Tw° symphonies are among the
recent releases by Columbia. One by reason of the piece the composer. the orchestra and the conductor has already attained wide popularity, but the other is by far the most significant. This latter is the recording by the Philharmonia Orchestla conducted by Herbert van Karajan of Roussel's Fourth Symphony in A Major-made possible by the Maharaja of Mysore's Musical Foundation.
Roussel, a modern French composer in the tradition of Debussy, too little known in this country, is as interesting a personality in music as Conrad was in literature, for like him he left a seafaring life to devote himself wholly to an art which previously had been only his hobby. The idiom of this fine work is modern and the tonal effects of the symphony, which forms an excellent introduction to his work, together with its rhythms go as far towards humanising, and as it were baptising, the " noises" of our modern industrial and mechanical age as anything I have heard. The charming performance of the Mozart "Jupiter' Symphony (No. 41 in C Major) by Sir 1 homes Beecham with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the re-recording is reissued under the serial numbers L.X. 1337-40.
AMONG recent H.M.V. releases " the new recording of Tchaikovsky's popular story-piece Francesca da Rimini deserves more than " honourable mention." The existing recording by the New York Philharmonic is being withdrawn and this new version. exciting in spirit and marvellously crisp and precise in instrumental tone, takes its place in the catalogue.
It is performed by an orchestra which priori might he presumed to have a good chance of catching the spirit of a Russian composer dealing with an Italian story, it is the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by lssay Debrowen. A charming record is made by the counter-tenor, Alfred Deller, singing two songs by our own Purcell with appropriate harpsichord accompaniment by Walter Bergmann. They are " Sweeter than Roses" and "Epithalamium" (C. 4044); another noteworthy vocal record is Alda Noni singing "Saper Vorreste" and " Volta la Terra " from Utz Ballo in Masehero with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Walter Susskind (D.A. 1954). B. J. P.