Recordings | Melba’s Discography

Introduction

Melba was always fascinated by new inventions, very much like her father before her. The inventions of cylinder recordings and later disc recordings, although primitive by today’s standards, fascinated Melba.

After many requests she finally agreed to do some recordings but very much on her own terms. Unlike other artists who were paid for the session and no royalties on record sales, Melba insisted on both and helped improve the lot of all recording artists.

Melba’s first recordings were made in London in March 1904 and her description of being in the recording studio three years later in New York between March 24 and 30 1907, is worth including verbatim, for the record so to speak:

Let me … take you with me to … the making of gramophone records. It was now [1907] that I really began to take gramophones seriously. I say  ‘seriously’ because my first experiments in this direction were disastrous. They had come to me two years before in London, and after a great deal of persuasion, and a promise that, if I didn’t like the records, they should be destroyed, I consented to sing. And so they arrived one day in my house in Great Cumberland Place, with many mysterious-looking instruments, and after turning the house upside down, I sang.

“Never again,” I said to myself, as I listened to the scratching, screeching result. “Don’t tell me I sing like that, or I shall go away and live on a desert island, out of sheer pity for the unfortunate people who have to listen to me.” The records were therefore destroyed.

But the gramophone people (with whom the Victor Talking Company were now associated) persisted. Never have I known such courtesy combined with such persuasion. They simply would not leave me alone. They said that no great artist, with the exception of Tamagno, had ever sung for the gramophone, and that if I would only give them another chance, with their greatly improved apparatus, they were sure that I would be delighted.

I did, and I was. I have always been one for “having a shot at things,” and I am glad that I had a shot at this. I was no longer ashamed of my records. I was delighted with them. And I think you ought to know something of the manner in which they were made.

The headquarters of the Company were at Camden, on the other side of the river to New Jersey, and there on the first occasion, in a little room barred from all outside sounds, I went through one of the most trying ordeals of my career. You who sit back by your firesides listening in tranquillity to our songs and our arias, and imagining that they were sung without nervousness, without any of the tremors that a great audience inspires, have little idea that to sing to the gramophone is, in reality, one of the most nerve-racking ordeals.

Let us suppose that I am making a record with an obbligato of flute, and a piano accompaniment. I stand against the wall, in front of a hole which I know to be the thin end of a trumpet leading to the recording apparatus. This apparatus is in the adjoining room, so that all I can see of the work is glimpsed through the tiny hole. In my own room, a tube ending in a trumpet hangs over the piano.

We get ready to sing, the flautist coming as close to me as possible without actually treading on my toes. I glare fixedly at the tiny hole. “Buzz” goes an instrument in the adjoining room. That means “Stand by.” “Buzz, buzz!” That is for “Get ready.” “Buzz, buzz, buzz!” That is the signal for the beginning.

A slight whirring noise comes from the other room, the pianist starts to play, the flute blows in my ear, and I begin to sing. There is no audience to cheer me on, only the sight of a little square window. But there is, in my mind’s eye, an audience far greater than that of any operatic hall, and I know that if I make the slightest mistake, the faintest error in breathing, there it will remain, mercilessly reproduced, to all eternity.

What makes the whole thing even worse is the unusual “technique” which it is necessary to observe in making every record. For example, one must lean right back, when taking a top note, or the record will jar. And at the end one must stand rigidly still and silent until the signal comes to “stand at ease” I shall never forget that once after making what I believe would have been the most beautiful record, I stumbled backwards over a chair, and said “Damn” in an all too audible voice. That “damn” when the record was played over, came out with a terrible clarity, making me feel much as a sinner must do on the Day of Judgment.

No, singing for the gramophone could not be described as a rest cure. One of the most curious features which the gramophone brought into my life was a succession of marriage proposals from people who had heard my records, but who had never even seen me. There was something almost uncanny in the idea of some man in the remote prairies sitting down in front of a little instrument, listening to the echo of my voice, feeling that he had found his ideal woman and writing to tell her so. (1)

Melba’s Music

The attached MP3 file of Comin’ thro the Rye was recorded at Camden New York between October 2 and 4, 1913. For the old Scottish ballad, Melba was accompanied by Prof Gabriel Lapierre.

