Ward Marston

– internationally renowned authority on early recordings, has restored and remastered the recordings of many legendary singers, such as Enrico Caruso, Fernando de Lucia, Mattia Battistini, Feodor Chaliapin, Adelina Patti, Nellie Melba, Rosa Ponselle, Tito Schipa, and Conchita Supervia.

Mr Marston was awarded a Grammy in 1986 for work on recordings by conductor Arturo Toscanini and has received two important “Lifetime Achievement” awards for his contribution to the field of audio preservation. In 1997 Marston and his partner, Scott Kessler, formed their own CD label, Marston Records, devoted to the preservation and dissemination of the great voices of the “Golden Age”. With over 100 issues in their catalogue, several of their CD releases have won prestigious awards for “Best Historic Recording of the Year”.

A collector of rare recordings since his teens, Ward Marston began work on issuing the complete recordings of John McCormack in 1995. The following twenty years saw the publishing of The Acoustic Edition, in separate volumes, on Naxos Records, and The Odeon Edition, on the Marston label.

Now, he aims to bring to completion what he has described as one of his life’s ambitions and a labour of love by issuing the third and last part of John McCormack’s vocal legacy: The Electric Edition – recordings made by the electrical process between 1925 and 1942.

The original recordings used in this ambitious undertaking have come from six of the world’s most comprehensive collections of McCormack on 78 rpm discs, located in Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US, and including records from John McCormack’s own collection.

Every effort has been made to find original source discs for each matrix in the best condition possible, including unique pressings of unissued recordings and alternative takes. There are a very few extra takes which are known to exist only as second generation re-recordings; these will also be included.

With this website, we invite you to subscribe to The Electric Edition. This is projected for release during 2017/18. Advance subscribers can avail of the special offer price and will be acknowledged by name in the booklet with the set.

For full details on subscribing to The Electric Edition, or to purchase either of the other two editions already published (The Odeon Edition and The Acoustic Edition), click on the Recordings menu above.

Electric Edition

  • Limited-issue 16-CD deluxe box set
  • All 243 published recordings, 1925-42
  • The complete extant American and British radio broadcasts
  • Many unpublished recordings or variant takes
  • All advance subscribers acknowledged by name in the booklet
  • Comprehensive booklet of essays and notes
  • Two bonus CDs of complete Edison, G&T and Zonophone cylinder and disc recordings (1904)