Mozart: Horn Concerto No.2 in E flat K.417. With The Royal Symphony Orchestra/ Joseph Batten. Edison Bell (Electron), X 508/9. 1927*. LP issue: Pearl Opal 805 (1982); CD issue: Sotone Historic Recordings CD 104.
X508 x1679J 1st movt: Allegro maestoso 1927
x1680b 2nd movt: Andante 1927
X509 x1681g 3rd movt: Rondo 1927
Side filler: Glazounov (see below)
* The year of the recording was 1927 and it was reviewed in March 1928 in The Dominant. The following extract from a 1927 article by Arthur Payne also suggests a 1927 date:
Since commencing this article the records of the Mozart Concerto have arrived and I have just played them to acquaint myself more with my subject. No doubt they are most beautifully played and trills and florid passages (in the true Mozartian style) are executed with an ease and grace I would not have thought possible.
Alan Civil in his sleeve notes to the LP, Opal 805 (1982) also mentions 1927 as the year the recording was made.
The timing problems of recording the Mozart necessitated drastic cuts in the first (Allegro maestoso) movement, but these were arranged by the manager, Joseph Batten, who conducted a freelance orchestra with the grandiose appellation of the “Royal Symphony Orchestra”. Alfred Cursue, horn player and recently appointed Professor of Horn at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, took part in the assembled orchestra as first horn, and he has informed me that the four sides were recorded in two hours.
Anon, review in The Dominant, March 1928, “Another record which shows the present tendency to extend the repertoire is that of Mozart’s Second concerto for horn and orchestra with Aubrey Brain as soloist.”
Payne, Arthur C., Stars of the Record World, Mr Aubrey Brain in Gramophone And Talking Machine News, vol. xix, no.443 B, Sep. 1927, p.291 (Hereafter Payne, 1927).
Civil, Alan, sleeve notes to LP, Aubrey Brain, Opal 805, (1982). This also gives 1927 as the year of the recording and the same year for the Glazunov Reverie.
Stephen Pettitt, Dennis Brain a biography, London, Robert Hale, 2nd edition, 1989, p.44; Appendix III, pp.188-89 (Hereafter, Pettitt, 1989)
McBeth, Amy, A discography of 78 rpm era recordings of the horn. Solo and Chamber Literature with Commentary – Discographies no.74. Westport, Greenwood Press, Connecticut, 1997, p.47 (Hereafter, McBeth, 1997) She gives 1927 as the year of the recording.
Ovitsky, Steven, CD notes, Sotone CD 104. Steven Ovitsky gives 1927 as the year in the notes to his CD “Great Horn Players In Historic Recordings Aubrey Brain” (Sotone 104)
Mozart: Horn Concerto No.3 in E flat K.447. With BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Sir Adrian Boult. DB 3973-4. Issues (America) Victor Set DM829, issues 13784/5; matrix nos. 2EA8663-3; 2EA8664-1; 2EA86652; 2EA8666-2. N.B. a different take was used by Victor for the second movement (2EA8666-2). In the HMV issue, the take was 2EA8665-1. CD issue: EMI Classics: Great Recordings of the Century. Dennis and Aubrey Brain: EMI CDH 7 64198 2 (1992); Pearl GEM 0183; Colston Hall, Bristol, 10 April 1940.*
DB 3973 2EA 8663-3 Part 1 1st movt. Allegro 10 April 1940
2EA 8664-1 Part 2 1st movt. (Cadenza: Marion Brain) 10 April 1940
DB 3974 2EA 8665-1 2nd movt. Romance (Larghetto) 10 April 1940
2EA 8666-2 3rd movt. Allegro 10 April 1940
* McBeth, 1997, p.48 gives 10 April 1940 and this agrees with EMI’s first 1992 CD issue (EMI CDH 7 64198 2). See also McBeth, op.cit., ibid., for the different “take” of the second movement that features on the Victor set. She also lists another later Victor issue on M829 (issues 13782/3) and an LP issue – LM6130.
Pettitt, 1989, p.66; Appendix III, pp.188-89
McNaught, W. review in Musical Times vol.81, no.1171, Sep. 1940, p.372. Cited by McBeth, 1997, p.48
Walker, Malcolm, CD booklet Great Recordings Of The Century Dennis and Aubrey Brain EMI CDH 7 64198 2. McBeth, Amy, 1997, pp.48-49
Glazunov: Reverie for horn and piano Op.24. With Marion Brain (piano). Edison Bell (Electron), X 509. LP issue: Opal 805 (1982). CD issue: Sotone Historic Recordings CD 104. 1927.
