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.

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson

Complete European Studio Recordings, 1928-1938 and Selected American Broadcasts and Concert Performances, 1936-1953

56006-2 (6 CDs) | $72 ($54 to preferred customers)
VOCAL

Marian Anderson (1897–1993) was an American contralto known for her recitals of opera, spirituals, and Lieder as well as her achievements in eroding the color barrier in arts and culture. She was a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. She sang at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 in the now-famous response to being shut out of Constitution Hall by the DAR, performed at the March on Washington in 1963, and was the first black person to sing at the Metropolitan Opera (1955) in New York in her only operatic role on stage. While a towering figure in the civil rights movement, it was Marian Anderson’s velvety and vibrant contralto voice that opened the doors for herself and others.

This six-CD set gathers together for the first time all of Marian Anderson’s European recordings made by the Gramophone Company, Artiphon, and the Soviet Gramplastrest, most of which have never before been available on any compact disc reissues. The set also includes Anderson’s appearances on the Magic Key radio program, 1936-1938, and selected arias, songs, and spirituals taken from her appearances on the Telephone Hour between 1942 and 1953. Special attention has been made to include broadcast repertoire that Marian Anderson did not record commercially. The last CD of the set concludes with two Bach arias performed in 1951 during a live concert in New York’s Town Hall, as well as recently discovered selections from concerts in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Numerous photos round out the set, along with liner notes by Jeffery McMillan, author and public relations director at San Francisco Opera, and Mark Burford, R. P. Wollenberg professor of music at Reed College, author of Mahalia Jackson and the Black Gospel Field, and editor of The Mahalia Jackson Reader.

This set is fully funded.

The Complete Recordings of Hina Spani

The Complete Recordings of Hina Spani

52077-2 (2 CDs) | $36
VOCAL

Hina Spani (1890*–1969) was born Higinia Tuñón in a province of Buenos Aires. She enjoyed a major operatic career centered in Italy during the 1920s and 1930s. Among the great sopranos of her era, Spani shines as brightly as any, yet her celebrity was less well known most likely due to her career being limited mainly to Italy, Spain, and South America, and her only tour to an English-speaking country was in Australia. She made her operatic debut at La Scala in 1915 as Anna in Catalani’s Loreley. She sang at Puccini’s funeral at the Duomo in Milan’s cathedral on 29 November 1924 (and repeated this performance at La Scala a month later) under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, which was a turning point in her career. She created the title role in the world premiere of Respighi’s Maria Egiziaca in 1934 at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires and performed in the world premiere of Alberto Franchetti’s Glauco. Spani’s voice is of first-rate quality and well-trained, with a beautifully warm tone and an even scale. She began as a lirico-spinto but graduated to dramatic parts and had a vibrant, instantly recognizable voice capable of thrilling the listener in opera or song. Although she was a true soprano, she had the fullness associated with mezzo-sopranos: she sang some roles often taken by mezzos, such as Marina in Boris Godunov and Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, and regretted never having portrayed Eboli in Don Carlos. She excelled in art songs but commanded no fewer than sixty operatic roles. After retiring from the operatic stage, she taught at the Vocal Art Institute of the Teatro Colón, which she directed.

Hina Spani’s entire recorded output can be found on fewer than twenty discs. Her musical conviction and sincerity linked with limited recordings have made Spani a favorite among record collectors. This complete two-CD set includes all of her recordings for Italian Columbia and HMV. The repertoire is almost evenly divided between operatic arias and Italian, Spanish, and Argentinian art songs. The booklet notes are by Michael Aspinall and Tully Potter.

*In true prima donna fashion, Spani took six years off her age and gave her birth year as 1896.

 

Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Acoustic Recordings

Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Acoustic Recordings

53025-2 (3 CDs) | $54
PIANO

Wilhelm Walter Friedrich Kempff (1895–1991) is considered one of the great pianists of the twentieth century. One of the last chief exponents of the Germanic piano tradition, Kempff is particularly well-known for his interpretations of Beethoven and Schubert. He is often best remembered for his warmth and poetic insights, sensitivity, and beautiful phrasing, yet this set of Kempff’s earliest recordings also reveal a young firebrand: a technical marvel capable of stunning, extroverted virtuosity.

Wilhelm Kempff was awarded two scholarships to the Berlin Hochschule für Musik at the age of nine: one to study piano with Heinrich Barth, and another to study composition with Brahms’s close friend and disciple Robert Kahn, both of whom had previously taught Artur Rubinstein. In 1917, Kempff gave his first major recital, consisting of predominantly major works, including Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and Brahms’s “Variations on a Theme of Paganini”. Kempff toured extensively during his career yet did not make his first London appearance until 1951, and his first in New York in 1964 at the ages of 55 and 69 respectively. He gave his last public performance in Paris in 1981, and then retired for health reasons (Parkinson’s Disease).

