130 years ago George Edward Gouraud recorded Haendel’s Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder. It was thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music. Zo staat het in mijn database. Maar ik ben dus weer erg slordig geweest. Israel in Egypt is een oratorium, dus met koor en orkest. Hoe kon Gouraud dit opnemen? Als hij dat werkelijk in een concertzaal deed, was het nieuws nog groter dan het nu al is! Of zou het toch gewoon een piano-reductie zijn geweest? En dan:It was thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.” Dit lijkt toch te impliceren dat men daar nu niet meer zo over denkt? Maar wat is dan wél de oudste muziekopname? Kortom, nog veel werk aan de winkel…

George Edward Gouraud (1842-1912)was the son of the French engineer Francis Fauvel Gouraud (1808–1847) who came to the US in 1839 to introduce the daguerrotypes technology for photography. Both parents died in the summer of 1847. Gouraud fought for the United States Army during the Civil War 1861–1865, and received the Medal of Honor for bravery. He was later brevetted lieutenant colonel.
George was married in New York in 1870 to Florence Willis Snow (1845–1907) and the family moved to London in 1873 to act as Edison’s agent in Europe. In 1888, Thomas Edison sent his “Perfected” Phonograph to Gouraud in London and dan moet die opname gemaakt zijn, waarover sprake, want on 14 August 1888, Gouraud introduced the phonograph to London in a press conference, including the playing of a piano and cornet recording of Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”, one of the first recordings of music ever made.
In 1896 Gouraud created a scandal in Niagara, meeting the Chinese viceroy Li Hongzhang (1823–1901), unfortunately kissing his hands. He hurried back in England and became involved in an acoustic laboratory in Brighton, trying to perfect an amplifier invented by Horace Short (1876–1917) and presented as the Gouraudophone at the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris.
His first wife died in Brighton in 1907. In 1909 he went bankrupt, but married again, in Paris, to the Norwegian composer Helga Smith-Hald (born 1877), niece to the painter Hans Dahl. They resided in France and Switzerland.
Gouraud died in 1912 in Vevey, Switzerland, only a week after his son Bayard Gouraud had died from a heart failure while returning home to England from India where he served in a cavalry regiment of the British Army.
Another son was ragtime songwriter Jackson Gouraud (1874–1910) who in 1901 became the third husband to heiress and orientalist Aimée Crocker (1864–1941). A third son was composer and broadcasting pioneer Powers Gouraud (1881–1954), who married Gladys Crocker, who was Aimée Crocker’s daughter from her first marriage to Richard Porter Ashe. Of zoals ze dan op FB zeggen: “’t Is ingewikkeld!” [Wikipedia]

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