The Gramophone, July, 1927

the best, though i t must be kept in mind that the Casse~Noisette Suite is comparatively easy to record sensationally owing to the colour of the orchestration.

[Having written that, I receive a letter from a Yorkshire correspondent to say that he has just given himself the pleasure of smashing them to smithereens on account of the tempi. This sets a new standard of behaviour for critics, and we may presently expect a. query in the popular press: Should critics carry slx~shooters?] .

I was almost equally impressed by the two waltzes under the same conductor which appeared in the middle of May, and when I remember the Danse Macabre I begin to wonder if His Master's Voice is heard more authentically on the other side of the Atlantic. I know that all these recordings were made about a year ago; in fact, I heard one of the waltzes on the Radio last winter when they were doing their imitation of an American programme. It is true that the empty concert~room echo is accentuated on the American recording, but there is a cleanness and an individual quality about them which I don't think that any of the English orchestral recordings have yet achieved. At the same t ime, the showy orchestra~ t ion of all these three pieces gives them an unfair handicap, and I should not attempt to come to any definite opinion about the respective merits of English and American orchestral recording until I had heard what they can do with some of the thick orchestration of Brahms or Schumann. Also I should like to hear how American recording can hold i ts own with ours in Wagner. Such a record (H.M.V.) as that of Albert Coates conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Prelude to Act 3 of the Meistersinger would take a bit of beating.

I particularly commend in the popular price orches~ tral records from the H.M.V. l ist the selection from Turandot, and a delightful performance of the William Tell overture, both by the Covent Garden Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Malcolm Sargent. From Columbia we had a very fine pair of discs of Bruno Walter conducting the overture of The Flying Dutchman, and the first records of a French orchestra-the Societe des Goncerts du Conservatoire de Paris-conducted by Phillippe Gaubert. A happy choice was made in L'Apprenti Sorcier of Paul Dukas, and would i t be too much to express a hope that this will not be immediately duplicated elsewhere? I recognize that every company is bound to have the hundred most popular orchestral records in i ts own catalogue, but here is a good instance when duplication might be avoided, at any rate for the present. The only thing that marred the magnificent celebration of the Beethoven centenary was the failure to provide electrical recording of four of the quartets owing to absolutely unnecessary duplication. In the case of one of these the gap was supplied by the Polydor Company, and I may take this opportunity of corĀ­

recting a slip when I said the A minor quartet was played by the Amar combination; i t was, as a matter of fact, played by the Deman quartet, and a very fine performance i t was. We have, of course, non-electric recordings of the" Harp " quartet and of the C sharp minor; but I do wish that the Lener combination had given us the C sharp minor, Op. 131, instead of the quartet in E flat major, Op. 127, which was done by the Virtuoso; and then if the Flonzaley, instead of duplicating Op. 18, No.2, had given us Op. 18, No.5, which has not been done either electrically or nonelectrically, we should not have had to deplore a rather depressing gap; and finally, if the Virtuoso combination had played the" Harp" quartet instead of the 3rd Rasoumoffsky, we should have been complete. I have had enough practical experience through the N.G.S. to know how t iresome armchair critics can be, and I realize how easy i t is to ask why wasn't this or that done instead of something else, when there were several good reasons, which nobody knew anything about, for doing something else. Still, I cannot help feeling that on a unique occasion like the Beethoven centenary there might have been a l i t t le friendly collaboration between the great companies. While on the subject of Beethoven I must say I found the Battle Symphony, issued by Parlophone, a l i t t le depressing. Tchaikovsky did these things a great deal better; indeed, Mr. Ketelbey would do i t a great deal better. However, amid all the duplication and re-duplication of the moment the Parlophone Company are to be'congratulated on their originality. I have already called attention to their Dajos Bela Orchestra, which has now added to i ts strings some beautiful reed instruments and the richest trumpets I have yet heard. In fact, the whole combination is delightful and their choice of melodies excellent. They will be to new recording what Marek 'Weber was to old recording, and I advise all tuneloving readers to " follow " these records from the start. But don't play them on fibre; they are much better with steel and will stand the loudest needle. Another waltz record not to overlook is that from H.M.V. of the International Concert Orchestra playing Estudiantina and The Skaters. "Not presume to dictate," said Mr. Alfred Jingle, " but broiled fowl and mushrooms-capital thing!" Nor do I presume to dictate, but Eton Boating Song, Lustige Bruder, Choristers, Valse Amoureuse also capital things, particularly the Eton Boating Song, which perhaps the Dajos Bela Orchestra does not know. I hope that our friends in City Road will post a copy of this waltz to the leader. The Wagner recoros from Parlophone, under the baton of Siegfi'ied Wagner

(whose portrait on the outside of the bulletin looks exactly like Mr. Ford Madox Hueffer ten years ago), were all good this quarter. Indeed, the second part of the Entry of the Gods was about the best I have heard. Where the record failed was with the crash on the first side, which isn't much louder than a milkman rattling his cans outside a back door.