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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:56 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 402
Location: British Columbia, Canada
drh wrote:
Viva-voce wrote:
...There was an Lp released back in the 1950s/'60's with something like 20 different tenors singing this aria. Not only was Caruso's version sped up to play in C-major, but the first high "C" was edited and looped to make it appear he was holding the note for several seconds longer than originally recorded LMAO

Steven


Let me guess: Everest?


I don't recall the label or very much other detail. I remember seeing it and hearing the Caruso track. Perhaps someone has posted it on YouTube.


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:01 am 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
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Location: North Oregon Coast
Interestingly the Bolig discography does not include the speed for this particular record. I was surprised by it. But, one of the other records at this session is also at 78rpm. I found that 78rpm plays this record in the key of B. That is what I used when transferring the record.
-- Dan

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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:34 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
melvind wrote:
Interestingly the Bolig discography does not include the speed for this particular record. I was surprised by it. But, one of the other records at this session is also at 78rpm. I found that 78rpm plays this record in the key of B. That is what I used when transferring the record.


Actually, the lack of a speed given for this recording in Bolig is an accidental omission--the other four recordings from that session he gives as 76.60 rpm. Aida Favia-Artsay in her book gives the same speed for all 5 of these recordings as well. (Moran's discography in the Caruso Jr.-Farkas book lists these at 76rpm.)
I find that at 78rpm, it sounds just slightly sharp, as do the other four arias recorded at this session when played at 78.
Your record plays very clear and forward--thanks for another great post! It sure sounds like it's playing in B to me--are you sure you transferred it at 78? My apologies if I appear to be splitting sonic hairs LOL!
Maybe Favia-Artsay, Bolig, et al were using French pitch (A=435) when determining speed hahaha.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 2:01 am 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 809
Location: North Oregon Coast
Viva-voce wrote:
Actually, the lack of a speed given for this recording in Bolig is an accidental omission--the other four recordings from that session he gives as 76.60 rpm. Aida Favia-Artsay in her book gives the same speed for all 5 of these recordings as well. (Moran's discography in the Caruso Jr.-Farkas book lists these at 76rpm.)
I find that at 78rpm, it sounds just slightly sharp, as do the other four arias recorded at this session when played at 78.
Your record plays very clear and forward--thanks for another great post! It sure sounds like it's playing in B to me--are you sure you transferred it at 78? My apologies if I appear to be splitting sonic hairs LOL

Steven


You are correct that the entire session is stated to be at 76.60 in the Bolig book except this one which isn't marked. I just checked my turntable settings which I have not used since I transferred the record. It was definitely done at 78 rpm and my piano tells me it is in the key of B.
-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 2:07 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Yup I just checked and sounds in sync with my piano as well.
Maybe our discographers were using French pitch (A=435) in determining speed hahaha.
Isn't this speed issue interesting--and fun!


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:45 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
Posts: 2133
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
The dub of 87001, as posted by melvind, ends on C.

(BTW, the tuba player on 87001 is terrific!)


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:08 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 160
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
Viva-voce wrote:
Maybe Favia-Artsay, Bolig, et al were using French pitch (A=435) when determining speed hahaha.

Steven


I was very interested in Steven's reference to pitch standards in the early days of recording. I know that from the 1850s until the end of the century (and beyond in some areas) British musicians largely followed what was called 'Philharmonic pitch' (A=452, more than a quarter-tone higher than French pitch), and I understand that this was sometimes adopted in the United States too. (There is a story that when the American composer Edward McDowell was engaged to give a piano recital at an international exhibition in Paris in the 1880s, he insisted on an American piano because the tuning of all the available French and German instruments sounded wrong to him.) Is it known, or is there any reason to believe, that the higher pitch was in use in the Victor studios in the 1900s?

Certainly there must still have been many pianos and other keyboard instruments in circulation which were calibrated to Philharmonic pitch; many surviving harmoniums still conform to it, and even today this can lead to severe embarrassments when an old harmonium has to be used in conjunction with other instruments (e.g. in performances of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in the original scoring).

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 402
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Hi Oliver,

The issue of rising standard pitch has been vexing opera singers for a century. There are several writings on this subject that can be found on the Internet.

In Drake's second biography of Rosa Ponselle, we read excerpts from letters she wrote to one Col. Blois of Covent Garden where Ponselle sang a few seasons beginning in 1929. She was so concerned about higher pitch standard in Britain that she asked him to get the orchestra to "tune their instruments down to A=435 and keep them down." Ponselle's increasing fear of high notes was a factor I'm sure, but she was far from the only singer concerned about the rising of pitch and the potential resultant strain on voices.

As to pitch standards in early recording studios, I don't know if it has been documented, but I'm inclined to believe that most of these early singers, all trained in the 19th and early 20th century when French pitch was still commonly used in many opera houses, would have recorded at A=435.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 1:22 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Posts: 196
Viva-voce wrote:
Hi Oliver,

The issue of rising standard pitch has been vexing opera singers for a century. There are several writings on this subject that can be found on the Internet.

In Drake's second biography of Rosa Ponselle, we read excerpts from letters she wrote to one Col. Blois of Covent Garden where Ponselle sang a few seasons beginning in 1929. She was so concerned about higher pitch standard in Britain that she asked him to get the orchestra to "tune their instruments down to A=435 and keep them down." Ponselle's increasing fear of high notes was a factor I'm sure, but she was far from the only singer concerned about the rising of pitch and the potential resultant strain on voices.

As to pitch standards in early recording studios, I don't know if it has been documented, but I'm inclined to believe that most of these early singers, all trained in the 19th and early 20th century when French pitch was still commonly used in many opera houses, would have recorded at A=435.

Steven


As a practical matter, if a record turning at, say, 76 or 78 RPM plays at A-440, how much adjustment is needed to bring it down to play at A-435?


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 402
Location: British Columbia, Canada
I'm not sure as I've never tried it, but I doubt it would be much more than a fraction of a hair and I probably wouldn't be able to hear the difference, but being a singer, I would probably be able to feel the difference :)

Steven


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