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Hubert Eisdell - A Discography

So that was what happened to our tenor but what happened to that massive number of records he made? Between 1912 and 1916, he dutifully visited The Gramophone Company studios on 50 occasions to make 253 records but only 76 were issued. Are we to believe the others were simply dross? Or was his flurry of activity and the pressures involved the cause of low quality? Or perhaps in those precarious times much vocal glory was simply lost. Was he disillusioned by the no-shows? It may be for he switched to Columbia in October 1916. By 1933, he had amassed 202 (with no record of non-issues) for a known total of 455 discs. Here are details of many, mainly of those by British composers.

In 1927 he served GEORG FREDERIC HANDEL well by recording Messiah with Dora Labbette, Muriel Brunskill, Harold Williams with the BBC Choir conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. The annotator for the CD laments "If only Heddle Nash had been engaged," conveniently forgetting Nash was still establishing himself while Eisdell was Columbia's top-contracted tenor. It was released on Columbia Light Blue series 2018-2035 and currently occupies Pearl GEMM CDS 9456.
He also recorded more Handel:
DESERT LOVE SONGS - six part song cycle with orchestra conducted by Sir Hamilton Harty:
1) I will await thee 2) My heart's desire
Col 69690 D1421 rec 2-1920
3) The burning hours 4) The dove
Col 69691 D1421 rec 2-1920
5) The hawk 6) Yellow slippers
Col 69692 D1422 rec 2-1920
Semele: Where'er you walk

Col AX824 L1616 rec 12-1924

But, for the most part, Hubert turned to composers of his day. PAOLO TOSTI is justifiably seen as one of the greatest song composers of all time. With four songs Hubert shows he could sing this music with the best. Born in 1846 in Ortana a Mare, Tosti studied at the Naples Conservatory before moving on to the Royal Academy of Music in London. There, he sang naughty songs to Queen Victoria in the Neapolitan dialect and was knighted by King Edward VII. He died in 1916.
Parted

HMV z7055f 02459 C742 S7312 rec 31-1-1913
Col 75223 L1121 rec 9-1916
Col 75277 L1121 rec 10-1916
Speak

HMV al7802f 02526 C742 S7312 rec 19-2-1914
My memories

HMV ak17523e 4-2446 B745 rec 20-2-1914
Because of you

Col 76056 L1348 rec 11-1917

While Hubert left no records of SIR EDWARD ELGAR's Gerontius which he sang with such passion, but he did record "By the wayside" from The Apostles op 49, with Dora Labbette, Harold Williams, Dennis Noble and Robert Easton, conducted by Sir Hamilton Harty. Col WAX2384-1/WAX2385-2 L1968 rec 21-1-1927; CD 8019

LANDON RONALD (1873-1938) was the son of song composer and performer Henry Russell, who used to treat audiences to `A life on the ocean wave' and `Woodman spare that tree.' Landon, who served as Principal of the Guildhall School of Music from 1910 to 1919, was knighted in 1922. He was a respected composer, conductor and much more. From his five song `Cycle of Life' to lyrics by Harold Simpson, published in 1906, the second remains the most popular.
Down in the forest

HMV ak17032e 4-2408 rec 7-10-1913 (Also an HE/DL duet)

EDWARD GERMAN, born "Edward German Jones" in 1862 at Whitchurch, Shropshire, studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Apart from serious music, he composed six light operas, Merrie England being the most famous. Knighted in 1928, German died in 1936.
Merrie England: The English Rose
Col 76536 L1348 rec 7-1919
(and two versions of `Dear love' in the duet section)
Charming Chloe (words by Robert Burns)
Col A798 D1480 rec 3-1924
Love's barcarolle

Col A760 D1486 rec 2-1924

Born in Brighton in 1877, ROGER QUILTER was an Eton boy, but educated musically in Germany, where he found his unique style of meshing words and music. It is rather difficult to imagine anyone singing a Quilter song, of the one hundred he wrote, in any other language. Hubert recorded his song cycle, To Julia, penned to words by Robert Herrick, with a string quartet directed by the composer. It takes pride of place amongst his solo recordings.
To Julia - Song cycle Columbia rec 7-1923
- The bracelet A76 D1460
- a) The maiden's blush & b) Julia's hair A77 D1460
- To daisies A78 D1461
- The night piece A79 D1461
- a) Interlude & b) Cherry ripe A80 D1462

