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London, W.1.

THE GRAMOPHONE London OjJic.: 58, Frith Street,

Edited by COMPTON MACKENZIE

TELEPHONE: Regent 1383

TBLIIIGRAMS: Pannazto,VVe~nt.LondoQ

Vol. IV.

MAY, 1927

No. 12

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MUSIC AND THE GRAMOPHONE.

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SOME PROBLEMS

By THE EDITOR

Extract from Y', let ter :Few of us ~He able to walk into a shop, as k to lwar a particula.r quartet, find i t unsatisfactorily reeorded, and walk out a.gain without buying the records. On ly t.hose who arc Tegular a.nd known eustomers of such firms as Imhof's can do t.ltis. Thc rest of us have our local dealers, who may have to get these mOl'e expensive records specially for us. \ 'Ve have to order on somebody's recommendation, and if tha.t critic has to confine his criticism to ,1 few lin es, we arc the sluferers .

As an instance I mention the H.M. V. records of Beetho\7en's Op. 59, No.3. From yom cramped review i t seemed apparPllt that there is only one fl aw in this set, which is the playing of one note out of tune by the leader. I decided to get the set, but as an afterthought I ordered i t on approval together with the Columbi~t set of the same music. Now, neither of these, gets comes up to the stand[trd set by the Schub ert T rio or t he H.M. V. KTeulzer. I don't think either of t hem are worth 26s. of my money, but I've got to h ave one. The vio la of the H.iVL V. set is horrible, no better than the viola on the old r ecording (say Schumann Quintet, "\Toc.). The tone as a whole does not compare at all well with the Co lumbia version in which the viola when a udible is magnificent, but the 'cello either fa.int or missing. Why is this t Surely i f we can get such glorious 'eello recording as the 48. 6d. Scala r ecord of a

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Bach Adagio and the Delius 'Cello Sona.la (H.AI. V.) we can have all aud ible 'cello in a quar tet.

I hanlly like to open another topic, but my heart is full of Mr. Mackenzie's statement that he is preparing an article 011 Beethoven . Please don't let him. Make him confine himself to his balalaika. orchestras and such-like toys, and leave music to men like" K. K." I have no desire to offend anyone, but su r ely i t is obviolls that Mr. Maekenzie is not a musicia,n in any sense of the word. So I plead for less" C. M." and lI1uch. 1I10re " K . K." I don't kno w who he is, but I a.m a very profound and humble admirer of him since his remarks on the Jazz-Classics con troversy in the December, 1926, issue.

Extract from X's letter:vVe a re sutl'ering at present on the gramophone from too much backsliding about wireless reception. ":l." has spent so mlwh money in the effort to "hear the conductor tap his foot for them to get ready" that he tells me that hc ean't afford any records. I am in utter d.ejection about the uses of criticism or ind.ividual opinion. I have been hearing a lot of quartet music lately and when I got those Virtuoso records I honestly thought that we had got as near the real thing as I had ever hoped for . Op 18, No.6, especially seemed to me to b e as like a string quartet, with even the fir3t and second

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