DISCOGRAPHY:MRL

DISCOGRAPHY

ANON. Irish Love Song. 1 cylinder (ca. 4 minutes): 160 rpm. 1909. Male vocal (Unnamed). U. S. Phonograph Co., Cleveland, Ohio. A copy is held by the Syracuse University Library. This would be the earliest recording of a Lang work.

BEDDOE, DANIEL “Great Welsh Tenor” (1863-1937). Irish Love Song.

Victor 64195; 78; 10”; rel 1911-14. With Victor Orchestra. Recorded May 19, 1911-recorded on one side only. A copy (the only copy according to the ILL Catalog) is found in the New York Public Library Research Library collection. This recording was uploaded on YOUTUBE August 20, 2008. By April 2015 it had received 4,239 viewings. His timing for this song is 3:36.

Victor 64391; 78; 10”; rel 1911-14 (Oja, p.196)

CLINE, JUDITH. “A Sampler In Song, Art Songs By Women Composers,” accompanied by Michael Sitton includes the following by Lang: Ojala, Snowflakes, and Spinning Song. This CD is available from the Music Department of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

CROOKS, RICHARD. “Richard Crooks In Songs and Ballads.”Nimbus, Prima Voce, NI 7888, 1997. Irish Love Song with orchestra. Recorded August 30, 1923-Matrix: B28410-9, Victor, Cat: 45373. Time: 2.52. Born in 1900; at age ten sang the treble solos in Elijah with the contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink; big break at age 23 singing with New York Philharmonic which led to his Victor recording contract; 1933 Met Opera debut; retired at age 46; still singing at 70, and it was said that the voice was still as warm and flexible in old age as it had been in its prime.” (Vernon, program note for CD) The orchestration seems to use strings plus flute on the introduction, occasional celeste notes and harp for the arpeggios of the third verse. On the first and second verse crooks uses falsetto for the last phrase while on the the final verse he sings somewhat fuller, but still lightly. The Libray of Congress Jukebox entry lists Rosario Bourdon (no information given) as the conductor and Francis J. Lapitino as the harpist; he recorded for Victor from 1904-1929. The on-line Victor Discography entry for Crooks lists this recording date as 7/24/23 as describes it as “Male Voice with Harp and Orchestra.”

Also on Claremont #785062 “Moon of My Delight – 21 Ballads, 1923-1939.” With orchestra accompaniment. One used copy offered on Amazon in March 2012 for $79.99.

EPSTEIN, SELMA. Rhapsody in E minor. “Mostly Romantic music by …,” a cassette made in 1987 by Chromattica, USA. There were eleven other women composers included plus one piece by John Ireland. A copy of this can be found in the Music Library at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

DRAGONETTE, JESSICA. (1900-1980) Irish Love Song. Soprano with piano. H. Maurice Jacquet (1885-1954), piano. 78 rpm, 10 in. Recorded Oct. 20, 1940. Victrola: Camden, N. J. This song is on the B side. On the A side is Mighty lak” a Rose by Ethelbert Nevin with Frank La Forge (1879-1953) as the pianist. A copy (the only copy according to the ILL Catalog) is part of the New York Public Library Research Library collection.

GARDEN, MARY. “RECORDINGS” Pearl 9067 Irish Love Song with orchestra, recorded 1912/13, Mat. 19890, Col. D 9703, timing 3’12”. Born in Aberdeen in 1874, moved to USA age six, voice lessons in Chicago, age of 21 was sponsored by a wealthy family to study in Paris, debut at the Opera Comique in 1900, moved to New York in 1907, then Chicago in 1910 were she stayed for the next 20 years, 1939 retired to native Scotland, died there in 1967. (Haynes-CD booklet)MARYGARDEN

Johnston Collection.

GEORGE, DONALD and LUCY MAURO.love is everywhere cover

Vol. One of the Songs (with disc of printed songs also)

love is everywhere inside cover nats review-1-1 nats review-1-2 newlove must rise cover

Vol. Two of the Songsgramophone_aug_2012_na_reviews_11

Gramophone, August 2012

Choral Music

choral CD

M.R. LANG: “All the Heart of Me!”

 Choral Music of Margaret Ruthven Lang. Choirs, soloists and orchestra of The Crane School of Music. English texts. Delos DE3426

“All the Heart of Me” features music by Margaret Ruthven Lang, who died in 1972 at the age of 104. Born into a wealthy and musical Bostonian family in 1867, Lang was exposed to great music and famous composers, was friendly with Wagner”s children, and studied briefly in Munich before returning to Boston. At a time when choral societies served as social and musical gathering places that provided uplifting community activities, Lang”s father conducted many of these groups, and programmed several of Margaret”s early choral pieces.

