lan40n Office lOa Soho Square london. W.I
T ,HE GRAMOPHONE Incorporating VOX, THE RADIO CRITIC and BROADCAST REVIEW
COMPTON MACKENZIE and CHRISTOPHER STONE
Telephone Gerrard 2136, 2137
r.I.,rams Parmaxto. Rath. london
My Editorial this month must take the form of an apology. First of all I must ask the many corre spondents who have written to me on all sorts of topics connected with the gramophone to forgive my not answering their letters. The fact is I have really had to give up answering all letters for the last three months in order to finish the second volume of this huge novel I am writing. The trouble with me is I am interested in so many things that besides the advice and help which every well-known author gets asked for I am involved in correspondence upon about a dozen other topics. I have always made i t a rule to give precedence to correspondents about the gramo phone, but even from those correspondents I must now plead mercy. If a man is writing eight hours a day at a book for six months at a stretch, and if he knows that his failure to deliver the goods in t ime will involve his publisher in a serious loss, his mind cannot deal with correspondence. So will every reader who has taken the trouble to write to me and received no acknowledgment believe me when I tell him that i t is not lack of interest in what he has written or lack of appreciation of his interest, but the fear of surrendering to the interest I feel and so taking up t ime that I must devote to this book.
My second apology is a corollary to the first. Unless I were feeling extremely t ired I should not have allowed myself to attribute to Kreisler praise that was due to Heifetz. The whole point of making that particular allusion was my delight in the triumph of a violinist whom I have admired intensely from the first record of his I heard in pre-electric days. Anyway, I don't regret the mistake because i t gives me an opportunity of again drawing attention to this magnificent performance and recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
Mr. Richardson Brown, who wrote to me about the Nagasheff Concert Reproducer, has written me an open letter which I hope will interest our readers. I don't know whether i t will be possible to arrange a demonstration of this reproducer in this country, but Mr. Richardson Brown is so obviously a genuine enthusiast that our expectations have been roused, and i t will be a disappointment if we do not get an opportunity of hearing it.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. COMPTON MACKENZIE
My dear Mr. Mackenzie,
May 9, 1937
I wish to thank you for your mention of the Nagasheff Concert Reproducer in the :March issue of THE GRAMOPHONE; not nearly so much because your o""n reaction was so gratifying, in that you printed the statement verbatim, but because you yourself stood not to gain one cent of revenue in advertising response or the usual encomia of the average editor.
I regret that I could not f'ltlfil the implication contained in vour comment anv sooner.
The Nagasheff C~ncert Reproducer was the invention of a young Russian genius whose career was cut short by death at the very moment when his life-work seemed ready for realization. Among his inventions was the secret use of radio tubes which reproduces tone with uncanny rectitude, which presents with truly amazing fidelity the actual work of the performing artist by discs.
A much esteemed English correspondent makes the following comment: "If. the word miles is literally true, I can only say that such a machine would add a new terror to existence since i t would be impossible to get far enough away from it (were i t to become a 'popular' instrument for household purposes) in order to obtain a little peace. I also note that Wellesley College has three uf them- which, you will admit, could be rough luck on the immediate neighbours if they all played at once! ! ! "
Either this is your well-known Ehglish conservatism, quite justifiable under the circumstances, or I expressed myself badly.
If the latter, let me say that this was not intended to show the entire resources, but simply to show possibilities.
This instrument can indeed produce a huge volume of tone which could make even your Royal Albert Hall ring, but i t can also be reduced to a volume not out of place in the smallest home, without loss of tone or tonal values.
The vibrations set up are so slight, however, that even with the unsurpassed Burmese needle, the wear on the point, and on the surface of the disc itself, is hardly perceptible.
The \Vellesley College has eight of these instruments, the Harvard Psychological Laboratory uses one as an indispensable part of its equipment, and there are installations in some of the most famous private homes in America.
That is not to say that in but rare instances is the instrument played at anywhere near its full power, except, of course, at the large outdoor festivals held at the college each spring, when i t supplants a full orchestra, and is