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 Post subject: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:00 pm 
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Victor V
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A recent post in another thread requested information about a record in the HMV Archive Series, which unlike the later Historic Masters were pressed in shellac.

Here for our opera lovers is the 1951 catalogue, and the supplement containing suggestions for additions to the Series. It would be interesting to know how many of these suggested recordings were re-issued. Some collectors say that these VA and VB re-issues play better than the originals.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Victor V
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Seventy Years Of Issues by Peel & Stratton lists 146 VA and VB reissues total, so I would guess that but a handful of the suggested additions were issued in the end. The book lays out the records sequentially and not by artist, so searching is a bit of a hassle.

I have a copy of that Nile duet with Ponselle and Martinelli on a white label VB, so that did get out. The Ponselle Luna d'estate on VA, too.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:37 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 951
epigramophone wrote:
A recent post in another thread requested information about a record in the HMV Archive Series, which unlike the later Historic Masters were pressed in shellac.

Here for our opera lovers is the 1951 catalogue, and the supplement containing suggestions for additions to the Series. It would be interesting to know how many of these suggested recordings were re-issued. Some collectors say that these VA and VB re-issues play better than the originals.

Quite useful post, thanks!I have a number of Historic Masters in vinyl, all very well recorded and pressed, but only a few Archive prints, and not in great shape, at least to allow me to compare to original prints. I was not aware that so many Archive records had been issued!


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:44 pm 
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Victor V
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Wolfe wrote:
The Ponselle Luna d'estate on VA, too.


So, I decided to toss this on the turntable, because I like the record. All that HMV crackle is still in force. I have Ward Marston's cleaner transfer on CD. I'm sure I have some more records from this Archive series, but I don't recall exactly what ones from memory.

The Caruso Germania sides from his first 1902 session I have on a red DA issue, but, IIRC, one or both sides is a dubbing. I wonder if the Archive pressings are too.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Victor V
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To gauge people's taste in 1951, Pinza (also with D'Alessio and also with Giorgini), Ansseau, Journet (also Journet and Ansseau with Heldy), Chaliapin, Ponselle (also with Martinelli), Battistini (also with Hayes), De Lucia, Gilly and McCormack are all the singers that apparently had enough customer demand to be reissued from the second suggestions list. Ponselle was most popular with five records issued (10 sides) from the second list. After that, Battistini and Pinza had a few records each.

That's by picking up from the titles listed at the end of each VA and VB list in the Peel & Stratton book, where the issues break off from the first HMV published list.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:26 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
That Ponselle recording of Luna d'estate was originally released in summer (how appropriate, given the title) of 1926 on Victor 1164, on the batwing label, a couple of months before the Scroll label was inaugurated. It was backed by another Tosti gem, 'A vucchella. What a delightful little record, and original Victor pressings have quieter surfaces, if my copy is representative, without the HMV crackle.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Victor V
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Viva-voce wrote:
That Ponselle recording of Luna d'estate was originally released in summer (how appropriate, given the title) of 1926 on Victor 1164, on the batwing label, a couple of months before the Scroll label was inaugurated. It was backed by another Tosti gem, 'A vucchella.


The Archive pressing has it coupled with When I Have Sung My Songs To You, which is one of Ponselle's last Victor 78 sides, made in the 30's. Never liked it much because it sounds like they put her in a telephone booth to record it, and her voice has a strident sound. Maybe it was the microphone, I dunno.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:14 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
The Archive pressing has it coupled with When I Have Sung My Songs To You, which is one of Ponselle's last Victor 78 sides, made in the 30's. Never liked it much because it sounds like they put her in a telephone booth to record it, and her voice has a strident sound. Maybe it was the microphone, I dunno.[/quote]

Yes, those 1939 RCA sides were indeed recorded in a boxy dry studio, with Ponselle's voice placed too close to the microphone. It's unfortunate, because there are some gems in that session. Marston tried to minimize the boxed-in, strident quality as much as possible on his transfers of those sessions, which he issued together with the 1954 RCA Villa Pace recordings.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:48 pm 
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Victor V
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^ I have the 10" red seal Victor of A L'aime / Si tu le voulais from that 1939 session, on a quiet pressing. That's also a nice little record. The songs are a little mellower too, and perhaps not quite negatively as affected by that close microphone placement and the audible limiter that kicks in when she starts to sing louder.


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 Post subject: Re: The HMV Archive Series
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:11 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 576
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Wolfe wrote:
^ I have the 10" red seal Victor of A L'aime / Si tu le voulais from that 1939 session, on a quiet pressing. That's also a nice little record. The songs are a little mellower too, and perhaps not quite negatively as affected by that close microphone placement and the audible limiter that kicks in when she starts to sing louder.


Oh yes--those are two of her best from the '39 series. It is indeed a nice little record. One of my two favorite Victor song discs of hers, the other one being the Tosti songs on Victor 1164 I mentioned earlier.

Steven


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