THE GRAMOPHONE London Office : 58, Frith Stl'oot, London, W. 1.
Edited by COMPTON MACKENZIE
TELEPHONE: Regent 1383,
TELEGRAMS: Parmaxto, Westcent, London.
My chief concern this month is with two books , that we have just published. First there are
Mr. Little's long expected translations of a number of operatic arias. There are two volumes, price 2s. each. He has devoted an incredible amount of industry and conscientiousness to this exacerbating task, and has provided not merely a l i teral English translation, but also the French and German versions as weU. Unfortunately the existence of copyright in so many popular operas made i t impossible to provide many translations we should have liked to provide, but in spite of these restrictions I have no hesitation in saying that we have managed to offer our readers an indispensable book.
The other work, which is called" Novice Corner," is published at the ridiculous price of Is., and i t provides anybody who has just begun to penetrate the delightful mysteries of the gramophone with a most reliable guide. As a matter of fact, I venture to think that even the individual members o~ the Expert Committee might each bf them learn something from this composite production, of which I can speak with entire detachment, as I have not contributed a solitary word myself. "Good wine n eeds no bush," but in these competitive days I hope our readers won't spare the bush and spoil the sales. To put i t more shordy, tell your friends about i t .
Mr. C. S. Davis, who is known throughout the gramophone trade as one of the most intelligent and enterprising dealers in the world, has been heaping coals of fire on my head by asking me to act as judge in his Schubert Centenary competition (of which he gives details on another page) . However, in spite of Mr. Davis's coals, my head remains unsinged, or, in other words, I cannot admit that the example set by people like Mrs. Imhof and Mr. Davis, and a dozen others like them, is followed by the majority of gramo-
phone dealers. Indeed, i t is precisely the success of Mrs. Imhof and Mr. Davis and the rest of the vanguard that justifies my remarks about the main body.
Mr. Gilbert Foyle has written me a very friendly letter to point out that I was unjust last month to the bookseHers. He claims, as one who has made a conspicuous success both of books and gramophone records, that i t is easier to sell records than books. That is so at present. The point I wish to make is that unless the gramophone dealer pulls his weight equally with the artists, the recorders and the critics, i t will not be long before the British public loses the habit of buying gramophone records as successfully as they have lost the habit of buying books.
I do not propose to say anything about the May records because, to teH the truth, I am anxious to have a brief holiday, and the May records are so interesting and so good and so varied that I should prefer to sing their praises at leisure. The result of l istening to Sir Thomas Beecham's exquisite version of Delius's " On hearing the first cuckoo in Spring," published by Columbia, has been to make i t seem perfectly ridiculous for a fortnight or so to write anything, and, to be perfectly candid, I propose to allow as many days as possible to elapse before I l ift the l id of a gramophone. I will add to " On hearing the first cuckoo in Spring" the "Fra Diavolo" Overture published by Parlophone, and from the H.M.V. l ist the four Schubert songs sung on one b lack label disc by Elisabeth Schumann. I bequeath you these three records with my blessing, and set out for the Hebrides to-night.
rNeedless to say, this was written before the H.M.V. versIOn of the Delius was issued.-LoNnoN En.]