Imperial Russian Orchestra, 1915.
Page revised 6th November 2009; important errors & omissions rectified!
Revised further 10th April 2010 – correct spellings of names kindly provided by Trish Laban, a member of the family.
In late 1915, a small orchestra made 4 sides for the Columbia
Graphophone Company in
35864 In A Dreamy
35865 Cossack Chorus
35866 Pity Me
At first, it was natural to think they were made by an ensemble
that had come from
There was a Y Krein, Yakov Krein, who arranged other pieces of Russian music, notably “Glory Of Russia – Fantasia on Russian Melodies”, this piece being available on CD even today. We first assumed this was ‘our man.’
But thanks to information kindly supplied by the noted
discographer William Dean-Myatt, M. Phil., we learned that the name of this
musician is Yascha Krein, 1880 – 1946. Also, Brian Reynolds’ excellent website www.mastersofmelody.co.uk
tells us that Yascha Krein came from
It is most likely therefore, that this Yascha Krein took a small
ensemble to the
Whether or not any or all of the other musicians were Russian too, we shall not speculate.
The missing catalogue number, D-1327 are duets by W H Squire and Hamilton Harty.
As you will see if you visit Brian Reynolds’ site above, Yascha Krein had six children; two of them also had long careers in music. Henry Krein was a famous broadcaster for many years on accordion. Mischa (Michael) Krein played violin and saxophone with Geraldo and his Orchestra, and led his well-known saxophone quartet, besides being conductor of the London Light Concert Orchestra.
Further details of the career of Yascha Krein himself have not yet been discovered, but he wrote a very popular piece called ‘Gypsy Carnival’, which is widely available in modern performances on CD today. One earlier version was by Tom Jenkins and his Palm Court Orchestra, made for HMV on 15th March 1949. (HMV B-9797). He also wrote ‘Roumanian Dances’.
Recently, Trish Laban, a family member, found this page and kindly pointed out that I has mis-spelled a couple of names and provided the correct ones, for which many thanks.
Back to 1915: hear these sides for yourself! British Columbia pressings at this time were rather poor, but we have done our best. Transferred at 80 rpm (Columbia’s standard speed), the come out pretty well on pitch in D major, E major and so on, so we have left them as they are, only removing the worst clicks, and applying the ‘decrackling’ process described elsewhere on this website. Just click on the title below to hear an mp3 of it…
Please email any comments, observations &c., to firstname.lastname@example.org
Page revised 14thJune 2009.
Revised & corrected 10th April 2010.