From the February List
Although the gramophone business is generally supposed to reach its peak at Christmas, the new recordings of the H.M.V. show no falling off in merit and interest.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Bruno Walter have made the latest records of the Vlth Symphony of Beethoven, commonly and rightly known as the " Pastoral " for in this case the intention of the composer was revealed in something approaching a " program." Yet, as Beethoven himself insisted with sure artistic insight, it is not so much objective painting as an expression of inner feeling. There is probably nothing that Vienna does not know about this Symphony, and this famous orchestra is to be congratulated upon a great performance. Album: DB 30 51-55.
With the release of Slavonic dance No, 16, in A Flat, this series is now complete; the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra has been employed throughout. B 8521. These compositions, rather strangely, were the turning point in the career of Dvorak; composed as piano duets in the 1870's, they achieved immediate success; and from that time Dvorak began to make his name, find a market for his earlier work and proceed to the later compositions which haac long since made him world famous.
Other records of the month are the Fire Bird Ballet suite : Stokowski and the Philadelphi Orchestra (DB 2882-4). The Italian Concerto of Bach, in three movements and Bach's nearest approach to Sonata form. The part for the Harpsichord is played by Wanda Landowska (DB 5007).
Among the vocal records we have Elizabeth Schumann in two of Schubert's songs and Gigli in the Lotus Flower (Schumann) and, in French, " Un Reve " which is surely one of Greig's most lovely inspirations. DA 1504.
Peter Dawson is heard in Hybrias the Cretan and " I fear no foe " (B 8513). How the old songs live, and how our singers still revel in them!
C G. M.