Digging for Treasure: Zarzuelas and Other
Gems in the Historical Sound Recordings
Collection at Yale University
Diane Napert, Catalog Librarian, Yale University
Historical Sound Recordings at Yale

Comprised of historical recordings of
performers important in the fields of
Western classical music, jazz, American
musical theater, drama, literature, and
history (including oratory). HSR was
founded by Mr. and Mrs. Laurence C.
Witten II in 1960/1961 with their
collection of early vocal recordings
Mellon Grant – No. of Recordings
Mellon awarded a grant of $789,000
starting in 2006 for cataloging of 78 rpm
recordings
 853,162 commercial recordings at Yale,
Stanford and Rodgers & Hammerstein
Archives of Recorded Sound
 Over 320,000 78 rpm recordings –
mostly uncataloged
 Syracuse joined project March 2008

The numbers
The project contributed over 24,000 records to
OCLC through November 2009 (figure includes only
2008 for Syracuse, approx. 3,500, and some upgraded
copy)
 Volume figures would be higher due to multi-disc sets
and multiple copies
 Yale able to extend project a few months with money
from Yale Class of ’45W and add several hundred
more records

View of 78s housed in Mudd
Library at Yale
The bibliographic records
Access points were added for composers,
lyricists, arrangers, performing groups (but
not each player within a named group),
main performers, conductors, speakers
 Attempts were made to connect arias to
the correct opera and excerpted songs to
the correct musicals (mostly successful)

The labels
Over 360 labels worked on
 The largest included Brunswick, Capitol,
Columbia, Decca, Edison, Gramophone
and Victor

Yale Labels
Zarzuela
“It’s been said that zarzuela means to
Spain what operetta means to Vienna,
Offenbach to Paris, Gilbert and Sullivan to
London, and the musical to Broadway.
Well yes, it means all of that—and much
more.” p. xi, The Zarzuela Companion,
Christopher Webber
 Foreward Plácido Domingo

Zarzuelas – other elements
Broad range, from one-act farces to
three-act tragedies
 Spoken dialogue is employed in most
 Alternates between spoken and sung
scenes
 Spanish lyric-dramatic genre
 Long history, including baroque zarzuela,
romantic zarzuela (early 1850s)

Federico Chueca, 1846-1908
La Gran Vía One act revista or revue
 The Zarzuela Companion Webber says
written with Joaquín Valverde
 Premiered Madrid, Teatro Felipe, 2nd July,
1886
 Columbia C 536, approx. 1906
 Composer was still alive
 In Italian, very popular work, translated

Federico Chueca, 1846-1908

Gran Vía. Vals del Caballero de Gracia. Italian.

Luigi Baldassare, baritone with orchestra
Federico Chueca, 1846-1908
Ruperto Chapí, 1851-1909
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Las Hijas del Zebedeo – 2 act farce
1889
Recording Columbia 3901-M, approx. 1924
Selection Carceleras or Al Pensar en el Dueño
de mis Amores
Prison lament, however in this case it is
described as a song of “amorous frustration”
Technically challenging, popular for Spanish
divas
Ruperto Chapí, 1851-1909
Elvira de Hidalgo, 1892-1980, soprano
 Teacher of Maria Callas
 This work recorded in London
 This was the earliest instance of this
version I could find on OCLC – there
were a couple of later recordings

Ruperto Chapí, 1851-1909
Las Hijas del Zebedeo,
Manuscript, Barcelona,1889
Elvira de Hidalgo, 1892-1980
Pedro Miguel Marqués, 18431918
El Anillo de Hierro, 1878
 3 act melodrama set in Norway
 Columbia, C 373, 1906
 Ven Rodolfo
 Carmen Fernández de Lara, soprano with
orchestra
 Recording made during composer’s
lifetime

Pedro Miguel Marqués, 18431918
Joaquín Romualdo Gaztambide y
Garbayo, 1822-1870
Una vieja, 1860
 Comic opera set in Mexico
 Columbia, C 373, 1906
 Cavatina
 Juan Valls, tenor with piano

Tomás Barrera, 1870-1938
Pupil of Chapí
 Emigrantes, 1905
 On a ship leaving Spain
 Disque Apollon 318, 190?
 Granadinas aria
 In French and arranged
 Composer alive when recorded

Emigrantes. Granadina
Henri Weber, baritone, with piano
 Popular work as translated into French

Tomás Barrera, 1870-1938
Paquita Correa, soprano
3 recordings of her from ca. 1906
 She was married to composer Rafael
Calleja Gómez
 Contacted by her great-granddaughter for
copies of recordings
 She was unable to find them in Spain
 She found them because they were
cataloged as part of the grant

Paquita Correa
Chose one of the three we have
 “Brindis” from Ángel Caído by Apolinar
Brull y Ayerra, 1845-1905

New website

http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/ access to a
vast selection of music and spoken-word
recordings “produced” in the U.S.
between the years 1901 and 1925
Image of Yale web-site
Grant HSR
Council on Library and Information
Resources (CLIR) for Song, Speech
and Dance: Special Collections from
the Recorded Sound Archives at Yale
and Stanford Universities
 18 months starting December 2009
 More archival work

Thanks
Special thanks to Richard Warren,
Curator, Historical Sound Recordings
collection,Yale
 Thanks also to Nicole Rodriguez, Library
Services assistant, Historical Sound
Recordings collection,Yale

Questions

Diane Napert, [email protected]
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Zarzuelas and other gems in the Historical Sound