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World Famous Wizard Of The Cornet

Kryl,Boumir
Release Date: 01/08/2013 
Label:  Archeophone   Catalog #: 5022   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jean-Baptiste ". ArbanJules LevyJohn HartmannGioachino Rossini,   ... 
Performer:  Bohumir KrylLeroy Haines
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BOHUMIR KRYL: WORLD-FAMOUS WIZARD OF THE CORNET Bohumir Kryl (cnt); Leroy Haines (tbn); 1 Jaroslav “Jerry” Cimera (tbn); 2 Kryl’s Bohemian Band 3 ARCHEOPHONE/ALBANY 5022, mono (72:49)


BENEDICT The Carnival of Venice (2 vers). TRADITIONAL Du, Du Read more ( Liegst mir im Herzen ). Irish Fantasy ( A Little Maid Milking; The Wearin’ of the Green ). HARTMANN Arbucklenian Polka. Facilita. ROSSINI Stabat Mater: Inflammatus. ASCHER 1 Alice, Where Art Thou? ANONYMOUS 1 Birds of the Forest. 1 Utility Polka. The Ring. FISCHER Down Deep in the Cellar ( In tiefem Keller ). CHAMBERS Kryl’s Favorite. STEVENSON The Last Rose of Summer. LEVY Russian Fantasia. KRYL Cary Waltz. King Carnival. ROLLINSON Columbia Polka. PIERNÉ Serenade. GOUNOD Sing Smile Slumber ( Serenade ). SHORT 1 Short and Sweet. ARONSON Sweet Sixteen Waltz. MORSE Blue Bell. SULLIVAN The Lost Chord. SMETANA 3 Libu?se: Overture. DAMARÉ Cleopatra Polka. AUDRAN 2 The Mascot: Gobble duet. KNOCH 3 At the Mill


“Bohumir who? ” I asked myself when I saw this disc listed in the Albany catalog for review. Herbert L. Clarke I knew of, and so do most cornet and trumpet players because his exercises are still used and his famous showpieces like Bride of the Waves or Grand Russian Fantasy, are still played. But Bohumir Kryl? Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that Kryl was at least as famous, if not more so, than Clarke in his heyday, that he was considered even more spectacular of a technician, and that his career lasted until the 1940s. So why, then, were his only recordings made by primitive methods from 1899 to 1919? We might get a small idea of this from the absolutely extraordinary liner notes. Kryl was not only a man who wore many hats—sculptor, cornetist, art collector, bank president, and bandleader—but an incredibly miserly man who kept moving from place to place because it got him out of paying rent, refused to pay his musicians union scale during the Depression, and purposely bought less train tickets than he needed for his musicians to travel. (He “solved” the latter problem by telling those without tickets to get up and walk around, then make others get up and give the walkers their seats!) My guess is that, as time went on, Kryl simply wanted too much money to record; either that, or time and changing musical styles had passed him by.


Ah, but there were even more quirks to Kryl than those noted above. In his early years, he actually did sculptures at the home of General Lew Wallace, the author of Ben-Hur . While working for a band led by famed trombonist Frederick Innes, he started making copies of their custom-written scores without the leader’s knowledge or permission. When Innes fired him and threatened to sue, Kryl claimed that he had paid $3,000 for the arrangements but refused to produce a receipt, which he said was in a safe in his Chicago apartment. (Innes’s reply was a question: “If I give this man a thrashing, will they put me in jail?”) He also made his musicians double as chauffeurs and valets, refused to use bellhops at hotels because he wouldn’t tip anyone, and locked up his daughters Maria and Josephine to make them study art and music so they couldn’t date or get married. (Josephine skipped out on dad, got married, and incurred his wrath for a decade.) He lied about his past, embellished stories to make himself appear greater or more heroic than he really was, and refused to drive. When one of his chauffeurs asked around as to why this was, he discovered that Kryl “had no concept of speed or momentum,” and was usually liable to go 85 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. He was a character, noted during most of his career as much for his wild shock of hair as for his playing.


So what did Kryl sound like? As might be imagined from such an outsized personality, most of his playing was exhibitionistic to the nth degree. Double-tonguing, triple-tonguing, and what even sounds like quadruple-tonguing (e.g., the 1903 Carnival of Venice ) are evident, as are pedal tones down into the lowest range of the instrument, played with tremendously strong force—no flatulent-sounding groans here, but real tones with real resonance. Or, at least, as much resonance as one can glean from acoustic recordings made between 1901 and 1918, the bulk of them coming from 1901 to 1907 (only three come from 1911 and three from 1918). The sound is variable, depending not only on the date or condition of the record but also of the company that made it. Recordings made for Victor, Edison, or the short-lived U-S Everlasting companies are clear and forward, while those made for Columbia, Silvertone, Lakeside, Standard, Zon-O-Phone, and Pathé have more variable sound. (Having collected and suffered through myriad Pathé discs all my life, mostly vocal but also some instrumental ones like Jim Europe’s band, I’m convinced that their sound was uniformly crappy even if one has a genuine Pathé machine and the correct width needle to play it on. They were, quite simply, one of the worst-sounding record companies in the world at that time.)


