Page 10, 18th August 1939

18th August 1939
Page 10
Page 10, 18th August 1939 — Gramophone Recordings

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Locations: Philadelphia, Paris


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Toscanini Conducts "William Tell"

and Brailowsky records a Chopin Sonata



William Tell was Rossini's grand opera. It was produced in 1829, when the composer was 37 and already had nearly 40 operas to his credit. He was appointed director of the Paris Opera, and William Tell satisfied the desires of French operatic romanticism. Toscanini's conducting with the N.B.C. Symphony Orchestra of New York is simply amazing; there is the terrific climax of the storm music and the breath-taking finale in quick march time.


Chopin only composed three sonatas for the pianoforte; the second, with its Funeral March, has tended to overshadow the third. But it is a fine work and full of the characteristic subjects that only Chopin has invented, as well as laying the foundations for modern piano forte technique, One feels that this music is absolutely safe in the hands of Brailowsky, and how much thought there is in his reading too.

OFFENBACH: 'ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD" L.P.O., CONDUCTED BY CONSTANT LAMBERT How very fine-these records are that Lambert is making. Offenbach was a composer manager, and leased the Theatre Comte, Paris, in 1855. His music Is witty, vital and melodious. This overture ends up with a dashing example of the " can-can."

The Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner) was recorded at the Dresden Opera House for H.M.V. The Dresden State Chorus and Orchestra give a finished performance of music that has become distinctly hackneyed but is by no means easy to render well. Gigli and Maria Caniglia are heard in two lovely duets from La Traviata (Verdi), as sung at this year's revival of Traviata at Covent Garden.

For those who want light recreative music for the holiday season H.M.V. cater for every possible taste, month by month; anyone can procure these lists, pay his money and take his choice. For, weather permitting, this is the month of portables on the river, by the sea or in the caravan,


A new recording of the Fourth Symphony of Brahms by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is much to be admired; the conductor is Victor de Sabata. The art of Brahms could go no further, and though one is conscious all the time that he is working from bar to bar or in groups of bars without the true symphonic sweep and "line," yet we must allow him his limitations, if such they be, so true and moving is his genius. The Nutcracker Suite of Tchaikowsky is recorded by the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra under Paul van Kempen, and though the Valse of Flowers is badly cut, it is a very taking set of records, brilliantly played and with a few bits interpolated that did not come from the pen of the Russian master. Such are the new harp cadenza in the last number of the suite and a few extra notes in some of the fiddle parts; this is a practice " to be admired but not imitated "—or the authentic scores of the great masters will be lost to us. But I do not think the celeste is as good as the one they use in Philadelphia; it lacks that sweet, bell-like, rounded tone of the American instrument.

The Berlin State Opera Orchestra records flannel and Gretel overture (Humperdinek), and Vaughan Williams' Concerto in D minor is played by the Boyd Neel String Orchestra, soloist Frederick Grinke. It is a concerts IRE violin and string cixokaftjb onlit

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