September [938



thing that could not be stamped out. And the player or listener of those days will have countless other fragments of this reality which he will piece together and re-form according to his fancy. The' wienerisch ' of the strings of the Vienna Philharmonic, perhaps a souvenir of the Rose Quartet's Haydn or Schubert (if only we had records of their pre-war playing !), a page from one of Peter Altenberg's books (or something of Schnitzler's or Werfel's), a po~tage stamp with a picture of Schoenbrunn by Moser of the 'Wiener Werkstatte,' a worn, embossed black and gold leather book binding or purse or wallet of this same pioneer school of decorative arts, the savoury, tangy tonic sweetness of a Kreisler record, a film of Magda Schneider's-perhaps the one based on Schnitzler's , Liebelei,'-things part of the 'everyday' of these last two or three decades.

(Why then insist on that other wienerisch, the wienerisch of the immortals of the nineteenth century?) "

In Vienna fashion! I was talking to H. G. Wells a week or two back and he declared to me his profound belief that in another couple of decades Nazi-ism would be as completely forgotten by Germany and Austria as we in this country have forgotten the Fifth Monarchy Men. If the great writer's prophecy be fulfilled Wienerisch will hardly have had t ime to become the obsolete expression of a peculiar quality that once upon .a time existed, before i t reassumes a plentitude of meamng.


From one correspondent: "How can one compare the Magic Flute with Shakespeare's Tempest? Chalk and cheese again. One is an opera and the other is not, and the comparison is about as valuable as one between George Robey and John Gie1gud. To try and drive the point home I may add that you can compare Shakespeare's Othello with Shakespeare's Lear if you l ike: but you cannot compare Verdi's Otello with Shakespeare's Lear. There is a fundamental difference which forbids such mental meandering."

From another correspondent: " The parallel between The Tempest and The Magic Flute is to my mind perfect."

The former correspondent is in cantankerous mood. He thinks that "the competition involving favourite movements from symphonies" serves no useful purpose except to "provide some records for the fortunate winner," and wants a competition "in which readers are required to nominate those works which they most desire to be recorded."

We have already had one or two such competitions and later in the year we will have another, though I am afraid we can think of no more attractive prIzes for the winner than records.

I am delighted by my cantankerous correspondent's effort to drive a point home into my hard head by allowing me to compare one Shakespeare tragedy with another; but I shudder to think what will happen to this young man's aesthetic future if he does not learn how to draw parallels between various mediums of artistic expression. The Gramophone Conference

I hope that enthusiasts will support Mr. W. W. Johnson's initiative by attending in large numbers the Gramophone Conference which will be held at High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Herts, from November 4th to November 7th. I myself am arranging to make the long journey from the Hebrides to Hertfordshire in order to be present, and I do not think I can offer a more practical demonstration of my belief in the importance of the Conference than by making such a journey at such a season of the year. The two congresses that THE GRAMOPHONE arranged over twelve years ago did a great deal to bring enthusiasts together, but Mr. Johnson's scheme is more practical and will afford much better opportunities for frank criticism and free discussion than those congresses of long ago. I believe that Mr. Johnson has chosen exactly the right moment (except for one voyaging from the Hebrides) for this conference, because undoubtedly the current which for some years now has been flowing against the gramophone is now beginning to flow in the other direction. On August 23rd I attended the dinner which His Master's Voice give to their travellers on the eve of the Radio Exhibition at Olympia, and Mr. Richard Haigh the Chairman invited me to say a few words about the future of records . I do not believe that if I had made the speech I ~ade the other night four years ago that speech would have received the, enthusiastic response that it did receive the other night. There is no doubt, I think, that radio alone cannot supply the entertainment demand without the aid of the record, and there is equally no doubt that there is a growing desire among the listening public to have the music they want at the time they want it. At the moment music lovers are having a good t ime because the 'Promenade Concerts are in full swing, but even so comes the desire to have one's own programme in spite of all Sir Henry Wood's experienced choosing. There was a moment when even the most optimistic members of the staff~ of the recording companies began to despair about the future of the record! but that mood has now passed, and I have found everywhere signs of a re-awakened enthusiasm, not the least refreshing of which is the obvious determination of the scientific side of the business to make recording and the . reproduction of recording better than ever. There is no harm in saying now that there was an inclination to think i t was a waste of time to