed journal of the )
- Det danske Selskab (The Danish Society; since 1989, the  ), set up in 1940 to promote Danish culture and subsidised by the Danish government. Ever since, it has sponsored recordings of Danish classical music by commercial companies, and has never operated as a private or subscription society. Early recordings sponsored by the Danish Society have been documented by the discographer
- An Estonian State Broadcasting Company recording programme saw an engineer from Skandinavisk Grammophon A/S, the Danish branch of EMI, decamp to Tallinn and record some 150 works by Estonian composers between mid-May and mid-June 1939. The repertoire was mainly classical but included some popular music and spoken word recordings. Although planned and financed by the State Broadcasting Company, there seems little doubt this ambitious initiative was supported by the Ministry of Propaganda; as with the Association française d'action artistique, its main aim 'was to distribute a set of the records to the Estonian embassies abroad to enable them to introduce and promote Estonian music.' It proved partly abortive: after the matrices were shipped to EMI's factory outside London, 'something went wrong in the further process (and of course, the Second World War also began)'. After the War, some of the recordings were issued abroad by members of the Estonian diaspora, but many remained unissued and partly unaccounted for until 2003, when a project was launched to locate, document and transfer all the surviving recordings. In 2009, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre issued 'Estonian Sound Recordings 1939', an anthology of recordings from the 1939 sessions, remastered on 12 CDs and accompanied by a lavishly illustrated, 304-page scholarly book
- Fennica was the imprint of  It is not yet clear if these issues were intended solely for academic and/or pedagogical institutions, or were also sold retail; they are almost completely unknown outside Finland (the Third Supplement 1953-1955 to The World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music was compiled too early to include them). The imprint remained in use in the LP era; those issues fall outside the scope of this site (also known as the Finnish Composers' Society and Finnish Society of Composers; Suomen Säveltäjät r.y. and Föreningen Finlands Tonsättare r.f., in Finnish and Swedish respectively), which in 1956 issued a series of twenty-three 12-inch (30 cm) 78 rpm records.
- Národní diskotéka / Národná diskotéka ('National Record Library', in Czech and Slovak respectively) appears to have been a rebranded collection of standard, commercial recordings from the then current catalogues of the nationalised Czechoslovak companies Esta, Ultraphon and Supraphon, which also issued them under their own imprints. The collection may have been assembled for academic use and/or dissemination in fraternal Communist countries, possibly under state sponsorship and control, and remains to be investigated
- The Norwegian Office of Cultural Relations was, like the Association française d'action artistique and the Danish Society, an arm of government, charged with promoting Norwegian culture, presumably abroad as well as at home. In the second half of the 1940s it collaborated with the Society of Norwegian Composers (now the ; Norsk Komponistforening, in Norwegian) to produce, under the Office's own imprint, several series of 12-inch (30 cm) 78 rpm records of classical music by Norwegian composers, mainly orchestral. These were distributed to libraries, radio stations and perhaps other cultural and academic bodies, and were apparently not sold retail; some 94 sides (with individual catalogue numbers) have been identified for this page, of which all but three are listed in the World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music
- Schweizer Komponisten Serie des STV / Compositeurs Suisses Série de l'AMS (Swiss Composers Series of the STV / AMS) was produced by Swiss commercial record labels under the auspices of the Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein (STV) / Association des musiciens suisses / Associazione dei musicisti svizzeri (AMS), the Swiss Society of Musicians (now ). In 1944, the offered Fr.- 20,000 to the record industry to produce discs of 'modern, representative musical creations' by Swiss composers. The initiative took some time to come to fruition; five years later the STV published a first catalogue listing issues on Elite Special, Swiss Columbia and Swiss H.M.V., each of which had a number in the STV / AMS series as well as standard commercial catalogue numbers
- the Welsh Recorded Music Society was founded in 1947 by (1905-66), a miner, composer, pianist and teacher determined to foster and promote Welsh music at home and abroad. From 1948, the Society sponsored a series of recordings of Welsh music by Decca, which were issued in its standard commercial 10-inch (25 cm) and 12-inch (30 cm) series; the thirty-two discs are listed in the World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music
- Yaddo Festival Recordings were made live in concert during some of the nine Festivals of Contemporary American Music held from 1932 to 1952 at  a large if incomplete is preserved in the at the . Yet it remains the case that, as Page rightly wrote ten years ago, , the Trask family mansion in . As an account by Tim Page explains, the composer had the idea of using recording equipment installed at Yaddo to capture the Festivals' pioneering repertoire, and to issue it on discs sold at cost to 'universities, libraries, associations, and other institutions' as study aids. According to the first edition of WERM, 'Couplings in this make were arranged "to order"';
'A complete collection of the [162 extant] Yaddo discs, remastered and reissued with proper annotation, would be a significant contribution to our understanding of our musical culture.'
In principle, the period covered by this site is the '78 rpm' era. As of late 2018 its scope extended from late 1923, when the N.G.S. was first mooted, to late 1940, the date of the last known issue by The Friends of Recorded Music.