The disc was released by The Gramophone Company, Middlesex England No. (03369, 88449). While much has been digitising Melba’s records this was recorded from an original disc on 78rpm record player to give the listening some idea of the sound those men of the prairie who proposed to Melba, heard.

Comin’ thro the Rye

Melba’s recordings

The following list of all of Melba’s recordings is from Therese Radic’s book  Melba The Voice of Australia.
The list was compiled by William Hogarth. Reproduced from The Record Collector, March 1982 and updated by Ms Radic in 1986.

Explanatory notes

Layout is the usual – discography number, matrix number and title: underneath the single, then double face, numbers of the recording company, followed by those of the partner company-Gram. Co./Victor, or Victor/Gram. Co. as applicable. The IRCC/AGS numbers at the end of this line are of pressings from original masters.

Where ‘Unpublished’ appears instead of an original catalogue number this means the title was not released by the company in its normal pattern of trading. The masters were on file, however, and white label ‘special pressings’ were obtained of most of them when the company was still providing this service, as was done also for the reissues of the IRCC and American Gramophone Society. A blank in the sequence indicates a missing matrix.

Eventually everything available to the Gramophone Company was transferred to five long-play discs and issued as a boxed set RLS 719. All that is missing is the recently discovered 25 cm ‘Jean’ (No. 106) and another take of ‘Ave Maria’, presumably 1904. It could be discography No. 33, a test pressing of which exists in the USA. It is unusual in having no label at all, nor any of the expected inscriptions such as the usual ‘Melba’ or matrix number on the completely blank centre. RCA/Victor has transferred holdings to VRL5 0365 as a boxed set with notes by William R. Moran. No details are available of the Bettini cylinder issues Melba is known to have made before 1900, nor of the putative 1903 (‘for private purposes only’) series, all masters of which were destroyed at her request.

The 1904 series included a recording of Annie Laurie, according to the late Carl Russell, of Melbourne, derived from reliable information provided by the Mitchell family.

Re discography Nos. 62 and 120, the situation has been confused by the Gramophone Company allotting No. 62 the catalogue number 053108 and No. 120 the number 2-053029, but later re-allotting No.120 the catalogue number 053108.

When single-sided issues were deleted in 1924 the subsequent doubled-sided issue on DB 346 proved to be No. 62, this time with the number 2-053029. The two versions can be distinguished one from the other by virtue of the presence or otherwise of the ‘Follie, follie’ sung just before the ‘Sempre libera’.

Many of the later DB and Archive VB pressings were made from mechanical dubbings, that is remastered stampers made by Hayes using acoustical methods. For example No. 67 on DM 117, 81 and 93 as coupled on DB 702, 95 on DB and VB, 99 on DM 118, etc. Item No. 130: label for DB 366 shows 053211, but the inner safety groove used by Victor to distinguish post 1909 re-recordings would confirm that the stamper used came from 2-053022.

London, March/1904

1. – 1(3) – Mattinata (Tosti) 03019 95019 – 03015 95022 (matrix has Roman iii above  it)
2. – 2 – Nymphes et sylvains (Bemberg) – 03016 95023 – IRCC 123
3. – 3
4. – 4
5. – 5
6. – 6 – TRAVIATA: A fors’e lui, Follie, Sempre libera – (Verdi) (Because the label would have covered part of the music the Follie-Sempre libera was milled out and covered so as only to issue the Andante part)- 03017 95014
7. – 7(7-B?) – Comin’ thro’ the rye (Trad) – 03018 (unpublished)
8. – 8
9. – 9 – Se saran rose (Arditi – 03019 95019
10. – 10
11. – 11
12. – 12 – LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Mad Scene – Cadenza (Donizetti) (Flute obbl. Gaubert) – 03020 95013
13. – 13
14. – 14
15. – 15-1 – IL PENSIEROSO: Sweet bird (Handel) Incomplete, speaking at the end by Melba. Unpublished
16. – 15-2 – IL PENSIEROSO: Sweet bird, with Cadenza (Handel) – 03021 95016
17. – 16-3?) – Goodbye (Tosti) two verses only – 03022 95012
18. – 17
19. – 18
20. – 19
21. – 20 – HAMLET: Mad scene, part 1 (Thomas) (orch) – 03023 95020 IRCC 47
22. – 21 – HAMLET: Mad scene, part 2 (Thomas) (orch) – 03024 95021 IRCC 47 03047 DB 347 95027
23. – 22-3 – RIGOLETTO: Caro nome (Verdi) (orch) – 03025 95018 IRCC 2
24. – 23-2 – TRAVIATA: Sempre libera (without Follie) (Verdi) (r) – 03026 95015
25. – 24
26. – 25-3 – Three Green Bonnets (d’Hardelot) – 03027 95017 IRCC 181
27. – 26-1 – NOZZE DI FIGARO: Porgi amor (Mozart) 03028 95024HMV VB 40 is a dubbing. IRCC2
28. – 27-1 – Si mes vers (Hahn) – 30029 95024
29. – 28-1 – LA BOHEME: Addio (Puccini) – 03030 Unpublished

