The Gramophone, December, 1925
l ively; if a loud needle is used the first subject may sound a l i t t le heavy, but this can easily be avoided. The second movement is a rather masculine minuet and l ighter trio and occupies the third side, all the usual repeats being observed. The third movement is a simple adagio, pervaded by translucent fantastic melancholy and containing some attractive part-writing, and occupies the fomth and fifth sides; i t is in quasi-sonata form (without development section) and the turn of the record occurs immedia,tely before the recapitulat ion; the playing is sympathetic. The last movement somewhat resembles the first in feeling, but is l ighter and more rapid; i t occupies the sixth side; i t is in sonata form; the exposition is not repeated. The recording of these recorns is excellent, the balance being unusually good. The quartet has also been playen by the old L.S.Q. and recorded by Columbia on two records (L.1330-l), each movement occupying one side: the first movement is cut from about half a dozen bars after the beginning of the recapitulation to the final cad,ence (this is particularly deplorable owing to the fact that the development section is rather a contrasted middlesection than a development of the normal type) ; in the third movement the entire recapitulation is cut except the final bars; there is a substantial cut in the recapitulation of the fomth movement: the interpretation is singularly true and pure, though perhaps not quite so interesting as that of the Lener Quartet. The quartet has also been recorded by Polydor on two lOin. records of their cheapest class (14338-9), each movement occupying one side: the first movement is cut in much the same way as in the L.S.Q. version; only the recapitulat ion of the third movement is played; most of the recapitulation of the fourth movement is omitted: the playing is somewhat crude and unsympathetic and is usually too fast; the recording is rather poor; but the records are very cheap. The minuet has been very well played by the Wendling Quartet and fairly well recorded by Polydor on a single side of a lOin. record (62299) ; on the back is a good minuet by Haydn (from the Quartet, op. 64, No.4) which is not, I believe, obtainable elsewhere.
K.465. String Quartet (No. 17) in C m(tjor.Composed January, 1785. This quartet perhaps gives a greater impression of ease, sanity and maturity than any of the others, the various technical and emotional gifts of the composer being here blended with a view rather to perfection than to excitement; and i t may be compared to a Raffael. I t has been played without cuts by the Lener Quartet and recorded by Columbia on four records (L.1545-8). The first movement is preceded by an adagio introduction comparable in mood and technique with the far longer introduction to Beethoven's Quartet in C sharp minor (Op. 131);
the first eight bars consist of a theme played slowly by the viola and second and first violins in canon, the entries being only a crotchet apart (there is a simple accompaniment on the violoncello); the unorthodox harmonies which are produced by this close point of imitation have led to much dispute among the learned, and the dispute has recently been revived by Mr. Ernest Newman; the gramophone, however, can as yet throw l i t t le l ight on the merits of this dispute as the first violin is so preponderant in this record that the effect of the canon is largely lost and one hears a clear and beautiful phrase for the first violin rising above the rather indistinct sound of the other instruments; this is a very great pity. The enunciation section of the first movement concludes the first side and is not repeated; the first subject has a rather spiritual loveliness and the second subject is very carefully chosen so as to present just sufficient but not too much contrast; the rest of the first movement occupies the second side; the effect of some beautiful interweaving of the voices is lost through the preponderance of the first violin. The second movement, which begins with a beautiful melody, occupies the two sides of the second record and is in the same "quasi-sonata" form as the slow movement of the Quartet in G (supra), to which i t bears a good deal of resemblance; the recapitulat ion, which is somewhat elaborated, begins a dozen bars befOl'e the end of the first side. The third movement occupies the third record, the first side comprising an attractive minuet (with repeat.s) and the second side a particularly lovely trio (with repeats) and the usual repeat of the minuet da capo; an unusually glaring instance of the undue prominence of the first violin is found in the last dozen bars of the trio, where the principal tune is given to the violoncello, but is practically inaudible in this record. The last movement seems to me just a l i t t le disappointing, though i t contains attractive themes forcefully worked out; one would almost say that i t was a Haydnish movement only partially transmuted into Mozart: the first side contains the enunciation section (repeated); the second side contains development, recapitulat ion and coda. In spirit this beautiful work may perhaps be compared to the Symphony in E flat (infra). The playing is fine and most sympathetic, but for the appalling predominance of the first violin, which is probably the fault rather of the recording than of the playing.
K.486. Impresario (aliter Scha1tspielclirekter) 01'erture. - This is the overtme to an operetta composed in Februa.ry, 1786. I t is attractive, but not very important, and is thrown in as a make-weight with the H.M.V. version of the" Jupiter" Symphony ( infm) and is also given on the back of the Parlophone record of the "Cosi Fan Tn t t i" Overture (infra). Despite i ts short length, this piece has all the