Item 49 in the Vladimir Rosing discography (Record collector, Vol 36 ¹ 3). That is Vocalion. Recorded circa 1920 with acc. the Aeolian Orchestra. Conductor: Guthbert Whitemore. Vocalion catalogue numbers A-0103 and A-0206 (d/s). A 0103 was issued in January 1921. Rosing recorded "Recondita armonia" only one time - for Vocalion. Right speed: probably 82 rpm. Interesting and rare "advance pressing".
But this record is vertically cut! And has raised rings at the edge and centre. No UK Vocalion has these. Also this is 25cm in diameter or a little over, and A-0103 and 0203 are 30cm.
It's very complicated because the MADE IN ENGLAND is in the mirror, as also on Vocalions (but also other types of record before them). Also this unusual type of cut (vertical modulation, but with a narrow groove) was used only for two labels. One is the UK firm Marathon, and the other is US Vocalion before 1920.
It could be a late unpublished Marathon (the company finished in 1916), or an early UK Vocalion recorded with this strange and obsolete cut. But that would have been madness. US Vocalion only used a vertical cut to get around patents that did not apply in England. Non-standard records not playable on normal machines were a guaranteed way to fail.
I am interested in finding a sound file of the Vocalion Recondita Armonia, as I want to check them side by side, in case there's any possibility that one is a re-recording of the other. So far I have found nobody with a copy.
The published record and the vertical-cut test are two different recordings. They are very different and must be from different recording sessions.
I'm still trying to identify the vertical-cut test. It now looks like it must have been recorded between mid-1917 and mid-1919, and recorded by UK Aeolian Vocalion in London. It's not clear whether it was vertical cut because the UK company was recording for issue on US Vocalion (which used this format until 1919) or whether they originally planned to issue records in the UK with this format.
The problem is the matrix number 1471. I can think of one or two reasons why it could be so high, but none that seems very likely.
No vertical-cut Vocalions were recorded or issued in the UK as far as is known. This must be an American recording dating from 1918. The matrix series is completely unrelated to the British one; when later, lateral-cut, American masters were released in the UK they were usually given an AM prefix for "AMerica", because the numbers overlap with the British series.
I know very few of these American vertically-cut master numbers - one major problem is that they are often invisible on finished pressings and, unlike the UK type, never printed on the labels - but mx. 1414 in the same sequence as your test pressing would be Florence Easton singing "Pace mio Dio" (issued as US-Vocalion 54017), 1631 is Giacomo Rimini doing "Serenata gelata" (US-Vocalion 30009), and 1817 is Giulio Crimi with Andrea Chenier's Improvviso (US-Vocalion 54019). All three of them date from 1918 and/or 1919.
If it should turn out that Rosing was not in the USA during this time, I'm sorry to say it cannot be him, and the test pressing is misidentified, maybe by some former owner led astray by wishful thinking. Giulio Crimi sang "E lucevan" for vertical-cut Vocalion during the same period, and it might as well be his voice heard here. At any rate, a very unstylish and vulgar performance, perhaps more fitting for the justly-forgotten barnstormer Crimi?