Chester Nieznanski-Nichols was a classically trained singer and musician who grew-up and lived in the Chicago Area from when he was born in 1910 until he passed away in 1955. He left his loving wife, Mary Frances, and four children: Daniel Andrew Nichols, Kenneth Edward Nichols, Chester Nichols, Jr. and Penelope Ellen Nichols.
During his exemplary career, he was a very popular radio, opera, stage, church, wedding and society-event singer. He was also the lead baritone in the highly-regarded St. Mary's Catholic Church Choir in Evanston, Il. The St. Mary's choir was highly-regarded as the top-choir in Chicago and was filled with the best singers and musicians in Chicago.
Chester's son, Chet, Jr., followed in his father's footsteps in the music business. After his mother passed away, Chet, Jr. went through the original direct-to-acetates of his dad's performances and was able to, with the help of producer, Stephen Barncard, repair, master and digitize one of Chester, Sr's, more famous performances. This performance was produced with the St. Mary's Choir and orchestra and featured Joseph Haydn's "Good Friday" masterpiece for choral group and orchestra, "The Seven Last Words Of Our Saviour On The Cross". This performance used two acetate recorders to capture the hour+ performance. This performance was recorded by the radio engineers at WGN radio, as the whole performance was broadcasted "Live" on WGN radio. It was the most popular "live" radio show on Good Friday for many years.
That said, this recording has very few rough spots, but for acetates that are were from the late 1930's (making this performance about 85 years OLD), we have a wonderfully moving performance featuring, Chester, Sr., singing the role of Jesus Christ. The choir and orchestra and other featured soloists produced a contributed musical mass worth saving and sharing. The soloist, choir and orchestra of Joseph Haydn's, "The Seven Last Words Of Our Savior On The Cross", were directed by music director, Gregory Connell.
We hope you enjoy this vintage recording and the message it delivers.
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