BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

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jserraglio
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BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:49 am

The BBC director general is expected to announce the release of much of the corporation’s huge back catalogue of classical music broadcasts and recordings to the public.

Speaking on Thursday at the launch of the BBC’s Our Classical Century, a year-long celebration of music programming, Tony Hall is planning to unveil an initiative to make key works in one of the largest publicly owned music archives in the world available on demand.

Hall is expected to say: “In an age of ever-growing platforms and social media sharing, these historic and recent performances will be returned to the public as their rightful property.”

The release will include key recordings made at the BBC Proms on television and on Radio 3, seminal interpretations of works from the BBC orchestras and choirs, and from major talent competitions, such as BBC Young Musician, the New Generation Artists and Cardiff Singer of the World.
“While the way we consume and share content is changing rapidly, music’s ability to bring us together has stayed the same, and classical music’s role in that should not be underestimated,” Hall is due to say.

He is also expected to highlight the BBC’s importance at the centre of Britain’s creative industries, and warn that its role is not sustainable without additional resources.

Our Classical Century will run on BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC Radio 3 and on BBC Sounds from mid-November.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/ ... al-century

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:54 am

That will be very welcome. Might seem perverse to complain about its limitations, but broadcasts by the BBC's own orchestras are only part of its classical music activity over the years. Also, the BBC purged its sound archives back in the 1960s to reuse the tapes, mass destruction in aid of British thriftiness, so many of its historic broadcasts are gone, though maybe those circulated by the BBC Transcription Service survive on BBCTS records.
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:51 am

John F wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:54 am
That will be very welcome. Might seem perverse to complain about its limitations, but broadcasts by the BBC's own orchestras are only part of its classical music activity over the years. Also, the BBC purged its sound archives back in the 1960s to reuse the tapes, mass destruction in aid of British thriftiness, so many of its historic broadcasts are gone, though maybe those circulated by the BBC Transcription Service survive on BBCTS records.
A poster on another forum states that he had once met someone whose job at the BBC was to pick the tapes that were to be recorded over. Ouch!

Home recordists, though, have taken up the slack, but not all of it, providing some of the "lost" broadcasts, via YouTube, Archive.org, and the Concert Archive, SymphonyShare and OperaShare forums among others, and often in very good to excellent sound.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:59 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:51 am
Home recordists, though, have taken up the slack, but not all of it, providing some of the "lost" broadcasts, via YouTube, Archive.org, and the Concert Archive, SymphonyShare and OperaShare forums among others, and often in very good to excellent sound.
Yes, at least from the 1950s on when tape recorders for the home were available. The BBC discovered years later that there was still an audience for "The Goon Show" and began to rerun what they had; off-the-air recordings by listeners filled many large gaps in their archives. But the Goons' original broadcasts had some of the largest audiences in BBC history, including my family during our year in England, and many of them (including us) recorded some of the shows from our radios - very low quality audio.

The audience for classical music programming, mainly on the academic/elitist Third Programme, must have been much smaller, and the number of listener-made recordings much fewer. And I've heard that the archival recordings that survived the purge were mainly newscasts and such; music was very low priority.
Last edited by John F on Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jserraglio
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:03 am

Hadn't considered what was lost before widespread tape recording kicked in. Of course, German radio had already perfected concert taping during the 40's.

Currently listening to 12 hours of Toscanini's 1938-44 NBC broadcasts. Amazingly good performances, decent sound to boot.

