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SINCE the new recording the question of the right conductor has become of really vital importance for an orchestral record. I t is evidently not enough to have musicians of taste, discretion, and conscientiousness. I might almost add that dignity and a certain nobility of manner which we associate with certain conductors are a hindrance rather than a help to the recording of orchestral works for the gramophone. I can understand, and in some moods sympathise with, the l istener who does not care to see the conductor sweating like a stoker, and I admit that i t may easily induce in the audience a sense of fatigue which is far removed from the highest resthetic pleasure. At the same t ime I must avow that the two conductors I know who sweat most profusely and whose collars at the end of a symphony are wetter than the inside of the horns, do happen to be the very two conductors who galvanize their orchestra into what seems a veritably demonic condition; and I feel convinced that an orchestra stimulated to this extent is the one in the most suitable condition to be recorded. I t is no use talking about the phlegm of British orchestras. The British orchestra with the right conductor can give as inspiring a performance of a great orchestral work as i t is possible to hear anywhere else in the world. But we a,re not getting demonic performances on the gramophone when they are most required, and however authoritative the conducting by a man like Weingartner of the Ninth Sym,phony of Beethoven may be, the inelucta,ble fact remains that life is absent from i t . At present on the gramophone there are two conductors who have unmistakably known how to transfer their own life to a machine-Toscanini and Albert Coates; and I do not think that I am prejadiced by friendship if I add the name of Eugene Goossens. A conductor who I am convinced would have the same power, but who has not yet been recorded, is Koussevitsky. One might expect this Ufe-breathing spirit from Sir Henry Wood, but Sir Henry Wood is really overworked. He achieves