Mainly Opera

Dawn of Recording (Block Cylinders)

MR 53011 (3cd)

The Dawn of Recording

The Julius Block Cylinders

The much anticipated release of rare material recorded by Julius Block in the period 1890 to 1927.

Various Artists

Recorded 1925-30


Starting in 1889, what is now recognized as one of the earliest dates to record music, Julius Block recorded some of the most important artists and personalities of his time on cylinder. His cylinders range in date from 1889 to 1927, and were recorded in Russia, Germany, and Switzerland. Our three-CD set includes artists who have previously remained "silent" and will change the conception of many artists whose discography up until now were thought to be complete. These are the only known recordings of Anton Arensky, Paul Pabst, Sergei Taneyev, Leo Conus, Jules Conus, Anna Essipova, Jan Hrimaly, Anatoly Brandukov, Elizaveta Lavrovskaya, and Paul Juon. These are also the earliest surviving recordings of Josef Hofmann, Nikolai Figner, Eddy Brown, and Egon Petri. And, they include the first recorded performances of Bach, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Arensky. This release, as with all of Marston\'s issues, will be a limited run.


Track Listing

CD 1: (78:12)

PIANO

SERGEI TANEYEV† (1856–1915)
1. Mozart: Fantasie in C Minor, K. 396
1891; (C143) Russia

JOSEF HOFMANN (1876–1957)
2. Anton Rubinstein: Contredanse A, no. 3 from Le Bal, op. 14*
24 December 1895 o.s.; (C139) Moscow
3. Anton Rubinstein: Contredanse B, no. 3 from Le Bal, op. 14*
24 December 1895 o.s.; (C139) Moscow
4. Wagner-Brassin: Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre
10 February 1896 o.s.; (C140) Moscow
5. Mendelssohn: Song Without Words, op. 38, no. 5, “Passion”*
Date unknown o.s.; (C137) Russia

ANNA ESSIPOVA§ (1851–1914)
6. Godard: Gavotte in G, op. 81, no. 2
15 November 1898 o.s.; (C136) Apartment of Julius Block, Russia

PAUL PABST† (1854–1897)
7. Chopin: Nocturne in E, op. 62, no. 2
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C121) Moscow
8. Chopin-Pabst: Waltz in D-flat, op. 64, no. 1, “Minute”
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C122) Moscow
9. Schumann: Carnaval, op. 9: “Chopin”
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C122) Moscow
10. Schumann: Carnaval, op. 9: “Estrella”
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C122) Moscow
11. Tchaikovsky-Pabst: Paraphrase on Sleeping Beauty, op. 66
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C124) Moscow
12. Pabst: Papillons
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C125) Moscow
13. Chopin-Pabst: Mazurka in D, op. 33, no. 2
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C125) Moscow
14. Chopin-Pabst: Mazurka in D, op. 33, no. 2
12 February 1895 o.s.; (C123)1 Moscow

ANTON ARENSKY† (1861–1906)
15. Arensky: Improvisation in E-flat
24 November 1892 o.s.; (C112) Russia
16. Arensky: Improvisation in A
24 November 1893 o.s.; (C120) Russia
17. Arensky: Nocturne in D-flat, no. 3 from 24 Morceaux Charactéristiques, op. 36
25 November 1894 o.s.; (C114) Moscow
18. Arensky: Intermezzo in F Minor, no. 12 from 24 Morceaux Charactéristiques, op. 36
25 November 1894 o.s.; (C114) Moscow
19. Arensky: Consolation in D, no. 5 from 24 Morceaux Charactéristiques, op. 36
Date not specified; (C115) Russia
20. Arensky: Le ruisseau dans la forêt in G, no. 15 from 24 Morceaux Charactéristiques, op. 36
20 December 1894 o.s.; (C109) Moscow
21. Arensky: Ioniques, no. 3 from Essais sur les Rythmes Oubliés, op. 28
20 December 1894 o.s.; (C119) Moscow
22. Arensky: Strophe Alcéene, no. 5 from Essais sur les Rythmes Oubliés, op. 28
20 December 1894 o.s.; (C119) Moscow
23. Arensky: An der Quelle in A, op. 46, no. 1
12 April 1899 o.s.; (C117) Russia
24. Arensky: Unidentified composition
12 April 1899 o.s.; (C107) Russia

