Saturday, October 22, 2011

The National Gramophonic Society, Part 2

Paul Juon
Here's the second of two posts to deal with the re-uploads of my National Gramophonic Society sets, featuring two electrical recordings of chamber works in which woodwinds are prominent.  By far the lesser known of these works is the Chamber Symphony by Paul Juon (1872-1940).  This delightful work, which despite its title is really an octet for piano, woodwinds and strings, was published as such in 1905 with a dedication to Julius Block, the agent of Edison who recorded so many Russian musicians on cylinders, including Juon himself.  When I first uploaded this recording in 2007, I had done the side join in the first movement incorrectly, owing to the lack of either a score or a modern continuous-play recording.  Since then I have had access to a score (which can be had here at the Internationam Music Score Library Project), and this error has now been corrected.  Unfortunately the score also revealed that cuts had been made in the last two movements.  Despite this, it's a fine performance, featuring Rae Robertson (one-half of Bartlett and Robertson) on piano, and Leon Goossens on oboe:

Paul Juon: Chamber Symphony in B-Flat, Op. 27
New Chamber Orchestra conducted by Charles Kreshover
Recorded December 31, 1929, by Columbia
National Gramophonic Society 144 through 146, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 61.54 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 28.53 MB)

Leon Goossens also performs on the other work presented here, that of the Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds, which features Kathleen Long as the pianist.  The ensemble is rounded out by Frederick Thurston (clarinet), John Alexandra (bassoon), and Aubrey Brain (horn):

Mozart: Quintet in E-Flat, K. 452, for piano and winds
Kathleen Long (piano) and ensemble
Recorded March 19, 1928, by Columbia
National Gramophonic Society 121 through 123, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 45.69 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 20.83 MB)


  1. A lovely piece [Juon] by somebody you might otherwise
    never have heard of -- aren't you glad you like 78s in spite of the ante-diluvian sound!!?? One of my most
    prized possessions in my active collecting days along
    with The Curlew - the last NGS's.

  2. Bryan -

    This isn't really a comment, but I wasn't sure how else to write to you. I’m preparing a classicalnotes article on the Debussy and Ravel Quartets and have tracked down all the historic performances I’d like to include – except a 1924 set of the Debussy by the Spencer Dyke String Quartet. Frank Forman lists it as the second issue of the NGS (discs D-F). On only 6 sides, it might be slightly abridged, but otherwise would be the first complete set of either Quartet. In light of your other NGS postings (which I really appreciate) I’d love to hear it if you might have a copy. Thanks!!