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.
Lotte Schöne: Complete Recordings
54007-2 (4 CDs) | $72 ($54 to preferred customers)
Lotte Schöne is one of those singers whose personality shines through the shellac: joyful, expressive, and bubbly. She was loved by audiences in Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, Paris, and London. Being Jewish, she left Berlin in 1933, but continued to sing in Vienna and Paris until 1938. At the outbreak of World War II, Schöne took refuge in a small village in the French alps where she stayed in hiding until 1945. After the war she gave occasional concerts and sang one performance in 1948 at the Berlin State Opera. She spent the remainder of her life living outside of Paris.
Lotte Schöne’s records are highly prized. This set contains all of her known recordings for Odeon, Vox, and HMV. It also includes four unpublished unique test pressings of Hugo Wolf songs and two non-commercial discs made for her family. Also included are songs recorded late in her career for French and German Radio in 1948 and 1949. This is the first time that her complete extant recordings can be heard in one compilation. The booklet includes rare photos and a personal essay by the noted French author, André Tubeuf, written in English especially for this Marston release.
John McCormack: The Electric Edition
51601-2 (16 CDs) | $195 ($125 to preferred customer)
This deluxe 16-CD set will contain John McCormack’s complete electrically recorded output of 243 sides, 1925-1942, plus all extant alternative takes as well as 2 CDs of his surviving radio broadcasts. Each disc is being newly transferred by Ward Marston from original sources. The set will contain a comprehensive booklet of essays and notes on the recordings by the leading authorities on John McCormack: Gordon Ledbetter, author of two books on the tenor, and Michael Aspinall, the world’s acknowledged expert on the art of bel canto, of which McCormack was one of the greatest exponents. The final two CDs in the set will comprise new restorations of all 57 of McCormack’s earliest recordings, made on cylinder and disc in 1904, following his victory in the Dublin Feis Ceoil national singing competition in 1903. These fascinating, if primitive, vocal documents allow us to hear the artist before his sojourn in Italy in 1905, when he trained under Maestro Sabatini. This set is definitely scheduled to be released, but we have not yet reached our fundraising goal. Please click on “Sponsor a CD” for more information on ways you can help support this important project.
Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Electric Odeon Recordings, 1927-1933
56004-2 (6 CDs) | $72 ($54 to preferred customers)
This six-CD set comprises the 130 sides that Lotte Lehmann recorded for Odeon between 1927 and 1933. It is a sequel to the four-CD set of her complete acoustic recordings that we released in 2017. By 1927, Lehmann had been on stage for 17 years, and yet there is no diminution of her vocal powers, with her great warmth and charm always in evidence. During this period, the Odeon company recorded her in many of the operatic arias that she had already recorded with the acoustical process. Highlights that are new to this set include her only recordings from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Arabella, two arias from Turandot, and a marvelous recording of “La mamma morta” from Andrea Chenier. Lieder by Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms are also amply represented.
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.
Sponsored by The Stratton Trust, Stephen Clarke, Executor
British Tenors of the 78 Era: A Forgotten School of Singing
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 when the model for singing tenor in Britain became Peter Pears, whose singing was not really like any of his predecessors. This CD set will celebrate the historic and wonderful recordings made by those earlier tenors. They sound old-fashioned because no one singing today sounds like them. Although some of them recorded songs and arias in foreign languages, we will intentionally limit this set to English songs, operatic arias, and oratorio arias. 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, and will include approximately twenty-five tenors such as Heddle Nash, Edward Lloyd, Gervase Elwes, Tudor Davies, Walter Widdop, John Coates, and Walter Hyde, among others.
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.
Partially sponsored by G. Ronald Kastner, Ph. D.
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.