Future Releases

In an effort to meet the needs of the Marston customer, we have chosen our upcoming releases with you in mind. We press only 1000 copies of most releases and do not repress so “when they’re gone, they’re gone.” To date, more than a 1/3 of our catalogue is out of print!

Listed below are a number of projects which are at various stages of completion. When a set is approaching release (within two months of becoming available), it will go on sale through the website. Your credit card will be charged when the order is placed, and the CDs will be shipped as soon as they are in our hands. "Pre-ordering" this way will guarantee that you are not left out in the cold! Check back regularly for updates on the status of future projects.

British Tenors of the 78 Era (Gervase Elwes)

A Survey of British Tenors Before Peter Pears

53020-2 (3 CDs) | $54

There was a style of tenor singing in the early days of recording that was peculiarly British. It began we can suppose with tenors of the 18th and 19th centuries who did not record, such as Charles Dibdin, John Braham and Sims Reeves, and carried on more or less until the end of the 78rpm era by British tenors who did record until the model for singing tenor in Britain became Peter Pears, whose singing was not really like any of his predecessors. This CD set celebrates the historic and wonderful recordings made by those earlier tenors. They sound old-fashioned because no-one singing today sounds like them. They also sang and recorded a repertory of English songs and opera arias infrequently performed today. Although some of them recorded songs and arias in foreign languages, we have intentionally limited this set to songs, operatic arias and oratorio arias originally sung in English. As Shaw wrote in 1891 in his review of the farewell concert of Sims Reeves, the public was losing the greatest tenor in England and perhaps the greatest tenor in the world. This set is intended to allow us to imagine what a Sims Reeves concert might have been like.

Included singers: Dan Beddoe, Webster Booth, Tom Burke, Joseph Cheetham, John Coates, Sydney Coltham, Ben Davies, Tudor Davies, Hubert Eisdell, Gervase Elwes, Walter Glynne, William Green, John Harrison, Gregory Hast, Ruby Helder, Joseph Hislop, Walter Hyde, James Johnston, Hirwen Jones, Arthur Jordan, Morgan Kingston, Edward Lloyd, John McCormack, Frank Mullings, Heddle Nash, Joseph O’Mara, Charles Saunders, Herbert Teale, Frank Titterton, Henry Wendon, Walter Widdop, and Evan Williams.

The Complete Josef Lhevinne

53023-2 (3 CDs) | $54 ($36 to preferred customers)

Josef Lhevinne studied at the Moscow Conservatory under Vasily Safonov, made his public debut at fourteen in a performance conducted by Anton Rubinstein, and graduated top of a class that included both Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin. Lhevinne is often included as one of the greatest golden-era pianists, and yet, his recorded legacy is approximately fifty minutes of repertoire for Pathé and Victor, albeit treasured and admired. And not unlike a star whose light went out too soon, the public created a mythos based on a small output and clamors for more examples of his playing to further justify his reputation. The wait is now over.

In addition to the Pathé and Victor recordings, this release includes a 1943 New York broadcast of Brahms's Op. 25 Piano Quartet with Lhevinne and the Perolé String Quartet, which is the cornerstone of this release. Also included will be several studio broadcasts from the 1930s. Among these broadcasts will be the second and third movements of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 from an NBC studio broadcast of 1933, which has been in the hands of collectors for many years. However, we now have a nearly complete performance of this work: Josef Lhevinne featured in this concerto during a Worcester Festival concert in 1936. It should be noted that for unknown reasons the first four minutes of the concerto were not recorded and despite recording flaws, this recording does give us a sense of Lhevinne's unique brilliance. This set will be a must for anyone collecting recordings of pianists of the golden age.

