TT-3112 - Lilian Bryant 2

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Lilian Bryant might not be a household name to many music lovers and record collectors today, as it but rarely appears undisguised on the many thousand recordings she was heard on between the late 1890s and 1928. One of the pioneers of the British recording industry, she became "musical director" for the Edison-Bell cylinder recording studio shortly before the turn of the last century - a position that meant rehearsing with singers and instrumentalists, playing piano accompaniments for them, but also arranging and orchestrating music for recording purposes, and last not least conducting the in-house orchestra. As the early studio orchestras consisted mainly of wind instruments that registered well on the primitive recording equipment, they were mostly recruited from local military bands and led by military bandmasters. It is thus a particular exception to find a woman in this position, apart from the fact that woman conductors and composers were anyway considered an oddity in late-Victorian England. Despite these unfavourable circumstances, Mme. Bryant made her career, that had started at the very beginning of commercial record production in London, with various major companies over more than two decades: From 1905 to 1908 she was employed by Louis Sterling, in whose studios both Sterling cylinders and Odeon discs were recorded, to conduct for stars like John McCormack, and organize the first complete recordings of Gilbert & Sullivan operas ever. When Sterling had to sell his enterprise to Pathé Frères, that company promptly dismissed their former musical director in her favour. With the "Imperial Symphony Orchestra" under her direction, British Pathé produced pioneering recordings of symphonic and concert music. Beside all this studio work, Bryant found time to tour as piano accompanist (e.g. for Peter Dawson), compose, and conduct theatre orchestras in and around London. When the Great War put an end to Pathé's London studio, she worked as rehearsal pianist for HMV for several years (occasionally recording under her married name "Mrs. George Baker"), and in the 1920s, she resumed her career as musical director in the recording studio, this time for the newly-founded Crystalate company ("Imperial" and "Chantal de Luxe" labels). Her final recordings were made for Columbia in the mid-1920s.


All arrangements/orchestrations written and conducted by Lilian Bryant.
The "Sterling" and "Odeon" orchestras use the traditional high "band" pitch of A = 452 Hz rather than concert pitch.

01) Très Doggy (Lilian Bryant as "Lola Moretti") 2:41
Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <713> (MC 92430 [93014 RA]) - London, ca.02.1913

02) H.M.S. "PINAFORE" (Arthur S. Sullivan): Ouverture 2:29
Imperial Infantry Band - Sterling cyl. 940 (mx. 940) - London, 06.1907

03) H.M.S. "PINAFORE" (Arthur S. Sullivan), Act II: He Is An Englishman! "Hold!... Pretty daughter of mine" 2:30
Harry Dearth (B), Bernard Turner (T), Chorus - Sterling cyl. 950 (mx. 950) - London, 06.1907

04) H.M.S. "PINAFORE" (Arthur S. Sullivan), Act II: Farewell,My Own "Now tell me, my fine fellow" 2:28
Mabel Manson (S), Ada Florence (A), Walter Hyde (T), M. Anderson (Bar), Chorus - Sterling 951 (mx. 951) - London, 06.1907

05) H.M.S. "PINAFORE" (Arthur S. Sullivan), Act II: Farewell, My Own / A Many Years Ago 4:55
Mabel Manson as "Elsa Sinclair" (S), Ada Florence (A), Walter Hyde (T), William Rouse (Bar), Harry Thornton (Bar), 
M. Anderson (Bar), Chorus - Odeon X 44877, X 44876 (mx. Lx 2164, Lx 2163) - London, 06.1907

06) THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Arthur Sullivan), Act II: When The Foeman Bares His Steel / Go, Ye Heroes 3:50
Harry Dearth (B), Mabel Manson as "Elsa Sinclair" (S), Maude Perry (Ms), anonymous (Bar), Chorus
Odeon X 66084-2 (mx. Lx 2279-3) - London, 06.1907

07) The Dear Little Shamrock (William Shield / Andrew Cherry) 2:27
John F. McCormack (T) - Pathé <8028> (MC 77687 [84256 RA], originally Sterling 683) - London, 09.1906

