Ralph De Cross

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Fictitious conductor used by unscrupulous record companies to release works by other artists under false names to avoid paying royalties or obscure the fact they are public domain recordings. His name is also sometimes given Raphael De Cross for a more exotic, European feeling.

He was credited on releases by Period Records in the late 1950s and early 1960s where he led the "Patagonia Festival Orchestra" and the "Salzburg Festival Orchestra." the earliest known release is Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade And Easter Overture (Grand Paque Russe) SHO 313, released in 1958.

In 1965, the Period label issued sets of Mozart's Entführung aus dem Serail and two Verdi operas. The recordings had supposedly been made at the Patagonia Festival, where Ralph de Cross was said to conduct soloists like Claudia Terrasini and Magda Walbrunn. Again, the intrepid Saturday Review, which had defended jazz bootleggers in earlier years, accused Period of copying the concerts from European radio broadcasts and, in the case of Verdi's La Traviata, from a recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label. However, no one was sued. Indeed, Livingstone commented, “The whole thing was so funny that nobody did anything about it.”

Alex Sayf Cummings, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press, 2017.

One of the benefits of timing orchestral excerpts has been to unmask a number of apocryphal conductors- for example, George Richter, Ralph De Cross, Alfred Gerhardt - whose names have appeared in connection with a performance by another, real conductor.

- Jonathan Brown, Tristan und Isolde on Record: A Comprehensive Discography of Wagner's Music Drama with a Critical Introduction to the Recordings. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000.

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