Morning Song

Col 73224 D1453 rec 3-1923
Dream valley

Col 76533 L1333 rec 7-1919
It was a lover and his lass

Col A799 D1480 rec 3-1924
Go lovely rose

Col WA10385-1 DB 334 rec 14-5-1930
a) Take, O take those lips away
b) Hey ho, the wind and the rain
Col WA10387-2 DB 334 rec 14-5-1930
Fill a glass with golden wine!
Col WA10386-2 DB 693 rec 14-5-1930

Amongst these composers two ladies in particular stand out for bridging the gap between the art song of the recital room and the parlour or drawing room ballads through a discriminating choice of poetry. The first, MAUD VALERIE WHITE was born in 1855 in Dieppe. A brilliant all-round composer, she learned her trade at the Royal Academy of Music, going on to create an opera that failed to excite. Although she wrote a ballet, The Enchanted Heart, her songs are still enjoyed.
The devout lover

Col 75351 L1136 rec 1-1917
To Mary

Col 65803 D1393 rec 4-1917

The second talented lady LIZA LEHMANN was acclaimed for her song cycle In a Persian Garden, based on Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Hubert recorded it twice. For HMV's truncated version in May 1916 with Liza overseeing, he was joined by Agnes Nicholls, Edna Thornton and George Baker.
HMV 04168-04174 rec 1-5-1916

In 1927, Columbia initiated a more complete version using the electrical process. This time Hubert sang with Dora Labbette, Muriel Brunskill and Harold Williams. As Liza had died in 1918, her husband Herbert Bedford, the original dedicatee in 1896, acted as a link to the composer's wishes.

Col. 9598-9602 rec 27-9-1927; 13-4-1928; 7-5-1928

No tenor but Hubert Eisdell could sing "Ah! moon of my delight" with the requisite level of exotic mystery, an opinion that was valid in 1916, in 1928, and holds true today. He recorded it in 1921 (Col 74356/L1454) while the 1928 version (Col 9381) later appeared on LP as HQM 1228.
To illuminate the Lehmann element, conductor Steuart Bedford, Liza's grandson, has kindly provided the following insight:

1. "If I built a world for you" to words by Herbert Fordwych was originally intended for Lehmann's first opera, Sergeant Brue (1904) but for some reason she withdrew it and published it separately. In her autobiography she tells a charming story about how she went to Arthur Boosey (of Boosey & Co., precursor of Boosey & Hawkes) to play him her latest song with a view to publication. Mr. Boosey was not impressed. (Far too serious - poor prospects) at which Lehmann exclaimed `I know the sort of thing you want' and in derision launched into `If I built a world for you' of which she had a low opinion and regarded as `mere fluff.' After a few bars, Mr. Boosey leant over and said, `Yes, that's exactly what I do want.' It was recorded as Columbia 76055/L1235 in 1917

2) "Trysting song" - Lehmann rather specialized in song cycles for a quartet of singers, usually soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Despite the resistance of her publishers she produced at least seven cycles of this nature in which solo songs would alternate with vocal trios and quartets. The most successful in addition to In a Persian Garden, were The Nonsense Songs from Alice in Wonderland (1908) and The Daisy Chain (1900). Prairie Pictures (1911) was written as a direct result of her first American tour. Lehmann states "these songs do not purport to be `authentic melodies' (although a few native fragments have been introduced) but were written as a result of travels where the remains of a poetic if primitive race still linger." The Trysting Song `scorched and grey the prairie grass' is addressed to one called Adgiomay and contains the final refrain. The decorative cover on the published score is a good example of artwork by Lehmann's husband and my grandfather, Herbert Bedford. (HO 2187af 02822 C899)

3. "Bonnie wee thing" (1912) This song sets the two verses of Robert Burns' poem and its overt sentimentality is not at all at odds with the words. For those unfamiliar with the Scottish vocabulary of Burns, `tyne' means `to lose' and `stound' is a sharp pang of pain. (Col. 65937/D1393)

4. "You flaunt your beauty like a rose." In 1906 Lehmann became captivated by the verses of the Indian poetess Soragini Naidu and as a result produced her most ambitious cycle for chorus, orchestra and four soloists. The work stands very much as an Indian counterpart to the earlier In a Persian Garden and indeed this tenor song occupies a similar position to the more famous `Ah! moon of my delight' of the earlier cycle; it is entitled `Love Song' and is preceded by a short recitative. (Col. 76891/L1487)