London, 20 October 1904

30. – 6149 – Chant Venetien (Bemberg) – Unpublished
31. – 6150-2 – Chant Venetien (Bemberg) Composer at piano – 3575 94002
32. – 6151-2 – Les Anges pleurent (Bemberg) Composer at piano – 3576 94001 IRCC 54
33. – 400c – Ave Maria (?) – Unpublished
34. – 401c-2 – Ave Maria (Gounod) Violin obbl. Kubelik – 03033
35. – 402c-2 – La Serenata (Tosti) – 03034
36. – 403c
37. – 404c-2 – ROMEO ET JULIETTE: Valse (Gounod) – 03035 DB 367
38. – 405c-2 – Chant Hindou (Bemberg) Composer at piano – 03036
39. – 406c-2 – LA BOHEME: Addio (Puccini) – 03037

London, 4 September 1905, this group of six all 25 cm

40. – 7200 – God Save the King (Trad) Band of Coldstream Guards, conducted Rogan – 3625
41. – 7201½ – Auld Lang Syne (Trad) with vocal trio – Gwladys Roberts, Ernest Pike and Peter Dawson and Band – 3615 94004
42. – 72021½ – Come back to Erin (Claribel), with Band acc. – 3616 94003 – IRCC 150
43. – 7203 – Old folks at home (Foster) with Band and Trio as above – 3617 DA 337 94005
44. – 7204 – Goodnight (Sir A. Scott Gatty), Trio as above, with pf acc. – 3618 94006
45. – 7205 – Away on a hill there runs a stream (Landon Ronald) Composer at piano – 3619 DA 337 94007

London, 5 September 1905

46. – 520c – Sur le lac (Bemberg) Composer at piano – 03046 95028 IRCC 123
47. – 521c – Lo, here the gentle lark (Bishop) Flute by Fransella – 03047 DB 347 95027
48. – 522c – FAUST: jewel song (Gounod) – 03048
49. – 523c – Home sweet home (Bishop) – 03049 95026
50. – 524c – Goodbye (Tosti) (three verses) – 03050

London, 7 July 1906

51. – 689c – Ave Maria (Gounod) Cello obbl. W. H Squire – 30369
52. – 690c – ELAINE: Vamour est pur, with female chorus. Composer at pf. – Unpublished – IRCC 17
53. – 691c – Pastorale (Bizet) – 03070 IRCC 35
54. – 692c – LA BOHEME: Racconto di Mimi (Puccini) – This version is cut but ends with a few lines of recit. – 03071
55. – 693c – LE ROI D’YS: Aubade (Lalo) – 03072 HMV VB 13 is a dubbing – For series 1 to 55, piano accompanist was Landon Ronald except where shown otherwise.

London, 11 July 1907

56. – 8473b – White sea mist (Ronald) – Unpublished

New York & Camden, 24 30 March 1907
all with orch. except where shown otherwise.