Also in my personal AT-in-his-prime-years rediscovery, these from 1946 concerts in Lucerne and Milan.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:15 am

By John Berky ( https://www.abruckner.com ) on another forum:

The problem with holding onto music is often an issue of rights. If the BBC did not negotiate and pay for perpetual rights for broadcasts from the artists, then they are in a legal bind about using them. Such permissions are more standard in other types of programming so Desert Island Discs, which used commercially released material and one or two commentators, are easier to re-broadcast. The rights for re-broadcast of concert recordings can be very thorny. Given that the BBC is a broadcaster and not funded as an archive, there is some reason why they had a tendency to destroy recordings. Today, with digital storage that is not such an issue, but in the days of 15 ips 2 track tapes, it was a big issue.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:41 am

Mr. Berky can make excuses for the BBC's short-sighted destruction of its broadcast recordings, but they have no apparent bearing on the reason - to save money by reusing the tapes. I don't know what the BBC's budget may have been back in those days; today it's nearly £5 billion. What's the price of 10.5" reels of top-quality recording tape, bought in bulk? I don't know, but today 50 years later a single reel costs about $80. You see my point.
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:58 am

John F wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:41 am
Mr. Berky can make excuses for the BBC's short-sighted destruction of its broadcast recordings, but they have no apparent bearing on the reason - to save money by reusing the tapes. I don't know what the BBC's budget may have been back in those days; today it's nearly £5 billion. What's the price of 10.5" reels of top-quality recording tape, bought in bulk? I don't know, but today 50 years later a single reel costs about $80. You see my point.
Another poster, Karl Miller, a recently retired musicology prof and librarian from the University of Texas, observed that he had offered the BBC copies of his tapes of material they had apparently discarded and was told they had no interest in such material, even though it would have helped replenish their archive. Go figure.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by Lance » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:14 pm

Much BBC music has been issued on BBC Legends label and some are appearing on the ICA (ica) label. I have enjoyed these live concert recordings very much and have many of them. I was sorry to see BBC Legends drop off the board in additional productions. It would be really interesting to see what artists ARE available. Did I understand correctly that these won't be CDs but downloads? That would be a big disappointment for yours truly.
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:56 am

All but one of Toscanini's many concerts with the BBC Symphony in the 1930s were broadcast. Some were transferred to 78 rpm masters by HMV, others weren't. I wonder if these will be included in the program. We'll soon see!
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by maestrob » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:55 am

John F wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:56 am
All but one of Toscanini's many concerts with the BBC Symphony in the 1930s were broadcast. Some were transferred to 78 rpm masters by HMV, others weren't. I wonder if these will be included in the program. We'll soon see!
Yes, there's an Elgar "Enigma Variations" and a "La mer" that I'm particularly fond of, along with Toscanini's Brahms Symphonies from the early 1950's with the BBC. I wonder what else has survived?

jserraglio
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:14 pm

John F wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:56 am
All but one of Toscanini's many concerts with the BBC Symphony in the 1930s were broadcast. Some were transferred to 78 rpm masters by HMV, others weren't. I wonder if these will be included in the program. We'll soon see!
One can hope! I am listening to his early 40s revelatory NBC broadcasts. In my end is my beginning.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:22 pm

maestrob wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:55 am
there's an Elgar "Enigma Variations" and a "La mer" that I'm particularly fond of, along with Toscanini's Brahms Symphonies from the early 1950's with the BBC. I wonder what else has survived?
Those have been published, but there are dozens of other concerts that have appeared only on private records if at all. It's those that I was asking about. As for the 1950s Brahms cycle, that was with the Philharmonia Orchestra, though it was broadcast by the BBC.
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by Lance » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:51 pm

Just checking my own catalogue for BBC recordings, commercial or private releases:

*BBC Legends 4016: Beethoven Missa Solemnis w/Milanov, Thorborg, Moscona; Symphony No. 7; Mozart Symphony No. 35
*Music & Arts 1144: Beethoven Symphony No. 9 w/I-Baillie, Jarred, P-Jones (r.1937)
*EMI 23334 [6 CDs]: Sibelius Symphony No. 2; Beethoven Symphonies 1, 4, 6, 7; Brahms Symphonies 2, 4; Elgar Enigma Variations [the HMV recordings]
*EMI 63307: Sibelius Symphony No. 2 (live, 1938)
*EMI 69783: Brahms Symphony No. 4; Tragic Overture
*EMI 69784: Debussy La Mer; Elgar Variations on an Original Theme
*RCA 91631 (Vol. 72): Beethoven Symphony 4; Mozart Magic Flute Overture; Weber Invitation to the Dance; Rossini (an overture)
*Testament 1362: Verdi Requiem w/Milinov, Thorborg, Roswaenge, Moscona (live , 1938)

That's it so far. My problem was I was not studious about always showing BBC in the cataloguging process. I will have to do some double checking on other items.
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:30 am

Listening to a BBCSO, BBC broadcast, from a private taping:

Wagner - Flying Dutchman Overture
Vaughan Williams - Job

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult, Conductor
October, 1969 [?]

