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Re: [ARSCLIST] The First Symphony Orchestra in the World to Make Real Recordings of Classical Music

I suppose it would be a matter of what is a symphony orchestra. I have a berliner with an orchestra accompanying a singer. It seems to be earlier than other very early berliners I have of the same singer with piano accompaniment. The extremely uneven pitch is suggestive of it being hand cranked. I've no date for it so think of it as 'turn of the century'. I've recordings of the Berlin Philharmonic made in 1909 which are referred to as the first serious symphonic recordings. Perhaps they are not.

Malcolm Smith.

On Jun 23, 2009, at 2:18 PM, Dave Lewis wrote:

David N. "Uncle Dave" Lewis
Assistant Editor, Classical

Macrovision Solutions Corporation
1168 Oak Valley Dr.

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Tel: 734.887.8145 | Fax: 734.827.2492


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I am reviewing a 2-disc set of historical recordings by the Orchestre
Colonne which states that this body was "the first symphony orchestra in
the world to make a real series of classical recordings." Included are
some Pathe recordings of the Colonne, under its founder, made in

That's pretty early; I realize the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra was
recorded, not well and mostly without their knowledge, by Lionel
Mapleson in 1901-04. But apart from that, was there a full-fledged
symphony orchestra in the world that committed itself to making
commercial recordings than the Colonne? Is everyone comfortable with
that milestone, or are there exceptions? What say ye?


Uncle Dave Lewis
Ann Arbor MI

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