X509 xl684P Recorded 1927*
This recording is a side filler to the abridged set of Mozart: Concerto K.417 (see above)
* McBeth, p.38, gives 1926 but see date of K.417
Pettitt, 1989, p.44, Appendix III, pp.188-89
McBeth, 1997, p.38
Payne, 1927, p.291 who states: “There is a poetical feeling about the Reverie which seems to suit the instrument and allow its expressive notes their full play and powers of expression. This likewise is played in the manner of a real artist and the fine piano accompaniment is supplied by Mrs. Aubrey Brain.” Payne goes on to describe how Aubrey met Marion when she was a famous contralto called Marion Beeley, working for Sir Thomas Beecham. For photographs of Marion and her press notices, see her separate pages on this website. She continued to use Beeley as her stage name after she married. Author’s collection.
3199 (Columbia) Schubert: Ave Maria n.d.*
Beethoven: Symphony no.5 (excerpt) n.d.
* The issue date of this recording was April 1923
Pettitt, 1989, pp.188-89
McBeth, 1997, p.122, 128-129
Beethoven: Rondino in E flat major for two oboes, two clarinets, two horns and two bassoons, Op.Posth. Wo025. Members of the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, conducted by Sir Henry Wood. According to Jacobs (1994, p.76), Wood was fond of programming it. Although Aubrey is not named, he was at that time principal horn of the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra.
L1515 AX5-2 Rondino 16 May 1923
N.B. the other side has no horn part (Bach Gavotte in E major)
Jacobs, Arthur, Henry J. Wood, Maker Of The Proms, London, Methuen, 1994, pp.76, 254, 258, 428
Taylor, Ronald, Columbia Twelve-Inch Records in the United Kingdom 1906-1930 A Discography. Symposium Records 1994, p.138 (Hereafter, Taylor, 1994)
Beethoven: Septet in E flat Op.20 Léner Quartet: Jenö Léner (1st violin), Joseph Smilovits (2nd violin), Sandor Roth (viola), Imre Hartman (cello); Claude Hobday (double bass), Charles Draper (clarinet), E.W. Hinchcliff (bassoon).
LX109 WAX5432 Part 1 1st movt. Adagio – Allegro con brio 4 March 1930
WAX5433-1 Part 2 1st movt. 4 March 1930
LX110 WAX5434-2 Part 1 2nd movt. Adagio cantabile 4 March 1930
WAX5435-2 Part 2 2nd movt. 4 March 1930
LX111 WAX5436-2 3rd movt: Tempo di minuetto 4 March 1930
WAX5437-2 Part 1 4th movt. Tema con variazioni: Andante
4 March 1930
LX112 WAX5438 Part 2 4th movt. 4 March 1930
WAX5439 5th movt. Scherzo: Allegro molto e vivace
4 March 1930
LX113 WAX5440-1 Part 1 6th movt. Andante con moto alla Marcia
– Presto 4 March 1930
WAX5441-1 Part 2 6th movt. 4 March 1930
Pettitt, 1989, p.52, pp.188-89, who gives the date, 4 March 1930.
McBeth, 1997, p.85, who also gives (op.cit., ibid.) American Columbia Set 180, issues 68096D/100D
“Discus”, review in Musical Times vol.72, no.1058, April 1 1931, p.331. Cited by McBeth, 1997, p.85
Weaver, Paul J., review in Music Supervisors’ Journal vol.20, no.4 (March 1934), pp.66-69. This reviews the American Columbia set 180 issue.
Mozart: Divertimento in D K.334. With Dennis Brain (2nd horn), Léner Quartet: Jenö Léner (1st violin), Joseph Smilovits (2nd violin), Sandor Roth (viola), Imre Hartman (cello). CD issues: Great Recordings of The Century. EMI CDH 7 64198 2 (1992); Grammofono “Dennis Brain The Horn of the Century”. AB 78 881 (1998).
