THE GRAMOPHONE London Office: ~8, Frith Street,
Edited by COMPTON MACKENZIE
TELEPIWNE: Regent 1383
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DECEMBER RECORDS AND A FEW REMARKS
By .THE EDITOR
THE two outstanding discs last month judged merely from the point of view of recording are the Soldie1"s' Chorus in Faust from H.M.V. and :a couple of dances by the 'Russian Balalaika Orchestra from Columbia. Both these are truee;shHling records, and no reader of THE GRAMOPHONE can afford to miss either. I have no doubt that most people will consider the Chorus more impressive, but in my opinion the major triumph is really .achieved by the orchestra, containing as i t does aU those mandolin-like instrument·s that until now have completely baffled recorders, while on one : ide an attractive Spanish dance displays some ::astonishing castanet effects: .
The orchestral records I enjoyed most last month were the 'two violin concertos. Of these the Max Bruch pl~i.Yed by Sammons and issued by Columbia lends itself quite extraordinarily to the gramophone, :and I don't know any more successful attempt to balance the soloist with the orchestra. Moreover, ;the work itself makes an instant appeal to the c ordinary man's expectation of what the violin is going to do. Her~ is a case where fibre fans will deliberately deny themselves a rich pleasure1 merely because these particular records are not successful with fibre. One greatly esteemed correspondent of mine will know at whom I am hitting with these words. The playing of Albert Sammons is masterly, and I think I am safe in saying that every altitude of brow may sa,fely buy these records as soon as the st·rain of the Christmas season on the purse is relaxed. Almost equally as good is the Parlophone issue of Moza,rt's Concerto in D with Riele Queling as the violinist. Even those who have already bought the Kreisler records will not waste 13s. 6d. in buying this version as well, and those who ha-ve not been able to afford the Kreisler version a,re advised to buy this one immediately. They will have the double satisfaction not ·only of possessing three records of entrancing music, but of being able to argue, with a good deal of reason, that they possess the better version of the two.