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From Ocean’s Floor


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Of Innocence and Experience


A Catalogue of Revolution Records
Compiled by John France

Many years ago (c.1972) I discovered a recording of Arnold Bax’s ‘The Tale the Pine Trees Knew’ in Symphony One, a small record shop in Glasgow. This was the first piece of Bax that I had consciously heard. It had been released on the short-lived Revolution record label. The coupling was equally interesting in its presentation of E.J. Moeran’s rare ‘Serenade’ in G major. This was also was a ‘first’ for me. Over the next year or so I bought a handful of other Revolution LPs including the English Clarinet Music (RCF.009) and the John Ireland Violin Sonata in D minor (RCB.5) However, for me the desideratum was Bax’s ‘Symphonic Variations’ and the Symphony No. 4. Try as he could, the proprietor was unable to order these for me. It was the days before Amazon.
I present the catalogue of Revolution Records as far I have been able to construct it. There may be some errors; however I do not believe there are any omissions. It was a short-lived project that had promised so much.
Budget Label 19/10 (99p)  
RCB.1 Arnold Bax/Arthur Bliss: Sonatas for Viola & piano
Herbert Downs (viola) Leonard Cassini (piano)
RCB.2 Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage (Suisse)
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
RCB.3 Handel: Flute Sonatas Op.1 Nos. 1,2,3,4
William Bennett (flute) Harold Lester (harpsichord) Denis Nesbitt (viola de gamba)
RCB.4 Handel: Flute Sonatas Op.1 Nos. 5, 6, 7, ‘Halle’ Sonata in B minor, ‘Fitzwilliam’ Sonata on B flat.
William Bennett (flute) Harold Lester (harpsichord) Denis Nesbitt (viola de gamba)
RCB.5 John Ireland: Violin Sonata No.1 in D minor, Cello Sonata in G minor
Alan Loveday (violin) Leonard Cassini (piano) Derek Simpson (cello)
RCB.6 (Listed but never issued) Liszt: Piano Concerto No.2 in A Major, Weber: Polonaise brillante, Op. 72 
Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley 
RCB.7 Concert of Part Songs Finzi: Seven Unaccompanied Part Songs for Mixed Voices, Op. 17, Holst: ‘Six Choral Folk Songs’ for mixed voices, Op. 36, E.J. Moeran: Songs of Springtime for mixed voices
Proteus Choir conducted by Vernon Handley
RCB.8 Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor, Op.84 Bax, Legend for viola & piano
Aeolian String Quartet, Leonard Cassini (piano)
RCB.9 Beethoven: ‘Kreutzer’ & ‘Spring’ Sonatas
Alan Loveday (violin) Leonard Cassini (piano)
RCB.10 Chopin: Polish Fantasy, Op.13, Scherzi Op.20 & 31, Polonaise-Fantasie op.61, Ballade No.3
Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
RCB.11/12 Rachmaninov: The 24 Preludes & ‘Liebesfreud’ (Kreisler)
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
RCB.13 Liszt: ‘The Dante Symphony’
Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra & Chorus/Boris Khaikin
RCB.14/15 (available individually) Mahler: Symphony No.3 in D minor
Vienna Orchestra/ Charles Adler
RCB.16 Brahms: The Three Violin Sonatas
Alan Loveday (violin) Leonard Cassini (piano)
RCB.17 Bach: Flute Sonatas & Partita
William Bennett (flute) & Harold Lester (harpsichord)
RCB.18/19 (available individually) Chopin: The 16 Polonaises
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
RCB.20 Vaughan Williams: String Quartet in G minor, Bax Violin Sonata No.1
Aeolian Quartet, Henry Holst (violin) Frank Merrick (piano)
RCB.21 Lilli Lehmann Historical Recital: Arias from Saraglio, Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte, Walkure, Fidelio, Norma & Traviata.
RCB.22 ?
RCB.23 Schumann: Carnival, Bach: Organ Prelude & Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 (Busoni/Fiorentino) Mendelssohn: ‘Spinning Song’, Op. 67 No.4, Etude in B flat Major, Op. 104 No.1 Borodin: Scherzo in A flat Major, Liszt: Concert Etude No.2 ‘Gnomenreigen’, Liszt: Grande Etude de Paganini No.2 ‘Octaves’
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
Full Price Label (£2.30p) (46/-) 
RCF.001 Arnold Bax: ‘Symphonic Variations’ for piano & orchestra
Joyce Hatto (piano) Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
RCF.002 Arnold Bax: Symphony No.4
Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
RCF.003 Arnold Bax: The Tale the Pine Trees Knew, E.J. Moeran: Serenade in G major
Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
RCF.004 Ignaz Moscheles: Sonata Mélancolique, Op.49, Gigue, Op.58, ‘La Tenerezza’, ‘La Leggerezza’, ‘La Petite Babillarde’, Op.66, Three Characteristic Studies Op.95
Philip Challis (piano)
RCF.005 Liszt Recorded Edition: ‘Diabelli’ Variation (1822) ‘8 Variations’ (1824) Scherzo (1827) ‘Lucia & Parisina,’ Valse, a capriccio (1842) Fantasia on Beethoven’s ‘Ruins of Athens’, Divertissement on Pacini’s ‘Niobe’.