LX841 CAX8451-1 Part 1 1st movt. Allegro 16 Feb. 1939
CAX8452-1 Part 2 1st movt. 16 Feb. 1939
LX842 CAX8453-1 Part 1 2nd movt. Thema (Andante)
mit sechs Variationen 16 Feb. 1939
CAX8454-1 Part 2 2nd movt. 16 Feb. 1939
LX843 CAX8455-4 3rd movt. Menuetto & Trio 16 Feb. 1939
CAX8456-1 Part 1 4th movt. Adagio 16 Feb. 1939
LX844 CAX8457-2 Part 2 4th movt (conclusion)
5th movt. Menuetto 16 Feb. 1939
CAX8458-1 5th movt. Trios 1 & 2 (Menuetto da Capo) 16 Feb. 1939
LX845 CAX8459-1 Part 1 6th movt. Rondo (Allegro) 16 Feb. 1939
CAX8460-1 Part 2 6th movt. 16 Feb. 1939
Pettitt, 1989, p.61, pp.188-9, p.195. Although he suggests the recording date is 23 February 1939 (p.61), this date does not appear in Pettitt, op.cit., Appendix III. The date there in two places (for Aubrey and Dennis Brain discographies) is 16 February 1939.
McBeth, 1997, p.100. McBeth also gives American Columbia Set M379, issues 69694D/8D. The matrix numbers she gives agree with those on the original issue LX841-45.
Mozart: Quintet in E flat major for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon K.452. With Kathleen Long (piano), Léon Goossens (oboe), Frederick Thurston (clarinet), John Alexandra (bassoon). National Gramophonic Society, no.121-3. 19 March 1928.
No.121 14-N-4 121 + Part 1 1st movt. Largo – Allegro moderato 19 March 1928
14-N-4 121 – Part 2 1st movt. 19 March 1928
No.122 14-N-5 122 + Part 1 2nd movt. Larghetto 19 March 1928
14 N-5 122 – Part 2 2nd movt. 19 March 1928
No.123 14-N-6 123 + Part 1 3rd movt. Rondo (Allegretto) 19 March 1928
14-N-6 123 – Part 2 3rd movt. 19 March 1928
Pettitt, 1989, p.52, pp.188-89
McBeth, 1997, p.102
“Discus” review in Musical Times vol.70, no.1035, 1 May 1929, p.425. Cited by McBeth, 1997, p.102
Schubert: Octet in F Op.166, D.803. With Léner Quartet: Jenö Léner (1st violin), Joseph Smilovits (2nd violin), Sandor Roth (viola), Imre Hartman (cello), Charles Draper (clarinet), Ernest W. Hinchcliff (bassoon), Claude Hobday (double bass). CD issue: Léner Quartet Vol.3: Schubert & Schumann recordings 1928-1936. Rockport Records RR 5008 (1st issued 1999, issued 18 January 2000, limited edition); Shinseido Toshiba EMI SGR-8209 (CD mono), 1997, Japan; Andante 699487101029 (2003). Columbia Studios, Petty France, London 23 February 1928
L2108 WAX3416-1 Part 1 1st movt. Adagio – Allegro 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3417 Part 2 1st movt. 23 Feb. 1928
L2109 WAX3418-2 Part 3 1st movt. 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3419-2 Part 1 2nd movt. Adagio 23 Feb. 1928
L2110 WAX3420-1 Part 2 2nd movt. 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3421-2 Part 3 2nd movt. 23 Feb. 1928
L2111 WAX3422-2 3rd movt. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) & Trio 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3423-2 Part 1 4th movt. Andante 23 Feb. 1928
L2112 WAX3424-1 Part 2 4th movt. 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3425-2 5th movt. Menuetto (Allegretto) & Trio 23 Feb. 1928
L2113 WAX3426-2 Part 1 6th movt. Andante molto – Allegro 23 Feb. 1928
WAX3427-2 Part 2 6th movt. 23 Feb. 1928
“Discus” review in Musical Times vol.69, no.1025, 1 July 1928, p.615. Cited by McBeth, 1997, p.107
Pettitt, 1989, p.52, pp.188-89
Taylor, 1994, p.171
McBeth, 1997, pp.107-8, who gives American Columbia’s Set MM97, issues 72259D/64D. The matrix numbers given by McBeth differ from the above matrix numbers and are as follows:-
First movt. part 1, WAX3416-1-B- ; first movt. part 2, WAX3417-1-B-; first movt. part 3, WAX3418-2-B-; second movt part 1, WAX3419-2-B-7; second movt part 2, WAX3420-1-B-; second movt part 3, WAX3421-2-B-; third movt, WAX3422-2-B; fourth movt part 1,WAX3423-2-B-; fourth movt part 2, WAX3424-2-B-; fifth movt, WAX3425-2-B-3; sixth movt part 1, WAX3426-2-B; sixth movt part 2, WAX3427-2-B-
Brahms: Trio for Violin, horn and piano Op.40. With Spencer Dyke (violin), York Bowen (piano). National Gramophonic Society (NGS) no. 49-56 Recorded 1926. Issued on LP issue (1982) Pavillion Records Ltd: Pearl Opal 805. CD issue: Sotone Historic Recordings CD104. Movements: Andante; Scherzo; Adagio mesto; Finale: Allegro con brio. The recording that I have has the following numbers stamped on the eight sides. Stephen Pettitt’s Dennis Brain (2nd edition, 1989, Appendix III, p.189) gives NGS 65-8 and a different year, 1925, although he elsewhere states 1926 (p.52). The NGS Catalogue for 1934 gives NGS 65-8 which must have been the same recording renumbered.
