The GmTlwphone, Septernber, 1926
by Albert Co l'ttes, is superb. I must insist that the legend, "silent surface," which is now printed at the foot of every page in the HJYLV. bulletin, -is not true. I f a much less noisy surface were claimed i t would be true. When so much can be justly claimed for a record like this, why claim what nobody with a pa,ir of ears can possibly accord i t ~ The gramophone deserves more respect than a patent medicine. "Oh, l isten to the bass" was a perfectly good slogan, but "silent surfa,ce," with or without notes of exclamation, is not. The only compa,ny that can claim this at present is Oolumbia.
The notion of having to attend a Handel festival at the Orystal Palace fills me with such gloom that I don't think I am capable of being fair to the records of i t issued by Oolumbia, and if I say I do not think them as good as the H.M. V. records of the J.l1essiah, sung in the Albert Hall, I may be the victim of my own imagination, for all the t ime I am l istening to them I seem to be surrounded by
L horrible audience of mid-Victorian statues come to life, and the applause sounds as if the lady, who attached to a parachute was recently" released" fTom an aeroplane, 'was de.'cending thTough the roof of the Orystal Palace. This boiled-beef-and-ca,rrots music is not for me. Dean Ino'e, who dislikes all music, might enjoy this commonsense noise which has drowned with i ts anti-sentimental exuberance how many ignominies, how much cruelty. I have never been able to understa,nd why Samuel Butler placed Handel's music above all other. It seems so often the fraudulent expression of an insincere emotion, and the very music I should have thought Bntler would have most disliked. I comfort myself with the memory that he had many eccentric opinions, not the least of which was that the Odyssey was written by a woman.
We have already had Grieg's Sigurd J orsaljat, Suite from Parlophone, and one cannot feel much gratitup,e to Columbia for giving i t again with the London Symphony Orchestra and Schneevoigt. It is dun.
Miss Marion Talley's latest record (H.M.V., D.A.783) did not make me any more enthusiastic about her voice, which is beantiful enough, but lacks emotion and dramatic expression. I think she could sing "Corning through the Indian Corn" better than Comin' thro' the Rye; and Home, Sweet Home, even in these days, ought to sa.y something mOTe than a five-finger exercise. N'or did I care for Mr. Robert R.adford in Sanford Terry's arrangement of Bach's Coffee and Cupid. This kind of grim playfulness always will distress me. Dons and schoolmasters sporting plunge me into gloom, and nfr. Radford's performance do es nothing to make me feel less gloomy. The excellence of the orchestral a,ccompaniment is rema,rkable. In the Columbia l ist I was much impressed by a popular price record of two Italian arias in English sung by Mr. Heddle Nash. Those who do not po sses: Donizetti's Un(~
j1lrtiva la,I}'I'ima and 1Ieyerbeer's 0 Paradiso should avail themselves of this opportunity of securing 001. 9104 (4 s. 6d.). But I think the pick of the Oolumbht disc." is a really magnificent viola record by Lionel Tertis. One is so accustomed to finding that an old Irish ajr means the Londonden'Y .iii)' that I should point out that this particulaJ' Irish air arranged by the player is new to the gramophone and most attractive; so, too, is the composition by the player on the other side, Hier au SoiT. The next record I should choose from the Columbia bulletin would be 3934 (lOin., 3s.) of a mandoline band. New recording haR made i t possible to reproduce the mandoline, and this disc is of equal quality with those magnificent Balalailm discs recently published by the same company. As I always have to say \';-'hich I like better, I must declare for the H.M.V. records of The Alcle)'shot TCt~too over those of Columbia. Talking of bands, I am glad to see th a t Sousa marches a,re appearing again. There is a good example of one by .A,.rthul' Pryor's band (H.M.V., B.2327) which I thoroughly recommend. Of l ight records last month Frank Orumit's Thanks jor the Buggy Ride was much the best I have heard of this engaging ditty, and his variation of Billy Boy on the other side is equally good (H.NLV., B.2325). Note too the records of the Singing Sophomores issued by Columbia. They're so good.
The Vocalion l ist for .t\..ugust was dull. They have a magnificent contralto in Madame Olara Serena, but Silver Threads (t?nong the Golcl have turned to baldne.. s by now.
A feature of the Parlophone l ist is the complete recording of the Schubert Quartet in D minD'r by the Edith Lorand Quartet.' The main question for our readers is whether they should spend 2:'5s. 6d. on this version or 26s. on the Columbia version. My vote must go emphatically to Columbia. Spiwakowsky's violin records, to which I have already alluded, maintain their excellent quality, and there is a particularly good record of the Irmler Ladies' Choir, with Moza.rt's lovely Laudate DO?nin1l?n on one side and a pleasant melodious song by Pinsnti on the other. (Pa,rlo.1047f5.)
The first of the Polsrdor electric re cordings have reached me. I t is good to hav-e Mozart's E jlett SY?nphony exquisitely re corded, though I cannot pretend I like Dr. Strauss' interpretation. The Heldenleben conducted by the composer is a magnificent piece of recording, and people who are frightened of Strauss will find this one of the easiest of his works to tackle. I shall not say any more about i t now, because I am prepa,ring an article on all the orchestral works of Stmuss recorded for the gramophone, to be published later on. From Polydor, too, came some vocal discs by the new recording. The long duet from Lohengrin, Tet1"Ct?nundOrtrud, is so l ike two people arguing outside in the street late on Saturday night that some of the