Jean Lassalle

Nineteenth Century French-Baritones

Jean Lassalle, Léon Melchissédec, Maurice Renaud, and Jean Baptist Faure

52069-2 (2 CDs) | $36

Some CD compilations are known because of the rarity of the recordings, while others are known for the quality of singing; this compilation contains some of the rarest recordings known to collectors, and displays incredible singing as well. Jean Lassalle was born in 1847 and died in 1909, not long after the dawn of recording. His career was stellar: he was one of the greatest luminaries of the Paris Opéra; he was a frequent guest in London; and was an honored member of the Metropolitan Opera. His expressive voice displayed mastery of technique, and although his recordings were made when he was in his late 50s, there is still much in the way of style and technique that can be heard. His first recordings were Pathé cylinders dating from about 1902, followed by discs for Odeon and Pantophone in 1904 and 1905. This set will include some 23 of these incredibly rare recordings from the operatic and song repertory. Léon Melchissédec was born in 1843 and died in 1925. He was successful at the Opéra-Comique, the Théâtre Lyrique, and the Paris Opéra. His voice was polished and expressive. His first record was an 1899 seven-inch Berliner of the drum major’s aria from Thomas’s Le Caid, which although highly abridged, shows his voice and technique in remarkable condition. Besides this extremely rare disc, this CD compilation will contain a group of Pathé cylinders, four Zonophone discs, and six sides recorded for the APGA label when Melchissédec was 65 years old. Jean Baptist Faure was born in 1830 and died in 1914. In addition to composing a number of classical songs, which gained immense popularity, Faure was a celebrated baritone who created many important roles including Nélusko (Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine), Rodrigue (Verdi’s Don Carlos), and Thomas’s Hamlet. There exist two non-commercial wax cylinders from about 1905, thought possibly to be sung by Faure, though this is only a supposition. On these cylinders, one hears a baritone of advanced years whose voice yet evinces skill and authority. It should be mentioned that this set will also include the seven Pathé recordings by Maurice Renaud which we were unable to fit on to our Renaud compilation released in 1998.

The Works of Ernest Reyer and Édouard Lalo

The Works of Ernest Reyer and Édouard Lalo

53019-2 (3 CDs) | $54 ($36 to preferred customers)

At the turn of the 20th century, Ernest Reyer and Édouard Lalo had experienced a certain degree of fame. Reyer’s opera Sigurd was still active in the repertory of many French opera houses including the Paris Opera, and although less popular, Maître Wolfram, La statue, and Salammbô were performed and also occasionally recorded. In the early years of recording, the most popular arias from Sigurd became staples of record company catalogs especially with the tenor arias being recorded by the likes of Scaramberg, Affre, Lafitte, Franz, and Vezzani.

Édouard Lalo, who today is best known for his Symphonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra, composed one opera that was immensely popular during the last decade of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th: Le roi d’Ys. The “Aubade” from Act 3, “Vainement, ma bien aimée” was one of the most popular and ubiquitously recorded of all French tenor arias, ranking with the flower song from Carmen and “Plus blanche” from Les Huguenots.

This set devoted to Reyer and Lalo will feature at least one recording of each excerpt that was recorded between 1902 and 1930 and will feature approximately 35 singers. The booklet will contain: essays on the life and works of these two composers by Vincent Giroud; plot summaries of their operas; and short biographical sketches of the singers.

Richard Wagner: Parsifal (New York City, 14 April 1938 featuring Kirsten Flagstaff and Lauritz Melchior)

Richard Wagner: Parsifal

New York City, 15 April 1938
featuring Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior

54008-2 (4 CDs) | $54

Among all of the great performances of Wagner’s final opera, this performance of Parsifal from the stage of the Met has been for years one of the holy grails for Wagner enthusiasts, for until now, this broadcast had never been issued in its complete form. It represents the only time that Parsifal with the great Wagnerian duo, Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior, was broadcast and preserved. It has none of the customary cuts that afflict other Wagner performances from this era with all cast members in excellent voice. The transfers were made from original discs recorded off the air by a New York recording studio, and we are proud to present this important performance for the first time. The two other principals are Friedrich Schorr and Emanuel List. During this time, the Metropolitan’s Wagner opera performances were conducted by Austrian conductor, Artur Bodanzky. But on this Good Friday, because of ill health, his doctors insisted that he conduct only the first and third acts; act 2 is ably conducted by his then assistant, Erich Leinsdorf.