1
THE JOHN MCCORMACK SOCIETY
Under the Patronage of David Count McCormack
 
 
January 2019
Dear Member,
 

1)      ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 
            Date:       Saturday, 26th January 2019.
Venue: Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Time: 11.00 a.m.
 
We are looking forward to a good attendance at the A.G.M.  If you are willing to serve on the committee please put your name forward for nomination.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served.
 

2)      FORTHCOMING RECITALS

 
All recitals are held in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.  Tea, coffee and biscuits are served before the recitals from 10.40 am.
 


Date

Time

Presenter

Title

Saturday 9th February

11.00 a.m.

Seán Callan

A Visit to Vienna

Saturday 9th March

11.00 a.m.

Gordon Ledbetter

John McCormack and Contemporaries

Saturday 13th April

11.00 a.m.

Dermot McDevitt

Forgotten Composers

Saturday 11th May

11.00 a.m.

Jeremy Meehan

Fred Gaisberg: The First A&R Man*

*  An illustrated look at the extraordinary life of the man who brought the gramophone to general acceptance along with recordings he made of some great singers from the 1890s to the 1930s.

 
 

3)      ANNUAL LUNCH – SATURDAY, 2ND MARCH 2019

 
Venue: Wynne’s Hotel, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1.  Please note venue. Cost: €35 per head in private room, 1st floor with wide choice of menu. Time: 1.00 p.m.
 
Early booking is essential to facilitate arrangements with the hotel.  Please get in touch with Tom Faulkner either at the February recital or no later than Friday, 15th February.  Contact details as follows:
 
Address: 513, Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin 9. Telephone: 01 443 9915 Mobile:  085 1192814 N.B. Phone Monday to Friday after 7.00 p.m.
 
N.B.  Cheques should be made payable to Tom and not to the Society.
 
Please give your name, address and phone number when booking.

4)      SPECIAL FIVE DAY BREAK 19TH – 24TH MAY, 2019

 
Tom Faulkner has arranged the following package for our members’ annual break which this year takes place in Kilkenny.
 
            Date:            Arrive Sunday 19th May/Depart Friday 24th May
            Venue:          Rivercourt Hotel, The Bridge, John Street, Kilkenny.
            Package:       Five nights dinner/bed/breakfast
            Cost:             €430 per person sharing
                                 €680 single room
 
(A meeting room will be available for evening recitals).
 
Payment: Cheques should be made payable to Tom Faulkner and posted to him at 513, Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin 9 - giving your name, address and phone number.  Payment in full to reach Tom no later than Friday, 29th March.
 
 If phoning Tom please phone Monday to Friday after 7.00 p.m.  Telephone 01 4439915/mobile 085 1192814.
 
Travel: Kilkenny is very well served by train and by bus.  Take either the Kilkenny train from Heuston Station or the Waterford Bus from Busáras and exit at McDonagh Junction, Kilkenny.
 

5)      ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION - €25

 
The annual subscription for 2019 is now due.  Please forward your subscription of €25 to our Honorary Treasurer, Brian Hargadon, 107 Lucan Heights, Lucan, Co. Dublin as soon as possible.  Subscriptions are the Society’s main source of income.  To help us keep our members’ contact details up to date please complete the enclosed Membership Renewal Form in full and return it along with your subscription.
 

6)      THE JOHN MCCORMACK ELECTRIC EDITION

 
Jeremy Meehan writes:  All subscribers of the Electric Edition should have received either an email or a postal letter from me on 24th October, containing a message from Ward Marston and Scott Kessler outlining why they felt the set would not be ready for publication after all until the New Year.  Since then, they have kindly sent the following update:
 
Hello to all subscribers of the John McCormack Electric Recordings project:
I am writing these lines to tell you that all is going extremely well with the project and we are nearing the finish line. I know that some of you were hoping for a Christmas release and I also had high hopes for that. I apologize.  Delays seem to be inevitable, especially when I strive to get the best source materials available or I am not quite satisfied with the sound of a particular track.  However, this has meant that we could include some material that has just come to hand:  we are indebted to one of your members, Pat O’Reilly, who has kindly provided the unpublished first take of Victor matrix CVE49214 – part of the 1928 Schubert recordings – and I am also happy to report that I have located a number of superior pressings of late HMV recordings, as well as superior copies of several Edison cylinders.  The booklet is now in the final stage of proofreading, and soon it will go to our graphic designer who will prepare it for manufacture.  Our hope is that the product can be in your hands by the end of the spring.  This project has been more than two years in preparation, and we are so pleased by the support it has received.
Ward Marston

I would like to echo Ward’s thanks to Pat O’Reilly, who has generously lent what may be the only existing copy of that Victor matrix in order for it to be included in the set!  Marston Records have had a very busy autumn and winter:  it has seen the issue of their most successful production ever – the 3-CD box of newly-discovered recordings of Rachmaninov illustrating how his last work should be played; this was followed by the monumental 13-CD and 300-page booklet which comprised the complete recordings of Feodor Chaliapin, the great Russian bass; early January sees a 7-CD set of piano recordings by the American virtuoso Sidney Foster.  While each of these sets was being finalised Ward was working assiduously on the McCormack remasterings, so we expect that all of the materials will be sent to Germany for production before the year is too old. 
I look forward very much to sending out your sets as soon as they are to hand, and to arranging a formal launch to which all subscribers will be invited a little later in the year.  At the time of writing, the list is still open for new subscribers to secure one of the remaining sets at the special offer price of €99.95 plus P&P, and to have their name included in the booklet.  All details at www.johnmccormacktenor.com.  I will post any further updates on our progress on the Facebook page – The John McCormack Electric Edition.
 
Finally, a word of sincere appreciation to John Bowman, perhaps our most eminent broadcaster, who featured the Electric Edition in several editions of his Sunday morning archive programme on RTÉ Radio 1 over the Christmas and New Year period.  Among other material, John had unearthed some fascinating audio of an interview with Perceval Graves, who shared digs with John McCormack in London at the time of the arrival on the scene of Charles Marshall, bearing his newly-composed song, I Hear You Calling Me.  Excerpts from the recordings of the song McCormack made in 1908, 1911, 1921 and 1927 made instructive listening.  You can relisten to all of these programmes on the Radio Player at https://www.rte.ie/radio1/bowman-sunday-830/
 

7)      GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR)

 
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect across the European Union on the 25th May, 2018.  The data The John McCormack Society holds on you (i.e. your contact details) is held in accordance with these regulations.  It will only be used for Society business and will not be shared with anyone outside the Society except with your permission.  
 
If you are happy with this you do not need to do anything.  
 
If you do not wish the Society to keep your data please let us know in writing or by email and we will delete it accordingly.  
 
If you require any clarification please contact us.  (See contact details at end of newsletter).
 
8)      DEATH OF JOAN ALLEN, R.I.P.
 
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Joan Allen, beloved wife of our esteemed member John Allen who has given wonderful recitals to the Society over many years.  Joan died on the 14th December.  Our deepest sympathy to John and to all the family.
 

9)      AWARD (BURSARY) CONCERT – SATURDAY, 15TH JUNE, 2019

 
As the Mansion House is not available this year, the Royal Irish Academy of Music has very kindly offered us the use of their hall for our 2019 concert.  Details in next Newsletter.
 
 
To conclude may I wish all our members a very Happy New Year and God’s choicest blessings always.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
 
2 
Elizabeth O’Brien Honorary Secretary
8 Upper Pembroke St. Dublin 2
(01-6762877