Thursday, November 3, 2011

Arthur Catterall and William Murdoch

Arthur Catterall
This is to be the first of three posts dealing with uploads I originally offered in 2007-08, featuring the British violinist Arthur Catterall (1883-1943).  Here are three sonata recordings he made in 1923-24 with the Australian pianist William Murdoch (1888-1942).  The first is an abridged version of Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata:

Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F, Op. 24 ("Spring")
Arthur Catterall, violin; William Murdoch, piano
Recorded June 6, 1923
English Columbia L 1231 and 1232, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 38.89 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 13.82 MB)

This recording was intended as a replacement for an earlier version by Albert Sammons (also with Murdoch at the piano) that had been issued five years earlier with the same record numbers.  Catterall undertook a number of such re-recordings in June of 1923, not just of violin repertoire but also of piano trio movements with Murdoch and cellist W. H. Squire.  Presumably Sammons was persona non grata at Columbia in 1923, as he was then making records for Vocalion!

The following were not planned as replacements, but as brand-new recordings:

Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
Arthur Catterall, violin; William Murdoch, piano
Recorded November 18, 1923
English Columbia L 1535 through 1537, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 53.22 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 21.37 MB)

Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major
Arthur Catterall, violin; William Murdoch, piano
Recorded November 18, 1923, and April 11, 1924
Columbia Masterworks Set No. 33, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 75.01 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 30.06 MB)

The Franck was issued only in America, and even then it took two tries to get it right!  The original issue, Masterworks Set No. 23, had been of only three of the work's four movements, and out of order to boot.

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