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 Post subject: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:57 pm
Posts: 64
I recently bought a lot of a couple hundred cylinders, and in it were five Edison Grand Opera 4-minute Amberols in burgundy cases, with a sixth burgundy Grand Opera case that had an Indestructible in it, instead. Two of the Grand Operas were broken, so that leaves three intact cylinders in matching cases. I thought I remembered that these were popular with collectors, so I looked on Ebay and the ones that have sold recently have all gone for more than $100 apiece. Even an empty case went for $25 (though it was a 2-minute Gold Moulded Grand Opera case). What's the deal with these? Why are they so prized? Are they all worth this kind of money, or just certain types/artists/titles?


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:53 am 
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Victor V
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why are they prized? It's mainly rarity and collected by Edison fans. These cylinders are very fragile and easily broken. You can only play them about 20 times before they start to wear out. You can buy much better opera on Victor/Victrola records for $1 Or $2 each.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:10 am 
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Victor V
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Location: Linden, NJ 07036
Also depends on the artist and title. I’ve sold a few Edison Grand Opera Amberol Records by Sarah Bernhardt in original boxes with the original sleeves for over $1000.00 apiece.

Rich Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:24 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
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Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The CLPGS is re-manufacturing some Edison Grand Opera titles in modern materials, which can be played without anxiety.

http://www.clpgs.org.uk/masters-series.html


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:35 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
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The Slezak cylinder you show is definitely valuable. He didn't make many cylinders and only one of his wax cylinders was released on Blue Amberol.

If you decide to play these, remember that they are wax, so don't use any kind of heavy, diamond reproducer or you'll ruin them instantly.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:37 pm 
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Victor III
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marcapra wrote:
why are they prized? It's mainly rarity and collected by Edison fans. These cylinders are very fragile and easily broken. You can only play them about 20 times before they start to wear out. You can buy much better opera on Victor/Victrola records for $1 Or $2 each.


Agreed about rarity, but I'll take a bit of issue about "much better opera." Some terrific singers can be found in the cylinder format. Slezak (seen in the original post) is one, and in fact one of his cylinders offers my favorite account of "E Lucevan le Stelle"; others include the likes of Jacques Urlus, Selma Kurz, Antonio Scotti (yes, the same one who partnered Caruso on Victor), and Heinrich Knote, to name a few off the top of my head. Many others had significant careers but were either known primarily in Europe or not commonly found on Victor records and hence not beneficiaries of the Victor publicity machine, a particular handicap, from the point of view of posterity, for those who recorded only on vertical cut records, which lapsed into unplayability for decades after the demise of Edison's company. So I'd say there are sound musical reasons going well beyond "Edison worship."


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:23 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:57 pm
Posts: 64
Well, I'm certainly not going to play that Slezak cylinder now! Truth be told, I'm not really an opera person -- I much prefer Billy Murray, Arthur Collins, etc. And spoken word.

If anyone is interested in the Slezak, feel free to PM me.

I've attached a photo of the third Grand Opera cylinder. Is this one anything to write home about? (Do people still write home?)


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:27 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3191
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
It is unfortunate that only some of the directly recorded operatic wax Amberols were re-released in the Blue Amberol 28000 series.

Apart from the Bonci recordings, the over-rated and over priced Royal Purple cylinders were dubbed, with all the disadvantages of that process. After their withdrawal, some titles continued to be available as Blue Amberols and retained their 29000 range of serial numbers.

The Italian Blue Amberol 22400 series contains a high percentage of operatic titles, but they are hard to find.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:11 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
52089 wrote:
The Slezak cylinder you show is definitely valuable. He didn't make many cylinders and only one of his wax cylinders was released on Blue Amberol.

If you decide to play these, remember that they are wax, so don't use any kind of heavy, diamond reproducer or you'll ruin them instantly.


That would be a nice one to have a reproduction resin copy made of.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Grand Opera cylinders
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:21 am 
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Victor Monarch
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Albany NY
Victrolacollector wrote:
52089 wrote:
The Slezak cylinder you show is definitely valuable. He didn't make many cylinders and only one of his wax cylinders was released on Blue Amberol.

If you decide to play these, remember that they are wax, so don't use any kind of heavy, diamond reproducer or you'll ruin them instantly.


That would be a nice one to have a reproduction resin copy made of.


Hopefully it is in good condition- the original buyers complained that after paying high prices for these the high notes were no longer audible after a few plays.

Slezak was a prolific recorder well into the 1930's, but these early records capture his voice in its early prime, before a career of overwork (a lot of Wagner) and a lifetime of smoking and drinking took their toll.


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