October 11

“Study Under Caruso”:
Selling Recordings in the Early 20th-Century

A series of focused advertisements by the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, NJ began appearing in Musical America in late 1905.  Along with promoting the sale of recordings for the pleasure of listening, the company’s advertisements also promoted their “Red Seal” records as a tool for individual instruction for singers. By securing exclusive contracts with the most revered opera stars of the day, Victor offered people the chance to “study” with their vocal idols.  All one had to do was purchase a Victor Talking Machine, a handful of records, and, listen.

 

Are you interested in “making great strides forward in you musical education”
… and improving your sense of expression, diction and breathing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmR1h5B5Thk

[Musical America, Vol. 4 No. 24 (27 October 1906): 18

 

Do you want to improve your phrasing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCrbs0OtmJ0

[Musical America, Vol. 5 No. 2 (24 November 1906): 18]

 

Did you miss that magic moment from the back row of the opera hall?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t936rzOt3Zc

[Musical America, Vol. 4 No. 13 (11 August 1906): 14]

 

Tired of all the painstaking hours of practicing with little to no improvement?
Then take a more leisurely approach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQSrDTrVnE

[Musical America, Vol. 9 No. 16 (27 February 1909): 31]

 

Do you even need a teacher when you can study with the best vocal instructors at home?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G98hlUfue54

[Musical America, Vol. 10 No. 6 (19 June 1909): 27]

 

And, of course, learning is a life-long undertaking and
there is always room for improvement.

[Musical America, Vol. 16 No. 10 (13 July 1912): 15]

Caruso listening to Caruso

 

RIPM search tip:  Select Musical America in the periodical title field of RIPM’s e-Library of Music Periodicals, and search for  “talking machine.” This yields over one-thousand pages of pertinent content.  For more focused results, restrict your search to a span of years.

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Selling Recordings in the Early 20th-Century
September 27

Today in 1892, The Musical Herald welcomed Dvořák as director of New York’s National Conservatory

Accompanied by his wife and children, Antonin Dvořák arrived in America on 27 September 1892 to assume the directorship of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.  Soon after this much anticipated event, Boston’s Musical Herald reprinted a review of the composer’s welcome concert by music critic H. E Krehbiel, originally written for the New York Tribune.  At the concert, Dvořák’s compositions and conducting were featured.

 

An illustration of Dvořák at the time of his stay in America

[The Musical Herald, Vol. 13 No. 12 (October 1892): 191.]

 

[The Musical Herald, Vol. 14 No. 1 (November 1892): 30-31.]

 

For more on Boston’s The Musical Herald, click on this link! http://ripm.org/index.php?page=JournalInfo&ABB=MHE

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September 25

Read London Musical World’s comments on the premiere of Wagner’s “absurd” Rheingold, published 148 years ago today.

A caricature of Richard Wagner by Charles Lyall

[The Musical World, Vol. 55 No. 21 (26 May 1877): 364]

Wagner’s Das Rheingold was performed for the first time in Munich on 22 September 1869. These comments appeared three days later in London’s Musical World.

[The Musical World, Vol. 47 No. 39 (25 September 1869): 672.]

For more on London’s The Musical World, click on this link! http://www.ripm.org/index.php?page=JournalInfo&ABB=MWO

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