THE GRAMOPHONE UO'l1.d<m UjJiu 5R Frith :::;treet. London. W. l .


TELEPHONE: Regent 1383.

TELEGRAMS: Parmaxto, Westcent, London.

Vol. VI.

O~T )BEK, 1928

No. 65



IT was by one of those happy chances, all too rare nowadays, that the Grieg 'cello sonata in A minor and the violin sonata in C minor should have appeared together. The 'cello sonata, which is played by Felix Salmond and Simeon Rumschisky and published by Columbia in an album of four discs, with Grieg's Spring on the eighth side, is hew to the gramophone, but we had a memorable performance of the violin sonata by Albert Sammons in the early days of the Vocalion. I don't really think that Grieg suits that delightful combination of Miss Marjorie Hayward and Miss Una Bourne as well as Mozart or Schubert or Beethoven, but that IS merely a piece of personal prejudice, and these three plum-coloured discs from H.M.V. at four and six a-piece ought to be thoroughly popular. I forget if I have already told the story of the advanced young Frenchman at a concert in Capri who, when the opening notes of the Grieg violin sonata resounded, tUrned to me and groaned, " Mais, man cher ami, Grieg! GTieg, vous savez! C'est dur, c'est dur! Grieg, apres la guerre! Mais c'est terrible!" and half-way through the first movement he had to be escorted out of. the hall by a sympathetic friend, as a delicate woman is sometimes escorted out of church when the incense has been too much for her. I don't feel quite like this myself about the violin sonata, but I do feel that I shall have to be very careful not to play i t too often. This frozen fondant of Grieg's music, as Debussy called i t , can lie heavily on one, and I should dread i ts effect on Dean Inge. I watched the very reverend gentleman suffering obviously from acute indigestion when the rich tunes of the Schubert Octet were being played after a banquet of The Musicians Company last July. I t is odd how that ill-regulated mind has managed to impose itself on the mind of the Man in the Street as something really modern, and how that queer Punch and Judy show which he conducts in an evening paper every Wednesday, when he is for ever administering knock-out blows to bogeys and beadles of his own making, draws the gaping crowd. I wonder what would happen to the Dean if he had to hear Grieg's violin sonata in C minor every day of a year? Perhaps his brain and his heart would soften simultaneously. Yes, a queer ill-regulated mind. I suppose some nursemaid frightened him with the plates of Foxe's Hook of Martyrs when he was l i t t le and told him that such things would happen to him if he wasn't a good boy. The 'cello sonata i.s a thoroughly enjoyable composition and i t is good to get a work that was really written for the 'cello, not one that the 'cello has appropriated from some other instrument in the way that male singers sometimes appropriate women's songs. I was thinking of Mr. Frank Titterton ill Schubert's Ave Maria and Am Meer ..Yet there are still plenty of good appropriate songs for this excellent tenor to sing I hope a good deal better than he sang those two Schubert songs for Columbia last month. I found Mr. Roy Henderson in another pair of Schubert's songs more sympathetic than usual, but still far enough away from my idea of a really good barytone. He is being so ridiculously over-praised that I begin to doubt if he will ever have the 'gumption to turn round and make a really good singer of himself. The Columbia Company strikes me as playing too much the part of a fond parent to some of their singers. I should like to fancy a l i t t le harshness in the recording room instead of apparently blind encouragement and approval. Mr. Eric Marshall is a splendid example of a singer who believes in the benefit of hard work, and he may have the satisfaction of feeling that on his Brunswick record of Brahms's Die Mainacht and Liszt's Die LaTely he has put out the best record he has produced up to date. I commend this black label unreservedly to our readers. The British singer who appeals more than almost any other to my taste is Mr. Stuart Robertson. He has all of John Goss's dramatic power and at the same t ime a voice of the finest quality. I did not think that his first two records did him justice, but this month in Rossetti's lovely Silent Noon set by Vaughan Williams he gave an exquisite performance, and on the other side he made that old war horse Myself when young step out like a two-year-old (H.M.V., plum label). I look forward with most eager anticipation to a set of records from Mr. Stuart Robertson that will be second to none. Another splendid ten-inch plum-coloured H.M.V. is that of Mr. Browning Mummery in the best Love went a-riding I have heard, and on the other side Had you but known with violin obbligato hy Miss Marjorie Hayward.