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The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Artists
- The Artists -- with an index to their Mapleson recordings


Walter Damrosch


(1862-1950), American conductor born in Breslau, is perhaps best remembered for his early conducting exploits following the death of his father Leopold during the Met's second season, and for his late achievements in bringing good music to young people. In between, he formed his own opera company and presented the America debuts of such important singers as Rosa Sucher, Katherine Klafsky, and Johanna Gadski. His operas Cyrano de Bergerac (1913) and The Man Without a Country (1937) were premiered at the Met. For his debut, Damrosch conducted Tannhäuser on February 11, 1885. During 1901-02, the last of his ten Met seasons, he led Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Meistersinger, Tristan, the four operas of the Ring, The Magic Flute, and the American premiere of Paderewski's Manru. For leading seventy-five performances of opera and eight Sunday-night concerts (including Messiah and the Verdi Requiem ), he was paid $14,000.

LOHENGRIN: Side 9/Bands 1, 2

MAGIC FLUTE: Side 4/Band 8

MANRU: Side 7/Band 8

SIEGFRIED: Side 11/Bands 1, 3, 4(?)

TRISTAN: Side 9/Band 5; Side 12/Bands 8, 9

WALKÜRE: Side 10/Band 10

Phillippe Flon


, the conductor, made his Metropolitan Opera debut on December 22, 1902, leading Aida, with Minnie Tracy in the title role, Georges Imbart de la Tour as Radamès, and Louise, Homer and Marcel Journet also making their respective debuts as Amneris and Ramfis. Flon stayed for three seasons, and conducted a variety of French and Italian works: L'Africaine, Aida, Carmen, Cavalleria, Le Cid, De Lara's Messaline, Otello, Pagliacci, Prophète, Rigoletto, Roméo et Juliette, Tosca, Traviata, Il Trovatore, and, as Sunday-night concerts, the Rossini Stabat Mater. In addition to first-class passage, he was paid in 1902-03 a fee of 20,000 francs, or $3,840, for the season.

AFRICAINE: Side 3/Bands 1-3

CARMEN: Side 4/Bands 1, 2; Side 12/Band 3

CAVALLERIA: Side 6/Bands 1-3

LE CID: Side 3/Bands 5, 7, 8; Side 12/Band 5a(?)

FILLE DU RÉGIMENT: Side 4/Bands 3, 4

GIOCONDA: Side 12/Band 7

HUGUENOTS: Side 2/Bands 1-8

PAGLIACCI: Side 6/Bands 4-7

TOSCA: Side 7/Bands 2, 7

TRAVIATA: Side 5/Band 3

Arditi: Parla Vals: Side 4/Band 10

Stern: Printemps: Side 4/Band 11

Nahan Franko


(1861-1930), American violinist and conductor from New Orleans, made his debut in 1869 at Steinway Hall, and subsequently toured with Adelina Patti as a child prodigy. After studying with Joachim and Wilhelmj in Berlin, he returned home and played with various orchestras, becoming concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1883, a position he retained until 1907. On November 30, 1904, he made his debut as conductor with the company, leading Le Nozze di Figaro -- the first native-born American to conduct with the company. Other works Franko conducted were Roméo, Faust, Zigeunerbaron, Fledermaus, H[amacr ]nsel und Gretel, Trovatore, Don Giovanni, and two ballets, Coppélia and Bayer's Puppenfee, as well as numerous Sunday-evening concerts. As third conductor and concertmaster in 1904-05, he was paid $4045. Beginning in 1908, he led open-air concerts in Central Park, and he celebrated his golden jubilee with a concert at the Hippodrome.

Delibes: Coppélia: Side 4/Band 13

[Begin Page 20]

Alfred Hertz


(1872-1942), German conductor from Frankfurt, became the Metropolitan's chief conductor of German opera with his debut, leading Lohengrin, on November 28, 1902. During thirteen seasons, Hertz conducted the world premieres of Humperdinck's Königskinder and three American works, Parker's Mona, Converse's The Pipe of Desire, and Walter Damrosch's Cyrano de Bergerac, and the American premieres of Parsifal, Salome, and Rosenkavalier. In 1902-03 season, his repertory included the four operas of the Ring, Meistersinger, Tristan, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, and the American premiere of Ethel Smyth's Der Wald. For thirty-nine performances of opera, eight Sunday-night concerts, and a farewell gala, he was paid $3,192.80, based on a weekly salary of $150. Hertz left the Met in 1915 to become conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until his retirement in 1929.

GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG: Side 11/Bands 6-8

LOHENGRIN: Side 8/Bands 1-9

MEISTERSINGER: Side 10/Bands 1(?), 2(?)

SIEGFRIED: Side 11/Bands 2(?), 5

TANNHÄUSER: Side 9/Bands 3, 4

TRISTAN: Side 9/Bands 6-10

WALKÜRE: Side 10/Bands 3-9

Luigi Mancinelli


(1848-1921), Italian composer and conductor from Orvieto, made his Met debut in the Faust that re-opened the house on November 27, 1893, after the fire the preceding season. During nine seasons as leading conductor, he led the first Met performances of Werther, Falstaff, Samson et Dalila, Le Cid, The Magic Flute, Bohème, Tosca, and Ernani, as well as his own opera Ero e Leandro. During 1902-03, his last Met season, Mancinelli led Aida, Ballo, Barbiere, Bohème, Don Giovanni, Ernani, Ero e Leandro, Faust, The Magic Flute, Nozze di Figaro, Otello, Rigoletto, Roméo, Tosca, Traviata, Trovatore, the Rossini Stabat Mater, and the Verdi Requiem. For conducting seventy-one performances, including five concerts, Mancinelli received $10,560, plus one first-class passage, and a stateroom on the train when touring.

AIDA: Side 5/Bands 5-11

LE CID: Side 3/Bands 6, 9; Side 12/Band 5a(?)

ERNANI: Side 5/Bands 1, 2

ERO E LEANDRO: Side 6/Bands 8-10

FAUST: Side 1/Bands 1, 2, 4-10, 12

LUCIA: Side 4/Bands 5-7; Side 12/Band 4

ROMÉO: Side 3/Band 4; Side 12/Band 2

TOSCA: Side 7/Bands 1, 3-6

TRAVIATA: Side 5/Band 4; Side 12/Band 6(?)

Felix Mottl


(1856-1911), Austrian conductor from Unter-St. Veit, who had assisted Wagner at the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, made his Met debut leading Walküre, November 25, 1903. Although he had a five-year contract with a clause stating that it was uncancellable the first three years by either party, Mottl only remained in New York for one season, during which he was the highest paid conductor on the roster, receiving $26,223.75, compared to $6,191.13 for Alfred Hertz. This was the season of Conried's unauthorized production of Parsifal, but because of his long-standing relationship to Bayreuth Mottl was not obliged to conduct it. His fifty-five performances of opera were devoted to Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan, The Magic Flute, Siegfried, Carmen, Nozze di Figaro, Roméo, and a single performance, in German, of Boieldieu's Dame Blanche -- its only appearance in the Met repertory. He also conducted seven Sunday-night concerts, and included Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, and Smetana's From Bohemia's Fields and Forests on the programs.

Wagner: Kaisermarsch: Side 10/Band 11(?)

Armando Seppilli


(1860-1931), Italian conductor from Ancona, was at the Met for two seasons. His debut was in Trovatore, December 7, 1895, with Sophie Traubmann, Eugenia Mantelli, Giuseppe Russitano, and Giuseppe Kaschmann. In the fall of 1900. Seppilli conducted performances of the Metropolitan English Grand Opera Company at the Metropolitan Opera House. With the regular Met company during 1901-02, he conducted performances of Aida, Barbiere di Siviglia, Bohème, Carmen, Faust, Nozze di Figaro, Otello, and Traviata. His salary was $150 per week, or $4,050 for a season lasting from October 9 to April 30, with tours before and after the New York performances.

FAUST: Side 1, Bands 3, 11

Arturo Vigna


(1863-?), Italian conductor from Turin, led performances in Monte Carlo, Berlin, and at Milan's La Scala before coming to New York for his Met debut with Rigoletto, November 23, 1903 -- the same performance that introduced Enrico Caruso. During his first season, he was paid $4,176 for a three-month engagement during which he also conducted Bohème, Aida, Tosca, Cavalleria and Pagliacci, Traviata, Barbiere, Lucia, the Met premiere of Elisir, and Sunday-night concerts. In later seasons, Vigna presided over the house premieres of Lucrezia Borgia, Fedora, Damnation de Faust, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly. 1906-07 was his fourth and last season.

Delibes: Sylvia: Side 4/Band 12

Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre: Side 4/Band 14

    					  Adolph Von Hübbenet 
				     Table of Contents      OTHERS