5. "Dusk in the valley" to words by George Meredith. The death of her elder son from pneumonia at the tender age of 18 caused a crisis in Lehmann's composing career. When she finally felt able to compose again she had little more than a year to live and it seems that her compositional muse had developed an enormous shift enabling her to write such froth as `There are fairies at the bottom of my garden' as well as some deeply serious and moving songs `Lily of a Day' and `When I am dead my dearest' which for one represent her very best work. Dusk in the Valley is the second of three songs for low voice (sic) that were published in the USA, as late as 1922. Meredith's nature poem is actually entitled `Love in the Valley' and Lehmann chooses a very small section commencing `Lovely are the curves.' The final bars surely relate to the darkness that blighted her final year. ((Col WA 4154 D1556/4812)

(Darker grows the valley, more & more forgetting:

so were it with me if forgetting could be willed.)

6. "Little white rose" I'm afraid I do not know at all. It was recorded in 1927 as Col WA 5631-1 D1597 4816.

Liza's husband, HERBERT BEDFORD, who lived from 1867 to 1945, was basically an artist with his brush but he composed music as well, largely of a vocal variety including part songs and an opera, Kit Malone. In July 1919, Eisdell recorded Bedford’s "To a water-lily at evening" as Col. 76532/L1345.

********************************************************

ERIC COATES poured out remarkable songs for Hubert to sing and record; in fact the tenor recorded more Coates songs than those of any other composer. Born at Hucknell on 27 August 1886, Coates became so prolific that some music faded away while much became very popular. Early in his career, he served as a musician in Sir Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra, but after sending too many "fill-ins" so he could perform his own music elsewhere, Wood canned him. Coates' songs demand the finest effort and Hubert's recording of "Bird songs at eventide" easily rivals John McCormack’s. He died at Chichester on 23 December 1957.

Melanie

HMV HO 1076ac 02613 C741 rec 28-9-1915
Dream o' nights

HMV HO 2646ae 4-2762 B734 rec 21-3-1916
Asphodel

Col 65934 D1398 rec 4-1917
I pitch my lonely caravan at night

Col 71509 D1451 rec 10-1921
Sea rapture

Col A758 D1486 rec 2-1924
Yearning

Col A1502 D1526 rec 12-1924
The little green balcony

Col WA2642-1 D1536 4811 rec 10-12-1925
Bird songs at eventide (also as a duet with Dora Labbette)
Col WA4153-1 D1556 4812 rec 29-9-1926
Brown eyes I love

Col WA5088-1 D1587 4815 rec 16-3-1927
The dreams of London

Col WA6411-3 5234 rec 12-10-1928
Little lady of the moon

Col WA7142-3 5212 rec 12-10-1928
Homeward to you

Col WA8555-1 5363 rec 14-2-1929
Always as I close my eyes

Col WA10458-1 DB367 rec 4-6-1930
Because I miss you so

Col WA10457-1 DB268 rec 4-6-1930
A house love made for you and me

Col CA13522-1 DB1113 rec 23-3-1933
Back o' the moon

Col CA13534-1 DB1392 rec 28-3-1933
Stars and a crescent moon

Col CA13538-1 DB1113 rec 29-3-1933
HAYDN WOOD was another major source, "Roses of Picardy" easily being his most sublime. He was born near Huddersfield in 1882 to parents who chose his unusual name after being bowled over by the beauty of Haydn's Creation. He studied violin at home with his mother and then at the Royal College of Music where Stanford was a teacher. He died in 1959.
Bird of love divine

HMV y16222e 4-2316 rec 14-1-1913
HMV ak18766e 4-2316x B733 rec 4-1-1915
O flower divine

HMV ak18685e 4-2529 B741 rec 16-12-1914
Col 75276 L1120 rec 10-1916
Love's garden of roses

HMV HO685ac 02577 C740 rec 10-3-1915
Col 75273 L1120 rec 10-1916
Col CA12290-1 DB751 rec 18-12-1931
 
Dear hands that gave me violets

HMV HO2643ae 4-2862 B831 rec 21-3-1916
Rose of the morning

HMV HO2644ae 5-2072 B1038 rec 21-3-1916
Do you remember?

