El Capitan is a selection from, and title of, Sousa’s first operetta. A political thriller set during the Spanish possession of Peru, it debuted in Boston in April 0f 1896.
This recording, though, was made by the London Concert Orchestra and recorded on a Lambert Cylinder. They’re the easy-on-the-eyes cylinders, coming in shades of pink, as well as purple, blue and black. And they’re also pretty rare…they were the first cylinders made of celluloid, making them much more durable than wax. But…the parallel technologies battle among early-20th century cylinder manufacturers was a fierce one.. Lambert would only produce their records from 1901 to 1905. For a more-detailed breakdown of the Cylinder Wars, check out our blog at soundbeat.org.