Guide to the Girard-Farwig Collection ARS.0125

Finding aid prepared by Franz Kunst
Archive of Recorded Sound
Braun Music Center
541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, California, 94305-3076
© 2012
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Girard-Farwig Collection
Dates: 1932-1979
Collection number: ARS.0125
Collection size: 20 boxes : 567 open reel tapes (49 5" reels ; 518 7" reels) ; 20 folders
Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
Abstract: The Girard-Farwig Collection consists unpublished recordings of opera, vocal and orchestral music from the collection of Victor Girard and Stan Farwig.
Language of Material: Multiple languages


Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

Preferred Citation

Girard-Farwig Collection, ARS-0125. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


The Girard-Farwig Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by Michael Hertz in 2003.


This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Scope and Contents

The Girard-Farwig Collection consists unpublished recordings of opera, vocal and orchestral music from the collection of Victor Girard and Stan Farwig. Girard and Farwig were discographers and researchers who lived and worked together in Oakland, California. As with many such collections, recordings were obtained from a network of traders and collectors, and many tapes were originally recorded from radio broadcasts (such as KPFA and KKHI, locally). Some are copies from commercial issues; however there are several RCA Victor tapes that appear to be pre-production reference dubs, with notes about the recording quality on the tape boxes. Original concert programs are enclosed with some tapes. The collection features works by composers such as Bellini, Berlioz, Busoni, Donizetti, Janacek, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and Wagner, as well as more contemporary works such as Joplin's Treemonisha, Berg's Lulu and Wozzeck, and Milhaud's Bolivar.
Aside from 78 transfers, the collection's earliest recording is the San Francisco Opera production of Tosca from October 15th, 1932. There are also SFO Toscas from 1965, 1970 (several from the same run), 1972, and 1976. Other San Francisco Opera and Symphony recordings include Rossini's La Cenerentola, Janacek's Jenufa, Berlioz' Les Troyens, Schuller's Visitation (with a jazz group including John Handy and Mike Nock), Puccini's Manon Lescault, Madame Butterfly and La Boheme, Verdi's Aida and Un Ballo in Maschera, Stravinsky's Rake's Progress, Strauss' Rosenkavalier, Milhaud's Christopher Columbus, and Schoenberg's Ewartung. Other prominently featured performances are by Toscanini and the NBC Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. Girard and Farwig appeared to be especially big fans of Dorothy Kirsten as well, and among the many recordings of her singing there are three reels of a KPFA biographical feature.


1. Discographies

Scope and Contents

These print-outs of discographical databases were a work in progress, and may be of limited value today, except as a corollary to their collection of recordings.
Box 14

NBC Airchecks, Chronological

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 14

Title Index A-Z

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 18, Box 16, Box 17, Box 14, Box 15

Performer Index (missing "A")

Physical Description: 17 folders

2. Tapes



Box 7, Box 6

Unnumbered 5"

Physical Description: 40 5" open reel tapes
Box 3, Box 4, Box 5, Box 1, Box 2

Unnumbered 7"

Physical Description: 154 7" open reel tapes

Scope and Contents

Most are minimally annotated.
Box 5

Old handwritten labels

Physical Description: 27 7" open reel tapes

Scope and Contents

Tapes in this series share the same handwriting on boxes. Works by Mahler, Verdi, Mussorgsky, Puccini and others. Many are conducted by Bruno Walter. Some are Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. There are several pre-production reference copy tapes from RCA, containing notes such as "approved CP," "OK for prod.," and "high peaks, approved for Red Seal."
Box 5, Box 6

Typed labels

Physical Description: 36 7" open reel tapes

Scope and Contents

Material is similiar to those tapes with handwritten labels. Also some RCA reference copies here.
Box 8, Box 7

San Francisco Opera and Symphony

Physical Description: 40 open reel tapes : 9 5" reels ; 31 7" reels

Scope and Contents

Please note that the main numbered tape series also contains San Francisco recordings (the unnumbered tapes may also contain unidentified San Francisco performances). Includes Otello 11/70 ; Falstaff 10/70 ; Nozze di Figaro 1973 ; Makropulos Case 11/66 ; Faust 11/72 ; Tancredi 11/79 ; 50th Anniversary, Stern Grove 1972 ; Gala 11/19/78 ; Thais 9/10/76 ; Die Walkure 11/13/36 ; Tosca 10/15/32, 1965, 11/72, 10/8/76 ; Boris Godunov 1973; La Cenerentola 11/1/74 ; L'Italiana in Algieri 6/64 ; Ozawa/Symphony - Mahler 7, Berlioz Requiem.

Numbered (100/200/300 series)

Physical Description: 270 7" open reel tapes (approximately)


Numbering spans 97-367, with some gaps. A few other short series of numbers (i.e. 1-12 on 5" reels) are probably unrelated and were disregarded. The "T" series (for transcriptions) is interfiled (this may match the numbers in their NBC discography).
Box 8


Box 9


Box 10


Box 11


Box 12


Box 13


Box 19


Box 20