HMV HO3160ae 4-2918 B850 rec 28-9-1916
Roses of Picardy

Col 75477 L1173 rec 4-1917
Col CA12291-2 DB751 rec 23-12-1931
Little Yvette

Col 74246 L1401 rec mid-1921
The valley of roses

Col A2150 D1526 c rec 5-1925
Do you know my garden?

Col WA5087-1 D1585 4814 rec 16-3-1927

ROBERT CONINGSBY CLARKE was born in Kent on 17 March 1879. After studying with Bridge at Westminster Abbey, he spent his life as church organist at Oxford. His specialty however was salon pieces for the piano but he could dash off delightful songs. He died at Walmer, Kent on 2 January 1934.
Pride of place goes to Desert Love Songs, a six part song cycle with orchestra conducted by Sir Hamilton Harty, recorded in February 1920. The songs are:
1) I will await thee 2) My heart's desire Col 69690 D1421
3) The burning hours 4) The dove Col 69691 D1421
5) The hawk 6) Yellow slippers Col 69692 D1422
The little girl from Hanley way

HMV ab16344e rec 1-3-1913
Little rose among the roses

HMV HO 1353ab 5-2151 B1085 rec 8-4-1915
Blue eyes I love

HMV HO 1510ab 4-2623 B734 rec 29-5-1915
(HMV: "This will capture every heart with its gentle, rocking cadence. It shows the roundness and power of Eisdell's rarely used lower register.")
Red Devon by the sea

HMV HO 2159ab B741 rec 12-12-1915
(HMV: ... appealing, fulsome notes in the middle register that give character to Eisdell's lovely voice. And ... refinement of style and treatment that make every note a delight."
Col 65672 D1358 rec 10-1916
Down along in Cloverland

Col 75353 L1154 rec 1-1917
The little green lane

Col 76364 L1249 rec 2-1919
Daphne

Col WA4364-3 D1566 4813 rec 1-11-1926

Born in Boulogne-sur-mer in 1858, Guy Helen Hardelot studied at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1896 she went with Emma Calvé as accompanist to her Opera Company during its American tour. After her marriage to William Rhodes, she settled in England, where as GUY d'HARDELOT, she began writing delightful songs in English and French until she died at Shepperton, Middlesex on 7 January 1936.
The little white town

HMV ak18686e 4-2612 B742 rec 16-12-1914
My message

HMV HO 1264ab 4-2632 rec 10-3-1915
Col 65808 D1358 rec 1-1917
Wait

HMV HO 3171ae 4-2813 B775 rec 29-9-1916
Col 75278 L1121 rec 10-1916
Col WAX2823-2 9348 rec 8-6-1927
Sometimes in my dreams

Col 71444 D1436 rec 9-1921

Born in Lewisham on 7 July 1885, the brilliant EDWARD BRISTOW FARRAR was safely embarked on a career in music when the war intervened. One foggy day in the Somme Valley, 18 September 1918, he caught a machine gun burst in the chest. He was gone at 33. In 1914 he had composed "Brittany" to words of E.V. Lucas which Gervase Elwes recorded, as did Hubert in March 1920 on Col 69709/D1422.

JOHN NICHOLSON IRELAND was born in Bowdon, Chelsea on 13 August 1879. His childhood was unpleasant but he survived thanks to his mother, a talented pianist. But she was sickly and by the time he was 14, he was orphaned, just as he was to begin piano studies at the Royal College of Music. The young genius became organist at St. Luke’s in 1904, a professor at RCM in 1923 and remained a composer for some forty years. During his last nine years, he lived in a converted mill in Sussex and died there in 1962. He is remembered for his songs, especially a John Masefield poem he set to music that evokes seaport frivolity. This song "The bells of San Marie" Hubert recorded in 1919 as Col 76535/L1333.

