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SINOE coming to London I have been astonished at the growth of office work during my absence, and at the congestion of records waiting to be reviewed, of correspondence and articles for which i t is impossible to find room. I t really looks as i f we ought to publish THE GRAMOPHONE every fortnight instead of every month, and I hope that i f we decide to do so we shall not lose the support of our rea,ders and advertisers~ A postcard of encouragement or of warning from our well-wishers would help me to reach a decision one way or the other.
The project of forming a society, which I outlined in the September number, has not by any means been abandoned, but is for the moment shelved, seeing that the recording companies have beep. so promptly willing to anticipate, and thus to fTUstrate, the avowed object of its formation-" to persuade the recording companies that there is an articuJate body of potential buyers of records clamouring for the best and willing to pay for i t ." The Columbia list for April surpasses all previous lists in importance, the Eighth Symphony and the Mozart Quartet -not to mention a Beethoven piano sonata and another Planet-fulfilling my most pious hopes. A first hearing makes me think that the Eighth SJ/mphony is the most successful big orchestral record I have yct heard of theirs; and the Lener Quartet records are exquisite.
There seem to be a fair number of new records in the double-sided Celebrity catalogue of the Gramophone Company-an important development, by the way, for which one or two of our correspondents, without much justice, give credit to THE GRAiYIOPHONE instead of to the Gramophone Companybut I have not heard them. Nor indeed have I heard the Pdtl'ouchka records, but they arc very welcome this month, as they have long been wanted and do not exist on player-piano rolls. As far as the result of our Symphony Competition is concerned, we are promised more than half the six chosen symphonies by R.M.V. in the moderately nea,r future.
Not to be behind hand in this remarkable month's issue, the Vocalion list includes a 4s. 6d. record of MacEwen's arrangement of French, Scotch, and Japanese dances played by the Spencer Dyke String Quartet, which we suggested in the November number. I t is, perhaps, rather bold music with which to start, but I have no hesitation in saying that this is the finest chamber music record yet issued by the Aeolian Company, which is to be genuinely congratulated on its enterprise. I doubt i f the Flonzaley Quartet is much nearer perfection than the Spencer Dyke Quartet, and certainly no British combination is so good.
Two suggestions made in the Editorial Notes last month have borne abundant fruit. Packets of records have been sent to about a dozen hospitals and institutions, the postage being paid by individual readers, till the office cupboard is emptied of i ts accumulations; and the request for a volunteer for the indexing of the first volume has been taken up by so many readers, all well qualified for the task, that the choice of a helper is almost embarrassing. I hope next month to be able to make an announce· ment about a public test of gramophones which we are trying to organise for a date near the beginning of June; and if i t comes off i t wiU be an opportunity for all our readers within reach of London to form a jury.
The Player-Piano Supplement is represented in tbis number by the ampbibious "confession" of Mr. Lloyd Osbourne. I f our P.-P. readers are aggrieved I shall be glad to hear from them, as I am not at present entirely convinced that a supplement, devoted exclusively to their interests, is needed. So many musical matters are of equal concern to supporters of the player-pi~Lno and of the gTamophone.
As we go to Press I hear that The Gramophone Company are giving us the Ninth SJ/l1tphony almost at once. This is something like an Easter Egg for Music!