57. – C4281 2 – LA BOHEME: Racconto di Mimi (Puccini) – 88074 053106
58. – C4282 2 – TOSCA: Vissi d’arte (Puccini) – 88075 053115
59. – C4283 2 RIGOLETTO: Caro nome (Verdi) – 88078 6213B, 053110 DB 346
60. – C4326 1 – LA BOHEME: 0 saove fanciulia, with CARUSO (Puccini) 85200 054129 (takes 2, 3, 4 unpublished)
61. – C4330 – FAUST: jewel song (Gounod) – 88066 033029
62. – C4339 2 – TRAVIATA: Ah, fors’e lui (Follie) Sempre libera (Verdi) – 88064 053108, 2 053029, DB 346 (see footnotes on this and Serial 120)
63. – C4340 – Goodbye (Tosti) – 88065 03091
64. – C4341 – LA BOHEME: Addio (Puccini) – 88072 053111
65. – C4342 2 – La Serenata (Tosti) Harp by Ada Sassoli – 88079 6221A, 053114 DB 349
66. – C4347 2 – Per valli, per Boschi, with Charles Gilibert, bar. (Bemberg) – 89011 054128 DM
67. – C4348 1 – Un ange est venu, with Gilibert, bar. – 89012 034014. – DM 117 was a dubbing of this item.
68. – C4349 2 – LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Mad scene, Cadenza only, flute obbl. by North – 88071 053112
69. – C4350 – Lo here the gentle lark (Bishop) Flute by North – 88073 03090
70. – 4351 – ?
71. – C4352 – Si mes vers (Hahn) Harp by Ada Sassoli – 88080 033026 DB 361
72. – C4353 – NOZZE DI FIGARO: Voi che sapete (Mozart) – 88067 053113 (reduced orch. introduction)
73. – C4354 2 – HAMLET: Mad scene, Part one (Thomas) – 88069 033028 DB 710 AGS B7
74. – C4355 3 – HAMLET, Mad scene, Part two (Thomas) – 88070 033027 DB 710 AGS B7
75. – C4356 – Se saran rose (Arditi) – 88076 053109
76. – C4357 – ROMEO ET JULIME: Valse (Gounod) – Unpublished
77. – C4358 – IL PENSIEROSO: Sweet Bird (incl. Cadenza) (Handel) – 88068 03089 Flute obbl. by North
78. – C4359 – Ave Maria (Gounod) – Unpublished
79. – C4360 – Mattinata (Tosti) pf acc. by Melba – 88077 053107
80. – C4361 – RIGOLETTO: Tutte le feste, duct with Campanari, bar. (Verdi) – Unpublished

Paris, circa 9 May 1908

81. – 602j – LA BOHEME: On m’appelle Mimi (Puccini) 033062, DB 702 was a dubbing of this title

New York, 1 January 1909

82. – C6697 – En sourdine (Debussy) Melba at piano? – 03376 allocated but unpubl. IRCC 35
83. – C6698 – Down in the forest (Ronald) Melba acc. at piano – 03130 allocated but unpub. AGS B67, IRCC 52
84. – C6699 – White Sea Mist (Ronald) Melba acc. at piano – 03134 allocated by unpub. AGS B53, IRCC 52
85. – C6700 – D’une Prison (Hahn) Melba at piano? – 88151 033077 allocated but unpub. Gram. Co.
86. – C6701 2 – Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms (Moore) Melba at piano? – 88156 03131 & 03694, DB 357 1
87. – C6702 88. – C6703 89. – C6704 – OTELLO: Salce, salce (Verdi) – 88148 053211
90. – C6705 – OTELLO: Ave Maria (Verdi) – 88149 053212
91. – C6707 – 0 lovely night (Ronald) – 88157, 88182; 03133, both this & 132 issued on 89182
92. – C6707 – Ye Banks and Braes (Trad) Melba at piano? – 88190, 621811; 03132 & 03696, DB 362

(1) N. Melba, Melodies and Memories, Thornton Butterworth Ltd, London, 1925, pgs 246-249.