Various ensembles and soloists from the Crane School of Music, State University of New York, Potsdam make a strong case for Lang”s sacred and secular choral music, particularly the hymnlike “In Praesepio” and “The Star of the Night,” a four-movement Christmas work with its lovely treble-choir “Vision of Mary.” Lorraine Yarros Sullivan brings clarity and firm mezzo tone to “The Heavenly Noel,” a large-scale work for vocal solo, choir, cello solo, organ and orchestra, conducted by Rebecca Reames.

Lang was the first woman whose compositions were played by American orchestras, but the pieces, which existed only in manuscript, were destroyed, most likely by Lang herself. More than 130 of her songs were published during the composer”s lifetime, and one of the most popular, “Irish Love Song,” was recorded by Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Alma Gluck. A choral arrangement of this attractive and tuneful piece is recorded here along with ensemble versions of four of Edward Lear”s Nonsense Rhymes. The Pointercourts Men”s Group brings a hearty, collegiate feel to these. “Wind” is a particularly inventive piece for a cappella women”s chorus in eight parts, and its text by John Galsworthy is handled with sweet subtlety by The Crane Women”s Chorus under Heather Eyerly.

Lang stopped composing in 1919 and pursued religious work, while keeping abreast of musical life. Donald George, an Associate Professor at Crane, worked from manuscripts and archival material to edit much of the music recorded here, and has made scores available online from the Delos website. In addition George is the accomplished tenor soloist on two tracks, with an especially crisp rendition of “Alistair MacAlistair,” a Scottish song for male chorus and piano.

JUDITH MALAFRONTE

Above from Opera News

LANG: Choral Music 

Crane School of Music – Delos 3426—61 minutes

Sometimes a good story can make the music oh-so-much-more interesting. Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972) was born into an upper-crust Boston family that was perched at the center of the city’s cultural life. Her father had studied with Liszt; her mother was an admired singer whose performances in private salons brought together the cultural and social elements of Boston’s musical life. Dvorak and Paderewski were guests in the family home.

Of course young Margaret had a top-notch music education, even though the conservatory route was very much closed to women. George Chadwick and John Knowles Paine were among her teachers, and she spent 1886 in Munich learning theory, orchestration, and the rest. The efforts were not wasted. Two of her early concert overtures were the first works composed by a woman ever to be performed by major American orchestras. She crafted over 100 songs. Her works for piano also were admired and performed, as were her choral compositions. She was successful in the marketplace as well, with the solo version of her ‘Irish Love Song’ selling nearly 145,000 copies. And then, in 1919—at age 52, the midpoint of her life— Margaret Ruthven Lang destroyed all her original scores and stopped composing. She never published another note.

Some of the Lang catalog has been reassembled—27 choral works survive—so we are treated here to a healthy sampling of what’s left. Her music is the juicy sort of stuff that singers like to sing, and it’s never in a rut. Styles shift to meet the demands of the texts. When Lang wanted to craft stiff-upper-lip Episcopalian fare, she could go Anglican with the best of them, as in her stately Te Deum. For a lush, romantic depiction of the Christmas miracle, she brought on a choir of angelic sopranos to warble and coo over the Christ Child (‘The Heavenly Noel’). But when she wanted to remove all excess and go straight for the simple beauty of the incarnation, she com- posed a lovely ‘In Praesepio’ that any of us would be pleased to hear on Christmas Eve. And you can be sure that her ‘Irish Love Song’ and ‘Irish Mother’s Lullaby’ had more than a few ethnic Bostonians sniffling up a storm on St Paddy’s Day. The cello obbligato in that Lullaby, by the way, is performed here by Natasha Farny, a great grandniece of Margaret Ruthven Lang. As I said, a good story never hurts the music.

The Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam has come together with all its flags flying to put this program together. The soloists—mostly voice teachers at the school—are very good, as are the instrumental accompaniments. Intonation gremlins are at work in some of the vocal ensembles, especially when the fellows are on duty. Still, a winning case is made for the choral legacy of Margaret Ruthven Lang.

Finally, I must tell you that as I was reading the notes, I thought to myself that whoever wrote them knew how to tell a good story. Wouldn’t you know that one of the annotators turned out to be ARG’s very own Lindsay Koob. Good show!

