The Cylinder Archive [www.cylinder.de] release for February 2011, dedicated to my grandmother who very much appreciated opera:
In 1903, Enrico Caruso recorded a small set of commercial recordings on phonograph cylinder, taken by the Anglo-Italian Commerce Company in Milan, Italy. This was just before he signed an exclusive contract with the Victor Company and these recordings were the only ever issued Enrico Caruso recordings on phonograph cylinder in his lifetime. In that very same year, the French Pathé Company took over the AICC and by that also obtained Caruso's cylinder masters which were released on Pathé's two different cylinder formats (standard and intermediate) and on vertical cut discs. Three titles are known by today to have been issued.
The original cylinder was first electrically played with the modern stand-alone PHR (Passive High-Rise) cylinder playback system, formerly known as ePUCK, at precise tracking and accurate speed. No old phonograph with certain flaws was used in this process to achieve the best possible playback quality, pitched at 156rpm.
November 15, 2011 Subject:
Great "unrestored" track
Even through the hailstorm of wear and tear, the robust sound rings through. The uploader is to be commended.
There is a school of thought among the highest echelon of restorers of sound and conservators of old recordings, that the groundwork of real restoration is unfussy PRESEVRVATION done until such time as full and meaningful restoration of original sound is possible. In generations to come, a frank recording will be useful to restorers; a processed, filtered shadow of the recording WILL NOT BE.
There is a lot of truly awful attempts to restore recordings on this site by people who have no idea what they are doing. Invariably, they DO HARM, reducing the robust sound of the recording to a thin, squeaking mess. There is not enough original sound left in these for any future restorer to ever reclaim.
THANK YOU for not being one of the mess-makers. This recording and your transcription of it is a treasure.