Recordings made for labels documented by this site but not issued are included, where known.
All records listed on this site are lateral-cut discs. In recent years some record societies have issued new or historical recordings on cylinder (e.g. the CLPGS's), but no such issues by historical societies are known. Disc sizes are are noted in all discographical entries.
Records listed on this site were made using both acoustical and electrical recording systems of various types. Where known, these are noted in discographical entries.
This site is an assemblage of the following types of pages:
- label pages, documenting a 'society' label
- label discographies, listing on one page the entire output of a 'society' label
- issue pages, documenting each issue in more detail than the label discographies, and listing some (but not necessarily all) institutions holding copies of the discs and transfers to other media
- artist pages, documenting the life and career of an artist or ensemble recorded by a 'society' label; all members of ensembles also have individual artist pages
- personality pages, documenting the life and career of a person involved in a 'society' label as founder, officer, member etc.
- composer pages, documenting either the life and career of a composer recorded by a 'society' label, and who is too obscure to be covered in easily accessible reference sources, or the involvement in a 'society' label of a composer well documented elsewhere, such as John Alden Carpenter
This is a quixotic and possibly naive attempt to promote all these people and aspects of discography, concert and recording history as equally important.
You can start by viewing the list of all pages in this site. (This is also accessible via the link in the left-hand sidebar on every page.) This list is generated automatically by MediaWiki, and is organized simply by the first letter of each page's name.
You can also view a list of recent changes to this site (again, also accessible via the link in the left-hand sidebar on every page). It's not very pretty, but it might be useful.
MediaWiki's 'Category' feature allows pages to be indexed. At the bottom of each page is a list of the 'Categories' which that page belongs to. Clicking on a 'Category' will open a list of all pages of this site belonging to that 'Category' (e.g. 'Pianists', 'Chicago Gramophone Society', etc.). You can also browse 'Category' pages by typing the following into the 'Search' box:
The search box at top right will drop down a list of 'Category' pages to choose from, e.g.
Category:Chicago Gramophone Society
To search this site, type one or more terms, such as an artist's name, into the 'Search' box at top right. If one or more pages matching your search term(s) exist, the search box will drop down a list of prompts for you to choose from. If no matching page exists and you press
ENTER, MediaWiki will generate a list of pages containing one or more of your search terms, for you to choose from.
So, to find a label, type its name into the 'Search' box, e.g.
National Gramophonic Society or
The Friends of Recorded Music
To find an ensemble, do the same: e.g.
Kreiner Quartet or
Modern Chamber Orchestra
Contrary to the practice of Wikipedia, page titles on this site invert first names and surnames. So, to find an artist, composer or other person, it's better (though not imperative) to start with the surname and to use initial capitals: e.g.
Roberts, Marion or
Carpenter, John or
To find a recording, it's probably easiest to go to a label's discography page, which gives a handy overview of all issues, and click on an individual entry. The great variety of notations used in the past and today is a problem for online discographies. Different producers used different notations (or none) for series prefixes, takes and so on. Takes vary from nothing to simple digits, often superscript or in Roman numerals, to fractions, geometrical shapes etc. Some producers separate prefixes, suffixes and takes with spaces, hyphens or dots, others not, and some discs show different notations on the label and in the 'dead wax' or 'runoff' between the grooves and the label (or under the label). Some producers, notably Victor, displayed no matrix information on domestically recorded discs at all; it is known only from original ledgers, and strictly speaking had no 'original' notation, as the complete string was never shown in any one place. To simplify searching, some online listings and discographies concatenate matrix and issue numbers into continuous alphanumeric strings, without spaces, e.g.
50016P; the first of these examples is a US Columbia matrix recorded using the Western Electric system, whose logo Ⓦ is sometimes included by discographers, sometimes simplified to
W, and sometimes omitted, while the second is a US Columbia Personal Record issue number assigned to the Chicago Gramophone Society and displayed on the as 50016-P. This approach has much to commend it, but it can also generate misleading and sometimes positively erroneous strings (e.g. when issue or matrix numbers begin with numbers separated by a hyphen). It has not been adopted on this site: here, it is simplest and safest to search only for the main, numeric portion of a matrix or issue number, ignoring all prefixes and suffixes, e.g. for the above examples:
You can also type a label name, followed by an alphanumeric catalogue identifier, into the 'Search' box: e.g.
Chicago Gramophonic Society 50016 or
National Gramophonic Society Q or
Friends of Recorded Music 4. But this is somewhat cumbersome; again, it is far easier to go to a label's discography page and click on an individual issue for more detailed information.
MediaWiki's wild card character is:
*. It can be used only at the end of a search string, not at the beginning or in the middle. It is not of great use in searching this site.
This site is very prodigal with links, so you should never be far away from a link to a page you might be interested in.
By default, MediaWiki distinguishes 'internal' links, which are coloured blue and get underlined when pointed at, from 'external' links, likewise blue and underlined, but also followed by a small arrow . That arrow is suppressed throughout this site, as it makes text very cluttered.
