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.

Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Acoustic Recordings

Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Acoustic Recordings

53025-2 (3 CDs) | $63 ($54 to preferred customers)
PIANO

Friedrich Wilhelm Walter 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 fifty-five and sixty-nine 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.

In Memoriam Robert L. Autrey, II: Record collector and opera lover
This project is fully sponsored by Tito and Michael Autrey

Graziella Pareto

The Complete Graziella Pareto with Selected Recordings of Elvira de Hidalgo

52078-2 (2 CDs) | $42 ($38 to preferred customers)
VOCAL

Sir Thomas Beecham said of Graziella Pareto, “…this remarkable artist had a voice of exquisite beauty, haunting pathos and flawless purity…. But like Claire Dux and a few others of exceptional merit, Pareto never achieved that pre-eminent position to which her gifts seemed to destin her, and though there is generally a reason for such things, in this case I am ignorant of it.”

Graziella Pareto (Barcelona, 6 May 1889 – Rome, 1 September 1973) made her operatic debut as Micaëla in Carmen, on the 8th of May 1906, at the Teatro Liceu, Barcelona. By age twenty-one she was singing with the biggest operatic stars of her time. Step by step she conquered all the major opera houses in Spain and Italy, toured all over the world, and never had to perform in less important theaters.

Most critics described Pareto’s singing as “exquisite,” “artistic,” “aristocratic,” and “elegant.” Others felt she had “a light voice” which occasionally got “drowned by the orchestra except for the high notes,” which may explain why her on-stage stardom was not achieved. Her recorded legacy, however, though relatively small, for the most part overcomes the problems of projection. Even before her second operatic engagement, the Milan branch of the Gramophone Company contracted Pareto (on the 25th of September 1907) to make celebrity red label records. Recording exclusively for the Gramophone Company, Pareto transmits her artistic and aristocratic style through the grooves. In addition, one hears flawless technique, beauty of voice, evenness of her registers, and clarity. Pareto was an incomparable artist and we are proud to release all thirty-six sides she made.

Filling out this two-CD set are selected recordings of Elvira de Hidalgo. A student of Melchior Vidal (Pareto’s teacher as well). Hidalgo is best remembered as the teacher of Maria Callas, who spoke often and glowingly of Hidalgo. We have chosen eight selections, two of which were electrically recorded in Athens in 1933.

The set includes notes by Michael Aspinall and an abundance of photos.

Our sponsorship goal is $6,000, the cost to remaster and manufacture this two-CD set.

The Complete Recordings of Giuseppe Anselmi

The Complete Recordings of Giuseppe Anselmi

55004-2 (5 CDs) | $84 ($63 to preferred customers)
VOCAL

The charismatic lyric tenor Giuseppe Anselmi (1876–1929) was idolized in Madrid, Warsaw, Buenos Aires, and Saint Petersburg during the first decade of the 20th century. He sang with success at Covent Garden and La Scala at a time when his competition was Caruso, Zenatello, Bonci, and Giorgini. Understanding the power of recordings to publicize a singer’s voice, Anselmi recorded prolifically for Fonotipia from 1907–1910 (both operatic and song repertoire) and in 1913 for Edison. His records include some of his own compositions, as well as some pieces of unusual repertoire for the time, so some of the records are quite scarce for this reason. Also an accomplished violinist, Anselmi composed in his spare time and after he ended his career in 1918 he devoted his time to teaching and composition until his untimely death from pneumonia in 1929, at fifty-two. Upon his death his heart was removed from his body and sent to Madrid’s Teatro Real, the theater of his greatest successes.

Giuseppe Anselmi is known to many for his matinee-idol good looks and arresting stage presence. Besides the typically romantic roles in which he excelled, like Des Grieux and Romeo, among his most memorable roles were Almaviva and Don Ottavio. Along with Bonci, Anselmi is considered one of the last of the bel canto tenors. But above all else, Anselmi was a refined and sophisticated musician, known for his ornamentations, elegance, diction, and mastery of recitative. Anselmi is a must-hear singer.

Anselmi’s biography has always been surrounded by a shroud of mystery to which he often contributed, especially concerning his early career and private life, so that much of what has been written about him was simply hearsay and scarcely documented. We pay homage to Anselmi by reissuing all of his Fonotipia and Edison recordings in this five-CD set, which will include numerous rare photos, complete discographic information, and two informative essays: Francisco Segalerva, a frequent contributor to The Record Collector, has written a biographical piece containing original research that sheds light on some of the most unknown episodes of Anselmi’s life and career. William Crutchfield, director of Teatro Nuovo and also a contributor to The Record Collector concentrates on the tenor’s singing and recordings providing insight into Giuseppe Anselmi the musician.

This set is fully funded.

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) | $42 ($38 to preferred customers)
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 $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)
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) | $66 ($57 to preferred customers)
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.