Beethoven Romance in F Major op.50 (recorded in 1889)

On September 13, 1889 violinist Herr Krahmer and pianist Herr Schmalfuss recorded Beethoven’s Romance in F Major, op.50. Here is that recording.) First you will hear an extract from the piece played by Louise Chisson (recorded in 2010). Then you will hear the 1889 recording which will be followed by a recording of the whole piece played by Jascha Heifetz with the RCA Victor Orchestra.

The 1889 recording is in very bad shape and it is hard to make out the violin and piano. If you listen carefully you can hear the instruments. In December of 1889 Johannes Brahms was recorded playing the piano. A historic year indeed! Enjoy.

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Louis Vierne plays the Notre Dame Organ in Paris in 1929

Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

Louis Vierne was a French organist and teacher. He was born nearly blind due to congenital cataracts. Vierne’s music was idiomatic for his instrument and the harmonies in his music were rich. He was an inspiration to the many Parisian organist-composers that came after him. Vierne was also a great improviser on the organ. He gave many recitals during his life and toured widely. In 1937 while giving his 1750th recital at Notre Dame in Paris Vierne died at the organ console.

Here are two rare recordings froom 1929 of Louis Vierne playing the organ at Notre Dame in Paris. 1929 was the first year that sound was recorded electronically. The first recording is a soft improvisation that Vierne made up on the spot. The second recording is a Bach Prelude and Fugue. The second recording is a piece by Vierne.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like carrying all that heavy recording equipment up the narrow stairway to Notre Dame’s balcony to record the organ.
An organ with more than 7000 pipes! Enjoy.

Handel’s “Moses and the Children of Israel” at the Crystal Palace, June 29, 1888

Here is a recording of the earliest surviving wax cylinder of Thomas Edison. This performance of G.F. Handel’s “Moses and the Children of Israel” was recorded on June 29, 1888 at the Crystal Palace in London, England. There were 500 musicians in the orchestra, around 4000 voices in the choir, and 23,722 people in the audience. You can just make out some of the choir singing. After the 1888 recording is played, you can hear a modern recording done in 2014 of the same chorus by G.F. Handel.

Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the choir and orchestra in the 1888 recording. I also don’t know who was performing in the 2014 recording. The amazing thing about the 1888 recording is that it exists. That was recorded at a time before airplanes and there were few cars at the time. Life was a lot more primitive then it is now. I hope that you enjoy this very old recording.

Eric Whitacre – The Seal Lullaby

Eric Whitacre (1970 – )

Eric Whitacre is a Grammy award winning American composer and conductor who is known for his choral, orchestral, and wind music. He is also well known for his “Virtual Choir” projects which bring together people from around the world into a big online choir. in 2016 he became The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s first artist-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Here is a beautiful choral piece Eric Whitacre wrote called the Seal Lullaby. It is performed by Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers. I hope that you enjoy this music.