Thursday, February 2, 2012

Marjorie Hayward plays Purcell

Earlier, when I was doing my "reissue" program, I had occasion to post a recording by Marjorie Hayward, that of the Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata with Una Bourne, and to direct attention to other Hayward recordings available at the CHARM website.  Well, here's one CHARM doesn't have (although they do have a very fine Frederick Grinke recording of the same work, made a quarter of a century later).  It's a perfect gem of a Purcell sonata, first published only in 1901:

Purcell: Sonata in G minor, Z. 780
Marjorie Hayward, violin; Madame Adami, piano
Recorded August 15, 1919
HMV C 935, one 78-rpm record
Link (FLAC file, 20.48 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 7.66)

Does anyone out there have any information about the elusive Mme. Adami, who accompanies Miss Hayward on this recording?  Even her first name seems lost to posterity.  She must have been the Gramophone Company's house accompanist.  The HMV catalogues of the early 1920s (downloadable from the British Library) do not appear to have deemed it neccesary to credit her by name, except for this one disc.  Nor, of the sixteen or so records that CHARM possesses for which she plays accompaniments, does her name appear on any of the labels.


  1. Dear Bryan, Thank you so much for this! It's lovely - and one can never have too much Purcell or Hayward. You've cleared up one problem, anyway - Creighton Vol.I identifies the work as the Sonata in Four Parts No.8 Z.809 (arr. Moffat? I can't now remember). By the way, who did the 1901 edition of this - was that Moffat too? I too have wondered about Madame Adami: but all I've found (in The Musical Times) is one reference to a Mme P. Adami playing in a vocal concert in London in 1909. More research needed! Best wishes, Nick

  2. Hi Nick, that's interesting about Creighton; he at least gets the key right, since Z. 809 is in G minor! The 1936 Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia mis-identifies it as No. 8 of Sonatas in Three Parts (Z. 797) which is in G major - the key the record label would lead one to assume! Moffat did publish an arrangement of Z. 780, but only in 1934 (by Lengnick), so presumably Hayward's recording doesn't use that.

  3. Michael Sanders kindly wrote me the following about Madame Adami, which he says he tried to post here as a comment, but failed:

    Bernard Wratten of HMV/EMI, who was I believe often a valuable source of information on the company in the inter-war years, wrote to the Gramophone in 1975 giving all he knew of Mme Adami. The letter is informative and fulsome, but chiefly based on observation - whilst Wratten clearly admired Adami, he does not appear to remember (if he ever knew) much about her background or life outside the studio. Perhaps a victim of her virtues: she sounds very reserved (though with a quiet sense of humour), very flexible, and thoroughly dependable, and I'd guess she was rather taken for granted and (eventually) dismissed as an outdated relic by the powers that be at HMV (not unlike the various singers who tirelessly provided solo and choral work prior to the Westrex revolution, and quietly vanished upon its introduction). That Wratten says "I never knew her christian name: she was known to all of us at HMV as Madame Adami" rather supports this, I feel - would such a thing be said of Gerald Moore?

    I couldn't find anything further on her in the gramophone or elsewhere online - and given the time-span involved, it seems unlikely that anyone's left by this point to offer their memories. EMI's archives, I suppose, would be the most likely source - though they would be unlikely to provide much, if any, information about her career or background.

    I hope this is of some help! Thanks for all the wonderful recordings!

    Best wishes, Michael 1975/43/846926/Madame+Adami

  4. Extravagantly beautiful playing. Thank you so much. Doug