SANDRA DROUCKER§ (1876–1944)
25. Arensky: Etude in F-sharp, no. 13 from 24 Morceaux Charactéristiques, op. 36
18 February 1898 o.s.; (C135) Russia
26. Chopin: Prelude in F-sharp Minor, op. 28, no. 8
16 September 1898 o.s.; (C134) Russia

VLADIMIR WILSCHAW† (1868–1957)
27. Godard: En Courant in G-flat, no. 1 from 6 Morceaux, op. 53
Ca. 1890s; (C144) Russia

EGON PETRI (1881–1962)
28. “Free Improvisation”*
October 1923; (C106) Vevey, Switzerland
29. Unidentified composition
October 1923; (C104) Vevey, Switzerland
30. Unidentified composition
October 1923; (C105) Vevey, Switzerland
31. Unidentified composition
October 1923; (C105) Vevey, Switzerland

PAUL JUON† (1872–1940)
32. Juon: Variation 4 from the second movement of Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 7
26 February 1911; (C162) Germany

LEONID KREUTZER (1884–1953)
33. Liadov: Etude in F, op. 37*
1915; (C141) Germany
34. Chopin: Mazurka in G Minor, op. 67, no. 2
1915; (C141) Germany
35. Juon: Humoresque in F, no. 3 from 6 Klavierstücke, op. 12*
February (?) 1915; (C158) Grunewald, Germany

CD 2: (76:03)

LEONID KREUTZER and PAUL JUON†
1. Juon: Tanzrhythmen, op. 41, no. 3 (Allegretto grazioso)
1915; (C159) Germany
2. Juon: Tanzrhythmen, op. 41, no. 2 (Vivace molto)
1915; (C159) Germany

SERGEI TANEYEV† and LEO CONUS† (1871–1944)
3. Leo Conus: Suite for Piano Four-Hands
14 December 1893 o.s.; (C126) Russia

SERGEI TANEYEV† and PAUL PABST†
Arensky: Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, op. 23 (“Silhouettes”):
4. No. 1: “Le Savant”
14 December 1892 o.s.; (C127) Moscow
5. No. 3: “Polichinelle”
14 December 1892 o.s.; (C111) Moscow
6. No. 4: “Le Rêveur”
14 December 1892 o.s.; (C130) Moscow

INSTRUMENTAL

JULES CONUS (1869–1942)†, violin
7. Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, op. 20, no. 1
4 October 1892 o.s.; (C191) Russia
With unidentified pianist
8. Bach: Partita No. 3, in E, BWV 1006 – Minuet 1
4 October 1892 o.s.; (C191) Russia
9. Chopin-Sarasate: Nocturne in E-flat, op. 9, no. 2,
7 April 1894 o.s.; (C189) Russia
With Paul Juon, piano

ANTON ARENSKY†, piano; JAN HRÍMALY´† (1844–1915), violin; and ANATOLY BRANDUKOV (1856–1930), cello:
Arensky: Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, op. 32
10. First movement - Allegro moderato
10 December 1894 o.s.; (C42) Russia
11. Second movement - Scherzo: Allegro molto
10 December 1894 o.s.; (C43) Russia
12. Third movement - Elegie: Adagio
10 December 1894 o.s.; (C44) Russia

JASCHA HEIFETZ (1901–1987), violin and WALDEMAR LIACHOWSKY (1874–1958), piano
13. Cui: Orientale, from Kaleidoscope, op. 50*
4 November 1912; (C192) Grunewald, Germany
14. Cui: Orientale, from Kaleidoscope, op. 50*
4 November 1912; (C193) Grunewald, Germany
15. Mozart-Auer: Gavotte in G, from Idomeneo*
4 November 1912; (C194) Grunewald, Germany
16. Popper-Auer: Etude, op. 55, no. 1 “Spinnlied”*
4 November 1912; (C195) Grunewald, Germany
17. Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin*
4 November 1912; (C197) Grunewald, Germany