Plymouth native, HERMANN FREDERIC LÖHR was the son of Frederic Nicholls Löhr. Studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Walter Macfarren (piano), Frederick Corder (harmony and counterpoint) and Frank Arnold (viola) set him up as a composer of orchestral music and a multitude of songs. It is on the latter that his fame resides. "Out on the Deep" was mandatory for every respectable basso. With Dora Labbette, Hubert recorded a ditty "The little Irish girl" that Löhr composed for Florence, his Irish wife, and five other songs.
Where my caravan has rested

HMV y16559e 4-2363 rec. 30-4-1913
Col 75274 L1369 rec. 10-1916
Flower of Brittany

HMV HO 1511ab 4-2570 B737 rec. 29-5-1915

So fair a flower

HMV HO 3163ae 4-2842 B799 rec. 28-9-1916
Ah! though the silver moon were mine

Col 76890 L1487 rec. 6-1923
Unmindful of the roses

Col 65807 D1370 rec. 1-1917

A mystery of sorts surrounds female composer, "KITTY PARKER." Was she, as John Hyde wondered, actually Hubert’s first wife, Katharine Parker? This is a sensible theory but no evidence supports it. Hubert recorded eleven of this unknown's songs, all lovely renditions:
In a poppy field

HMV af8007f/af8007 1/2 rec 15-6-1914
Speak of love again

HMV HO 1513ab 4-2937 rec 29-5-1915
The road to love

HMV HO 1514ab 4-2581 rec 29-5-1915
Love ships

HMV HO 1268ab 4-2545 rec 10-3-1915
The music and the words

HMV HO 1828ab 5-2150 B1085 rec 28-9-1915
A lesson in love

HMV HO 3169ae 5-2008 B990 rec 29-9-1916
As a star

HMV HO 3172ae 5-2009 B990 rec 29-9-1916
Col 76534 L1345 rec 7-1919
Rose of yestereve

Col 69639 D1423 rec 1-1920
To a seagull

Col WA2645-4 D1587 4815 rec 8-1-1926

Born in London in 1876, TERESA CLOTILDE DEL RIEGO was the daughter of a Spanish father and an English mother. She distinguished herself at the East Central College of Music, and, in 1908 married F. Graham Leadbitter who was killed in France in 1917. A vastly gifted ballad composer, well-liked and respected, Teresa took an active interest in music well into the post World War II era until her death in 1968.
Thank God for a Garden

HMV HO 1825ab 4-2622 B743 rec 28-9-1915
(HMV: ...with a distinctive loveliness of tone that belongs to this polished young tenor.)
O dry those tears

Col WAX1237-8 L1728 rec 1-1926
The reason (the composer at the piano)

Col WAX1238-8 L1728 9349 rec 1-1926

The Love Lily by BOTHWELL THOMSON was introduced by Ben Davies in November 1907 during a Chappell Ballad Concert at Queen's Hall. Hubert's version, recorded by HMV in 1913, expresses beautifully the song's otherworldly and fragile charm. It has been released as y16557e/4-2393/B736.

A product-to-be of the Royal Academy of Music, MONTAGUE FAWCETT PHILLIPS was born in London in 1885. Variety was his game. Amongst his melodious creations were two operettas. The first, The Rebel Maid in 1921 was a success, the encore The Golden Triangle, something else. He wrote symphonies, piano concertos and a symphonic poem based on the story of Boadicea, a First Century priestess, and 100 songs.
The little golden cross

HMV ak16979e/ak16980e rec 19-9-1913
Lethe

HMV HO 2186af rec 29-9-1916
Heart of Spring

Col 69710 D1423 rec 3-1920
Dolorosa

Col 71502 D1436 rec 10-1921

The son of a Methodist minister, WILFRED ERNEST SANDERSON was born in Ipswich in 1878. He studied with Frederick Bridge at Westminster Abbey. In 1903, he moved north to Doncaster as organist at the local parish church where he tempered his passion for the church with an interest in composing songs, over 170 in all. While still active, he died tragically in 1935 after eating infected oysters.
Land of Delight

HMV z7316f 02476 C740 rec 30-4-1913
Until

HMV HO 3155ae 4-2841 B799 rec 28-9-1916
A spray of Roses

Col A 653 D1492 c rec 1-1924
Looking for you

Col WA11008-2 DB 996 rec 20-12-1930

One-of-a-kind was CYRIL SCOTT, a poet, mystic and stout believer in holistic medicine; he was known in the 1920s as the "Father of modern music." Born in 1879 at Oxton in Cheshire, he traveled as a child prodigy at age 12 to study in Frankfurt. He kept busy composing music during most of his ninety-one years, issuing symphonies, concertos for piano, violin and harpsichord, chamber music, operas and songs.
Love's Quarrel

