The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Koussevivzky, have produced a magnificent recording of the fourth Symphony of Tchaikovsky. Album No. 258. This symphony contains the well-known fate theme which overshadows not only the first movement but the finale where the scene is changed to a Russian fair; even here among all the popular merriment the sense of fatality cannot be escaped. The rather dreamlike interlude in the first movement with the distant drum effect is taken at a greater rate than usual and seems to lose in consequence its appeal; nor, strangely enough, is the drum audible at the important pedal passage in the last movement before the final statement of the original subject. Apart from this the brass is amazing, the pizzicato of the third movement entrancing and in precision and power this orchestra can yield to few, if any.
The Don Juan Op. 20 of Strauss is recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra tinder Fritz Busch; DB 2714-5. This again is familiar music but it is all splendidly rendered—this pageant of fair women that turns at last to dust and ashes for the swaggering hero. There are many other good things on the H.M.V. list. Among the soloists we have Menuhin in two charming excerpts and Rubinstein in his own Valse Caprice for PF and the Liebestraum of Liszt.