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The GRAMOPHONE

17. Elegie (Massenet) 18. On Wings of Song (Mendelssohn) 19. An die Musik (Schubert) 20. Wohin? (Schubert) 2 I . Faery Song (Boughton) 22. Du Bist die Ruh' (Schubert) 23. Mainacht (Brahms) 24. Anakreon's Grab (Wolf) One competitor suggests that we should have a vote on the best performances of the twelve winning songs, but I think this is out of the question because for the great number of readers their choice will be limited to two or three versions. What I will do later in the year is to note what I think is the best performance available of all these twenty-four songs, for I have more versions to choose from than most. As usual, with our competitions, entries have come from all over the world and from all ages, classes and professions.

I was particularly pleased with a letter I received from a Plymouth boy of fifteen, and I think readers will enjoy sharing my pleasure.

Dear Sir,-I am giving here the titles of what I think are the twelve loveliest songs, and the reasons why I think they are.

Firstly, I would place Schubert's exquisite Auf wasser dem z;u singen. The lovely accompaniment and gorgeous vocal line, applies for a place as one of the world's most lovely songs.

Requiem, a song by Schumann, is also lovely. The calm, peaceful melody seems to breathe of unearthly quiet and peace,. and, while we are on the subject of peace, surely Brahms's Lullaby must be included, just a simple melody, but what a great simplicity.

Caro mio ben, by Giordani, is one of the most lovely of Italian arias, i t has a fine melody, and is ajoy to those singers who have a command of bel canto. W'hile on the subject of bel canto, who can resist the peaceful charm of Gluck's 0 del mio dolce ardor? A song by Martini, Plaisir d'amour, is a lovely song with a charming melody.

The word Love brings to mind the various serenades which have been composed. Two serenades by Schubert and Strauss, respectively, are amongst the most lovely songs. Both have exquisite melodies, and both splendid accompaniments.

The last four I have chosen, are English songs. Passing B)" by Purcell, is one of the most delicately charming songs I have heard. Eriskay Love Lilt has one of the most haunting airs in .wng, and there seems to l inger about the ~ong a sense of sadness. One of the most delicate of modern songs, with an exquisite lilting melody, is Rutland Boughton's FaelJ' Song. Last, but certainly not least, on the list, is Cyril Scott's lovely Lullab),.

I am only fifteen, so perhaps I have many, many songs to hear, which are lovely, and maybe I shall forget these; but at present, these are the songs I think are the most lovely.

Yours faithfully,

MASTER L. HEYWOOD.

If Mr. Heywood will choose a record of some song he wants we shall be glad to send i t to him.

I can do no more now than thank readers who have taken the trouble to make this one of the most successful competitions we have had, and I am sure that those who have not yet devoted their attention to the great songs of the world will be glad of this list of twenty-four as guidance.

COMPTON MACKENZIE.

GRAMOP,H'ILES liN CONFERENCE?

by W. W. JOHNSON

IN a remote corner of the Correspondence column of the April issue of THE GRAMOPHONE, I indicated that as no national gathering of keen gramophiles has ever taken place in th e history of the gramophone, some effort might possibly be made to rectify this omission in the near future, that is, if the demand were sufficient. My suggestion seemed to bear no fruit until I repeated i t verbally at the recent Annual Meeting of the National Federation of Gramophone Societies, where I was surprised to find nearly fifty out of the eighty present not only interested in the scheme, but willing to give i t support. With renewed hope, therefore, I promised to do my best to make arrangements for an experimental conference in the late autumn of this year.

I am quite prepared to take the responsibility of organising (or helping to organise) a national conference of gramophiles for the benefit of readers of THE GRAMOPHONE, and others who wish to take part. But I cannot proceed far until I know the opinions of those most likely to be interested. Many members of the N.F.G.S. impressed me by the backing they promised, and I am now anxious to hear what others, not present at the meeting, may think.

I have in mind a week-end gathering early in November, to be spent in ideal conditions at the First Conference Estate Ltd., High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, which is a twenty-eight minute train journey from Liverpool Street Station. I have already attended one conference here this year, and I have no doubts this would make an excellent venue for our purposes. Accommodation, board and service are everything that can be desired, yet inexpensiv:e ; and as thcestate is reserved exclusively for conferences, the difficulties of organisation should be minimised. High Leigh stands in a park of forty-five acres on high ground, and amid extensive woodland and river scenery. There are conference and dining halls, drawing rooms, lounge, reading and writing rooms-together with electric l ight, central heating and ample garage accommodation. In addition are numerous facilities for varied recreations; ye t th e quietude of the house and grounds allow of complete relaxation . The surrounding district is unquestionably good for country walks .

The expenses for a full week-end would amount to no more than thirty shillings a head, and th ere would be no irritating "extras." fees might be proportionately decreased for a shorter stay, while daily visitors would contribute half-a-crown to th e cost of the conference, and could then take meals at moderate prices in the restaurant. These prices are estimated, of course, on the assumption that the venture would just pay its way; the question of profits would not arise, since this is an experiment.

It is hoped that a fair sprinkling of ladies would be prepared to attend. Why not? There is plenty of accommodation for them . Indeed , by regarding the conference as a pleasant break in the daily round, members might wish to bring their wives for the sake of the short holiday. Each day's deliberations would then most certainly have to be rounded off with dancing!

What form would the conference take? What would there be to talk about ? Who would be there? What would be the opportunities for hearing recorded music well reproduced? These are questions all interested readers are bound to ask. I am sure the manufacturers would jump at the chance of displaying their instruments and records; I imagine a delightful and helpful exhibition of everything dear to the gramophile would be the result.

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