Historic Masters discovered some years back that all known shellac records of Tamagno had been made from copy shells rather than the originals. We were able to access the original shells which are held in the DG archive and used these to issue a set of all the 12” recordings.

Read the issue notes to Issue 32 here.

We have for some time been investigating the possibility of a parallel set of all the 10” recordings – twenty eight in all plus one in the same group by the ‘mystery baritone’ already featured in the 12” set. We have been able to access and use original shells held by DG for twenty two of these twenty nine 10” recordings. The original shells of the remaining seven either no longer exist or are unusable, but we have accessed copy shells from EMI’s archive at Hayes.

From another perspective we recall that thirteen of these 10” recordings were originally issued on shellac more than one hundred years ago by the Gramophone Company and in recent times Historic Masters included seven previously unissued records in our regular series. But all of these were made from copy metals which were one or more steps away from he original shells which in most cases are being used now.

We discussed the scope of a projected issue of the ten inch recordings with the John Stratton Trust. The late John Stratton was a passionate enthusiast for Tamagno’s recordings and it was agreed that the Trust would subsidize the issue of a boxed set of all the known and available 10” recordings where possible pressed from the original metals.

This set now being offered to our subscribers therefore includes 15 records of Tamagno and one of the baritone. This makes up Issue 32.

Read the issue notes to Issue 32 here.

In summary twenty two of the records are for the first time pressed from the original metals. Eight of the records have never previously been available as ‘78s’: this is also true for the baritone record. The price of this 10” set is similar to that charged for the previous 12” Tamagno set, even though it contains twice the number of records.

The metals used in this issue are more than one hundred years old and inevitably there has been very slight damage in some cases. The overall standard of the pressings is nonetheless of the highest quality

The committee of Historic Masters owe a huge debt of gratitude to the John Stratton Trust for making this possible – we hope our subscribers will agree! I would also like to thank Francois Nouvion for making available rare photographs of Tamagno.

There is further material about Tamagno, his career and recordings and the possible identity of the ‘mystery baritone’ on this website.

Explore this topic further with the following articles, Historic Masters issues, discographical information and biographies:

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