Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Even more duplication

TchaikovskySymphony No. 6 in B minor, 'Pathétique'

3. Allegro molto vivace -abridged

The New Symphony Orchestra 
conducted by Landon Ronald

HMV 0757

(Matrix Nos.al5864f)
Saturday 6th January 1912

One Flac files , Here at Mediafire. [about 21Mb]

I meant to add one more tract to my last post but entirely forgot.

Thought I would also try out Soundcloud to see how it worked and indeed if it worked!  I have however left my usual link to the recoding for download by ye olde tried and tested method as it has probably better fidelity.

Not much to say really other than this is Ronald's first attempt at recording a part of the Symphony. Same orchestra but before the name change a few years later.  This recording lasted an even shorter period in the catalogues that the 1923 'full' version posed a few days ago. HMV decided to re-record the excerpt in 1915 with another attempt under the same issue number. Clearly a much smaller orchestra than the forces used in 1923 but still Ronald and his 'band of merry men' managed to pack a lot in all the same. 

You will hear through this recording a bit of 'rumble' that is prevelent usually when the trombones are playing. I have a feeling that the lower harmonics may have mechanically vibrated the recording machine, either through the floor or to some part of the machine was exposed to their blast - anyway I have left this in the transfer as a sort of curiosity.

Landon Ronald & the New Symphony Orchestra c. 1912

I just love the wording from the October 1912 HMV New Records supplement below. At 19 years of age the work was indeed a 'landmark of modern orchestral music.' I can't think the adjective 'barbaric' would be used today though.

I can't help wondering what the public of 1912 felt about these recordings. Ernest Newman article ‘The Essential Tchaikovsky’ [published in the Contemporary Review, June 1901] succinctly summed up the general opinion a few years early  'It cannot be said that our ordinary musical audiences know Tchaikovsky very well...for the great majority of people Tchaikovsky may be said to be represented by the Sixth Symphony, the '1812' Overture, and the Casse-Noisette Suite - the first earning him the reputation of a hopeless pessimist, the second that of a semi-barbarian, the third that of an adept in graceful trifling.

Barbarian and Tchaikovsky synonymous then.


  1. Wonderful depth, your duplication has - thank you again!

    Happy Easter,


  2. Thanks for yet another fascinating slice of history -- please keep them coming! As usual your transfer is wonderful. The playing is spirited and precise (after a shaky start), the abridgment is smooth and balance and fidelity are remarkably fine.

  3. This is excellent - I wonder if the "rumble" you cite is actually the tympani. The low G doesn't record particularly well acoustically, and the part usually coincides with when the trombones are playing. I didn't hear much in the way recording distortion, but the bottom sound is very characteristic of what I know of English orchestral records, which employed tympani much more frequently than orchestral records in other countries. The tympanist here is very enthusiastic and accented in his playing, which helps gives this recording such a lively feel. Terrific stuff.

  4. Thanks Philip

    I just don't know for certain is the answer - some of the sound is certainly the timpani but other sounds around say 2.07 are not part of the score I think. Considering the crampt conditions I would think are current and knocks to the floor would set up some revereration in the recording equipment.

    Very best wishes