Audio: Theo Wangemann’s 1889-1890 European Recordings

Theo Wangemann's 1889-1890 European recordings are available below in MP3 format, listed in chronological order. For historical context and transcripts, see:

[Note about sound quality: These brown wax cylinders survive in fair and poor condition. Groove surfaces are deteriorated with age, some worn or damaged from historic playback. Some of the cylinders are cracked and broken with pieces missing. Sound quality of the digitized audio is rough, due to these imperfections. Click here to read about the provenance of the cylinders. In 1889-1890, Edison had not yet standardized the phonograph's rotational speed for recording cylinders. Historic documentation of the "RPM" rates used by Wangemann to record these cylinders does not exist, so playback speeds are estimated here. Thanks to Ward Marston for volunteering his expertise to pitch the seven musical recordings.]


Click on a title link to play an mp3:

Title: Russian Melody
Performer: Tacianu Sisters - vocal quartet, a cappella
Recording date: August 29, 1889
Recording location: Exposition Universelle, Paris, France
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
Exhibited: September 14, 1889 at Siemens and Halske factory, Berlin, Germany
Exhibited: September 23, 1889 for Emperor William II at the New Palace, Potsdam, Germany
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93954

Title: [Unidentified violin and piano]
Performer: Unknown. Possibly Herr Krahmer - violin, and Herr Schmalfuß - piano (members of the Kaiser Franz Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Band.)
Recording date: Unknown. Possibly September 13, 1889
Recording location: Unknown. Possibly at Siemens and Halske factory, Berlin, Germany.
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93955

Title: Hungarian Melody (possibly Emánuel Moór's Opus 24, Variations and Fugue on a Hungarian Theme)
Performer: Emánuel Moór (1863-1931) - piano
Recording date: Unknown. Probably sometime between September and December 1889.
Recording location: Unknown. Probably Germany or Austria-Hungary.
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93947

Title: [Otto von Bismarck] (In Good Old Colony Times - excerpt, Gaudeamus Igitur - excerpt, Als Kaiser Rotbart lobesam - excerpt, La Marseillaise - excerpt, Appeal to his son Herbert.)
Spoken by: Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)
Recording date: October 7, 1889
Recording location: Friedrichsruh, Germany
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
Exhibited: October 20, 1889 at Hotel Kaiserhof, Berlin, Germany
Exhibited: October 21, 1889 for Helmuth von Moltke at Kreisau, Prussia [now Krzyżowa, Poland]
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93952

Title: [Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke] (Moltke's tribute to the phonograph, and Goethe's Faust - excerpt)
Spoken by: Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (1800-1891)
Recording date: October 21, 1889
Recording location: Kreisau, Prussia [now Krzyżowa, Poland]
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93951

Title: [Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke] (Shakespeare's Hamlet - excerpt, Moltke's comment on recording his voice, and Goethe's Faust - excerpt)
Spoken by: Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (1800-1891)
Recording date: October 21, 1889
Recording location: Kreisau, Prussia [now Krzyżowa, Poland]
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93950

Title: Hungarian Rhapsody by Alfred Grünfeld - excerpt
Performer: Alfred Grünfeld (1852-1924) - piano
Recording date: November 18, 1889
Recording location: Vienna, Austria
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93960

Title: [Spoken letter in English]
Spoken by: Unknown.
Recording date: Unknown.
Recording location: Possibly Vienna, Austria
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93953

Title: [Message to (presumably) Adalbert T. Emil Wangemann of Chicago, Illinois]
Spoken by: Theo Wangemann, Julius Klaube, and Ottilie (Wangemann) Klaube
Recording date: January 14, 1890
Recording location: Altenkirchen, Germany
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93958

Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, 3rd movement (adaptation) by Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Otto Neitzel (1852-1920) - piano
Recording date: January 23, 1890
Recording location: Pianohaus Rudolph Ibach Sohn, Neumarkt, Cologne, Germany
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93948

Title: Wohin? from Die Schöne Müllerin by Franz Schubert
Performers: Karl Mayer (1852-1933) - baritone, and Franz Wüllner (1832-1902) - piano
Recording date: Probably January 23, 1890
Recording location: Pianohaus Rudolph Ibach Sohn, Neumarkt, Cologne, Germany
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93961

Title: Kennst Du das Land from Mignon by Ambroise Thomas
Performer: Johanna Dietz (1867-?) - soprano
Recording date: January 28, 1890
Recording location: Cologne, Germany
Recorded by: Theo Wangemann
NPS catalog number: EDIS 93957

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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