Vintage recordings of A Princess of Kensington
Following the production at the Savoy, few selections were recorded and made available to the public.
* Recorded in London by the Gramophone Co. on 24th April 1903.
Mat. no.: 1908 "Four Jolly Sailormen" GC4246 (10'') (Savoy Theatre Male Quartet acc. to label)
Mat. no.: 86R "Four Jolly Sailormen" 04000 (12'') (Savoy Theatre Male Quartet acc. to label)
The other members of the Savoy Theatre Male Quartet may have been Powis Pinder, Rudolph Lewis and Charles Childerstone who performed this song on stage with Lytton, who played William Jelf. Lytton recorded two other songs from the opera, but I do not know what they are. Only the matrix numbers are given: 3524b and 3525b. One correspondent (I forget who) has informed me that "3524/3525b" are both different takes of "Four Jolly Sailormen", although I have not yet confirmed this.
Clifton Coles has notified me of another Lytton recording from the opera.
‘He was a simple Sailorman’ (Henry Lytton) Zion X 42329
I am pretty sure that this song was sung by the character Joy. Either the record is mislabeled or I am misremembering it. This listing was included in The British Musical Theatre, volume I: 1865-1914 by Kurt Gänzl (1986, Oxford University Press).
Tenor Robert Evett (Brook Green in the original production) recorded his deleted aria, "A Sprig of Rosemarie" in 1906 for Odeon Records. The piano introduction and playout are cut off, and what seems to be a piano glissando on the words "your heart" [at the very close of the song] is beautifully executed, although it does not appear in the score. One wishes that Evett had also recorded "Where Haven Lies", the song that replaced "A Sprig of Rosemarie".
* Recorded in London by Odeon Records in c. June 1906.
Mat. no.: Lx - 1358 "A Sprig of Rosemarie" Od 44168 (10¾")
1. Reissued on "The Art of the Savoyard": Volume I - 'Pearl' Pavilion Records - 1973 Mono LP GEM 118-120
2. Reissued on "The Art of the Savoyard": Volume II - 'Pearl' Pavilion Records - 1985 Mono LP GEM 282-283
3. Reissued on "The Art of Henry Lytton" - 'Pearl' Pavilion Records - 1982 Mono LP GEM 197
The above information on the original cast recordings was compiled from Brian Rust's London Musical Shows on Record 1897-1976, [Gramophone; London : 1977], John Wolfson's The Savoyards on Record, The Art of the Savoyard compilations and Howard Friedman's article at http://www.cris.com/%7Eoakapple/gasdisc/matrix1.htm
Hubert Eisdell and Dora Labette recorded the duet "Seven O'clock in the Morning" in December of 1924. Col A1537 D1470. It has not been reissued. Neither of them appeared at the Savoy. The tempo is taken quite fast, thus spoiling the beauty of the song. Oddly, Labette sings first as "Brook" and Eisdell sings second as "Joy", though at the end this is sorted out as Eisdell goes for the higher note that appears in the score. They also add a few high notes in the opening phrase of the verses. This song may be heard on YouTube.
There was also a military band recording of "Selections", played by Gilmore's Band and recorded in December 1903. A big voice comes on and says "Selection from The Princess of Kensington, played by Gilmore's Band, Columbia Records" and the music begins. They play the introduction to the Red Marines Chorus, the march that closes Brook's song "Now here's to the 'prentices", a verse of"Four Jolly Sailormen" and the Hornpipe, all in 2 minutes and 6 seconds. This one CD aside, it has not been reissued in any format. It was made by Columbia Recordings, and the matrix number is #32313. Listen to it here.
On July 11 1950, Webster Booth recorded "Where Haven Lies", conducted by Mark Lubbock. HMV B9999. Hear this recording by clicking here. (YouTube will open a new window.)