Evelyn Grant explores the legacy of the legendary tenor, John McCormack in the company of Jeremy Meehan who collaborated on a remastered collection of McCormack’s recordings. Listen back below.
Episode 1: Jeremy Meehan goes back to his youth in Youghal, Co. Cork to explain how he came to love the voice of John McCormack.
Episode 2: Jeremy Meehan explains how McCormack's career spanned the development of the recording industry and describes how the very early wax-cylinder recordings were made.
Episode 3: Evelyn Grant and Jeremy Meehan explore the work done by Ward Marston, an expert in cleaning up historic recordings and we hear the difference between the early acoustic and electric recordings.
Episode 4: Evelyn Grant and Jeremy Meehan discuss how McCormack's training from appearing in the Feis Cheoil a year after James Joyce to his studies in Italy and hear a three versions of the song Killarney: McCormack's untrained voice in a 1904 cylinder recording, up a semitone to 1906 after studies in Italy, finally January 1910 and his first record as professional tenor voice.
Episode 5: Friendly rivals: McCormack's friendship with the great Caruso in New York and we hear his only recording of an Elgar composition Is She Not Passing Fair, accompanied by his long-term musical partner, Edwin Schneider.
Episode 6: Putting the tenor's international reknown into context, McCormack's collaborations with Rachmaninov and Fritz Kreisler are recalled, along with his mastery of the art song.
Episode 7: Evelyn Grant and Jeremy Meehan look at McCormack's legacy, his influence on other singers like Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and his relevance today.
Episode 8: In the final installment, Evelyn Grant and Jeremy Meehan discuss the end of his career, how his voice went out of fashion and which recordings of John McCormack a newcomer should listen to first.