The Gramophone, Decemher, 1925


tion that she does so in hers. The former is too staccato, the latter too slow and melancholy; they may be capital records, but they are incredibly unlike Mozart. We get more of the real thing in the Non piu andrai of Mattia Battistini (H.M.V., D.B.736) and Mario Sammarco (H.M.V., D.B.607), both of which are lively and full of spirit. Each has such distinctive merits of i ts own that I do not care to praise one more than the other. As to the treatment of the appoggiatura they are entirely at variance; and I think the same may be said of practically all the other Mozart records that I have come across, Italian and German alike. The literal rendering is quite wrong, of course, and i t is this alone that spoils, for my ear, the otherwise charming record of P01'{li amor (alias Heil'ge QueUe reine1° Triebe, Polydor 72910) made by that admirable soprano, Lotte Lehmann. It is the tender prayer for a return of happier days, uttered by the Countess at the opening of the second scene, and is followed almost'immediately by the Page's Song, familiarly known to all the world as Voi ehe sapete.

I have yet to hear a perfect record of this inspired air. Frieda Hempel's is too pallid in tone, too suggestive of a choir-boy, too devoid of real warmth (H.NLV., D.A.675), or I should gladly say, "Here is the latest and best setting of a precious gem." But i t is delicately phrased and free from liberties or exaggeration; which is more than can be said for Elisabeth Schumann's spasmodic, oversentimentalised version (Poly. 65654.) in the German tongue. It is also included in the Patti group referred to below, but the pa,rt of Cherubino was never sung by the great prima donna. For the remainder of the first act, with i ts magnificent finale and all the smaller bonnes bouches, gramophone lovers must wait as patiently as I shall.

From the next or third scene we have refined and beautifully-balanced renderings of the two duets, viz., Grudel! · pet"che, by Geraldine Farrar and Antonio Scotti (H.M.V., D.K.1l8), and Ghe soave zejfiretto, by Emma Eames and Marcella Sembrich (H.NLV., D.K.121). Both bring back agreeable recollections of these artists and delightful bygone performances of the opera. I admire Scotti's suave legato pleading as the Count, and Farrar's sly, spirited repartee as Susanna. The other voices, in the "Letter" duet, are rather dark and sad, but for all that they furnish a fascinating record of two famous singers. The Dove sono of Claire Dux (Polydor 72890) is scarcely an outstanding example of pure vocalisation by one whom we know to be an excellent Mozart singer (though she is now, I understand, appearing on the operetta stage in Vienna). Nevertheless, and in spite of the German (Nur zu jluchtig bist du entschwunden), i t is all very smooth and pleasing; the two sections are well contrasted; and in the round tone-colour there is a just expression of the Countess's unbearable ennui. Those who would like to hear more of Claire Dux and Lotte Lehmann can do so hy procuring their Deh! vieni or Rosen-Arie, as t.he Germans call i t , which is my final excerpt from Le N ozze. The former (Poly. 72890) gives us the recitative but not the appoggiature j the latter (Poly. 72910) reverses this proceeding. So you can pay YOllr money, etc., and be sure that what vel' your choice you will have no regrets. Claire yields the lovelier timbre, perhaps, and is not quite so triste as Lotte; but the singing of both is tasteful and delicate in a very delightful degTee.


From the opening scene of this opera there is nothing. The grumbling air for Leporello and the dramatic duet for Donna Anna and Don Ottavio are both missing. So, too, is the trio of the second scene where Don Giovanni and his loutish valet come across the hapless Donna Elvira. ,Ve make a notable start, however, with the next number, which is the famous catalogue song, .lJ1adamina, sung in Italian by Chaliapine (H.NLV., D.A.555, in two parts). Individual and unconventional, a tour de force of speed and patter, brimful of realistic humour, i t represents the Russia,n singer in a highly characteristic mood. The aZZegm is really too quick to be distinct; i t sounds more like an exercise than an attempt to deceive a poor ill-used lady. But the andante is wonderful-a rare piece of subtle colouring and writ " Leporello " all over. The varied repetition of the let piccina, even where i t is so pp that the breathy tone fails to register the first time, is quite masterly, and the ending may fairly be called comical. After this one feels a certain amount of sympathy for Peter Dawson's clever effort to do the same air justice in English (H.NLV., B .1202); he takes i t much slower, however, and is cOllseq')ently easier to follow than the gifted "celebrity," while the orchestra is also more audible. Where the vowels permit, Mr. Dawson yields ample tone and suggestive colouring, especially in the andante, which is again the more satisfying side of the disc.

From }J!Iadamina i t is not a far cry to La ci dm'om, a good example whereof is supplied by Geraldine Farrar and Antonio Scotti (H.M.V., D.K.ll1). The exquisite old duet is well sung by both artists; the Don on the whole a trifle more prominent than the coquettish Zerlina, but not exuberantly so, while the timbres mingle agreeably and the legato is never disturbed by a "wobble." Thence we pass to a German version of Dalla sua pace, one of the most trying airs for tenor that Mozart has written. I cannot say that I care for i t in German or that I find anything to admire in this rendering by Herman Jadlowker (Polydor 72538), which is sentimental to tearfulness and badly disfigured by