Links coloured red are 'internal' links to pages on this site which have not yet been created.
This website is compiled using Mozilla's Firefox browser, on a largish, landscape-orientation desktop monitor, and is best viewed and navigated on a similar screen. Unfortunately, the skills and manpower required to format it for all screens, devices and browsers are lacking.
Sources and references
This site uses MediaWiki's inbuilt reference system. Almost all sources cited or quoted can be found in the References section at the foot of each page, as for instance on this page. On discographical pages, some sources are listed in the body of the text, and others in the Discographical bibliography.
MediaWiki allows you to toggle between the main text and footnotes, but doing this can be distracting. On this site, if you hover over a footnote's number the footnote will also appear in a small pop-up bubble. If you don't like this, click on the little wheel in the top right-hand corner of any pop-up, and a 'Reference Tooltips options' dialogue box will appear. It should allow you to disable the gadget on your browser, or adjust the options in other ways.
This site does not use a widely-adopted method for citing a source repeatedly in MediaWiki (and Wikipedia). Here, no matter how many times a source is cited on any page, it is always given in full in each footnote.
Likewise, this site does not use ibid. (etc.) across footnotes, only within them - i.e. only if a source is given twice within a single footnote will the author or publication be replaced with id. / ead. or ibid.
If a source can be consulted online and without payment, a link to that source is given. It is recommended to open such links in a new browser tab, to avoid having to reload the original page and possibly losing your place (although, in principle, if you do return to a page after following an external link, browsers should land you in your last place on that page).
If a citation includes no author(s), the source (usually a newspaper article) was unsigned. If a citation includes a page number in square brackets , that number is not shown on the relevant page of the original source, but has been inferred.
This site has no separate bibliography of all sources consulted and cited. The exception is discographical sources, listed in the Discographical bibliography.
Types of sources
The types of sources consulted for and cited by this site include:
- historical newspapers, consulted from original printed copies and, more commonly, in online repositories, both commercial - e.g. , - and public/open - e.g. , and other US state newspaper archives, (digital portal of the ), (Spanish national digital newspaper archive), (Brazilian national digital newspaper archive), etc.
- historical and modern periodicals, consulted from original printed copies and, more commonly, in online repositories, both academic/commercial - e.g. , - and public/open - e.g. , , etc.
- personal civil and military documents, census returns, travel records, city and trade directories, school and university yearbooks, consulted online at and
- books, articles, websites etc., devoted to composers, artists, and other figures
- personal reminiscences, written and oral, by private communication
- original recordings, both physical copies (including associated printed inserts) and later transfers to other media (including images of inserts, labels and manufacturing marks)
- historical commercial record catalogues and supplements, both original copies and later reproductions
- historical and modern discographies, both printed and online, e.g.
- catalogues and union catalogues of institutional holdings, usually consulted online, e.g. British Library , Yale University Library , , , etc.
- musical scores, consulted from original printed copies and, more commonly, in online repositories, mainly and Eastman School of Music
Why so many newspapers?
This site quotes or cites a very large number of articles from historical, mainly US newspapers. Well into living memory, but especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in large cities and small towns alike, newspapers reported the doings of local citizens and visitors in great detail. The private life, education, and public career of an artist like Mina Hager or a figure like Vories Fisher, neither of whom has been the subject of a published biography, could not be investigated to any useful degree without historical newspapers or personal papers; an artist as obscure as Lora Orth Kimsey could not be documented at all. As it happens, are publicly accessible, but consulting them entails travelling to Chicago and in person; and it seems unlikely that even they contain, for instance, details of Hager's public performances in childhood and adolescence, or her appearances in circuit Chautauqua - yet these were reported in contemporary newspapers, many of which which can now be consulted remotely online.
Music periodicals, of course, also yield plentiful and sometimes detailed reports of artists' lives and careers, but surprisingly few have been digitized or made available online. The National Recording Preservation Board of the US Library of Congress has done valuable work, scanning and making available online (free, via the) recorded music periodicals such as the , H. Royer Smith Co.'s and , and ; and the John R. Dover Memorial Library of Gardner-Webb University has filled a lacuna by making freely available online (with less than optimal search capabilities, it must be said). But where are , the , , Music News, the Musical Observer, Musical West, the American Music-Lover and Music Lovers' Guide? Some volumes are available in the HathiTrust's , though again with an extremely cumbersome search interface. There is still much work to be done before the internet's self-evident promise and advantages to researchers are fully realised.
I plan to announce new pages and other important additions or changes on my.
Additions, corrections and suggestions are warmly welcomed. Please.
If this website is quoted or cited in an academic publication, a reference, including URL, would be most welcome.
