Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yet Another One From Westminster

Here's a good choral album for you, continuing on the past couple night of shares from the Westminster label. The only thing I don't like about this one is the fact that this is volume two. I've tried a little to find volume one, but other than a rather expensive copy on eBay, I've had no luck. This originally came with a songbook so you could sing along with the professionals on the record, but mine was missing that accessory. Some of these carols are familiar, so you shouldn't have any trouble singing along with those. But others are rarely heard, so you may have to listen to those a few times before you can join in. But to get started, you need to download The Randolph Singers, David Randolph, Director-Christmas Carols-Volume 2 (Westminster WL 5200, Mono, 1952). The singers consist of Anna Louise Kautz-Soprano, Harriet Hill-Soprano, Mildred Greenberg-Contralto, Arthur Squires-Tenor, Bert Spero-Bass, Assisted by Gordon Myers-Baritone. There's a nice little picture of them on the back cover, let me know if you recognize anyone.

1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
2. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
5. Away In A Manger
6. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
7. The Coventry Carol
8. The Boar's Head Carol
9. Joy To The World
10. Cantique de Noel
11. Deck The Halls
12. Cradled In A Manger
13. Sing We Noel Once More
14. How Far Is It To Bethlehem
15. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
16. Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head
17. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
18. Fum! Fum! Fum!
19. I Wonder As I Wander
20, Wassail Song

Technical note for those of you still reading. This is possibly one of the oldest LP records I've ever recorded, if it really is from 1952. There's a note on the back that says to use the NAB Curve for playback. Most records after 1955 used the RIAA curve, which I read is very similar, but not exactly the same. I didn't make any adjustments to the way I record records, so if you hear something odd, let me know.


Buster said...


I think I may have Volume 1, not sure.

If you have a record that was originally processed with the NAB curve and you play it with RIAA preemphasis, you will get a brighter sound than intended, about 2 db at 5kHz and above. You can correct for this using a superb program called Equalizer, available free here:

The same fellow who wrote this program did ClickRepair, which costs $40, but is the best audio software I have encountered. It does a remarkable job removing clicks without affecting the music.

Inkydog said...

I love the graphics and the songs as well. Nice share, thanks.

Inkydog said...


If I'm not mistaken, all "modern" turntables automatically apply the RIAA de-emphasis. I would guess then that you'd have to reapply the RIAA emphasis and then apply NAB de-emphasis to get the proper sound. I use DC Art 7 for some of my audio restoration and it has presets for both of these curves. You would want to do all of your de-clicking first, though.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely wonderful!!! I hope someone has Vol 1 to go with it soon! Thanks for all your great music, I love your blog!
Dee, New Mexico

Lady Jane Wensleydale said...

Thanks for this. I've been looking for a recording of 'Sing We Noel Once More" for some time. Now to find 'Past Three O'Clock (London Waits)'! It's amazing how much you have posted!

Juliet Cunningham said...

Yes, this album is definitely from 1952, as I remember my father bringing home a copy. The next year, he bought the first volume. I still have both records, but they have been virtually unplayable since before I made tapes of them ten years ago. What a pleasure to hear them without pops, skips, or (argh!) repeats.

Anonymous said...

My mother also has one of the originals and now, thanks to you, I've been able to download my very own copy (also specifically for 'Sing We Noel Once More). The album originally came with a book of music and lyrics, now long gone. I don't suppose....?
Valerie, Kansas City

Anonymous said...

This recording is probably why I have become a professional a cappella singer; it was brought home by my 25-year-old father from the office the year it was issued and I was born. Is there any possibility of its being released on CD? It was at the very forefront of the early music movement--it must have been--with (in vocal music) the Deller Consort and the Concentus Musicus Wein in instrumental to follow?