08) Come Back To Erin (M + W: Charlotte A. Barnard as "Claribel") 2:25
John F. McCormack (T) - Pathé <8028> (MC 77686 [33511 MS], originally Sterling 682) - London, 09.1906

09) Come Back To Erin (M + W: Charlotte A. Barnard as "Claribel") 2:55
John F. McCormack (T) - Odeon X 44376 (mx. Lx 1579) - London, 09.1906

10) Le Carnaval de Venise - Variations (Giulio Briccialdi, op.78) 3:04
Eli Hudson (fl) - Odeon X 44442 (mx. Lx 1661-2) - London, 10.1906

11) RIGOLETTO (Giuseppe Verdi), Act III: La donna è mobile 2:39
Giuseppe Bartolotta (T) - Sterling cyl. 531 (mx. 531) - London, 06.1906

12) DON PASQUALE (Gaetano Donizetti), Act I: Bella siccome un angelo 2:35
Gustavo Berl-Resky (Bar) - Sterling cyl. 622 (mx. 622) - London, 08.1906

13) OBERON (Carl Maria von Weber), Act II: Ocean, Thou Mighty Monster! 5:52
Carrie Tubb (S) - Pathé 5533 (MC 79286-1, 79286-2) - London, ca.08.1911

14) JUDAS MACCABÆUS (Georg F. Händel), Act II: Sound An Alarm 3:10
John Coates (T) - Pathé <2041> (MC 79217 [75447 RA]) - London, ca.07.1911

15) DER TAPFERE SOLDAT (Oscar Straus), Act I: Weil's Leben süß und herrlich ist "Sympathy" 2:47
Lenora Sparkes (S), George Baker (Bar) - Pathé <885> (MC 78896 [61479 RA]) - London, ca.10.1910

16) I Wish I Were A Tiny Bird (Hermann Löhr / Charles Kingsley) 2:38
Caroline Hatchard (S) - Pathé <843> (MC 78531 [51237 GR]) - London, ca.12.1909

17) CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN Nr.2 in e (Felix Mendelssohn, op.64), 3: Finale - Allegro molto vivace 3:48
Jan Rudenyi (vn), Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <2068> (MC 79496 [77130 RA]) - London, ca.12.1911

18) CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN Nr.1 in g (Max Bruch, op.26), 2: Romance - Adagio 3:39
Jan Rudenyi (vn), Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <8914> (MC 79779 [83406 ER]) - London, ca.06.1912

19) CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN Nr.1 in g (Max Bruch, op.26), 3: Finale 3:51
Jan Rudenyi (vn), Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <8914> (MC 79780 [83410 ER]) - London, ca.06.1912

20) Secrets (Charles W. Ancliffe) 3:03
Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <713> (MC 92477 [93013 RA]) - London, ca.03.1913

21) Très moutarde (Cecil Macklin) 2:58
Imperial Symphony Orchestra - Pathé <8097> (MC 79353 [98002 RA]) - London, ca.09.1911

22) How Do You Do, Miss Ragtime? (Louis A. Hirsch) 2:22
Empire Orchestra - Pathé <8097> (MC 92586 [98062 RA]) - London, ca.04.1913

23) Rimpianto (Enrico Toselli, op.6 / Alfredo Silvestri) "Sérénade" 2:40
Louis Lynel (T) - Chantal De Luxe 1175 (mx. 2490) - London, ca.1922

24) TANNHÄUSER (Richard Wagner), Act III: O du mein holder Abendstern "Mais tu parais" 3:22
Jean Noté (Bar) - Chantal De Luxe 2040 (mx. 2379) - London, 1921

25) LE ROI DE LAHORE (Jules Massenet), Act IV: Promesse de mon avenir "Aux troupes du sultan" 3:35
Jean Noté (Bar) - Chantal De Luxe 2000 (mx. 2370) - London, 1921

Note: The two "pairs" of Sterling and Odeon issues (tracks 04/05 and 08/09) of the same music have been included to demonstrate the similarity of the arrangements and interpretations for both companies. No musical director is named in any British Odeon catalogues, but it is quite obvious that the orchestral work on their discs was handled by the same person who also arranged and conducted the Sterling cylinders, and that was Lilian Bryant. Both companies were managed by Louis Sterling during these years.


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