The greatest debts of gratitude are owed to:
- Michael H. Gray, for discographical help and advice over many years, for information vital to this project, and for his invaluable
- , collector, connoisseur and , for generously sharing his forensic knowledge of early records, and for lessons in MediaWiki
- , Emeritus Professor of Music, King's College London, for extraordinarily kind, friendly and patient guidance, and for setting an inspiring example to all in his own research, writing, teaching and lecturing
- Dr. David Patmore, historian of the recording business and proprietor of , for incitement to and successful supervision of a PhD, and for cheerfully sharing an obsession with music on and off discs
- Tully Potter, journalist, connoisseur and historian of string playing and chamber music, for generously sharing his expertise and for setting an inspiring example in his biographies and concert histories of soloists and ensembles
- Jonathan Summers, curator of , , London, for expert access to the Library's collections and unstinting support, advice and good humour
- , Professor Emerita of Music History, , for her superb scholarship, her interest and help, and for encouragement, not least to sign up to
- my partner Lucy, for putting up with so much for the sake of this project
Many others, who have also kindly provided help and information (including useful 'negatives'), are named and thanked on individual pages.
- Morgan, Nick The National Gramophonic Society, Sheffield: , 2016
- H.M.V.'s first 'Society' edition was The Hugo Wolf Society Volume I, containing 19 songs performed by (mezzo-soprano) and (piano), recorded 4, 5, 6 and 9 November 1931, issued in album of 6 discs, DB 1615>20 (12-inch / 30 cm), with translations and notes by
- Columbia's first fully-fledged 'Society' edition appears to have been the English Music Society (Volume I), containing instrumental and small-scale vocal works by
- The previous year, Columbia had produced an album of 17 songs by , performed by baritone Mark Raphael (1900-1988) with the composer at the piano and other instrumentalists, recorded 27, 28 and 29 November 1934, 7 sides remade 6 and 13 December 34, issued January 1935 in album of 6 discs, RO 73-78 (10-inch), with insert signed by Quilter. Subscriptions for this 'Roger Quilter Subscription Portfolio' appear to have been managed by Columbia, at whose office address the Secretary was nominally based, although Quilter is reported to have drummed them up himself, see Langfield, Valerie Roger Quilter: His Life and Music, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2002, p.89 (Langfield states she was unable to find any information about the so-called Roger Quilter Society in whose name it was issued), and 'Roger Quilter' in 'Lazyarm' 'Just About People and Things', The Gramophone, Vol.XII No.135, August 1934, pp.107-11 (on p.108). The portfolio was a limited edition but, unlike all other 'society' editions, its constituent discs were soon issued individually in Columbia's standard domestic 10-inch series, from October 1935 to August 1936, leaving the status of this venture somewhat unclear
- The earlier International Educational Society series of 100 'gramophone lecture-records', produced and ultimately managed by Columbia, and issued from June 1928 to November 1932, was aimed at schools, colleges and universities, although also for sale to the general public; it does not appear to have been a limited edition or financed by subscription, see Anderson, W.R. 'Lectures for All', The Gramophone, Vol.VI No.62, July 1928, p.48, and Ridout, Herbert C. 'Behind the Needle - XXXV', ibid., Vol.XX No.240, May 1943, pp.170-71 (on p.171)
- Parlophone's first 'Society' edition was The Songs of Modeste Moussorgsky, containing 14 songs performed by (tenor) with (piano), recorded 10 and 11 April 1935, issued in Parlophone Album P 13, discs SW 1>6 (12-inch / 30 cm), with booklet by Richard Holt containing translations and transliterations of the sung texts and notes; Holt was closely involved in proposing, devising, marketing and producing this edition, and also reviewed it, see Holt, Richard 'The Moussorgsky Song Album', The Gramophone, Vol.XIII No.152, January 1936, p.332
- The Purcell Club, Volume I: Purcell Bernard (later Boris) Ord (harpsichord), , recorded 9 and 10 October 1935, issued February 1936 in album of 7 discs, Decca X 101>07 (12-inch / 30 cm)
For analytical review, see A[lec].R[obertson]. 'The Purcell Club', The Gramophone, Vol.XIII No.151, December 1935, pp.283-85 , Dido: (contralto), Belinda: Mary Hamlin (soprano), Aeneas: (baritone), Sorceress: (contralto), First Witch: (soprano), Second Woman/Second Witch: Gladys Currie (soprano), Sailor: (tenor?), Spirit: Olive Dyer (soprano), A Capella Singers, (chorus master), Orchestra,
- 'The Decca Company is spending £20,000 on the great enterprise of recording Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas without cuts.' 'The Purcell Club', in 'Turn Table Talk', The Gramophone, Vol.XIII No.150, November 1935, p.228