NGS 49 E QQQ + No.1 Andante
NGS 50 E QQQ – No.2 Andante
NGS 51 EX RRR + No.3 Scherzo
NGS 52 E RRR – No.4 Scherzo
NGS 53 E SSS + No.5 Adagio mesto
NGS 54 E SSS – No.6 Adagio mesto
NGS 55 E TTT + No.7 Finale, Allegro con brio
NGS 56 E TTT – No.8 Finale, Allegro con brio
National Gramophonic Society Catalogue of Records 1934, London, Gramophone (Publications) Ltd., 10A Soho Square. Page 9 gives nos. 65-68 for the Brahms Trio set, not as printed and stamped on the set of records in my possession, nos. 49-56.
Civil, Alan, sleeve notes to LP Aubrey Brain. Opal 805 (1982). This gives 1926 as the date and NGS 49-56
Pettitt, 1989, p.52, pp.188-89
McBeth, 1997, p.89 who notes “I also find the following series of letters: QQQ+/-, RRR+/-, SSS+/, TTT+/-“
“Discus” review in Musical Times vol.68, no.1010, 1 April 1927, p.348. Cited by McBeth, 1997, p.89
Ovitsky, Steven, notes to his Sotone CD 104 “Great Horn Players In Historic Recordings Aubrey Brain.” He gives 1926 as the year.
Brahms: Trio for Violin, horn and piano Op.40. With Adolph Busch (violin), Rudolf Serkin (piano). No.3 studio, Abbey Road 13 November 1933. DB 2105-2108; 2B 6708-6715. Originally issued only through HMV Records for the Connoisseur catalogue and not stocked by dealers. Album Series No.201; automatic couplings DB 7610-7613. LP issues: COLH 41; EMI Références PM 322. CD: Testament SBT 1001 (April 1991); EMI Références CDH 7 64495 2 (released November 1992). Pearl GEM 0007 (15 May 1998).
DB 2105 2B6708-5 Part 1 1st movt. Andante 13 Nov. 1933
2B6709-4 Part 2 1st movt. 13 Nov. 1933
DB 2106 2B6710-4 Part 1 2nd movt. Scherzo – Allegro 13 Nov. 1933
2B6711-3 Part 2 2nd movt. 13 Nov. 1933
DB 2107 2B6712-2 Part 1 3rd movt. Adagio mesto 13 Nov. 1933
2B6713-3 Part 2 3rd movt. 13 Nov. 1933
DB 2108 2B6714-2 Part 1 4th movt: Finale – Allegro con brio 13 Nov. 1933
2B6715-3 Part 2 4th movt. Conclusion 13 Nov. 1933
Pettitt, 1989, p.51, pp.188-89 who gives 13 November 1933 as the recording date. McBeth, 1997, p.89, gives 1934. McBeth, (op.cit., ibid.) also mentions Victor Set M199, issues 7965/73.
Brahms: Trio for Violin, horn and piano Op.40 Incomplete recording. With Adolph Busch (violin), Rudolf Serkin (piano). Recorded 16 May 1933. CD first issue: Appian Publications And Recordings APR5528. A record from the set was accidentally cracked at the factory and no other master existed so it was not released and the recording was later completely re-recorded (as above). This CD includes sides from the other commercial recording with Busch and Serkin, to complete it and also for comparison.
Appiano Publications And Recordings. Web page: