Future Releases - staging for approval

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.

Lawrence Tibbett

Lawrence Tibbett

The Complete Victor Recordings and Selected Broadcasts

TBA $120 ($85 to preferred customers)

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) | $42 ($38 to preferred customers)

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 $6,000, 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) | $63 ($54 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 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) | $66 ($57 to preferred customers)

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.