Concurrently with Volume I, Decca Records issued a leaflet promoting the Purcell Club and describing it as 'A Society of Music-Lovers interested in the preservation of Henry Purcell's Masterpieces, in the best possible performance, by means of Gramophone Records'; a section entitled 'The Future of The Purcell Club' explained, 'All plans for future records of Purcell must depend upon the desire of the public. A membership and order form is therefore subjoined for the initial issue of Dido and Aeneas, and a space is specially reserved for suggestions of works that each member particularly wishes to have recorded. Further announcements will be made from time to time, and it is much hoped that the public response will be such that an immediate and comprehensive plan may be made and issued.' The leaflet included this 'Membership and Order Form', designed to be cut out and posted, and reading, 'To the Decca Record Company Ltd., 1-3 Brixton Road, S.W.9. I desire to enrol as a member of the Purcell Club, and enclose remittance for 35/- for the first issue of Dido and Aeneas, seven 12 in. records in an album. I shall be glad to hear of further records as they are made. I note in the space below my special wishes for works by Purcell to be recorded.' I am grateful to Peter Adamson for images of this leaflet; personal communication, 30 September 2018
- The sole study of the wider gramophone society movement in Britain, where it apparently originated, remains Bryant, Eric Thomas The Gramophone Society Movement: a history of the gramophone societies in Britain, including their links with public libraries [MA thesis], Queen's University Belfast, 1972; this does not cover record-issuing 'societies' such as the National Gramophonic Society. Standard histories of recording usually mention classical 'society' issues briefly, and mainly those of H.M.V., see e.g.:
- Gelatt, Roland The Fabulous Phonograph 1877-1977 (2nd, revised edition), New York: Collier Books, London: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1977, pp.259-61
- Gronow, Pekka and Saunio, Ilpo (translated Moseley, Christopher) An International History of the Recording Industry, London: Cassell, 1998, pp.61-62
- Day, Timothy A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000, pp.67-73
- Brooks, Tim 'A Survey of Record Collectors' Societies', ARSC Journal, Vol.16 No.3 (1984), pp.17-36
- 'Why has that sentimental fox-terrier [H.M.V.'s trademark Nipper] such an objection to complete works of chamber-music?': Mackenzie, Compton 'Review of the Second Quarter of 1923', The Gramophone, Vol.I No.3, August 1923, pp.48-52
- 'Finales lose more than any other snippets from being snippets.': id., 'Chamber Music on the Gramophone II. – Trios', ibid., Vol.II No.10, March 1925, pp.364-65
- 'I suppose I shall get into trouble with some of our readers, but I am prepared to defend the judicious snippet [...] [as] just the very snippet that is required to tempt people into exploring [...] further': id., 'Review of the First Quarter of 1924', ibid., Vol.I No.11, April 1924, pp.219-23
- Morgan, Nick The National Gramophonic Society, Sheffield: , 2016, pp.39-41, 157-59
- Arnold, Claude Graveley The Orchestra on Record, 1896-1926: An Encyclopedia of Orchestral Recordings Made by the Acoustical Process, Westport, Connecticut, & London: Greenwood Press, 1997, pp.xvi-xvii, 22-30
- No comprehensive discography of commercial acoustical recordings of classical chamber music exists. The author of this site has been compiling one since 2008, with the aim of completing the partial discography contained in Forman, Frank (original URL defunct, retrieved from ). A discography of classical piano recordings is also being compiled, projected completion date unknown. Even when (or if) these are completed, yet more comprehensive, large-scale statistical discographical surveys would be needed for accurate accounting of the relative proportions of classical repertoire issued on commercial records
- Evans, Edwin(?; unsigned) 'Gramophone Notes', The Dominant, Vol.I No.10, August-September 1928, p.37
- Schuster, F.V. 'Gramophone Interpretation Policies' [letter], The Gramophone, Vol.III No.2, July 1925, p.82
- Morgan, Nick The National Gramophonic Society, Sheffield: , 2016, p.193
- Little is currently known about the Haydn Society's early terms and conditions; the first issue was a limited, numbered edition of 250, available only to subscribers at a price of $15.75, see announcement and subscription receipt offered for sale as part of ebay item 253929090345 '78 rpm x7 Rare Limited Edition (141 of 250) Joseph Haydn Society all grade NM', ended 18 October 2018; believed to be the only Haydn Society issue on 78 rpm discs, this consisted of Haydn's ('Harmoniemesse'), Trude Konrad (soprano), Imgard Dornbach-Ziegler (alto), Ludwig von Haas (tenor), Heinrich Seebach (bass), Karl Otto Bortzi (organ), Munich Cathedral Choir and unnamed orchestra, conducted by Ludwig Berberich, recording date and location unknown, issued April 1949 in album Series A Volume One, discs TR 4001>07 (12-inch / 30 cm), with booklet of 'Analytical Notes'
- Raeburn, Christopher 'H.C. Robbins Landon and the Haydn Society: a pioneering musical adventure', in Biba, Otto and Wyn Jones, David Studies in Music History presented to H.C. Robbins Landon on his seventieth birthday, London & New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996, pp.227-33