Col 65938 D1407 rec 4-1917
Looking back

Col 65939 D1407 rec. 4-1917

Carshalton, Surrey was birthplace on 20 February 1884 for DOROTHY FORSTER, who would later study at the Royal Academy of Music with Walter Macfarren, harmony and counterpoint with Frederick Corder and viola with Frank Arnold. She would become both a skilled pianist and a much-loved composer.
Wild, wild rose

HMV ak17775e 4-2460 B732 rec 27-4-1914
A little home with you (cello obbligato by Cedric Sharpe)
HMV HO 1829ab 4-2919 B850 rec 28-9-1915
Garden of Summer

HMV HO 2648ae 5-2073 B1038 rec 21-3-1916
Roses of memory (composer at the piano)
HMV HO 3164ae 4-2959 B900 rec 28-9-1916
Bird of June (composer at the piano)
HMV HO 3167ae 5-2090 B1062 rec 28-9-1916
Rosamund (composer at the piano)
HMV HO 3165ae rec 28-9-1916
A full-blown rose for you

HMV HO 1350ab/1351ab rec 8-4-1915

Born in Normanby, Yorks in 1888, EDWARD MAURICE BESLY was educated at the Leipzig Conservatorium. From 1912 to 1914 an Assistant Music Master at Tonbridge School, he was Director of Music at Queen's College, Oxford between 1923 and 1928. He spread his net wide, writing orchestral music, songs, piano pieces and an operetta, "Forever After". As conductor of the Scottish Orchestra, he toured New Zealand in 1927.
My bird of April days

Col WA4361-1 D1566 4813 rec 1-11-1926
Columbine's garden

Col WA7130-3 5212 rec 12-10-1928

Now, consider the case of HENRI TROTERE (1885-1929), a hugely successful song composer, although Hubert recorded only one of his songs, "I don’t suppose". It must have been tricky, as he made two tries in 1913, had a first release in 1914 (ak17425e/4-2442), two more attempts in 1915, and finally a second release in 1916 (HO 2647ae/4-2442x). At home with the wife and kids, "Henri" was simply "Henry Trotter."
London-born HENRY DAVID LESLIE (1822-1896) composed oratorios, cantatas, an operetta, an opera and many other, now forgotten songs. He died near Oswestry.
Mary, my Mary

Col WA8886-2 5686 rec 18-4-1929
Best of all

Col WA8887-2 5686 rec 18-4-1929

The Forest Hill suburb of London produced KENNEDY RUSSELL in 1884 although the lad was then known as "Robert Charles Russell." He grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and studied at the Paris Conservatoire to become a composer and well known in the West End as a theatre conductor.
A little world of love

HMV ak18683e 4-2696 B732 rec 16-12-1914
The stars that light my garden

HMV HO 1352ab rec 8-4-1915
Love's song is sung

Col WA11009-2 DB 996 rec 20-12-1930

HAROLD CRAXTON (1885-1971) who graduated in 1911 from Tobias Matthay Piano School to become accompanist for Clara Butt and Kennerley Rumford when they rolled into Capetown to a regal welcome. In Tahiti, Rupert Brooke implored Clara to sing a song but for which they had no music; no problem, "Craxton could play from memory" and so Clara and Robert sang (and recorded) "Night Hymn at Sea." In 1916 Harold accompanied when they toured Wales and the mine country but in 1919, he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music and regularly lectured on the subject of early English music.
Columbine's Garden

Col WA7130-3 5212 rec 12-10-1928

Beloved, I am lonely

Col WA4362-3 5234 rec 15-10-1928
Mavis

Col 75492 L1185 rec 4-1917

"Britain's King of Cellists" was the accolade his record company accorded him in 1928 but WILLIAM HENRY SQUIRE was much more. He was a gifted composer with a rare ability to please by employing excellent taste. Born at Ross, Herefordshire on 8 August 1871, he became a pupil at the Royal College of Music. In 1923, with Craxton now a professor, Squire became the Rumfords' accompanist in touring America. With his cello, he supported many a fine ballad concert. He wrote music for the cello, recorded much of it, and songs. He died in 1963.
In an old-fashioned town

HMV HO3168ae 4-2814 B775 rec 29-9-1916
If I might come to you

Col 75478 L1185 rec 4-1917
When you come home

Col 75479 L1202 rec 4-1917
Hubert recorded songs by Lewis Barnes, Monk Gould and Noel Johnson, and though mysteries to this writer, they were key to HMV.
BARNES:
Mother mine (in your eyes)
HMV ak18687e 4-2535 B738 rec 16-12-1914
The joy bird HMV HO2641ae 4-2863 B831 rec 21-3-1916
GOULD:
Offerings

