Sunday, July 1, 2012


Webster Booth & Anne Ziegler: Excerpts from "Gramophone" & Discography

Paperback, 101 Pages 

     (2 Ratings)
Webster Booth & Anne Ziegler: Excerpts from "Gramophone" & Discography
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The third edition of this book has been revised.

It is made up of articles and reviews about the recordings made by Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler (1929 to the present).

The discography section has been completely revised and updated and includes an almost complete discography of their solo and duet recordings and some of their surviving radio broadcasts.

February 1939

March 1939 

Ealing and Hanwell Gramophone Society. After the interval, the remainder of the programme was devoted to selections from La Boh̬me РWebster Booth and Marta Eggerth playing a prominent part. We realised from Tubiana what an attachment there was to that old coat. Parting from it with reluctance, even for the sake of Mimi, seemed to be the impression.

April 1939 
Readers will forgive me for taking a special pride in the current recordings made by Webster Booth because for months I pleaded for such records. Now that they have come, they are being appraised by eminent critics in a variety of journals. Our own HFVL showed the keenest delight in reviewing some recent operatic excerpts, and I was glad to have my opinion endorsed by one who has never let a shoddy piece of work get past him. People who are in the habit of attending concerts at the Albert Hall will be glad to have Mr Booth’s new record of the recitative Comfort Ye and the aria Ev’ry Valley shall be Exalted from Handel’s Messiah. Considering that oratorio is still the Englishman’s special delight it is strange how little of it gets recorded except in albums which the average enthusiast, generally an industrial worker, can ill afford. I do not find this singing particularly inspired, but it is a careful performance which will please many and offend none. Since my copy is an advance pressing I am unable to say who is responsible for the accompaniments, but they are adequately done. (HMV C3087 4/-). If Messrs Dawson and Booth are both going to get busy on these lines, we shall have an exciting time ahead of us. 

May 1939 

Following his recording from Messiah, Webster Booth excels all previous records in two extracts from Mendelssohn’s Elijah: If with All Your Hearts and Then Shall the Righteous. The voice sounds much fuller than last month, and if this is an indication that we may expect good modern recordings or oratorio it has my blessing. This is an exceedingly fine record. (HMV C3095, 4/-). 1/2 -
January 1940 

Webster Booth has sung Liszt’s Liebestraum. Like the Petrarch Sonnets in the Italian Year of Pilgrimage, the three Liebestraum nocturnes, of which this is the third, were originally songs. In some ways it is a pity that we have that unforgettable record by Meta Seinemeyer, made just before she died and accompanied by the man she married almost on her death-bed – “Oh, love me as long as you can, for soon you will stand by the grave and mourn” – so runs the song, but not in the setting used by Mr Booth, obviously taken from Liszt’s piano arrangement, whereas Seinemeyer went to the original. However, the singing is immaculate, and Tosti’s Goodbye is truly magnificent on the reverse. The other record is of Webster Booth singing the Largo in full with recitative. This is important, for despite all the existing recordings, I do not know of one which includes this. B8990, backed by the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria. I know that sounds awful, and in some ways perhaps it is. Personally I have never seen the objections to Gounod’s alleged sacrilege, but I am inclined to agree that this is too much. Wynn Reeves conducts the LPO for the Largo; Herbert Dawson plays the organ for The Lost Chord (Booth). Here is the famous song in its operatic setting. Magnificently sung and recorded. It seems strange to us now that this comes from a comic opera! (HMV C3130, 4/-)

I have published the third edition of this book in Epub version: 

 This version of the book is available at the following link:  Webster Booth & Anne Ziegler - Excerpts from Gramophone and Discography