- 'Die Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft (DBG) wurde [...] im April 1924 gegründet. 1929 hatte die DBG 500.000 Mitglieder, darunter etwa 100.000 im Ausland, und lieferte pro Jahr etwa 14 Millionen Bücher aus. Im Rahmen eines professionellen Werbekonzeptes wurden in den dreißiger Jahren bereits Sonderprodukte wie Schallplatten, Plattenspieler und Radioapparate zu günstigen Preisen und mit besonderen Zahlungskonditionen angeboten, daneben aber auch verbilligte Eintrittskarten für Kino, Theater und Konzerte, ja sogar Urlaubsreisen.' Fischer, Ernst and Füssel, Stephan (eds.) Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Die Weimarer Republik 1918-1933. Teil 2, de Gruyter, 2012, p.265
The use of the word 'Sonderprodukte' in the above statement seems to imply that the DBG made recordings or had them made exclusively for issue on its DeBeGe label, but this remains to be verified
- In WERM, the label's sole issue is listed by its catalogue number (see below) and glossed 'Edition nationale' [sic], while in the 'List of Record Makes', the catalogue prefix FF is glossed 'Foetisch Frères', which remains the only evidence to date linking the two
- The sole issue by Editions nationales du disque comprised
- Debussy String Quartet in g minor Op.10; Haydn String Quartet in D Op.64 No.5 - (iii) Menuetto: Allegretto (filler), Quatuor de Lausanne: André de Ribaupierre & Rose Dumur (violins), Henry Baud (viola), Franz Walter (cello), recorded c. June 1942, issued in set FF 1001 (8 sides, 12-inch / 30 cm); see , Gazette de Lausanne, No.164, Sunday 14 June 1942, p.1
- In 1975, Foetisch was absorbed by the Zurich-based publisher and retailer (and occasional record producer) , see , although in 2004 Hug divested itself of the Foetisch catalogues of printed choral and vocal music, see ; the label is not mentioned in Erzinger, Frank & Woessner, Hanspeter 'Geschichte der schweizerischen Schallplattenaufnahmen Teil 2'‚ Zürcher Taschenbuch 1990, Zurich: Buchdruckerei an der Sihl, 1989, pp.150-298
- 'A propos de l'APGA (Association Phonique des Grands Artistes): c'est une société créée en 1906 qui produit ses propres enregistrements et permet aux interprètes de toucher un pourcentage sur les ventes, alors que les grandes marques ne proposent qu'un cachet unique par enregistrement. En 1911, cette grande idée prend fin, le conseil d'administration est poursuivi pour fraude. Pathé rachète le fonds et négocie avec les 80 artistes lyriques et de café-concert qui avaient signé des contrats d'exclusivité avec APGA. Pathé édite les enregistrements de l'ex APGA en reversant tout de même aux interprètes concernés 10 centimes par disque vendu.' Fauconnier, Alain 'Le Café-concert (1870-1914)' (lecture given on 12 April 2007), [Bulletin of the] Société des Amis des Arts et des Sciences de Tournus, Vol.CVI, 2007, pp.185-218 (on pp.
A detailed contemporary account of APGA and the legal proceedings which led to its winding up can be found in 'L'Association Phonique des grands Artistes contre Messieurs Muratore et Parier', La Revue judiciaire, 2e année, No.7, 25 July 1909, pp. -224, and No.8, 25 August 1909, pp. -56 -89)
- In 1916, Deutsche Grammophon AG, the German subsidiary of Britain's Gramophone Co., had been seized by the German government as an enemy enterprise, and in 1917 sold to Leipziger Polyphon Musikwerke AG; by the mid-20s, it was part of a group of companies owned by Polyphonwerke AG, see Fetthauer, Sophie Deutsche Grammophon: Geschichte eines Schallplattenunternehmens im "Dritten Reich", Hamburg: von Bockel, 2000, pp.49-50, 54
- Comprehensively documented in Erzinger, Frank & Woessner, Hanspeter 'Geschichte der schweizerischen Schallplattenaufnahmen Teil 2'‚ Zürcher Taschenbuch 1990, Zurich: Buchdruckerei an der Sihl, 1989, pp.150-298 (on pp.151-58), the Schweizerische Tonkunstplatten-Gesellschaft was founded by the Swiss bass , then living in Milan, where its first recordings were made; copies of its issues are held in private and institutional collections, e.g. of the
- 'Gabinetes fonográficos españoles Sres. Hugens y Acosta, de Madrid', Boletín Fonográfico,
A can be viewed in the digital repository, and a selection of its in the , 5 March 1900, pp.72-73; see also Gómez Montejano, Mariano El fonógrafo en España: cilindros españoles [with CD-ROM], [Madrid]: M. Gómez, 2005 (not consulted)
- Bonini, Eleonora Simi '"Rue de Paradis" Le edizioni discografiche di musica sacra della casa parigina SEMS', i suoni, le onde, , 2o semestre, 2011, pp.10-11; Bonini gives the company's name as 'Société éditrice musique sacrée', but this is contradicted by disc labels, which are branded 'Edition de Musique Sacrée' (pressings are also known with labels in Italian, branded 'Edizione di Musica Sacra', and in Spanish, branded 'Edicion de Musica Sacra') and other discographical sources, e.g. entries in the online catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- 'From quite early on, Seltsam [...] had a rival in the person of William Speckin [1913-1990] of Chicago. He too, over a period of several years, produced similar-size runs of pressings, though seldom overlapping the IRCC production, under the aegis of the Historic Record Society (HRS). [...] Though the HRS produced quite a few records [...] the number was not as great in total as the IRCC issues.' Peel, Tom and Stratton, John Seventy Years of Issues Historical Vocal 78rpm Pressings from Original Masters 1931-2001, Toronto & Oxford: Dundurn Press, 2001, p.8