HMV ak17298e 4-2427 rec 12-12-1913
HMV HO 1698ab 4-2427x rec 20-7-1915
A lullaby

HMV ak18137e 4-2505 B733 rec 17-7-1914
JOHNSON:
The song of Aiche

HMV ak17779e 4-2462 rec 27-4-1914
Farewell to summer

HMV HO1357ab 4-2582 B736 rec 8-4-1915
If thou wert blind

HMV HO17037e 4-2419 rec 9-10-1913
HMV HO1695ab 4-2419x B739 rec 20-7-1915

As for pseudonyms, Hubert recorded as "Michael Mortimer," utilizing the middle names of both his son and himself.
Conrad & Morris: Without you
Col WA 3065-1 3955 rec 3-1926
Irving Berlin: Always
Col WA3066-1 3955 rec 3-1926
de Sylva & Henley: Just a cottage small
Col WA 3140-1 3996 rec 4-1926
Hollingsworth & Deppen: Oh, Miss Hannah
Col WA 3142-1 3996 rec 4-1926
He may also have been "Walter Adams" who recorded a duet with "Rosa Lynn" likely Dora Labbette in disguise for this occasion.
Katinka Rackety Doo

Col A269 3330

For a rare experience listen to Hubert singing a tango, i.e. Ralph Erwin's tune to words by Fritz Rotter, "I kiss your hand, Madame." It became a hit in Germany but of course, Hubert sings in English: (Col WA8888-2 5430 rec 18-4-1929)

It is heartbreaking to think of so many HMV 78s in limbo: "A Wand'ring Minstrel," his only foray into Sullivan's music; Eisdell's own "The scent of the rose" recorded in 1915; and Francis Dorel's "The garden of your heart," a non-entity despite four attempts, and the list goes on...

But, happily other titles of note exist:
Anon.: My love is like a red, red rose
Col 65936 D1398 rec 4-1917
Gaetano Braga: Angel's serenade
Col 75224 L1229 rec 9-1916
Frederic Clay: I'll sing thee songs of Araby
Col 76800 L1369 rec 1-1920
Franz Schubert: Who is Sylvia?
Col 69713 D1419 rec 3-1920
Walter Wadham: Come unto me
HMV ak17261e 4-2438 B735 rec 3-12-1913
Ethelbert Nevin: `Twas April
Col 69637 D1419 rec 1-1920
Charles Marshall: I hear you calling me
Col 75352 L1136 rec 1-1917
Ivor Novello: Megan
HMV ak18767e 4-2531 B740 rec 4-1-1915
Cecile Chaminade: Madrigal
HMV HO 2298ab 4-2786 B744 rec 4-1-1916
Barclay: Galway by the sea
Col 75287 L1130 rec 10-1916
Samuel Coleridge Taylor: Scenes from Hiawatha - Onaway, awake beloved
Col AX337 L1616 rec 9-1923
Albert Ketèlbey: In a monastery garden
Col 75157 L1454 rec 7-1922
Col WAX3240 9381 rec 9-2-1928
Frank Bridge: Go not, happy day
Col 71181 D1431 rec 3-1921
C. Jacobs-Bond: Just a-worryin' for you
Col 65935 D1389 rec 4-1917
Godard: Jocelyn - Angels guard thee
HMV z6922f 02492 rec 21-12-1912
Paul Rubens: I love the moon
Col A2643 D1536 4811 rec 10-12-1925

