LITTLE BOY BIZET
February Recordings Include the Classic and the Contemporary
Bizet's Symphony in C was written when he was a lad of seventeen and a student at the Paris Conservatoire in 1855. It is recorded in full by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Walter Goehr (C 2686-89). Youthful in outlook, it is full of charm and at times very vigorous; but as Bizet admitted later, he was really a man of the Opera House and somehow as one hears the first movement of his. Symphony one is waiting for the curtain to rise. It is none the less a most interesting piece of work for a mere boy to have produced.
Some pieces never pall and among them is the Academic Overture of Brahms (DB 3394). It is a medley of student kings; but what a medley? How genius has arranged and exalted them! There is in it, too, such a courteous note of gratitude and, for Brahms, of jollification! Bruno Walter conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in this record.
The Adagio and Fuge of Mozart (K 546) is played by the Adolf Busch Chamber Players (na 3391). A suave theme of great tenderness leads into a masterly fugue.
Other recordings of the month are the 'Cello Concerto of Dvorak; the Karelia Suite of Sibelius—Karelia is a province in the south-east part of Finland and the Karelian represents the Finnish type of a more lighthearted kind than the Tavast. Nights at the Ballet, No. 4, are pleasantly reminiscent again of Covent Garden and Sadler's Wells; and Landowska has recorded Handel's Concerto for harpsichord and orchestra (Op. 4, No. 6) on DB 3307-8.
Karl Erb makes his first appearance in the H.M.V. catalogue; he has chosen two well-known Leider by Schumann; " Der Nussbaum " and " Mondnacht." He is highly respected in Germany as a singer of Leider and Oratorio, appeared at Covent Garden in the Rheingold some years ago and possesses a tenor voice of quiet and unforced quality. May we hear him again and frequently! Tito Schipa, another tenor of fine voice, sings two items from the film " Vivere," which is enormously popular in
The music of Joseph Hofbrooke has not perhaps been frequently recorded in England and we are glad to welcome his Overture to the Children of Don (X 196), and the Sea King's song from Dylan (X 176), with Noden's song from the Children of Don, on the other side.
Nancy Evans (contralto) sings four Spanish folk dances by De Falla, on X 197 and three more on X 198, with Hubert J. Foss at the piano. These songs strike a very individual note when our ears are surfeited with other types of song; they are presented with considerable art and versatility.
William Walton conducts the L S 0 in his Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. The soloist is Frederick Riddle, who does full justice to the score. The album contains a descriptive note by Hubert J. Foss and the price is 6s. per record (X 199-201) three records in all (six sides). Zoltan Szekely presents two violin solos, the Chanson Adagietto of Joan Manen and five Rumanian dances by Bela Bartok (K 872). All the above may be regarded as recording " novelties " and show the enterprise of the Dacca Company in the sphere of
contemporary music. C. G. M.