[78-L] Varsity Classical LP ID

David Lennick dlennick at sympatico.ca
Sun May 19 06:21:41 PDT 2013

I owned Varsity lps from 1950 or '51 when I first had my own 33rpm "attachment" 
(remember those things?). Unless they were reissues from Obie's early labels 
(which were often dubs of Telefunken or Ultraphon 78s) or Majestic (Earl Wild, 
Jan Peerce) or Sonora, they could also have been from German broadcast tapes, 
which were turning up on Mercury and other labels in the late 40s. Per the 
numbers scratched in your disc, this was originally Varsity 6098. The Long 
Player and Schwann didn't list Varsity, so dating them gets difficult, but some 
turn up in WERM.  There's a Mozart 40 on Royale 1222 by "Guthan, Berlin 
Symphony" in WERM Supplement II, which means it had been issued by the end of 
1952, so a German radio tape becomes a distinct possibility.

Now can I go have my morning coffee?


On 5/19/2013 4:06 AM, David Lewis wrote:
> Well this strain of inquiry has led to some interesting sidelights that I'd like to share. It may just tell us something about just how bad
> things are on the data front are in terms of classical recordings, but any light one may be able to cast on these matters would certainly be
> welcome.
> Looking around at recordings of the Mozart G minor I developed a couple of ideas as to whom conductor of the "Radio Symphony Orchestra" might
> be on Varsity 6977. Initially, I was looking at Carl Schuricht, who recorded it with the Paris Opera Orch. There is a Schuricht discography
> on the web, which unfortunately lists only CD issues. It doesn't show a Mozart 40 until 1961 and no Paris Opera Orch. recordings until 1963.
> http://freett.com/Schuricht/SchurichtCD.htm
> However, the listings I have found for this combination show issues on Concert Hall Society and Musical Masterpiece Society:
> http://www.discogs.com/Mozart-Schuricht-Orchestra-Of-The-Paris-Opera-Mozart/release/3177937
> There is also Concert Hall AM 2258, Musical Masterpiece Society M 2258 (via other discogs entries); all bearing some variation of "2258" as
> the stock number. When dated, these issues uniformly are located to the early 'sixties -- 1961, 1963 etc. However, this page makes clear that
> in order for the releases to be on Concert Hall/MMS at all, they would have to have been recorded before 1956:
> http://www.soundfountain.com/concert-hall/concerthall.html
> I had suggested in my first post that I suspected Otto Ackermann as a candidate. He was the first conductor to record most of the Mozart
> symphonies; with the Netherlands Philharmonic he recorded 1-29, 31-36 and 38 through 41. The Long Beach Public Library collection -- now
> dispersed -- contained a set of LP reissues of these recordings on the Rarities Collection label, which I encountered in the 90s. Ackermann's
> reading of the Symphony No. 25 in G minor is particularly noteworthy. All of these Rarities Collection releases were sourced -- again --
> from recordings issued originally on Concert Hall or Musical Masterpiece Society around 1953. I could not find an individual release for
> Symphony 40 with Ackermann on those labels, but it is listed as part of a multi-LP set issued by Concert Hall containing "Symphonies 1-41"
> though we know that it would be missing 30 and 37. From the Rarities Collection albums I gathered that the original recordings were all
> made around 1950. I have no idea if this was an actual set or just single albums cobbled together in a WorldCat entry.
> I do not believe that even Obie would be so ballsy as to copy something from a currently available Concert Hall Society disc for release
> on Varsity, though I guess anything is possible. But I can see that he may have been able to access a tape of Mozart 40, were it around
> in Europe, for release before Concert Hall Society got hold of it and released it legitimately, especially if it was part of a long,
> extended recording program that was not quite finished. That still doesn't explain who made the recording on Varsity 6977. It's kind of
> a scarce disc, actually -- only three libraries in WorldCat seem to have it.
> If anyone out there could send, or connect me somehow, with samples for either the Schuricht or Ackermann recordings of the Mozart 40
> I would be grateful. And who knows? Perhaps Varsity 6977 is neither of them.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> uncledavelewis at hotmail.com 		 	   		
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