Gail Buckingham (piano)
RCF.006 Liszt Recorded Edition: The Mephisto Music
Philip Challis (piano)
RCF.007 Liszt Recorded Edition: Beethoven Transcriptions
Philip Challis (piano)
RCF.008 Liszt Recorded Edition: Lyon (Album d'un voyageur) & Early Works
Gail Buckingham (piano)
RCF.009 English Music Clarinet Sonatas by Arnold Bax, Charles Villiers Stanford, John Ireland & Eric Hughes
John Denman (clarinet) Hazel Vivienne (piano)
RCF.010 Arnold Bax: Piano Sonata 1 & 4, Water Music & Toccata
Joyce Hatto (piano)
RCF.011 Chopin ‘Oda Slobodskaya Memorial Album’ 17 Polish Songs, Czary, Dumka (released with an EP)
Oda Slobodskaya (soprano) Frederick Stone (piano)
RCF.012 (announced but not released) Rachmaninov: Etudes tableaux, Op. 33 nos 1 - 8 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 nos 1 - 6 
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
RCF.013 (announced but not released) Rachmaninov: Etudes tableaux, Op. 39 nos. 1 - 9, Polka de W. R , Vocalise, Op. 34 No.14 
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
Children’s Series (75p)
REVK.10 ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ adapted from the novel by Dumas
Paul Daneman with the London Theatre Company
REVK.11 ?
REVK.12 ‘Don Quixote’ adapted from the stories by Cervantes
Alec McCowen with the London Theatre Company
REVK.13 ‘The Story of Mozart’ narrated in words and music
Alec McCowen with the London Theatre Company
REVK.14 ‘The Story of Bach’
Derek Hart with the London Theatre Company
John France
December 2013
See also article by Christopher Howell
These records appear to have been issued between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s. I got the Bax Fourth Symphony and the Symphonic Variations as remainders via the Farringdon records mail order catalogue. That would have been circa 1977. The Bax Fourth Symphony in particular sounded pretty shrill but it was the only game in town at the time; the luxurious Chandos recording from Ulster lay a couple of years in the future at that time as did the Bax centenary in 1983. My experience with the Bax LP of the symphony was an unhappy one as the LP was significantly warped. I tried curing it by placing it in a warm environment (one of those now ancient night-storage heaters) between two sheets of plate glass. That didn’t improve things. I always enjoyed that early Tale the Pine Tree Knew.
I do not know how many made the migration but certainly some of the British music items enjoyed a life on commercial audio-cassette and on CD. On cassette the Symphonic Variations appeared on Concert Artist FED-TC-001 and the Fourth Symphony on Concert Artist FED-TC-009. I seem to recall getting the cassettes via Mike Skeet’s Ensemble label during the mid 1980s.
Reviews of some of the Concert Artist CD versions of the two major Bax recordings can be found on this site although I suspect you will now have great difficulty in tracking down copies:-
Symphony No. 4: review 1 ~~ review 2
Symphonic Variations
If you can fill in any of the blanks or supplement this information John and I would be very pleased to hear from you.
Rob Barnett
Classical Editor, MusicWeb International 

Just a short note from Australia to thank Musicweb International for publishing John France's and Christopher Howell's articles about Revolution Records and the whole Barrington-Coupe / Hatto saga. Fascinating.

The only thing I can add to these articles is the fact that the famous Revolution / Bax / Guildford recording got an extremely enthusiastic review in TEMPO (Spring 1971 issue). Given the predominantly unenthusiastic critiques of Hatto's work elsewhere, I thought I should mention this laudatory notice.

R. J. Stove, Melbourne

This was very helpful to me as a collector of the label as it has filled in some gaps in my knowledge like

RCB 6 Listed but never issued - accounts for why I have never seen this come up for sale
I also have not seen RCB 22 so this may be the same status

RCF 012 and 013 (announced but not released)
RCF 011 was issued with an EP - although the copy I have does not include this

I was also not aware that they were released as a Full Price and Budget label/series

For The Childrens Series REVK there is only 5 entries - I can confirm that there are 15 albums in this series and can supply the list if you are interested

'Revolution Records' based in the Old Kent Road, London and distributed by RCA had quite a diverse set of sub-labels apart from the Classical series Pop, Rocksteady, Soul. Reggae. These are for singles but there was 1 LP released under the 'Soul' and 1 LP under the 'Rocksteady' banner.

Barry Green