New digital audio restoration
Albert Sammons (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Sir Adrian Boult
St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, 28th April 1946
To play these MP3 files on a PC:
(909 KB) - for full online documentation click
Transfer and restoration ©2000 Andrew
Copyright notice: The copyright of the original broadcast recordings
has now expired, and this is why these music files can legally offered.
However, copyright does exist in these transfers and restorations
and this is held by the webmaster. The files are provided for educational
and listening use only, and are not to be used for any profitable
Sammons performed the Violin Concerto on 28th April 1946
for the second and last time at the Norwich Festival, a performance
broadcast (on Medium Wave) by the BBC. A private recording of this
broadcast was made, from which an unknown but very limited number
of copies were later created, all on 78 rpm acetate discs.
One of the copies went to the soloist, Albert Sammons
(pictured), and this set of 4 discs has recently been rediscovered.
It is just possible that the discs had been previously owned by
Moeran - certainly until this recent discovery it was assumed that
Moeran's was the only other set made.
The discs are in quite reasonable playing condition
given their delicate nature and age; it is not known how many times
they might have been actually played. Sammons had many discs in
his collection, including a large number of test pressings from
Decca of his commercial releases. Visual inspection suggests these
too have rarely been played, but their storage seems to have left
much to be desired.
Acetate Disc Label
The four Moeran discs were somewhat dirty, and despite
careful cleaning the original sound quality was less than perfect.
Coupled to this was a hum which may have been inaudible on contemporary
loudspeakers but which is annoyingly clear on a modern system. For
audiophiles there is a difficult choice to be made here: does one
attempt optimum analogue-only sound transfer, warts and all, or
does one attempt a full digital restoration? An excellent, unadulterated
CD transfer of this material exists on the Symposium label (Cat.
1201), and their discs do sound in better shape than these - mine
were copies made probably from Symposium's - so I elected to throw
the full digital restoration works at them.
The Symposium Concerto transfer, coupled with two
other historical radio recordings - Leon Goosens / Carter String
Trio's performance of the Fantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings and
the full Proms performance of the Serenade in G - are now available
from Amazon, together with audio excerpts. Click
here for more.
Concerto page at Moeran.com.