If you saw my posting of the other day launching my worldwide search for off-air tape-recordings of old music talks — and, let’s face it, you probably did see it, as it’s being shared and tweeted everywhere! — you may have been wondering whether I have in mind any specific treasures from broadcasting’s ‘golden age’ that I’d dearly love to find preserved. And the answer, of course, is that I do.
Whether there’s even a tiny chance of these particular items turning up, I really don’t know: there may only have been a handful of private copies made at the time, and even though only one of them needs to have been preserved for the programme to survive, the fact is that discovering any given single recording at this distance in time is a very improbable event, statistically speaking.
On the other hand, certain broadcasts will have had a degree of prominence and even importance at the time they were put out — and, as a result, are likely to have been recorded by a greater number of people, and to have found their way into enthusiasts’ collections (from where, of course, they may have been copied and given to other enthusiasts… ).
So it is with the first two items I’m putting on this thread’s ‘Wish List’ — which I’m doing in the hope that showing folks a few of the items I’m definitely trying to unearth will give everyone out there a concrete thought or two about who they might ask or where they could begin looking…
As it happens, both these broadcasts feature the great Deryck Cooke explaining the work he did creating his famous ‘Performing Version’ of the draft of Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony. Both broadcasts date from 1967 — which is about three years after the premiere of the first full-length and continuous score Cooke prepared.
The first of our broadcasts was called ‘Mahler’s Sketch for the Tenth Symphony’, and it went out on 19 June 1967, on the BBC’s ‘Network Three’ segment of the old ‘Third Programme’. It was also repeated on 1 February 1969 — which means that there was a second bite at the cherry, and threfore a significantly increased chance that someone recorded it! The programme seems to have been a long and detailed discussion, with dozens of specially recorded music examples: who wouldn’t want to keep that…?
The second programme was broadcast on 26 Nov 1967, apparently by the BBC’s ‘German Service’. The title was ‘Eine Partitur fuer Mahlers 10. Symphonie’ [‘A Score for Mahler’s Tenth Symphony’] — and, from what I can gather, it seems to have been a German version of the programme described above, with all the same music clips.
So, those are two desperately sought-after treasures that I’m hoping you’ll want — and be able! — to help unearth. This being the internet, there’s bound to be someone out there who can take us a little closer to tapes of one or other of these items, assuming they survive at all…
Who can you think of who might have kept a tape of such a broadcast? Someone who was a 1960s Mahler fan — in at the very start of the Mahler boom…? And where might a copy have been placed…? Maybe there’s a university library or archive where a Mahler-scholar’s tape collection ended up…? Or maybe your dear grandad has a box of old tapes up in the attic…?
Anyone got a suggestion — or an actual copy…?!?
And remember: it only takes one recording to turn up, for a programme to be safe…The spools are out there … somewhere…!
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