EDDY BROWN (1895–1974), violin and JULIUS BLOCK† (1858–1934), piano
18. Tartini-Kreisler: Variations on a theme of Corelli
27 December 1914; (C200) Grunewald, Germany
19. Kreisler: La Chasse in the style of Cartier*
27 December 1914; (C211) Grunewald, Germany
20. Kreisler: Andantino in the style of Martini*
6 December 1914 [per announcement]; (C207) Grunewald, Germany
21. Kreisler: Liebesleid*
6 December 1914 [per announcement]; (C202) Grunewald, Germany
22. Haydn-Burmester: Minuet in F, from Symphony No. 96
27 December 1914; (C209) Grunewald, Germany
23. Beethoven-Burmester: Minuet No. 2 in G, 167, WoO 10
27 December 1914; (C212) Grunewald, Germany
24. Schumann-Auer: Vogel als Prophet, from Waldscenen, op. 82
27 December 1914; (205) Grunewald, Germany
25. Juon: Berceuse, op. 28, no. 3*
27 December 1914; (C210) Grunewald, Germany

JOSEPH PRESS (1881–1924), cello and MICHAEL PRESS (1872–1938), violin
26. Handel-Halvorsen: Passacaglia in G Minor, from Harpsichord Suite No. 7, HWV 432*
Recording date unknown; (C198)

CHORAL

THE CHOIR OF THE SYNODICAL SCHOOL OF MOSCOW, chorus, with unidentified conductor
27. Rachmaninoff: Spiritual Concert
12 December 1893 o.s.; (C40)2 Hall of the Synodical School of Moscow

CD 3: (79:09)

VOCAL

MADAMOISELLE NIKITA (LOUISA MARGARET NICHOLSON)† (1872–unknown), soprano and PYOTR SCHUROVSKY† (1850–1908), piano
1. Donizetti: Quando rapito, from Lucia di Lammermoor
19 February 1890 o.s.; (C62) St. Petersburg
2. Verdi: Ernani, involami, from Ernani
22 November 1891 o.s.; (C63) Moscow
3. Composer unidentified: La Zingara
19 February 1890 o.s.; (C59) St. Petersburg
4. Composer unidentified: At the Fountain
19 February 1890 o.s.; (C60) St. Petersburg
5. Chopin: Nocturne in E-flat, op. 9, no. 2, arranged for voice and piano
22 November 1891 o.s.; (C61) Moscow

VASILY SAMUS† (1849–1903), tenor and unidentified pianist
6. Dargomïzhsky: I am in love, my maiden, my beauty
15 February 1890; (C74) the Hall of the St. Petersburg Conservatory
7. Rubinstein: Longing, op. 27, no. 9
1890; (C75) Russia
8. Tchaikovsky: Don Juan’s Serenade, op. 38, no. 1
1890; (C77), Block’s Apartment, Moscow

ADELE BORGHI† (1860–unknown), mezzo-soprano and unidentified pianist
9. Bizet: Habanera from Carmen
1891; (C67) Russia

MARIA KLIMENTOVA-MUROMTZEVA† (1857–1946), soprano and SERGEI TANEYEV†, piano
10. Bizet: Pastorale
4 February 1891 o.s.; (C65) Moscow, History Museum’s main lecture hall
11. Tchaikovsky: Do not leave me!, no. 4 from 6 Romances, op. 27
5 February 1891 o.s.; (C66) Moscow, History Museum’s main lecture hall
12. Unidentified composition
4 February 1891 o.s.; (C64) Moscow, History Museum’s main lecture hall
13. Schumann: Widmung, no.1 from Myrthen, op. 25
4 February 1891 o.s.; (C64) Moscow, History Museum’s main lecture hall

EUGENIA JURJEVNA WERDAN (dates unknown)†, mezzo-soprano and unidentified pianist
14. Grieg: Ich liebe dich, op. 5, no. 3
14 November 1892 o.s; (C52) Moscow
15. Cui: Mai, no. 7 from Musical Pictures, op. 15
14 November 1892 o.s; (C52) Moscow
16. Tchaikovsky: Legend, no. 5 from 16 Songs for Children, op. 54
14 November 1892 o.s.; (C55) Moscow

NIKOLAI FIGNER (1857–1918), tenor and unidentified pianist
17. Cui: I remember the evening
31 March 1891 o.s.; (C88) Russia

