After all the records and hours spent listening to cylinders, I still sometimes find myself in awe of the sound buried in their microscopic hills and dales. The cylinders that most likely drop my jaw are early direct recordings on brown wax and Edison 4-minute wax Amberols that escaped the destruction of period reproducers.
The following is a case in point. It’s Victor Herbert’s famous Badinage, recorded in 1910. While many consider it little more than fluffy “salon music,” it comes alive here, thanks to the master’s touch and the quality of Edison’s recording technology.
- Note the authentic and forward sound of each instrument relative to their counterparts on 1910 78s.
- Note the dynamic range of the recording from delicate passage to thundering.
- Note the subtle interplay of strings and celeste and how vTrace resolves and separates them.