- 'William H. Seltsam [1897-1968] of Bridgeport, Connecticut, founded the International Record Collectors Club (IRCC) and, over the next 20 years, was the main producer of these semi-private issues. From him they were obtained either by subscription or from fairly regular bulletins. In the earliest days, both Columbia and Victor in America pressed records for the IRCC, but by far the majority of his issues from original masters were done by the Victor Company and are therefore often referred to as IRCC Victors.' Peel, Tom and Stratton, John Seventy Years of Issues Historical Vocal 78rpm Pressings from Original Masters 1931-2001, Toronto & Oxford: Dundurn Press, 2001, p.8; see also the brief obituary in Shawe-Taylor, Desmond 'The Gramophone and The Voice', The Gramophone, Vol.XLVI No.551, April 1969, pp.1403-06 (on p.1406)
- Information from German collector Georg Richter, via
The earliest and latest catalogues located in institutional collections are:
- Schallplatten-Volksverband Clangor-Schallplatten GmbH (launch brochure), 1931; German National Library, Leipzig, shelf mark
- Clangor-Schallplatten-Katalog, 1941 (reprint), Düsseldorf: Hans Sieben, 1984; Eichstätt-Ingolstadt University Library,
- Patmore, David and Weber, Jerome F. 'Your room a Concert Hall', Classic Record Collector, Vol.6 No.23, Winter 2000, pp.38-53
- Hunt, John discography of the concert hall society and concert hall record club [sic], London: Travis & Emery Bookshop, 2011
- Mead, Rita H. Henry Cowell's New Music 1925-1936. The Society, the Music Editions, and the Recordings, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1981; Hall, David , ARSC Journal, Vol.16 Nos.1-2, 1984, pp.10-27
- For an overview of the history of the Hot Record Society, see Cerra, Steven (blog post), jazzprofiles.blogspot.com, 30 January 2017; a transfer of the complete H.R.S. sessions was issued in 1999 by Mosaic Records as a , now deleted
- Nihon Ongakushu / Album of Japanese Music was devised from 1939 and published in 1941-42 by an arm of the Japanese government, Kokusai Bunka Shinkōkai, translated on original issues as 'The Society for International Cultural Relations', now the
- (World Arbiter 2009)
- (World Arbiter 2010)
- (World Arbiter 2012)
- (World Arbiter 2013)
- (World Arbiter 2019)
My thanks to Peter Adamson for images of an original Album of Japanese Music front cover and disc label, showing text in Japanese and English . Five albums, each of twelve 10-inch (25 cm) discs, documented the various genres of traditional Japanese music; all sixty discs have been transferred from original pressings by and reissued on five CDs in a series titled 'Japanese Traditional Music':
- The Society of Participating Artists has been documented by Dr. David Patmore, in three articles:
- 'The battler from Saratoga', Classic Record Collector, No.40, Spring 2005, pp.38-43
- 'The Third shall be first', ibid., No.41, Summer 2005, pp.38-43
- 'A catalogue of intellects', ibid., No.42, Autumn 2005, pp.34-39
- MacDonald, Malcolm (booklet note of Bridge Records 9124A/C), New Rochelle, New York: Bridge Records, 2003
- Marrocco, W. Thomas & Jacobs, Mark 'Society For The Publication Of American Music', in Sadie, Stanley (ed.) The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol.17, London: Macmillan, 1980, p.431; what appears to have been the Society's sole LP issue is partly documented
- Andrews, Frank , in 'We Also Have Our Own Records Part 1', Hillandale News, No.213, December 1996, pp.163-69 (on pp.168-69); Wright, David C.H. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music A Social and Cultural History, London & Woodbridge: ABRSM in association with Boydell & Brewer Ltd., 2013, p.121
- Sprout, Leslie The Musical Legacy of Wartime France, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013, pp.86-91; see also Piniau, Bernard with Tio Bellido, Ramón L'action artistique de la France dans le monde, Paris: L'Harmattan, 1998, and Chimènes, Myriam (ed.) La Vie musicale sous Vichy, Paris: Editions Complexe, 2001 (not consulted for this page)
- Miller, Philip L. , ARSC Journal, Vol.4 Nos.1-3, pp.21-28
- Pringle, Mary P. 'The University Library', in University of Hawaii Bulletin, Vol.XVII Number 1, November 1937, ( ), pp.52-54 (on p.53)
- Gössel, Gabriel Fonogram 2. Výlety k počátkům historie záznamu zvuku, Prague, Radioservis, 2006; the section in question is available
- Gössel, Gabriel , Týdeník Rozhlas, Vol.14 No.28, 28 June 2004
- id. , ibid., Vol.14 No.29, 5 July 2004
- id. , ibid., Vol.14 No.30, 12 July 2004
- id. , ibid., Vol.14 No.31, 19 July 2004
- Several Pathé 'Académie Tchèque' recording sheets, held and digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, carry annotations in French or Czech authorizing commercial issue, e.g.
