A number of subscribers have asked whether a scheme exist whereby they could sponsor a record. Going back to the beginning of Historic Masters Ltd, our original intention was to issue records in sets of five. This changed as a result of the generosity of the late John Stratton – ever an enthusiast for recordings by great Russian artists of the pre-1917 period. John undertook to sponsor a rare Russian recording in each HM issue. He also ensured that this would be continued after his death through donations from the John Stratton Trust. Looking back over past issues, it was thanks to John that HM subscribers received records by wonderful artists such as Alexandrovich, Bronskaya, Damaev, Karakash and Witting.

Some time later, our Chairman, Richard Bebb gave a generous donation for the specific purpose of launching and continuing the release of important records previously widely available but only on inferior shellac. So each HM issue now consists of seven records rather than five and we have all been able to listen to records by Schoene and Widdop as we have never heard them before.

Certainly the committee would welcome any further sponsorship. The donor would be able to choose the item (obviously the metal parts would have to be available in the EMI or DG archive) and the record could be indentified on the label as a gift from… you.

Whist there would obviously be a broad range of choice, the committee would be particularly interested in being able to issue some of the more esoteric items (less likely to be found on collectors’ want lists). These could be by lesser known singers or of unusual music. I would welcome hearing from anybody who would like to help our work in this way.

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