MARIA IVANOVNA GUTHEIL (dates unknown)†, soprano and unidentified pianist
18. Rubinstein: Sail
10 January 1894 o.s.; (C68) Moscow, Physics Lecture Hall, Moscow University
19. Davydov: And night, and love, and moon
10 January 1894 o.s.; (C69) Moscow, Physics Lecture Hall, Moscow University
20. Rubinstein: Longing, op. 27, no. 9
10 January 1894 o.s.; (C70) Moscow, Physics Lecture Hall, Moscow University

LAVRENTII DONSKOI† (1857 or 1858–1917), tenor and unidentified pianist
21. Rimsky-Korsakov: Berendey’s cavatina from The Snow Maiden
8 November 1894 o.s.; (C86) Russia
22. Rubinstein: O pechal I toska from Nero
8 November 1894 o.s.; (C85) Russia

EVGENY DOLININ† (1873–1918), tenor and unidentified pianist
23. Wagner: In fernem Land from Lohengrin
10 December 1898 o.s.; (C93) Block residence, assumed St. Petersburg

THERÉSÈ LESCHETIZKAYA-DOLININA† (1873–1956), soprano and unidentified pianist
24. Unidentified composition
26 November 1898 o.s.; (C97) St. Petersburg
25. Godard: Chanson de Florian
26 November 1898 o.s.; (C97) St. Petersburg

ELIZAVETA LAVROVSKAYA† (1845–1919), soprano and unidentified pianist
26. Tchaikovsky: Lullaby in a Storm, no. 10 from 16 Songs for Children, op. 54
Recording date unknown; (C51) Russia
27. Unidentified composition
10 March 1892 o.s.; (C50) Russia

ELENA GERHARDT (1883–1961), mezzo-soprano and ARTHUR NIKISCH (1855–1922), piano
28. Brahms: Blinde Kuh, no. 1 from [8] Lieder und Gesänge, op. 58*
16 September 1911; (C100) Announced Berlin, but presumed to be Grunewald
29. Schubert: Wohin? no. 2 from Die schöne Müllerin
16 September 1911; (C101) Grunewald, Germany

SPOKEN WORD

30. ELENA GERHARDT and ARTHUR NIKISCH
16 December 1911; (C352) Germany

31. LEO TOLSTOY (1828–1910)
14 February 1895 o.s.; (C247) Russia

32. LEO TOLSTOY. With Countess Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya (Wife, 1844–1919), Tatiana L’vovna Tolstaya-Sukhotina (Daughter, 1864–1950), and Tatiana Mikhailovna Sukhotina-Albertini (Granddaughter, 1905–1996)
14 February 1895 o.s.; (C245) Russia (Tolstoy and his wife)
2 November 1927; (C245) Vevey, Switzerland (Tolstoy’s daughter and granddaughter)

33. PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY† (1840–1893) and ANTON RUBINSTEIN† (1829–1894). With Elizaveta Lavrovskaya, Vasily Ilyich Safonov (1852–1918), Alexandra Ivanovna Hubert (1850–1937) and Julius Block
4-10 January 1890 o.s.3; (C283) Moscow

Notes:
1 Cylinder 123 is not part of the collection at the Pushkin House. This track comes from a cylinder in the possession of the Antique Phonograph Monthly, which purchased it at auction along with other personal items of Block. We firmly believe this is Cylinder 123 listed in Block’s catalogue of cylinders, the “Phonogrammothek.”
2 This cylinder is not part of the collection at the Pushkin House. This track comes from a cylinder in the possession of the Antique Phonograph Monthly. Based on Block’s catalogue of cylinders, the “Phonogrammothek” this cylinder could be numbers 39, 40, or 41.
3 This cylinder does not contain an announcement and a date was not provided by the Institute of Russian Literature. The date indicated is based on the findings of P.E. Veidman, in her article, “P.I. Tchaikovsky. The Forgotten and the New” from “Vol. 2 Almanac” Tchaikovsky House-Museum in Klin.
Some additional Block cylinders exist. The producers chose the cylinders to be included in this set based on the quality of the recording and the importance of the performer.
“o.s.” (old style) refers to Julian Calendar dating
Translations of the spoken portion of the cylinders may be found in Appendix 2, beginning on page 60.
Dates spoken in Russian assumed to be o.s.
† Only known recordings by this artist, although additional Block cylinders may exist.
§ Only other known “recordings” by this artist are piano rolls
* Only known recording of this work by this artist

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