Bel Canto Record

Bel Canto Record (U.K.) / c. 1910

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Design: One of the rarest and most attractive pre-WWI labels, featuring a large multicoloured (peacock?) butterfly. The softness of its stained-glass-like contours are echoed in the round-ended panel containing the label name. The word 'Bel' is preceded by three dashes which attempt to provide visual balance for the equal amount of space allotted to the word 'Record,' which has been condensed to fit inside its own area.

History: Another German-made record label which was marketed in pre-WWI Britain; the recording was probably done in London but as noted on the label, the record was 'pressed abroad.' The words 'bel canto,' meaning 'beautiful singing,' are taken from the Italian term describing an operatic vocal technique first developed in the early 19th century, which valued vocal agility and evenness of tone above raw volume. Label scan courtesy of music researcher and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K. Scan of alternate colour combination (and slightly different typography for the label name) below courtesy of collector Kjell Thorsen of Norway.



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