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by John F » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:59 am

A whole book, "Toscanini in Britain" by Christopher Dyment, contains all the details about the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcasts. You can read much of it online, though now and then pages are omitted so you don't get the whole book for free:

https://books.google.com/books?id=McFbq ... nt&f=false
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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:14 am

John F wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:59 am
A whole book, "Toscanini in Britain" by Christopher Dyment, contains all the details about the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcasts. You can read much of it online, though now and then pages are omitted so you don't get the whole book for free:

https://books.google.com/books?id=McFbq ... nt&f=false
Thanks. I just ordered the whole thing from the "people's university", the Cleveland Public Library.

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:13 am

More rarities from the BBC Transcription Service. Boult performing Rubbra!

Sir Adrian Boult, Conductor
Lennox Berkely-Divertimento
(Philharmonia Orchestra, Feb 26, 1963)

Edmund Rubbra-Symphony #6
(Philharmonia Orchestra, Feb 25, 1963


Alan Rawsthorne-Symphonic Studies
(London Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb 11, 1963)

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by Lance » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:27 pm

I ordered it, too. Oddly, I didn't have it for reasons unknown. So many books have been written about Toscanini.
John F wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:59 am
A whole book, "Toscanini in Britain" by Christopher Dyment, contains all the details about the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcasts. You can read much of it online, though now and then pages are omitted so you don't get the whole book for free:

https://books.google.com/books?id=McFbq ... nt&f=false
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 &*$#@+#]

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by jserraglio » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:41 am

And these eight complete concerts were all broadcast by the BBC:
Claudio Abbado London Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven Cycle
Royal Festival Hall London April/May 1984

10 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Prometheus Overture op. 43 - Ouvertüre
Violinkonzert op. 61 Shlomo Mintz (Violin)
Symphonie Nr. 3 op. 55

12 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Peter Frankl (Piano)
Shlomo Mintz (Violin)
Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Triple Concerto op. 56
Romanze Nr. 1 op. 40
Romanze Nr. 2 op. 50
Symphonie Nr. 1 op. 21

15 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Maurizio Pollini (Klavier)
Elizabeth Connel (Soprano)
John Graham-Hall (Tenor)
Ouverüre Leonore III op. 72a
Symphonie Nr. 2 op. 36
Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt op. 112
"Ah! Perfido" Szene und Arie op. 65
Romanza Cantabile für Klavier, Flöte, Fagott, 2 Oben und Streicher
Chorfantasie op. 80 London Symphony Chorus

17 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Egmont op. 84 - Ouvertüre
Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 op. 15 Maurizio Pollini, piano
Symphonie Nr. 5 op. 67

22 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Elizabeth Connel (Soprano)
Alfreda Hodgson (Mezzosoprano)
Francisco Araiza (Tenor)
Benjamin Luxon (Bass)
Symphonie Nr. 8 op. 93
Symphonie Nr. 9 op. 125 London Symphony Chorus

24 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Maurizio Pollini (Klavier)
Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 op. 19
Symphonie Nr. 4 op. 60
Klavierkonzert Nr. 4 op. 58

29 April 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Maurizio Pollini (Klavier)
Coriolan Ouvertüre op. 62
Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 op. 37
Symphonie Nr. 6 op. 68

2 May 1984
Royal Festival Hall, London
Maurizio Pollini (Klavier)
Ouverüre Leonore II op. 72
Klavierkonzert Nr. 5 op. 73
Symphonie Nr. 7 op. 92

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Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

Post by maestrob » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:37 am

So much great music, so little time..... :D :roll:

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