– Philip Greenfield  from American Record Guide.

GLUCK, ALMA.“RECORDINGS” Marston 52001,1997 Irish Love Song with Efrem Zimbalist at the piano. Born in Romania, brought to America at an early age, married in 1902 to a man 12 years older, “discovered” in 1906 and given lessons, signed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1909, first recordings in 1911, had the first Victor Red Seal million seller with “Carry me Back to Old Virginny,” divorced in 1912, fell in love with Efrem Zimbalist, married him in 1914, died in 1938 aged 54. Her recitals included classical pieces, but “she always pleased her fans by including the ballads that comprised such a large part of her discography.” Pearson, p. 10)

Victor 64346 (B-12976-2); 78rpm; 10”; recorded March 13, 1913(Oja, p. 196)

MARKS, ALAN AND NERINE BARRETT.Reponds moi and Ojos Criollos by Gottschalk.Nimbus CD: NI 70445/6 “Gottschalk-Piano Music for 2 and 4 Hands.”

MAURO, LUCY. From the Unforgetting Skies-The Piano Music of Margaret Ruthven Lang. Delos DE 3433. Released June 2013.

piano music - mauro unforgettingThe pieces on this recording can be downloaded from:                     http://delosmusic.com/2013/10/download-lang-piano-scores/Lucy review

American Record Guide.

Piano Review I Piano Review II Piano Review III 1

Written by Steven Kennedy on his site, Cinemusical.

Margaret Ruthven LANG (1867-1972)
From the Unforgetting Skies
Lucy Mauro (piano)
rec. 8, 9, 21 August 2012, Bloch Hall, West Virginia University. DDD
Full track-listing at end of review
DELOS DE3433 [65:34]

In both 2011 and 2012 Delos released discs of songs by the almost-forgotten American Margaret Ruthven Lang. These recordings showed Lang to be a unique voice among American song-writers of her time and were very well-received (see reviews: DE3407 and DE3410). On this new disc, Lucy Mauro, the accompanist on the afore-mentioned discs, presents a programme of Lang’s music for piano. While the piano works do not have the same intensity as the songs they are still quite inspired.

Margaret Ruthven Lang was the daughter of Benjamin J. Lang, a pre-eminent musical figure in Boston in the latter half of the 19th century. She received her first music lessons from her father and later studied with Chadwick and MacDowell. She wrote extensively in almost all forms, but stopped composing at about the age of fifty, even though she lived for more than a half-century after that.

At first glance Lang’s piano works seems to have a lot in common with those of MacDowell. They are mostly short evocations of nature or of various emotions. However, Lang’s works possess a rhythmic variety and a searching use of harmony rarely found in MacDowell’s piano music although his works have a wider emotional range. Another notable feature of the Lang pieces is the thematic consistency in the multi-movement works, best seen in the Petit Roman in which a semi-Wagnerian use of leit-motif technique is used to tell a chivalresque tale of doomed love. The same techniques appear in the simpler One Summer Day and the Pieces for Children. Both of these works also feature an almost Baroque use of figuration as a tool in the thematic development. It should also be said that both these works give an insight into the child’s mind without themselves being childish.

Of the single-movement pieces two that stand out are Twilight, with its effective use of dissonance, and Meditation in which the development is much more varied than the title would suggest. The most impressive is The Spirit of the Old House in which the elegiac main theme is slowly fragmented by progressively more dissonant harmony, finally generating a deep sense of regret. Of the remaining works Springtime and Starlight are the most effective.

Lucy Mauro would deserve the highest praise just for bringing Lang’s piano music to our attention, but her performances on this disc are so committed and fluent as to be equally noteworthy. Most impressive are her presentation of Lang’s unique harmony and her sensitivity to the emotional content of these pieces. This disc merits high praise both for performance and as another step in reviving the fame of an important American composer.

William Kreindler   From the Music Web

From the Unforgetting Skies: The Piano Music of Margaret Ruthven Lang

Lucy Mauro, piano

“My intentions have been poetic and never purely (i. e. merely) musical, often dramatic and sometimes story-telling. I disapprove of pianoforte or vocal music which has no definite meaning to convey …” — M. R. Lang, c. 1900

This, in a nutshell, sums up the musical philosophy of Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972). Such an artistic outlook, along with this music itself, has led this album’s performer, Lucy Mauro (and its producer, Donald George) to characterize Lang’s lovely and beautifully crafted piano pieces as her own “songs without words.”

