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IHAVE been trying to persuade myself that the Fourth Symphony of Brahms is as remarkable recording as the First Symphony; but I am afraid that I must declare firmly for th e: First. I have sometimes wondered whether Aml.:rican recording i" better than English recording on account of the brighter and clearer air. Part of the long inferiority of English films to Americ'1n ,vas due to the lack of sunshine for the out-door scenes. At the same t ime we may as wen admit that we have no orchestra in England to touch Stokowski and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, and until some of our profiteers spend their money (or I might say our money) on giving us as good an orchestra in England, we have no prospect of competing. Some while ago a distinguished foreign master came over to conduct one of our English orchestras, and his friends subscribed to present him with half-a-dozen extra rehearsals. Their anxiety to help was not as successful as i t deserved to be, because none of the players ever turned up to two consecutive rehearsals, but always sent a substitute. One of the double-basses, however, did turn up regularly; and the distingllished visitor, at the end of the last rehearsal, went up to the double-bass, shook him warmly by the hand, congratulating him on his devotion to his art and his courtesy toward himself. "That's all right, sir," said the doublebass, " but I'm afraid I won't be at the performance to-night." I regret to say that this is a true story, and though you may think i t funny at first i t is very serious really. You must not rUB away with the idea that the performance of the Fourth Symphony by the London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Hermann Abendroth, is not excellent. It is; but i t lacks the life (I don't mean liveliness) of the First Symphony, which was recorded, played, and conducted in America. I t lacks passion. Shall I put i t that way? "Give us more brains," cried Meredith, but I feel inclined to cry , " Give us more l ife." That really is what is the matter with contemporary art in England. There are no vitamins. Has anybody examined the effect of t inned foods on artists? I confess i t had never occurred to me before, but I believe that excess of t inned foods may be responsible for this lack of vitality. The gift of Paysandu tongues is one that all artists should look in the mouth.