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PRIVATE21 027Above is a portrait of author Thomas Mann, enlarged from the back cover of a record album cover titled, “Thomas Mann Selection from His Writings Read by the Author“.

Finally, after looking for some time to add to our collection, by chance, I found this Caedmon record featuring the voice of the great German writer Thomas Mann (1875-1955), reading from his own work in the German language.
What a treat!

The cover of this record is by an, to me, unknown artist, M. Thorne in petrol and burgundy colors with a nice sophisticated design for this era. The record is the third or fourth record made by Caedmon and according to the back cover dates around early 1953.

On the back cover we have a commentary by one of Thomas Mann’s daughters: Monika Mann (1910-1992).

Part of her short statement, below, echoes very much my own thoughts on the importance of hearing an author’s voice that may add or distract from his or her work when heard. It describes the reason why I collect Caedmon records.

PRIVATE21 028Thomas Mann, a 1929 Nobel Prize winner for literature, reads from his novels on this record, as well as, a piece titled “Lob der Vergaenglichkeit” (Praise for the Past) according to the back cover written in February 1952 for the CBS program “This I believe”.

Mann’s famous books, for example, Death in Venice have been translated into other media like opera’s, plays and movies and a number of audio tapes with his voice. Some were made during WW II , and exist also. I do not know of any other records with work read by him, and I suspect this gem is missing in many Mann collections in German Universities. The following press interview takes place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1947, thus after World War II, where Thomas Mann in a short speech in German recognizes the suffering incurred during WWII by the Dutch and expresses his confidence in the Dutch Nation, in spite of all its suffering, that they will be an example of a post war social humanism integrated in a larger European political framework.