Oral history of recorded sound

Bicknell, David, Former EMI Manager of International Artists. (2 of 3). Oral History of Recorded Sound

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    Bicknell, David, 1906-1988 (male)

  • Abstract

    Early musical background; joining Stock Exchange Orchestra. Working with HMV. Organisational influences of Alfred Clark and Fred Gaisberg. Working as Gaisberg's assistant. Relationship between home and international divisions of the company. Gaisberg as Artistic Director; engaging artists worldwide. Sequestration of HMV's Deutsche Grammophon Company. Electrola Co. and competition from Columbia. Describing Osbert Wilkinson, Gaisberg, Clark and Sir Louis Sterling. Columbia's admiration for Clark and HMV. Profitability of record companies in 1930s. Continuing technical improvements. Relationship with RCA/Victor. Columbia management of HMV. Sir Edward Fiske. Split between HMV and Columbia. Separate lables and duplication; repertoire committees and artist control. Starting connoisseur catalogue. Walter Legge's responsibilities. Gaisberg starts Beethoven Society. Effects of the war and immediate post-war period on German and European artists. Recording in opera houses. Recording the Pope. EMI split with American company, dividing catalogues and launching Angel label. EMI's breack with RCA. Fiske's refusal to enter LP market. Worldwide agreement to standardise stereo. Description of Legge and other colleagues. Workig with artists; recording opera at Glyndebourne; successes and problems of live recording. Clashign personalities of Rubinstein and Horowitz. EMI in Russia. Technical strides made in Japan. Opera and shortage of good singers. Recording with Toscanini. EMI and Musicians Union. EMI's world standing. EMI, the BBC and Arts Council. Signing new artists. Publicity and the recording industry.

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