Saturday, June 02, 2007

New or Newish from Marston

I came home from walking the dog and found that the postman had left me the latest from Marston Records, a two-CD set of Eugenia Mantelli, Marianne Brandt, Guerrina Fabbri, and Rita Fornia. It is just on time, having been originally announced for May.

The previous Marston release was the magnificent second installment in the ongoing Supervia series. Was there ever a more charming, adorable, sexy, and communicative singer?? This volume includes cuts of the Cherubino arias that sound better than what's on volume I, some zarzuela, two arias from El Amor Brujo, and, possibly best of all, some songs for children with spoken introductions. You must hear this set, truly.

The mystery release originally slated for May has been postponed until August. I'm dying of curiosity!


pjwv said...

I kind of like that Marston often slips its deadlines, because the discs are always delightful surprises when they do show up unexpectedly. But like you I am dying of curiosity about the big mysery release -- I hoped that you would have some insider information for us!

Lisa Hirsch said...

I wish!

I have no inside information. I do have guesses, though. The Marston Web site says "some of the earliest known recordings," with sound ranging from primitive to clear. This suggests these possibilities to me:

1. The recordings were made informally at a performing venue by a non-professional, in the way that the Mapleson cylinders were made, OR

2. They were made privately by an impressario or some other person who had access to many important performers, OR

3. They were made privately at the residence of a world leader or other prominent person; i.e. Queen Victoria, the Tsar, Andrew Carnegie.

"Some of the oldest recordings known" must mean from the 1880s or 90s. The Brahms cylinder is from 1889, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I am dying too of curiosity! I found this blog by googling "marstons mystery release". It really must be something extraordinary.

My ultimate dream hope for the release is a piano recording by Liszt, who died in 1886. Technically, that should be possible. Or (and? - ah, what a dream) a piano recording by Anton Rubinstein, who died in 1894. I believe it is Leslie Howard who in his booklet to the Rubinstein piano sonatas mentions, that Rubinstein did in fact regret that Liszt did not live long enough to record anything. Now, as such, and knowing his own worth, it could be that Rubinstein himself did arrange for some recordings of his own piano playing. Well, perhaps I am dreaming, but certainly it is something to look forward to!


Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks so much for your comments! Liszt would be right up there, along with something, anything, conducted by Mahler. Many famous vocalists of the late 19th century never made commercial recordings, too.