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Edison Home Phonograph (detail)

The beginning of 2013 has seen a number of significant developments at Stanford's Archive of Recorded Sound, especially in the area of patron services, both at the Archive itself and online.  

Information relating to these improved services can be found on the Archive's new website. This detailed resource also includes information on the Archive's extensive collections, guidelines for planning a research trip to the Archive, and finally recommendations for notable sound recording research tools, both online and in print.

The Dichterliebe, recorded by Thom Denijs in 1928 (HMV 092026)

Schumann’s Dichterliebe, op. 48, from 1840 weds music and text into one of the most memorable song cycles of the Romantic period. The cycle consists of sixteen songs on poems from Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo. The earliest recordings of the entire cycle were by Dutch baritone, Thom Denijs (1877-1935), who recorded the cycle twice in London with his wife, Emmy Denijs-Kruyt (1878-1964), as pianist, first in an acoustic recording on 5 April 1923 and later as an electrical recording in three sessions in January and July 1928.

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has recently finished reformatting the 440 audiocassettes in the Fred Ross papers, an immense body of audio documenting the training meetings held by labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. Housed in Special Collections, the digitized audio focuses extensively on house meetings in the 1970s and 80s, an organizing technique Ross developed and taught. A small portion of the tapes include Cesar Chavez, who Ross hired and trained in the early 50s. Chavez later went on to form the National Farm Workers Association, but Ross always remained a mentor and strong influence. "As time went on, Fred became sort of my hero," Chavez said. "I saw him organize and I wanted to learn." 

The opening phrase of the fifth symphony, in Beethoven's hand

"The Beethoven Project is a large-scale celebration acknowledging Bing Concert Hall as the new home of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia Orchestra. These ensembles, under the baton of Jindong Cai, will devote the season to the performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies, as well as all five of the composer’s piano concerti featuring Van Cliburn Gold Medal–winning pianist and Stanford alumnus Jon Nakamatsu.

Screenshot of Riverwalk Jazz website

Did you read the news a few months ago about the Riverwalk Jazz archive coming to Stanford? Now the collection of radio shows is available online, featuring two channels of continuous audio streams: http://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/.

As fans of the long-running public radio program know, Riverwalk Jazz tells the story of early jazz and blues as it evolved in the first half of the 20th century. Using rich narrative, oral histories and interviews, clips of historic musical recordings, and live musical performances by the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, each radio show entertains and educates its listeners, promoting classic jazz music and an appreciation for its place in history. With this new web site, the series of programs is presented by the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound as an incomparable research collection for use by jazz scholars and fans alike.

War Memorial Opera House, exterior

Richard Bonelli (1889-1980), an internationally-known baritone and noted voice teacher, performed frequently in San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s. The Richard Bonelli Collection, consisting of letters, photographs, programs, scores, scrapbooks, and other material, is available to researchers at the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound. Additionally, a number of commercial recordings featuring Bonelli may be consulted in the Archive, and several CD reissues may be borrowed from the Music Library.

Privately produced Leopold Auer recording, signed by the artist on June 7, 1920, from the Jascha Heifetz Collection.

The Archive of Recorded Sound has completed the processing of four significant collections under the sponsorship of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which are now ready for use by researchers, students, musicians, and the public.  The creators of all four collections have California connections, but their work and influence extended far beyond state borders to distant regions of the world.  The four collections that have been organized, arranged, and described in finding aids, which can be viewed on the Online Archive of California, are the Yehudi Menuhin, the Jascha Heifetz, the Lawrence Tibbett, and the Ambassador Auditorium Collections. The processing archivist for the project was Frank Ferko, with assistance from Anna Graves. 

Located in the City of Pasadena, the Ambassador Auditorium hosted many of the most highly regarded concert musicians and popular entertainers in the world.  From its opening night on April 7, 1974 to its closing in May, 1995, the Ambassador, often called "the Carnegie Hall of the West", presented a veritable who's who of luminaries in the world of music, dance, and popular entertainment. Among those who performed there were Artur Rubinstein, Leontyne Price, Victor Borge, Andres Segovia, Barbara Cook, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Hope, Marcel Marceau, Claire Bloom, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Ravi Shankar, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and many others. The Ambassador Auditorium Collection consists of thousands of documents related to the business, marketing, publicity and promotion operations of the hall as well as photographs (many of which are autographed), posters, concert programs, commissioned original artwork, and perhaps most important of all, hundreds of audio and video recordings of live performances.

Spanning 75 years, the career of Yehudi Menuhin included work as a virtuoso violinist as well as a highly respected conductor.  The Yehudi Menuhin Collection, assembled by his family, consists of fifty-four 78 rpm recordings from 1938 through 1950 of Menuhin performing violin works, often accompanied by his sister, Hephzibah.  

The Jascha Heifetz Collection, donated by the violinist's longtime friend and record producer at RCA Victor, Jack Pfeiffer, includes not only Heifetz's own performances but also his personal collection of recordings made by other artists.  The Heifetz Collection, consisting of over a thousand discs and reels produced from 1911-1972, includes the rare, privately made recording from 1920 of Heifetz's teacher, Leopold Auer, among other treasures. 

The Lawrence Tibbett Collection, consisting of 98 records documenting the middle years of the baritone's career, who sang for 27 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera (1923-1950). The collection contains an outstanding performance of a pre-premiere recording of Howard Hanson's Merry Mount, from January 1934 and also contains Tibbett's well known renditions of popular songs, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oh, what a beautiful mornin," and Harold Arlen's "Accentuate the positive", performed on live radio programs in the 1940s.

For more information and to use the collections, contact the Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound.

Monterey Jazz Festival logo

An article in SF Gate celebrating the opening of the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival highlights the MJF Collection in the Archive of Recorded Sound.  The article, by Jeanne Cooper, includes an interview with Jerry McBride, Head of the ARS. 

 

Read it here.

Visit the Monterey Jazz Festival Collection page.

Congratulations Jerry!

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