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Subject: Eddy Smith (formerly, Aida from Salzburg Today
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:48:56 -0400
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I also knew Eddy Smith at the time when I was young (early 20s). At one point he was trying to raise $10,000 (including from me) to save fourteen unknown Caruso recordings for posterity.  He said that they were in the possession of an elderly individual who had been one of the  engineers in Camden during Caruso's Victor recording sessions. The engineer was responsible for  destroying the original takes that were not approved for release (standard practice with regard to Caruso's recordings). Rather than destroy them, he secreted the masters and instead destroyed discarded takes from other singers that he had switched for Caruso's. 


While some of the secretly  saved masters were alternate takes of selections later released,  Eddy told me that eight or nine were of new selections never otherwise recorded and released by Victor (I was given some of the titles, now forgotten in the mists of time). 


As the story continued, the elderly engineer was now very ill, living in poverty and in desperate need of money to pay for medical treatment.  Hence he was forced to give them up and his daughter was trying to sell these Caruso recordings to pay for his treatment.  So anxious to raise funds to save her father's life, she was also  threatening to destroy the recordings in a matter of several weeks if she could not sell them.


I promptly took this story to Francis Robinson with whom I had become friends.  He strongly -- but gently towards me -- explained the facts of life when it comes to Eddy Smith.  He also said that the story was an impossibility  as not one but four individuals were responsible for the security of the masters at Caruso's recording sessions, that they surrounded the machine making them, that the masters were kept in full view at all times and  that -- before the recording session ended --were immediately destroyed in front of everyone (including Caruso) if found unacceptable for release.


Best

Ray


PS:  Remember that, in the cellar of an old record shop in Prague, there is a complete recording of Siegfried (in primitive but acceptable stereo), sung by Jean de Reszke, that survived World War II and is waiting to be discovered.   :)

R


***


On August 18, 2017 at 8:12 PM Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Si, mai piu, mai piu. I remember years ago being told by Eddy Smith ( I
was a mere teenager at the time) that Charles Dalmores had told him of
singing with Celestina Buoninsegna who was basically an Italian peasant,
that she didn't bath and never changed her undergarments. When they sang
together and she got too close, Dalmores used to step back and hold his
breath. He said on one occasion he actually vomited. I really have no
clue if this is true, but its kind of funny.

Si non e vero, e ben trovato!!!!

Donald

On Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 5:08 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 
>     Hi,, thanks for your vote of confidence. I couldn't have honed in on the
>     production because I only heard the audio feed - I did not get the video.
> 
>     Donald
> 
>     On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 3:42 AM, Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>         > > 
> >         I, for one, care Donald.
> >         I think your post was excellent. You honed in on the singers and not the
> >         background stage design. I was pleased to hear what I suspected in the
> >         first place despite the various dissers of Netrebko's Aida. Her voice has
> >         become so rich and full that she's soon to become an Adalgesia.
> >         Thanks for taking the time.
> > 
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