- 'autorisation de vendre' [signed] 'Jos[ef]. Jiránek', on a recorded by Jiránek on 5 October 1929, and 'Les numéros 1653 à 1660 sont destinés à la Société Smetana, qui désire conserver cette interprétation traditionelle, mais peuvent être aussi mis en vente' [signed] 'Jos[ef]. Jiránek' and 'H[ubert]. Pernot', on the of the for recorded by on 5 October 1929
- 'Svolují k prodeji' ('They authorize for sale'), [signed] 'Boh[uslav]. Lhotský' and 'Karel Šolc', on the backs of recording sheets for matrices , and , recorded by and Šolc on 21 October 1929
- Gössel, Gabriel , Týdeník Rozhlas, Vol.14 No.28, 28 June 2004, states that nearly 500 recordings were rescued from the catastrophic flooding of the River Vltava in the summer of 2002, and that 'V současné době - po více než sedmdesáti letech od pořízení těchto snímků - již probíhají práce na jejich čištění a přepisu na moderní zvukové nosiče.' ('At the present time - more than 70 years after they were recorded - work has begun to clean them and transfer them to modern audio media.') It is not known by whom this work was undertaken or if it has been completed. In , ibid., Vol.14 No.31, 19 July 2004, Gössel describes these objects as 'Matrice všech celkem 506 nahrávek z let 1928 a 1933-4 i s jejich výlisky na šelakových gramodeskách' ('Matrices of all the recordings made in 1928 [sic, recte 1929] and 1933-4, 506 in all, along with pressings on shellac discs'); it is not clear whether the matrices are the original recorded waxes or metal manufacturing parts, and whether the pressings are 'tests' or finished discs
- Adamson, Peter , Hillandale News, No.195, December 1993, pp.355-76
- Aagaard, René , 2011
- Steinbach, Kadri & Hein, Morten , Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, Vol.2 Nos.1 & 2, spring-autumn 2008, pp.187-195
- Strömmer, Rainer et al.
Heiniö, Mikko ('The Composers' Society is 70'; in Finnish only), composers.fi, 2004 (updated 2009, 2011 and 2014), adds that the series was the initiative of , the Society's founding Secretary, but describes it, seemingly erroneously, as a series of 36 LPs , Finnish Sound Archives Association, 2010, s.v. 'FENNICA', which states that the series was recorded between 13 December 1953 and 16 March 1955
- Národní diskotéka: Dílčí seznam repertoáru Gramofonových záv., Prague: Centrogram, ústřední propagace Gramofonových závodů, 1949
- No issues are known bearing an expected Italian strapline such as 'Compositori svizzeri Serie dell' AMS' are known, still less in (or Rumantsch)
- Erzinger, Frank & Woessner, Hanspeter 'Geschichte der schweizerischen Schallplattenaufnahmen Teil 2'‚ Zürcher Taschenbuch 1990, Zurich: Buchdruckerei an der Sihl, 1989, pp.150-298 (on p.268)
Erzinger and Woessner cite the catalogue as Schweizer Komponisten auf Schallplatten and date it to 1949 but no corresponding bibliographical reference has yet been located; it may have been an offprint of Ehinger, Hans 'Schweizer Komponisten auf Schallplatten', Chapter / Part(?) 7 of Der Schweizerische Tonkünstlerverein im zweiten Vierteljahrhundert seines Bestehens. Festschrift zur Feier des 50jährigen Jubiläums 1900-1950 / L'Association des musiciens suisses dans le second quart de siècle de son existence: Volume commémoratif publié à l'occasion du jubilé 1900-1950, Zurich: Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein / Atlantis-Verlag, 1950 (not consulted for this page)
- Crossley-Holland, Peter [ed.] Music in Wales, London: Hinrichsen, 1948, p.
- , welshmusicguild.wales (NB dates in this account appear to be one year out); Price, Eileen , The Story of the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music, 1980 (retrieved from welshmusicguild.wales)
- Stuart, Philip Decca Classical 1929-2009 [discography], London: the author, 2009, entries -
- Clough, F.F. and Cuming, G.J. World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music, London: Sidgwick & Jackson in association with the Decca Record Company, 1952, p.xv
- Page, Tim 'Trailblazer: Aaron Copland and the Festivals of American Music', in McGee, Micki Yaddo: Making American Culture, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008, pp.31-40
- Dainippon Meikyoku Rekōdo Seisaku Hanpu Kwai branded its discs not with its own name but with that of Polydor, the export label of its commercial partner Deutsche Grammophon; so, to search for its records, use
Polydorin the 'Search' box, e.g.