Long, Piano Recorded: approx. 1943-50
Originally released as Decca 78s
Transcribed from 1950/1 Decca 10" LPs LM4523, 4528
numbers: DRL.436-7A, DRL.435-1A, DRL462-1A, DRL461-1B
Download ID: 184901/332674/499388
No. 2 in F minor, Op. 31 - rec 1950?[a]*
No. 6 in D flat major, Op. 63 - rec 16/10/44
Barcarolle No 2 in G major, Op. 41 - rec 16/10/44
No. 13 in B minor, Op. 119 - rec 8/12/48
No. 1 in A minor, Op. 26 - rec 1950?*
No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 36 - rec 8/12/48
and Variations in C sharp minor, Op. 73 - rec. 20/9 & 29/11/43
*These pieces were made to provide LP couplings for recordings dating from 1943-48 and were not allocated 78rpm matrix numbers. In consequence it has not been possible to date them precisely, though they were probably recorded in a single session, with the tapes perhaps being edited on [a] 3 Jly 50.
view was consistent and entertaining one even if she tends to play
the blunt outspoken guest; rushing rather than wryly amused...
- Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb
This XR-remastered recording is available in mono and Ambient Stereo. For more information on Ambient Stereo click here.
March 2006 issue of The
Gramophone magazine printed a letter from Phillip Arnold of Staffordshire,
England, requesting Kathleen Long's Fauré Ballade recording, which
also included the highlighted lines:
March 2006 we were happy to be able to respond to Mr. Arnold's primary
wish, a remastered reissue of the Ballade,
and now we are delighted to complete this part of our exploration of the
piano recordings of Kathleen Long with further recordings of Fauré,
released here in the same order as on the original Decca ten-inch LPs. This was
in some ways a tougher prospect for the restorer - sound quality on the
discs (and we used a number of copies) was not great. The LM series was
secondary to the more prestigious LXT label, and it is possible that quality
checks were not quite as rigorous here. However, I have endeavoured to
elicit the same sound quality from these recordings as with the later
Ballade and Nocturnes, to which Mr. Arnold responded thus:
have now played the CD of the Kathleen Long Ballade and Nocturnes
as fresh as I remember when I bought it as a schoolboy!
Wonderful! Many thanks for achieving this... Much appreciated- Phillip Arnold
I returned to the recording a year later with the application of Prstine Audio Natural Sound, a remastering technique which has provided further advances in the sound quality of these wonderful recordings.
The return to this was in part prompted by my obtaining a set of Gramphone magazines for 1944, and finding this review in the February issue of that year:
Kathleen Long (piano): Theme and
Variations, Op. 73 (Fauré). Decca
M547-8 (10 in., 10S. 9d.).
Cortot wrote of this work: " (Its) wealth
of material, depth of emotion, and the
quality of its musical texture make it, without
doubt, one of the finest and most
precious things in the literature of the piano
for all time."
The more one knows of the work, the
more true Cortot's verdict appears to be.
The theme itself has a grave and noble
beauty which links it, in my mind, with
Couperin's wonderful Passecaille, and in
each variation Fauré draws something rare
and new from its" lyrical essence." In the
first Variation the bass has the theme and
the treble is given very delicate passagework.
A portion of the theme comes into
the bass of the second variation like a
recurring refrain, while the treble has it in
altered rhythmic form. The charm of the
third variation lies in the constant alternation
of two and three note groups. From
this point the variations grow in subtlety of
harmonic expression while keeping always
their clarity of texture. No. 9, a little
nocturne, is perhaps the climax of sheer beauty of ordered sound. No. 10, the most
rapid and brilliant, is followed by a last
variation which makes a quiet and noble
epilogue. Technically speaking it presents
simultaneously the theme in the bass and its
inversion in the treble, both rhythmically
altered from the original form.
The music is admirably suited to Miss
Long's reserved style, and, as always, she
plays it with great clarity. The very high
treble notes do not record very well but
otherwise there is little to criticise, except a
noisy surface on the first side (of my copy)
of the second record. It would be grand if
this artist would now give us a selection
of the Impromptus, Nocturnes and Barcarolles -
which no one ever seems to play.