Lang was born into a socially and artistically prominent Boston family. Her father – himself a student of Liszt – recognized his daughter’s precocious gifts, and saw to her thorough musical education, including a year in Europe. Before gradually slipping into obscurity after she stopped composing in 1919, Lang had been one of America’s pioneering woman composers in an era of male artistic domination. Her two early concert overtures (which she later destroyed) were the first works by a female composer to be performed by major American orchestras.

Most of Lang’s published output consists of art songs, piano pieces and choral works. Delos has sparked a revival of interest in her music with (thus far) two volumes drawn from her nearly 130 art songs – which we now follow up with this enchanting survey of her piano music. Distinguished pianist Lucy Mauro – who collaborated with tenor extraordinaire Donald George in the two art song albums (DE 3407 & 3410) – brings Lang’s remarkable keyboard creations to vibrant life with deep sensitivity, touching emotion, and admirable technical facility. The pieces will be exciting discoveries for any pianist or piano fan on the prowl for fresh repertoire.

Album Highlights:

  • Enchanting, exquisitely crafted late-Romantic piano music from a neglected female composer whose music is ripe for rediscovery
  • Touching, technically accomplished interpretations from proven pianist Lucy Mauro
  • Appealing “new” material for pianists or fans seeking fresh repertoire

From the Delos website.

MOSES, MYRTLE. Irish Love Song. Soprano with orchestra. Malcom Lawson, arranger. 1916-1922.? Pathe Freres, 80 rpm. A copy is in the collection of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

RANDOLPH, EMORY B. Irish Love Song. Tenor solo with orchestra.78 rpm disc, 10 in. 1914 by Edison, orange, N. J. Program notes on the record sleeve. A copy is found in the collection of Stanford University Library.

SCHUMANN-HEINK, ERNESTINE.“THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, VOL. ONE: 1900-09” Romophone 81029-2, 1997.

Irish Love Song, Opus 22 with orchestra, key of D flat. Originally Victor 87022, recorded in 1908, B 6473-1, timing: 2:58.

Pelican LP-2008; 33m; rel 1978; cip

The “Herald” review by Philip Hale on October 31, 1909 was a “rave” and mention was made of this song.The “Musical America” review of October 30,1909 referenced this song: “The enormous hit of the day strangely enough was Mme Schumann-Heink”s singing of Margaret Lang”s Irish Song Mavourneen.”

She also included the song as an encore at her Boston Symphony Hall recital of November 24, 1912, and it was part of the program for her Metropolitan Opera recital on February 16, 1913.She was also singing the song in June 1921 as shown by a program from her tour in Japan. (Scrapbook)

Schumann-Heink appeared as soloist with the BSO in 23 different programs between the years 1899 and 1911. This averages out to more than two appearances per season-she obviously was a Boston favorite. (Howe, BSO, p. 258)

TOPPIN, LOUISE AND JAY A. PIERSON.“AH!LOVE, BUT A DAY.”

Albany, Troy 385, 1999.

In the Twilight timing 1:28 and Irish Love Song (in the key of D flat) timing 2:02 both with piano accompaniment and sung by Mr. Pierson, baritone.

VAN GORDON, CYRENA (al). Irish Love Song.

Columbia 79M; 78; rel pre-1927 (Oja, p. 196) A copy of this recording is part of the Yale University collection.

VICTOR ARTISTS. The EDVR (Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings) is a database at the University of California, Santa Barbara Libraries. Is exists only on-line, and thus is constantly being updated. The following is their listing of MRL recordings:

Matrix No., 1st. recording, date, Title, Primary Performer, Description.

B-4924 11/12/1907 Irish Love Song, Percy Hemus, Male vocal solo, with orchestra.

A copy of this recording is part of the collection of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

B-64739/28/1908 Irish Love Song, Ernestine Schumann, Contralto vocal solo, with Heinkorchestra.

B-10402 5/16/1911 Irish Love Song, Daniel Beddoe, Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra.

B-12976 3/8/1913 Irish Love Song, Alma Gluck, Soprano vocal solo, with piano and violin obligato.

B-26597 7/12/1922 I have a Dream, Millicent Steacy, Female vocal solo, with piano.

[Trial 1915-04-23-01] 4/23/1915 Irish Love Song, Belle Blanche, Female vocal solo.

[Trial 1916-10-28-21] 10/28/1916 Irish Love Song Anna L. Johnson Female vocal solo

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