THE GRAMOPHONE Incorporating V 0 X, THE R A D I 0 C R I TIC and B R 0 A DCA ST REV lEW
London Office: lOa Soho Sq uare London, W.1
Gerrard 2136. 2137
COMPTON MACKENZIE and CHRISTOPHER STONE Parmaxto, Rath London
. . No. 187.
273 Jean Sibelius
275 Gigli Records .. La Tosca ..
277 The" High Leigh" Conference
280 A Gramophile in Spain
2B1 Analytical Notes and First Reviews 295 Miscellaneous and Dance
300 Swing Music
F. W. Gaisberg
305 Technical Reports
308 This Needle Business-III.
309 Sidelights of the Gramophone Conference
311 Die Meistersinger
312 Turn Table Talk
313 Collector's Corner
315 Gramophone Society News
G. J. Cuming
AFTER being reproached by one or two of our more earnest readers for setting frivolous competitions like voting for favourite movements in symphonies I was so much impressed by the austerity of purpose thus revealed that I immediately sct a competition designed to give the critical a pulpit and ourselves pews wherein seated we might list en with advantage to adventures among unfamiliar music not to be found in the general catalogues of the recording companies. I offered two prizes- four guineas' worth of records for the best essay about such records and another four guineas to the competitor whose list of chosen records contained the greatest number of recordings chosen by the sum total of the competitors. I had not expected so large an entry as we received for the movement competition, for the enthusiastic response to that from all over the world was exceptional. I did hope, however, that we might get about fifty essays and that from those fifty essays we should be able to draw up a list of unfamiliar records which would be really helpful to readers who have not ventured outside the general lists. It was therefore a great disappointment when I found that the total number of entries was six and that of these six three had misunderstood the competition and sent essays on recordings that were wanted, either of hitherto unrecorded works or of recorded works which had been allowed to lapse from
Gardens, W.14 and the other by Mr. G. N. Sharp of Fulbourn Manor, Cambridge. I have no hesitation in awarding the prize to Mr. Godfrey for the following essay:
I . VisilitlS Fugitives, Op . 22 (Prokofiev) French H . M.V . DB5030. 2. Concertina for pimw and Orchestra (Fran<;aix) Telefunken E21 75. 3. Divertissement pour Orchestre de Chambre (Ibert) H.M.V.
K7573-4· 4· Don Juan Ballet Music (Gluck) H. M.V. EH949. 5· Jeu de Cartes (Stravinsky) Telefunken SK2460-1-2. 6. Creation du Monde (Milhaud) Col. LFX251-2. Little known works that have not been generally issued have a fascination for m e, in spite of the rath er prohibitive price of many of th e records. My choice of six recordings would probably, excepting one, make your reviewer W .R.A. squirm in apprehension and long pathetically for his beloved Handel and Mozart. In fact as a direct reaction to his m eandering preface to his review of Prokofiev 's 2nd violin concerto I place as my first choice that composer's own piano recording of his Visions Fugitives . I f it were suggested that part of my liking for the record may be attributed to the red and cerise "Gramophone Disque" label I would admit that i t enhances the attraction of the record for me, as I cannot resist an unusual label. However the music has a delightful tang to it that might even please W.R.A. No one could call it " great" but who on earth wants to listen entirely to great music. This is 'qui e t, enjoyable, piquant music that , for me , has in some places a sadness and melancholy (e .g. , No. 16, side 2) that touches my young and hardened modern soul far more than the romantic
ism of Chopin (Yes, W .R.A ., Prokofi ev is a modern romantic ).
the catalogues. Of the remaining three Mr. j .W. Wood, M.B., of the Bridgwater General Hospital, sent me an excellent little e -say on half a dozen records of Italian opera only to be found in special lists. This I shall hope to print in a future number; but, as Mr. Wood himself anticipat ed, I thought i t too much of a specialist's choice to be awarded the prize. This left two essays, one by Mr. .L. W. Godfrey of 2 I Warwick
So much for Prokofiev, but my second choice has a kinship to him. It is Jean FranVlix' Concertina for piano and orchestra, played by the composer with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. One critic remarked that this work ought to prove as popular as Prokofiev's piano concerto since i t was written in the same l ight vein. It is, in fact, very light and also very slight, four movements only taking one double-sided record. What is more the music could not stand much expansion, but that is no criticism as the piano part is delightful and clever while the orchestration is brilliant.
Ibert is not a great composer and cannot stand up even to Prokofiev. His music is, to say th e least of it , blatant, but there is