Recording Pioneers

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CABRERA  (first name unknown).... - ....

nationality Spanish(?)




recorder ODEON in 1907-1912

........... Cabrera

Little is known about Odeon recorder Cabrera.
Even his first name unknown.
By late 1905 he was employed by the INTERNATIONAL TALKING MACHINE COMPANY in Milan, since his name occurs in the FONOTIPIA ledgers.
On page 34, note 112 (3 November 1905) of Michael Henstock's book "Fonotipia Recordings. A Centennial Survey" Cabrera is mentioned for the first time.

At some time in 1907 it seems Cabrera was asked to join THE GRAMOPHONE COMPANY [in what capacity is not mentioned - HS].
But, judging from the following letter, in the end he must have decided to renew his contract with ODEON.
On 23 March 1907 Kenneth Muir of THE GRAMOPHONE COMPANY Milan writes to Theodore Birnbaum in London:
Cabrera - I am in receipt of your letter of the 19th [is this letter still in the EMI Archives?], and have to report that Cabrera signed his contract with the ODEON last Monday [= 18 March 1907]. I agree with you that the matter was hardly of sufficient importance to justify you in making greater concessions than those offered under what were very favourable and lucrative conditions. I think Cabrera has made a great mistake to prefer the ODEON Company, but no doubt the complication of his not knowing whether he could be liberated in two months [from his old contract with ODEON?] affected his decision. I am very glad to hear that you have settled matters with Mr. Cohn.

I guess this last remark refers to the fact that in March 1907 Leo B. Cohn left the INTERNATIONAL TALKING MACHINE COMPANY to become second Director of the DGAG, next to Norbert M. Rodkinson.
Rodkinson left DGAG on 1 August 1908.

21 March 1907 (PhZ8/12/323):
In der Geschäftsleitung der the INTERNATIONAL TALKING MACHINE Co. m. b. H. [Berlin] Weissensee ist vor einigen Tagen ein Direktionswechsel eingetreten.
Sowohl der Gründer der Gesellschaft, Herr F. M. Prescott, als auch der seit etwa einem Jahre dort tätige Direktor Herr Leo B. Cohn sind ausgetreten, nachdem schon Herr Prescott vor längerer Zeit seine kapitalistische Beteiligung an der Gesellschaft, welche den grössten Teil der Geschäftsanteile Talking Machine Co. besitzt, abgetreten hatte.

PhZ 7/25/538 (6/4/1907): Leo B. Cohn left the International Talking Machine Co. (after one year employment as Director: PhZ 7/25/539)
(see also letter 18 Aug 1910 (Vogel to Dixon):
I think Mr. Cohn will be able to give you all details in this respect, as he was in the ODEON when the contract was made.

Letter of 27 April 1907 from Leo B. Cohn (Berlin) to Theo. B. Birnbaum (Milan) (see Lindström folder)
(How did Leo B. Cohn [= Leo B. Kurth] know these things? Because, before joining The Gramophone Company he worked for one year for The International Talking Machine Company [Odeon] (PhZ 7/25/537 = ca. June 1906, dS -/15/350 = 6 April 1907 and PhZ 8/15/384 = 11 April)

Le (EMI korrespondentie van 1906) kan niet Leo Cohn zijn

On Cabrera see also: p. 20 of Lindström-report of Jan. 1912 (source: EMI archives):
"... and all the Recording Experts of the ODEON Company, six in number, are under contract.
I give below a list of these Recording experts:
Hans Gloetzner (Berlin), [Dan] Smoot (Vienna), Cabrera (Italy), [Alexander] Nagel (Asia), [William] Ditcham (London), [Oscar] Preuss [London].

see also: Henstock, Michael E. Fonotipia Recordings. A Centennial Survey, Beaconsfield 2004


  • Fonotipia Recordings. A Centennial Survey by Michael E. Henstock (Beaconsfield, 2004)