West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
John F
Posts: 18679
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by John F » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:42 am

In Christopher Dyment's "Toscanini in Britain," the discography includes many CDs of Toscanini/BBC Symphony broadcasts credited to West Hill Radio Archives. All I've been able to find out about it/them/him is a location, the Don Mills suburb of Toronto, Canada. Kind of reminds me of Rococo Records, likewise based in Toronto. Can anybody tell me if WHRA are legit and if their product compares in quality with EMI's and the BBC's CD releases of the same material? Thanks.
John Francis

jserraglio
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:06 am

John F wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:42 am
In Christopher Dyment's "Toscanini in Britain," the discography includes many CDs of Toscanini/BBC Symphony broadcasts credited to West Hill Radio Archives. All I've been able to find out about it/them/him is a location, the Don Mills suburb of Toronto, Canada. Kind of reminds me of Rococo Records, likewise based in Toronto. Can anybody tell me if WHRA are legit and if their product compares in quality with EMI's and the BBC's CD releases of the same material? Thanks.
Others here no doubt will help out more than I am able to. I know nothing about WHRA's Toscanini/BBC issues. But I do know that this outfit is HQ and reputable. I own the 2 WHRA George Szell box sets, and they are superb. The notes and transfers by Lani Spahr, a Boston based oboist (?), transfer engineer for the Naxos Classical Archives series (mostly Columbia mono reissues) and one-time owner of the now defunct Locked in the Vault label. I have heard many of Lani's transfers and they are all first-class. I would be surprised if the WHRA Toscanini issues were any less than stellar but I am not familiar with them.

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/West ... e/WHRA6046

_____________________________________________________

2 reviews on musicweb

http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... RA6046.htm
There is significant overlap between this set and EMI’s survey of Toscanini’s BBC Symphony-HMV legacy on EMI Classics 7 23334-2, a 6-CD box. The EMI however is missing the Cherubini, Geminiani and the Haffner Symphony. I’ll have a little to say about respective sound quality later.
http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... RA6046.htm

John F
Posts: 18679
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by John F » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:41 am

Thanks again for the information and the reviews - very useful. They don't say whether the WHRA releases are authorized by the rights holders (the BBC, EMI, the Toscanini heirs) and most likely they aren't, but the recordings may be in the public domain in the U.K. if perhaps not here.
John Francis

jserraglio
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:24 pm

Yes, I had to order their Szell boxes from Canada and download Naxos Classical Archives issues using my Toronto penthouse address b/c under US law, copyright abideth till the rapture.

jserraglio
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:44 pm

John F wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:41 am
Thanks again for the information and the reviews - very useful. They don't say whether the WHRA releases are authorized by the rights holders (the BBC, EMI, the Toscanini heirs) and most likely they aren't, but the recordings may be in the public domain in the U.K. if perhaps not here.
This from Lani Spahr
I worked for many years for WHRA, which was the Canadian branch of Music&Arts, run by Fred Maroth. WHRA was used because in Canada the copyright limit is 50 years, so to get around the US limit of something like 2000 years [snide remark] many things were issued up north. Fred ran it all from his home in Berkeley CA.

Legit? Of course it's legit. 50 years makes a performance public domain and you can do whatever you want with it. However Fred did pay mechanicals (royalties paid to possessor of the copyright of the work in question - like my Barber set). No performing organization/person needs to be paid because they sign a contract allowing one recording for broadcast purposes and they're paid for that. Kind of like studio time but at a reduced rate. That said, sometimes he would issue stuff I thought for sure was slated for WHRA on M&A. Go figure....

Glad you like the Szell set. That was one of mine.

Lani
Last edited by jserraglio on Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jserraglio
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:53 pm

And this from somebody who has compared the EMI issues.
WHRA set have only recordings from the 1935 concerts, EMI/Warner Icons set have almost (recently found recording of Geminani Concerto Grosso had first official release in WHRA set) all of them plus parts of 1938 concerts and HMV studio recordings.
What's most important WHRA transfers are heavy overfiltered which is very disappointing, Icons set had old EMI transfers, they are ok imho.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16901
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: West Hill Radio Archives - who?

Post by Lance » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:44 pm

I have many things with work done by Lani Spahr, and he has done me a couple of favors for which I am grateful. I have some of the West Hills Radio Archives series recordings and always knew of the connection with Fred Maroth and Music & Arts. And we can be thankful for the WHRA series because of Canada's 50 year copyright limit versus what the USA has. The WHRA sets I have are the two volumes of Szell [8 CDs in all], The Art of Gregor Piatigorsky (6 CDs), and Glenn Gould (1951-1960), again on 6 CDs, Fritz Reiner Vol. 1, 6 CDs), and Richter in Budapest Live (1 CD). I thought the sound quality was more than acceptable and am simply delighted to have this material at hand. It goes to show you that, despite copyright laws, we can still acquire pretty much anything we want, either through direct imports, or through Amazon many times.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], jbuck919 and 3 guests