Itter Broadcast Collection on Lyrita - Richard Itter had a life-long fascination with recording and he habitually acquired professional equipment for disc and tape recording even for solely private use. From his home in Burnham he was able to receive a good signal from the BBC Wrotham transmitter, which was constructed in 1951 and began broadcasting VHF/FM on 2 May 1955. His domestic recordings from BBC transmissions (including Proms, premieres, operas, symphonies and chamber music – more than 1500 works in total), date from 1952-1996. Everything was initially recorded on magnetic tape, but up to 1955 particularly important performances were transferred to acetate disc. These fragile discs were never played and have remained in excellent condition, as have the majority of the tapes which make up the bulk of the collection. In 2014 the Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust begun to transfer this priceless archive and has put in place formal agreements with the BBC and the Musicians Union to enable the release of items from it to the public. Here’s the first release:

ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): Violin Concerto (Derek Collier [violin], BBC Northern Orchestra; Stanford Robinson. broadcast Sept. 30, 1961), E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Violin Concerto (Alfredo Campoli [violin], BBC Symphony Orchestra; Rudolf Schwarz. broad. Oct. 23, 1959), ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Violin Concerto (André Gertler [violin], BBC SO; Malcolm Sargent. broad. Feb. 6, 1957), WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Cello Concerto (European Premiere - Gregor Piatigorsky [cello], BBC SO; Sargent. broad. Feb. 13, 1957.

Catalogue Number: 07R012

Label: Lyrita

Reference: REAM.2114

Format: CD

Price: $21.98

Description: The above blurb says it all. It’s only left to note that these four are mono (there will be stereo releases also after the BBC began broadcasting concerts in stereo) and that the Walton was saved on acetates while the others are from tape. Sound quality is as good as you could wish for. Oh, and there will be unusual repertoire coming also, the first being Walter Leigh’s opera Jolly Roger. 2 CDs.

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