London, 11 and 19 May 1910

93. – 4183f – TOSCA: Vissi d’arte (Puccini) – 2-053020, DB 702
94. – 4184f – DON CESAR DE BAZAN: Sevillana (Massenet) – unpublished
95. – 4185f – LOHENGRIN: Elsa’s Dream (Wagner) (It.) – 2-053019; DB366 & VB 53 are both dubbings
96. – 4186f – TOSCA: Vissi d’arte (Puccini) unpublished
97. – 4187f – TRAVIATA: Duet with John McCormack (ten.) – Unpublished, master destroyed
98. – 4188f – FAUST: Final trio with McCormack and Mario Sammarco (Gounod) – Unpublished
99. 4189f RIGOLETIO: Quartet, with Edna Thornton, McCormack and Mario Sammarco (Verdi) 2-054025, DM 118, IRX 1007
100. – 4190f – FAUST: Final trio with McCormack and Mario Sammarco (Gounod) – Unpublished originally, later on IRX 1006, Victor Heritage 15-1019B and IRCC 7B
101. – 4191f
102. – 4192f
103. – 4193f – Bid me discourse (Bishop) – 03188, DB 347
104. – 4194f – The sounds of earth (Ronald), composer at piano – Unpublished
105. – 4195f – HAMLET, Part of Mad scene used as distance test (Thomas) – Unpublished
106. – 11689e – Jean (Burleigh) acc. Pf. – Unpublished
107. – 4206f – DON CESAR DE BAZAN: Sevillana (Massenet) – Unpublished
108. – 4207f – DON CESAR DE BAZAN: Sevillana (Massenet) – Unpublished
109. – 4208f – LE CID: Plcurez, mes yeux (Massenet) – 2-033020, DB 711
110. – 4209f – Soir Paien (Hue) – Unpublished
111. – 4210f – Spring (Henschel) – Unpublished, matrix destroyed
112. – 4211f – O for the wings of a dove (Mendelssohn) – Unpublished, matrix destroyed
113. – 42 12f-2 – O for the wings of a dove (Mendelssohn) – 03199, DB 351
114. – 4213f – Spring (Henschel) – 03328 IRCC 181
115. – 4214f – Pur dicesti (Lotti) – Unpublished

Camden, USA, 3-7 November 1910

116. – C4281 – LA BOHEME: Racconto di Mimi (Puccini) – 1& 2 – 88074, 6210A; 2-05325, DB 356
117. – C4282-2 – TOSCA: Vissi d’arte (Puccini) – 88075, 6220A, 2-053024
118. – C4337 – NOZZE DI FIGARO: Voi che sapete – Unpublished
119. – C4338-2 – FAUST: jewel song (Gounod) – 88066, 6215A; 2-033022, DB 361
120. – C4339 – TRAVIATA: Ah fors’e lui-Follie-Sempre libera (Verdi) – 88064 2-053029 – see note re this & No. 62
121. – C4340-3 – Goodbye (Tosti) – 88065, 6222A; 03206, DB 358
122. – C4341-2 – LA BOHEME: Addio (Puccini) – 88072, 6210B; 2-053028, DB 356
123. – C4349 -2 – LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Mad scene, Cadenza only (Donizetti) Flute obbl. Lemmone – 88071, 6219B; 2-053026, DB 364
124. – C4350 – Lo here the gentle lark (Bishop) Flute Lemmone – 2&3 – 88073 take 3, 6214A; 03203 take 2, DB 348
125. – C4353 – NOZZE D1 FIGARO: Voi che sapete (Mozart) – 88067, 6219B; 2-053027, DB 367

Camden, USA, 24 & 25 August 1910

126. – C4356-2 – Se saran rose (Arditi) – 88076, 6220B; 2-053023, DB 349
127. – C4358-2 – IL PENSIEROSO: Sweet bird (Handel) Flute Lemmone – 88068, 6214B; 03089, DB 350
128. – C6702
129. – C6703
130. – C6704-1 OTELLO: Salce, salce (Verdi) 88148, 6211A; 2-053022, DB 366 – shows 053211 on label
131. – C6705-4 – OTELLO: Ave Maria (Verdi) – 88149, 621 IB; 2-05302 1, DM 118
132. – C6706-3 – 0 lovely night (Ronald) – 88182, 6222B; 03204, DB 350 AGS B67
133. – C9370-2 – DON CESAR DE BAZAN: Sevillana (Massenet) – 88252, 6216B; 2-033023, DB711, also on Vic. 88662
134. – C9371-2 – HAMLET: Mad scene (condensed version) (Thomas) – 88251, 6215B; 2-033024, DB 364
135. – C9352 – LE ROI D’YS: Aubade (Lalo) or. W. Rogers – 1-2 – 88250, 2-033025, DB 354
136. – C9373 – STABAT MATER: Inflammatus (Rossini) – Unpublished
137. – C9374 – Bid me discourse (Bishop) – Unpublished
138. – C375-2 – By the Brook (Wetzger), flute solo by John Lemmone with piano accompaniment by Melba – 70023, 55111B; 09151, D 477

