Page Text

The Gramophone, Deoember, 1929

293

OUR MASTERS AND MOTHERS

By THE LONDON EDITOR

Caricatures b)t LISSENDEN

THERE'S an irresistible young man called Nick Stuart who plays the part of an American camera man in a silent film called "Chasing Round Europe" so cheerfully and realistically that I strongly recommend everyone to see i t . The second t ime that I followed the adventures of this modern knight-elTant setting out to get shots of the Prince of Wales at Bethune, or of President Cosgrave, or of Mussolini, to clamber up the Eiffel Tower, or fly over Rome and the crater of Vesuvius in eruption, I suddenly had a thought of Lissenden, whom I had asked to get caricatures of some of the best-known figures in the gramophone world, and who, for all I knew, might by this t ime have been flung into' the canal at Hayes or pitched out of a window into Clerkenwell Road without any of the romantic details that a Hollywood camera man could count upon.

Now let me introduce you to some of the men who spend their t ime and energies in catering for the gramophone public. There is l \ fr. H. M. Lemoine, who was President of the Association of Gramophone Manufacturers last year, an honour which enabled him to make one of the best after-dinner speeches I have ever heard at the A.G.M. dinner at Frascati's. He ha,s been in and about the gramophone world for the last quarter of a century, and with Edison Bell, Ltd., where he is now Assistant General Manager, for about five years. Lissenden gives a remarkably good impression of Mr. Lemoine, the strong face of the athlete; for he is an international footballer and a county cricketer, and i t is significant that he gained his fame as a goalkeeper and a wicketkeeper; an ideal man to safeguard the interests of employees and shareholders, to keep a sharp eye on the game, and to decide when to leave his goal or when to stand back to fast bowling.

Lissenden had reported to me that his task was going to be a tough one. I t seemed that these great men who rule in offices and recording studios are notable fol' the modesty which distinguishes jungle folk. They hide as long as they can, and when ultimately confronted they bite . Lissenden was obviously a brave man, who had no intention of being beaten; but i t was with a sinking heart that I sent him forth again, armed with a notebook, pencil, and

MR. H. M. LEMOINE.

Oscar Preuss is the Parlophone Director of Recording, and reigns in the great studio on Carlton Hill, which the B.B.C. sometimes bOlTOWS for accommodating the cast and orchestra of an operatic performance. Mr. Preuss is very proud of his studio. He wrote a most amusing article on his l'ecording experiences for THE GRAMOPHONE some years ago. He is an old hand in spite of his youthful telephone, and bade him secure sittings - or whatever he calls them-at all costs; and thus i t was with a wistful optimism that I thought of him while I was watching the famous Nick Stuart emerge triumphantly from as brisk a bit of rough house with the two villains as I remember in any film.

There was l i t t le need for apprehension. Lissenden turned up again with a most creditable bag, and from the expressions on the faces of his victims -or, at any rate, on that of Arthur Brooks-it was easy to judge that he had found them as amenable as I had always supposed them to be. One and all they have proved themselves over and over again to be true friends of TE:E GRAMOPHONE, and if in future we detect a furtive hostility in the manner of anyone of them, we shall be able to lay the blame on Lissenden.

appearance-worked with Arthur Brooks in the old days-has travelled everywhere with his recording outfit, and is always hurrying off to Paris or Milan for a fortnight's recording. But not a hurried man; a leisurely, rather cynically genial man, whom you recognise instantly as a master of his craft and a devil for work. Lissenden has not quite got him.

Philip Lewis, the Musical Director of the Decca Company, won his experience of many years in recording studios as a violinist and conductor, and i t is only during the last two years that he has been the dictator of the sumptuous Chenil Galleries in Chelsea. Ever since he left the Royal College of Music he has been a familiar figure in musical and theatrical circles; he knows evel'ybody, and by evel'ybody'sgoodwill, as well as by his own unswerv ing purpose, he has recently brought much fresh ail'

E