London Office lOa Soho Sq uare
THE GRAMOPHONE Incorporating VOX. THE RADIO CRITIC and BROADCAST REVIEW
COMPTON MACKENZIE and CHRISTOPHER STONE
Telephone Gerrard 2136. 2137
Telec r1.ms Parmaxto, Rath, London
I HAD expected to be in London before writing this editorial and the entries for a. successful song competition were being kept for me there, but I have been ill again and have to write these few remarks with no more than the list of songs in last month's GRAMOPHONE . The list in order of popularity was :
I . Del' Nussbaum (Schumann) 2 . Mondnacht (Schumann) 3. Ave Maria (Schubert) 4. Serenade (Schubert) 5. Serenade R. Strauss) 6. Morgen (R. Strauss) 7. Plaisir d'amour (Martini) 8. Wiegenlied (Brahms) g. Who is Sylvia? (Schubert) 10 . Ich liebe dich (Grieg) 1 I . Widmung (Schumann) 12. Caro mio ben (Giordano) I t may be of interest to find how the list would run if judged by the number of recordings. The numbers in brackets give these so far as I can trace them in the Encyclopedia and they refer only to the song as a solo:
I . Serenade (Schubert) (32) 2. Plaisil' d'amour (26) 3. Ave Maria (21) 4. Ie/I liehe dich (20) 5. Del' Nussbaum (14) 6. Serenade (Strauss) (13) 7· Morgen (13) 8. Wiegenlied (13) g. Caro mio ben (13) 10. Who is Sylvia? (10) I I . Mondnacht (7) 12. Widmung (7) I find i t difficult to remove any songs from this beautiful list in order to replace them with other favourites of my own, but I shall knock out lch liebe dich and replace it with Brahms Feldeinsamkeit. I must have Schubert's Del' Lindenbaum and for that I shall knock out his Serenade. I shall also knock out Who is Sylvia? in favour of Drink to Me Only wi!h Thine Eyes, and I shall knock out Brahms' Wiegenliedfor Schumann's Er, der Herrlichste von allen. I t is time we had a set of the Frauenliebe from Elizabeth Schumann. Nor can I possibly do without Reynaldo Hahn's L'heure exquise,
and to get i t into my list I shall have to let Strauss's Serenade follow Schubert's. When I am able to see the entries I hope to write some more about this competition.
Meanwhile, in view of its success I think we ought to have one on similar lines to establish the twelve most popular operatic arias, no concerted numbers, of course, and no duets. Entries should reach the London office at IOa Soho Square, on or before July roth, so that we can publish the results in the August GRAMOPHONE. Probably instead of an album within our means the winner would prefer five records of his own choice so that he can add to his collection of operatic discs .
A.R. said last month all that one could wish said in praise of the wonderful H .M.V. recording and the magical performance of the Busch Quartet and Reginald Kell in Brahms's Clarinet Quintet in B minor. The old Columbia recording of Charles Draper and the Lener Quartet has been such a joy to me ever since it was first published that I hardly have the heart to declare i t superseded by this new recording. Nevertheless honesty demands that this must be said, for as A.R . wrote last month of the slow movement, " no more beautiful and moving record exists in the whole range of recorded musical literature. " But that so few composers have attempted, and so infinitely few have succeeded, to write for the clarinet and strings is evidence of the difficulty of the task. Two days later:
I had to break off for illness again, but meanwhile the entries of the song competition have arrived, and I should like to make a few more observations. A good many people included operatic arias in their lists, for which I suppose I was to blame for not having warned competitors that I did not intend to include these. It is of interest to note that when THE GRAMOPHONE was started only six of the twelve winning songs were obtainable on records. The songs next in order of popularity were :
13. Del' Lindenbaum (Schubert) 14. Solveig's Song (Grieg) 15. Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod) 16. Drink to Me Only