Vocal disc collectors will, of course, recognize such soprano favorites as Rossini’s Inflammatus from the Stabat Mater, Stevenson’s Last Rose of Summer (later reworked into Flotow’s Martha ), and Gounod’s Serenade, as well as the famed basso solo Im tiefem Keller . Some of these, as noted above, are simply show-off exhibitions, but several of them are exquisitely played, for instance Kryl’s own Cary Waltz, which shows that he could be a quite musical player with good phrasing when he chose to de-emphasize the tricks. One number that immediately caught my ear was Jules Levy’s Russian Fantasia, which turned out to be the exact same tune later played as a showpiece by Spike Jones’s star trumpet player, George Rock, under the title Minka. I have one of Rock’s performances (the one on which Jones himself is playing drums rather than the band’s regular percussionist, Joe Siracusa), and in the first triple-tongue passage Rock actually plays smoother and cleaner than Kryl. But then comes the last chorus, where Kryl’s triple-tonguing once again sounds like quadruple-tonguing, and you know that he’s kicked it up a notch. In pieces like Kryl’s own King Carnival or Gabriel Pierné’s Serenade, for instance, his playing is as stylistically clean and beautifully phrased as any noted cornetist’s.


In 1923 Kryl took a break from his music career to become the president of a new bank in Berwyn, Illinois, a post he held for two years. In this position as in his work as a bandleader, Kryl was miserly to a fault, once even threatening to foreclose on the property owned by the Gregory-Bernasek Theater after hearing negative news at a shareholder’s meeting. (Yes, folks, all of this is in the liner notes, and there’s even more of this kind of stuff available online.) In later years, living in a fifth-floor apartment on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, he had no contact with the outside world except for periodic visits from local Catholic priests. His granddaughter Kiki, the notes say, thought he was trying to buy his way into heaven. Kryl’s disputes with the musicians’ union were also long-running and legendary. When he died in 1961, he insisted that his family not tell the union!


Much to my surprise, there are even more Kryl records available online for free, among them Orly Polskie (1913), Pochod z Prodane nevesty (1913), Pode mlejnem (1912), Povidky s. Vidensky lesu (1913), Praise ye (1913), The Ambassador Polka (1919), Zeleny hajove (1914), In the Gloaming (1918), National Fantasy, Ben Bolt (1918), Lvi Silon (1912), Na Prej (1913), and Oh, Promise Me (1905). Most of these were probably excluded from the present set because they are Bohemian tunes with a less broad appeal; and, of course, Archeophone’s reproductions are their usual high standard. Several of the discs have too much surface noise left in for my taste, but some of them are clear as a bell (no pun intended), such as the 1903 King Carnival, the 1905 Blue Bell (one of the best-sounding Zon-O-Phone records I’ve ever heard), and the 1911 cylinder recording of The Ring. On the website for General Lew Wallace’s homestead/museum, you can also see one of Kryl’s sculptures, the “Prince of India.” In short, he was an exceptionally talented man with bizarre quirks and lifestyle. Well worth a listen.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Variations on "Carnival of Venice," for trumpet by Jean-Baptiste ". Arban
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; France 
Date of Recording: 1918 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2. German Air (Du Du), for cornet by Jules Levy
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
3. Arbucklenian Polka by John Hartmann
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4. Facilita for cornet & piano by John Hartmann
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
5. Stabat mater: Inflammatus by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
6. Alice, where art thou? by Joseph Ascher
Performer:  Leroy Haines (Trombone), Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
7. Down Deep in the Cellar, for cornet by Ludwig Fischer
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1902 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
8. Kryl's Favorite, for cornet by William Paris Chambers
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1904 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
9. The Last Rose of Summer, song by John Andrew Stevenson
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1813; Ireland 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10. Grand Russian Fantasia for cornet & orchestra by Jules Levy
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Modern 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 1902 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
11. Cary Waltz, for cornet by Bohumir Kryl
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
12. Columbia Polka, for cornet by Thomas H. Rollinson
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1901 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
13. King Carnival, for cornet by Bohumir Kryl
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
14. Serenade for violin & piano by Gabriel Pierné
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
15. Utility Polka, for cornet & trombone by Unspecified
Performer:  Leroy Haines (Trombone), Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
16. Short and Sweet Polka, for cornet & trombone by T. V. Short
Performer:  Leroy Haines (Trombone), Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1905 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
17. Sweet Sixteen Waltz, for cornet by Rudolph Aronson
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Written: 1880 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
18. Blue Bell, for cornet by Theodore Morse
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1905 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
19. The Lost Chord by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; England 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
20. Libusse: Overture by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1869-1872; Czechoslovakia 
Date of Recording: 05/19/1911 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
21. Cléopatra, polka by Eugène Damaré
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 04/08/1918 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
22. The Mascot: Gobble Duet by Edmond Audran
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 1906 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
23. At the Mill, for cornet by Fr. Knoch
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1911 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
24. Irish Fantaisie, for cornet by Bohumir Kryl
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Date of Recording: 1918 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
25. Birds of the Forest (Die Waldvoglein), polka for band by Sebastian Mayr
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet), Leroy Haines (Trombone)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
26. Sérénade by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; France 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
27. The Ring, for cornet by Unspecified
Performer:  Bohumir Kryl (Cornet)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1911 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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