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REVIEW POTPOURRI: Puccini’s La Boheme

by Peter Cates Puccini La Boheme Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony, chorus and soloists; RCA Victor, LM-6006, 2 LPs, from the radio broadcasts of February 3 and 10, 1946. The inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison (1847-1931), was often accused of either being tone deaf or having no taste for music, two beliefs I […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Victor Red Seal recordings, Wagner, & Ernestine Schumann-Heink

by Peter Cates Victor Red Seal recordings A few Victor Red Seal recordings from the years of easily breakable 78 shellac discs. Bruckner Symphony No. 7; Eugene Ormandy conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; Victor, M-276, eight discs, recorded January 5th and 7th, 1935. Before his 44 years as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Memories of Grandma

by Peter Cates Memories of Grandma I am going to try something different this week but tie it into earlier reading, listening and viewing experiences, sharing a few memories of my grandmother, Annabelle Ingraham Cates (1888-1974). Grammie Cates was born and brought up in the coastal village of Rockport, Maine, to Enos and Marian Ingraham. […]


by Peter Cates Twilight Zone Episode 150, “Stopover in a Quiet Town,” first aired on CBS April 24, 1964. I saw this episode when it first aired 56 years ago and again last night (Sunday, June 14) on Netflix. Before setting down any thoughts, I offer a plot summary. A young urban couple, Bob and […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Verdi: Rigoletto

by Peter Cates Verdi Rigoletto Walter Goehr conducting the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus and soloists; The Opera Society, Inc.; M111-OP9; 2 ten-inch lps, recorded early-to-mid ‘50s. Verdi’s Rigoletto, along with Aida, and La Traviata, are arguably his three most popular operas. It is also the only opera I have seen in any Met productions, once […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: American Country Classics & Henry Thoreau

by Peter Cates American Country Classics A Columbia Musical Treasury 6P 7157, six LPs, released 1980. Columbia Musical Treasury was an offshoot of the Columbia Record Club, later known as Columbia House, and it released numerous, moderately-priced record sets of best-selling artists, such as Percy Faith, Dionne Warwick, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or musical […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Beethoven’s Symphony #7

by Peter Cates Beethoven Symphony # 7 Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra; Columbia, M-557, five 12- inch 78s, Recorded 1944. Back during the 78 rpm days, lasting the first half of the 20th century, the record sides were three to five minutes in duration; when longer classical works were recorded, the scores were marked […]