Wilhelm Kempff recorded over a period of some sixty years, yet this set of his acoustic recordings is unique: this is the first time that these early acoustic recordings have been assembled and the only group of Kempff recordings that have never been reissued. Additionally, Kempff establishes himself as the first pianist in history to place fully a quarter of the Beethoven sonatas on disc. The final Kempff DG/Polydor acoustic recording is arguably the most historically significant, since his Beethoven First, recorded with the Berlin State Opera Orchestra in September of 1925, stands as the first commercial release of one of the staples of the modern repertoire. Notes by Stephen Siek (pianist, musicologist, piano historian, and author of England’s Piano Sage: The Life and Teachings of Tobias Matthay) round out this historically important and beautifully lyric set.

Our sponsorship goal is $7,500, the cost to remaster and manufacture a three-CD set.

Celestina Boninsegna (Norma)

The Complete Celestina Boninsegna

55003-2 (5 CDs) | $72 ($54 to preferred customers)
VOCAL

Celestina Boninsegna (1877–1947) was one of the most prolifically-recorded sopranos of the early twentieth century. Yet it was not her stage career which convinced recording executives to produce her records, but her “phonogenic” voice that created the demand. Boninsegna’s recordings are stunning, making her one of the most collectible sopranos of her time. She managed to overcome the limitations of the acoustic recording studio and leave us records that have some of the presence of live recordings from the stage. According to Fred Gaisberg, the impresario for the Gramophone Company, Boninsegna’s “voice was so smooth and velvety and of such even registers that recording was no effort; the results obtained were always thoroughly musical and therefore gave intense pleasure. Those harsh places expected in any record by a dramatic soprano were conspicuous by their absence.”

Over the past fifty years there have been no comprehensive LP or CD reissues of Boninsegna’s records. We now pay homage to Boninsegna by reissuing all of her recordings in this five-CD set, which will include several extremely rare photos, complete discographic information, and an informative essay by Michael Aspinall on her career and recordings.

Our sponsorship goal is $12,500, the cost to remaster and manufacture a five-CD set.

Lawrence Tibbett

Lawrence Tibbett

The Complete Victor Recordings and Selected Broadcasts

TBA $120 ($85 to preferred customers)
VOCAL

Few (if any?) opera singers have also been Academy Award nominees, let alone for Best Actor.  But then again, there is only one Lawrence Tibbett (1896–1960). Described as dashing, Tibbett had a career as a movie actor, radio show personality and host, with sponsors such as Packard, Firestone, and Chesterfield. He was also one of the first “crossover” artists singing Gershwin, Kern, and Porter, and was a staple at the Met. A cogent and articulate advocate for artistic causes (rare in his day), he founded the American Guild of Musical Artists with Jascha Heifetz. But first and foremost, Lawrence Tibbett was an opera singer and one of the greatest baritones of all time.

Lawrence Tibbett signed his first contract with the Metropolitan Opera at age twenty-six and over the years built a hugely successful career. His voice was large, deep, and dark-timbred. His dynamic range (in his prime) ranged from forceful fortes to delicate pianissimos. Falstaff’s Ford was his breakthrough role and he was an outstanding Simon Boccanegra, Iago, Scarpia, and Escamillo. Tibbett was the consummate musician with an incredible stage presence. Sadly, arthritis and alcohol took its toll and Tibbett died from a fall in his apartment at age sixty-three.

Tibbett recorded exclusively for RCA Victor between 1925 and 1940, making over one hundred sides. Marston Records is pleased to present the complete Victor recordings of Tibbett for the first time. In addition, this set will include recordings made for his films, Metropolitan and Under your Spell, as well as selections from his Packard and Chesterfield radio broadcasts never before available on compact disc. The booklet will contain many rare photos and a comprehensive essay by author and critic Conrad Osborne on Tibbett’s life, career, and recorded legacy.

This set is fully funded.

Landmarks of Recorded Pianism, Vol. 3

Landmarks of Recorded Pianism, Vol. 3

52076-2 (2 CDs) | $36
PIANO

Marston Records’s next issue in the Landmarks of Recorded Pianism series will continue to explore the question “What is a landmark piano recording?” In Volume Three our choices will again be presented, with an emphasis on recordings that have never been issued or reissued, and which seem to the producers (Ward Marston and Gregor Benko) to merit the attention of music lovers, scholars, and collectors because of their intrinsic musical and historic importance, not their rarity. This two-CD set will contain a mixture of piano solo and concerted works. Among the latter will be a live performance of the Schumann Concerto with the pupil of Clara Schumann, Adelina de Lara, plus a recently discovered live performance of the Chopin F minor Concerto with Jan Smeterlin and the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, as well as a radio broadcast performance of an abridged first movement of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Simon Barere. Rare solo piano recordings taken from early discs and broadcasts will complete the set. Many of the recordings that will be presented are indeed great rarities, some completely unknown before this. Volumes One and Two in the series have proved controversial, which is not a bad thing especially when reviewers completely disagree on which inclusions are the best and worst of the set. Having said this, the feedback from our clientele has been uniformly enthusiastic, so onward to Volume Three. 

Our sponsorship goal is $5,000, the cost to remaster and manufacture a two-CD set.

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)
VOCAL

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 nineteenth century and the first three decades of the twentieth: 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
OPERA

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.