? ? : Love's song is sung
Special Record 4167-18 DB996

That leaves thirty-seven others who met Hubert's recording needs.
THE DUETS OF HUBERT EISDELL AND DORA LABBETTE - What a delightful experience it would be to listen to all twenty-six duets in one session!
1. Nadeshda (Goring Thomas); Dear love of mine
Col 75087 L1431 rec 5-1922
2. Merrie England (Edward German) Come to Arcadie
Col 75088 L1431 rec 5-1922
3. Beyond the meadow gate (Montague Phillips)
Col 71994 D1448 rec 11-1922
4. O that we two were maying (Ethelbert Nevin)
Col 71995 D1448 rec 11-1922
5. Lilac Time (Schubert/Clutsam): The flower
Col A164 D1464 c rec 9-1923
6. Lilac Time (Schubert/Clutsam): The golden song Col A165 D1484 c rec 9-1923
7. Down in the forest (Landon Ronald)
Col A1536 D1470 rec 12-1924
8. A Princess of Kensington (Edward German)
Seven o'clock in the morning
Col A1537 D1470 rec 12-1924
9. Very own pierrette (Rex Allingham)
Col WA3273-1 D1551 4807 rec 19-5-1926
10. The keys of heaven (arr. Fuller Maitland)
Col WA3276-1 D1551 4807 rec 19-5-1926
11. Merrie England (Edward German): Come to Arcadie
Col WAX2079-2 9346 rec 1-11-1926
12. Nadeshda (Goring Thomas): Dear love of mine
Col WAX2080-1 9346 rec 1-11-1926
13. Come silver moon (Londonderry Air) (Dowdon arr. Besly)
Col WAX4252-1 9612 rec 5-11-1928
14. Love's dream (Liebestraum) (Liszt arr. Besly)
Col WAX4253-2 9612 rec 5-11-1928

15. Love's old sweet song (J. L. Molloy)
Col WAX5102-2 9895 rec 9-7-1929
16. Moon enchanted (Maurice Besly)
Col WAX5103-1 9895 rec 9-7-1929

Don Hickling in Northampton recalled how "Moon enchanted" was a family favourite sixty years ago. Support by the famed J.H. Squire Celeste added to the glory of both records. Dora and Hubert were great friends of J.H. Squire, who was also a composer. Hubert recorded his song "Two tired old eyes" on Col WA10456-1/DS268.
17. The sweetest flower that blows (Hawley)
Col WA9271-1 DB157 rec 9-7-1929
18. Marigold (Maurice Besly)
Col WA9272-2 DB157 rec 9-7-1929
19. The old folks at home (Stephen Foster arr. Parker)
Col WA10149-1 DB101 rec 5-3-1930
20. Home sweet home (Bishop arr. K. Parker)
Col WA10150-2 DB101 rec 5-3-1930
21. a) To my first love (Hermann Lohr)
b) You'd better ask me (Hermann Lohr)
Col WA11168-2 DB431 rec 6-2-1931
22. The little Irish girl (Hermann Lohr)
Col WA11169-2 DB431 rec 6-2-1931
23. Absent (Metcalf)
Col CA12227-3 DB771 rec 26-1-1932
24. Down the vale (Moir)
Col CA12230-4 DB771 rec 26-1-1932
25. Until (Wilfred Sanderson)
Col CA12228-4 DB880 rec 26-1-1932
26. Bird songs at eventide (Eric Coates)
Col CA12229-4 DB880 rec 26-1-1932
The tenor can also be heard in other duets and quartets:

With Norman Allin, bass
Excelsior (Longfellow & Balfe)
Col WAX5481-2 DX79 rec 26-3-1930
The battle eve (Southey & Bonheur)
Col WAX5482-1 DX79 rec 26-3-1930
With Raymond Newell, baritone
Tenor and baritone (Henry Lane Wilson) Col CAX6799-2 DX483 rec 31-3-1933
Watchman! What of the night (J. Sargeant) Col CAX6800-1 DX483 rec 31-3-1933
With Bessie Jones, soprano
The wells of sleep (Norton) HMV HO 3159ae 2-4452 rec 28-9-1916
Quartets, two unaccompanied, with Heddle Nash, Dennis Noble and Norman Allin - all recorded on 19 July 1929
Meet me by moonlight (arr. J. Batten) Col WA9338-1-2 5526
I know of two bright eyes (Clutsam) with string quartet Col WA9340-1 5526
Drink to me only with thine eyes (Trad. arr. J. Batten) Col WA9337-1-2 5579
Passing by (Edward Purcell) with string quartet Col WA9339-1-2 5579

In his earlier tribute, John Hyde concluded with a few words of Percy Grainger that are still apt: `He is one of England's most lovely and famous singers with a pure, ringing voice, exquisite style and perfect diction'. Amen. One question, though: With so much that is vile and ugly in this world, how can this musical beauty remain ignored and forgotten?

Acknowldegement
Research by Alan Kelly.

Charles A. Hooey © May 2006


 


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