Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Paris Opera Vault

The Times has published its second article in the last few months on a bunch of recordings that were in recently-opened time capsule-like vaults at the Paris Opera. The article leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Were those really wax platters inside, not metal masters or shellac pressings?
  • This business about the cleanup, digitizing, etc.: all of the recordings were and are commercially available. They were not made especially for the Paris Opera vault.
  • The author appears unaware that Ernestine Schumann-Heink was one of the great stars of her time, including at the Met, where she sang 282 performances between 1898 and 1932. She was also a radio star; my mother remembers hearing her on radio during the 1920s and 30s.


Saint Russell said...

The other accounts I have read make it clear that these records are indeed normal shellac pressings, not waxes. Another error in the article: Alfred Clark was head of the Gramophone Company's Paris branch, not of the company itself.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you for that confirmation!