London, May 1913

139. – Y – 16572e – Chanson triste (Duparc) Lapierre at piano? – 7-3304, DA 334
140. – Z – 7321f – Ave Maria (Gounod) – Matrix destroyed
141. – Z – 7322f-3 – IL RE PASTORE: Vamero saro costante (Mozart) – 2-053083, DK 112. Violin obbl. by Kubelik
142. – Z – 7323f – Ave Maria (Gounod) violin by Kubelik, organ by Roper – 03333
143. – Z – 7324f
144. – Z – 7325f – Le Temps des Lilas (Chausson) – 2-033037 IRCC7

Camden, USA 2-4 October 1913

145. – CI3896 – IL RE PASTORE: L’amero saro costante (Mozart) – 89074, 2-033044 – (Unpublished?), vI, Kubelik
146. – CI3897-2 – Ave Maria (Gounod) violin obbl. Kubelik – 89073, 03333, DK 112, HMV labels incorrectly show with organ accompaniment
147. – CI3898-2 – Magdalen at Michael’s Gate (Liza Lehmann) – 88452, 03370, DB 709
148. – C13899-2 – Romance; Mandoline (Debussy) – 88456, 2-033042, DB 709
149. – C13800-2 – LOUISE: Depuis le jour (Charpentier) – 88477, 6216A; 2-033076, DB 354
150. – 13901 – Phydile (Duparc) – Unpublished
151. – C13902 – Le Temps des Illas (Chausso.n) – Unpublished
152. – CI3903 – LOUISE: Depuis le jour (Charpentier) – Unpublished
153. – CI3904-2 – Old folks at home (Foster) – 88454, 6217B; 03362, DB 348
154. – CI3905-2 – John Anderson my jo (White) – 88455, 03371, DB 363
155. – 13906 – Chanson triste (Duparc) – Unpublished
156. – CI3907 – Comin’ thro’ the rye (Trad) – 88449, 6218A; 03369, DB 362
157. – C13908-1 Les anges pleurent; Chant Venetien (Bemberg) – 88457, 2-033043 – allocated but unpublished
158. – C13909 – Vocal lesson Number One, Melba at the piano. – Unpublished

Camden, USA, 12 January 1916

159. – C17001 – Annie Laurie (Scott) – 1 & 2 – 88551, 6217A; 03523, DB 357
160. – CI7002-2 – Songs my mother taught me (Dvorak) (Orch) – 88485, 03695, DB 363
161. – C17003 – Annie Laurie (Scott) – Unpublished
162. – C17004-1 – Songs my mother taught me (Dvorak) 88553 – allocated but unpublished. Released as a 17cm private pressing, 33r.p.m. for the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, StARS 1000B, F.St.Leger at pf.

London, 12 May 1921

163. – Ccl47-2 – SADKO: Chanson Hindoue (Rimsky Korsakov) – 03759, DB 358
164. – Ccl48 – Away on a hill – Down in the forest (Ronald) – Unpublished. Composer at the piano.
165. – Bb149 – By the waters of Minnetonka (Lieurance) – 2-3568, DA334
166. – Bb150 – Annie Laurie (Scott)
– Unpublished 167. – Cc151-1 – Home sweet home (Bishop) – 03049, DB351

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, 8 June 1926.

Live recordings of Melba’s Farewell Performance, with (a) Browning Mummery, (b) John Brownlee, (c) Frederick Collier, (d) Edouard Cotreuil, (c) Aurora Rettore. Conductor was Vincenzo Bellezza.

