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John McCormack, A Star Ascending
Odeon Recordings: 1906-1909
John McCormack (1884–1945) is still remembered and revered by many today. The natural beauty of his voice, allied with his phenomenal technique, unequaled breath control, and eloquence of sentiment, lead many to regard him as the world’s supreme lyric tenor. This four-CD set includes operatic arias, Irish ballads, and popular songs from McCormack’s Odeon recordings dating from 1906–1909, as well as nine cylinder recordings of 1906 made for the Edison Bell and Russell Hunting companies. These early recordings are sometimes dismissed by admirers of McCormack and collectors of vocal art because they do not capture him at his artistic zenith. They are, however, almost unique in the history of the gramophone as they allow us to trace McCormack’s steady development, session by session, from his uneven, raw, and sometimes undistinguished singing in 1906 to performances showing him on the cusp of mastery by 1909.
Marston is grateful to the Estate of John Stratton (Stephen Clarke, Executor) for its continuing support.
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