Jump to content


Photo

Raphael And The Matusewitch Family


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Alan Day

Alan Day

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Horley Surrey England

Posted 17 April 2006 - 12:40 PM

I have had the pleasure recently of listening to the English System Concertina playing of Slavic, Raphael Alexandrovitch Sonnesburg stage name Raphael (after typing it I can understand why). I must admit I have never heard of this musician let alone hear him play.One of the perks of these Internationals is that I have had a lot of archive material donated and some of which is some 78s played by Raphael.Kindly donated by Malcolm Clapp and other fantastic recordings. Raphael played on or around the 1920s and came over following the success of Gregory Matusewitch, also an English system player ,who was a great success in America. There is a very interesting article on the Matusewitch family by Eric Matusewitch on the Free Reed Journal which I easily found on Google. I have no playing of any of this family.
If any of you have any more info on these players I would be very interested to read it and possibly include it if we use the Raphael tracks.
Al

#2 JimLucas

JimLucas

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10139 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 17 April 2006 - 03:05 PM

I have had the pleasure recently of listening to the English System Concertina playing of ... Raphael. I must admit I have never heard of this musician let alone hear him play.

Memory jogging time. I had forgotten Raphael. I never heard him, but was told of him by Phil Merrill, who helped start my addiction by getting me the loan of a concertina for a few months. (Phil played for English country dancing in New York, mainly piano, but occasionally concertina.) I remember Phil saying that hearing Raphael play was his inspiration for taking up the concertina. I'm trying to remember the name of the club where Raphael sometimes played, but I also think I remember Phil saying that at least for a while Raphael had an act that was just himself and a bass player. It would be great if somebody could check up on that.

Anybody here with a NY Times subscription that lets them search their archives for in detail? I just did a quick online search at their site for the combination "Raphael" AND "concertina" and came up with 22 likely hits 1934-8 (mostly announcements or reviews of recitals and night club acts), one possibly interesting article from 1942, 2 radio schedules (1926 & 1929) and one article from 1954, which might be about somebody else. Unfortunately, all I get to see from the free search is the headlines, but some are enticing:
... THE PLAY
... LISZT CELEBRATION
... BETTE DAVIS GETS NEW FEATURE ROLE :unsure:
... REFUGEE EVENT APRIL 27 (1938)

Allan Atlas, Raphael isn't exactly Victorian, but would your academic status give you the necessary pull to get more details without paying fees? (Articles are $4 each, or various quantity discounts up to 25 for $30.)

Raphael played on or around the 1920s and came over following the success of Gregory Matusewitch, also an English system player ,who was a great success in America. There is a very interesting article on the Matusewitch family by Eric Matusewitch on the Free Reed Journal which I easily found on Google.

I believe Eric -- Gregory's grandson, Boris' son -- still lives in Brooklyn and plays the concertina occasionally, but not as a performer. If there are recordings of either Gregory or Boris that you want to use, you should contact Eric for permission. I might be able to dig out an old email address for him, but I would expect that Allan A. should current have contact details. (If not, one of us can dig deeper.)

I also have contact with one of Boris M.'s former students, and may even be able to renew contact with another of his students who played with two others and Boris in a concertina quartet. It would be interesting to know if either Eric or any of the quartet has private recordings of their playing.

I have no playing of any of this family.

More memory jogging: I thought I had one or two old Matusewitch 78's tucked away, but I hadn't taken them out for years, because I didn't have a way to play them. I looked where I thought they were, and guess what?
... one 78 by Gregory Matusewitch
... two 78's by Raphael
... two 78's by Alf Edwards
... one 78 by Tom Ennis, Irish piper :)
... one 78 by Jelly Roll Morton, with a piece missing :(

And not long ago I managed to get a 78 turntable at the local thrift store!

I'll be in touch off-Forum, Alan.

#3 Alan Day

Alan Day

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Horley Surrey England

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:36 PM

If nothing else Anglo ,English and Duet Internationals have unearthed some amazing archive material.
I even have a Proffesor McCann 78 copy I was listening to today.Some of the recordings are not of good quality but neither were some of the Anglo archives.Alex Jones did a wonderful job with a number even sorting out a couple of playing mistakes on one track, as I felt that the player would have been horrified had they gone out as they were,if he had been alive.
Raphael is accompanied by a piano,as is many of the old players I have been listening to,but not in the vamping style which I just do not like.
Jim Ward who is a leading authority on old 78 restoring has been doing a lot of work on Alexander Prince recordings. He has been experimenting on needle shapes for better sound quality with good results.
I look forward to hearing from you Jim.
If enough of these old recordings come to the surface it may be worth considering releasing an Old time greats collection,but obviously with the approval of all the contributors. It would mean that many of the recordings would be of poor quality but cleaned up a bit may make them just acceptable,but only to our specialist market.
Al

#4 John Wild

John Wild

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1145 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gillingham, Kent. U.K.

Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:42 PM

I believe Eric -- Gregory's grandson, Boris' son -- still lives in Brooklyn and plays the concertina occasionally, but not as a performer. If there are recordings of either Gregory or Boris that you want to use, you should contact Eric for permission. I might be able to dig out an old email address for him, but I would expect that Allan A. should current have contact details. (If not, one of us can dig deeper.)
I'll be in touch off-Forum, Alan.


Alan,

I have emailed you with some contact details for Eric Matusewich. i would not post them in the general forum without permission.

- john Wild

#5 allan atlas

allan atlas

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 401 posts

Posted 17 April 2006 - 09:08 PM

ALAN: i will e-mail you Eric Matusewitch's e-mail address. . . .i have his current one. . . . .he has a vast amount of material on the members of his family. . . .and likely has Raphael material to boot. . . . .for those who haven't heard him (Raphael). . . .the guy was amazing. . . . . .somewhere i have a tape with three or four items by him. . . . .the only thing i remember off the top of my head is his rendition of one of the Chopin waltzes. . . . incredible................allan

#6 Alan Day

Alan Day

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Horley Surrey England

Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:48 PM

Many thanks Jim,John and Allan,
I have E Mailed Eric and I will let you know how it progresses.
Al

#7 pga

pga

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 25 November 2017 - 02:49 PM

While poking around (as ever) I have found mentions of Raphael dying 21 November 1942, aged 56. Billboard gives him as pianist and concertina player, with command performances for Russian and British royalty, as well as vaudeville and movie appearances: https://books.google...llywood&f=false

 

Note that his name is given as 'Raphael, Raphael' which is very probably just re-duplication of the simple 'Raphael' for the purposes of standardised obituary entries!  However his age might rather rule out this being the 'M. Raphael' on concertina in Paris in 1899 -- or indeed on 'marbrophone', recorded the same year, which is why I was pursuing him...  He might of course have been a very young performer; indeed his marbrophone performance leaves a lot to be desired!

 

We might even have had 'Raphael Raphael Raphael' -- see the note here referring to his widow Ida Kataeva Raphael: http://streamline.fi...ollywood-style/

 

And more: "In 1946, Raphael's widow Ida, married comedy actor Stan Laurel in Yuma, Arizona."   This is from a source I can't actually access fully online... "The Stars of Hollywood Forever - Page 1978"   It's also mentioned here: https://books.google...osevelt&f=false

 

That's enough poking around!   Peter

 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users