A treasure trove of film

April 23, 2014
Ray Heigemeir

British Pathé just released an astounding 85,000 archival film clips on YouTube. Included are numerous clips of musical interest including great singers, instrumentalists, and conductors; music making in the home and community, musical oddities, and unique performances and venues. One clip that caught my attention today is of Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence making her first standing appearance after being stricken with polio (she's performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1947). Her story was memorably told in the Hollywood film based on her memoirs, Interrupted Melody, starring Eleanor Parker as Lawrence.

Lawrence toured the world and became known in particular for her Wagnerian roles. A number of her recordings are available in the Music Library and Archive of Recorded Sound.

 

  Marjorie Lawrence as Brünnhilde