168. – CR 417 – OTELLO: Salce, salce (Verdi) – (2-053263), DB 1500
169. – CR 418 – OTELLO: Salce, Pan 2 (Verdi) Unpublished
170. – CR 419 – OTELLO: Ave Maria (Verdi) – Unpublished
171. – CR 411 – LA BOHEME: C’e Rodolfo with (b) (Puccini) – Unpublished
172. – CR 412 – LA BOHEME: Addio (Puccini) – (2-053264), DB 493 & DB 1500
173. – CR 413 – LA BOHEME: Addio dolce svegliare, with (a), (b) & (c) (Puccini) – Unpublished
174. CR 414 LA BOHEME: Entrata di Mimi, with (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) (Puccini) Unpublished
175. – CR 415 – LA BOHEME: Sono andati, with (a) (Puccini) Unpublished
176. – CR 416 – LA BOHEME: Morte di Mimi, with (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) (Puccini) – Unpublished
177. – CR 421 – Melba’s Farewell Speech – (01182), DB 943

Queen’s Hall (Small Hall) London, 17 December 1926.

These four titles with piano accompaniment by Harold Craxton.

178. – Cc9550-1 – TRAVIATA. Dite alla giovine, duet with John Brownlee, bar. (Verdi) – (2-054171), DB 987, V13 64
179. – Cc95 5 1- Un ange est venu, duet with John Brownlee, bar. (Bemberg) – IA – (2-034041), DB987, VB 64
180. – Cc9552-2 Clair de lune (Szulc) – (2-033145), DB 989; 6733A
181. – Cc9553 – Swing low, sweet chariot (arr. Burleigh) – 1A – (03894), DB 989; 6733B

Metropolitan Opera House, New York, January-March 1901

The following titles are from the Mapleson (Librarian of the opera house at the time) collection of cylinder recordings made during actual performances. Much recent research has been done on these and it may be that other Melba titles will emerge. Some of the tracks below, all including Melba, were issued on two long-play discs (with many other artists’ tracks from the same collection) by the International Record Collectors’ Club, USA, except No. 187 which originally appeared as a single-sided 78 r.p.m. shellac pressing, in 1938 as IRCC 5002. (Some time ago Dr John Stratton, Canada, concluded that this excerpt was by Suzanne Adams and not Melba, Ed).

182. – LE CID: Alleluia, (Massenet) – 16 Jan. 1901 – IRCC L7004
183. – LE CID: Concertato, Act 1, with Breval, Jean & Ed. de Reszke, Plancon & Sizes. – 19 Jan. 1901
184. – LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Verrano o te, with Saleza, ten. (Donizetti) – 2 Mar. 1901.
185. – FAUST: jewel song, first part only – 28 Mar. 1901 – IRCC L7004
186. – FAUST: Final trio, w. Saleza and Ed. de Reszke (Gounod) – 4 Mar. 1901 – Item on L7004 features Calve, etc.
187. – LES HUGUENOTS: A ce mot tout s’anime (both verses of cabaletta) – 11 Mar. 1901 – IRCC 5002, last verse only on IRCC 3034B and L7006
188. – TRAVIATA: Un di felice (2nd part only) with A. Dippel, ten. – 16 Mar. 1901 – L7006
189. – LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Spargi d’amaro pianto (Donizetti) – 18 Mar. 1901 – L7004
190. – ROMEO ET JULIETTE: Valse (Gounod) – Date not known

The following unconfirmed titles are supposed to have been made:

A. LUCIA DI LAMMERMOORE: Verrano a te, with Charles Daimmores, ten, probably in USA 1907.
B. LA BOHEME: Mimi e ver, with Sammarco, probably London 1910.
C. PAGLIACCI: E allor perche di. with Sammarco, probably London 1910.
D. SAMSON: Let the bright seraphim (Handel), probably London 1910.

If the reader is interested in an even more detailed discography I suggest William R. Moran’s lists and notes in Nellie Melba: A Contemporary Review (Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1985).

Reference: T. Radic, Melba The Voice of Australia, (Melbourne, The Macmillian Company of Australia Pty Ltd, 1986), p195-198.

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Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
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Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
Email: info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Share your info with us:
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By Appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Share Your Information
with Nellie Melba Museum!

Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au