Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 3, No. 5 (1929-02)

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February, 1929 The Phonograph Monthly Review 151 The same holds good for my Brunswick Album set of the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2. This also contains six rec- ords and one needle does the work with absolutely no harm. I could go on and on mentioning album sets like my Col- umbia recording of the Dvorak No. 5 Symphony of “The New World” and many, many others, but it all leads to the same end—the Chromic Needles, especially the Loud Tone Chromics are all that are desired and are as good on the tenth side as they are on the first. Before learning of these needles I had been using Columbia Medium Tone steel needles. These are perfectly satisfactory if one is content to change the needle at every side of a record, but this is what I was trying to get away from and with the help of the Chromics I have at last accomplished it. There is but one “if” to all this, if such it can be termed. Always be ready to lift the needle off the record before any automatic stop jerks it to a stand still. This I think is im- portant. Chromic Needles are very strong BUT the walls of good records are very delicate to I play safe, as it were and allow the needle to touch no surface that might effect the point, nor receive any jar, as an automatic stop would give, which would aso effect the point. The other day a repairman came out to oil and look over the electric motor of my “Brunswick Cortez.” After he finished and placed a record on to test he was surprised that I should use such a “cheap needle like the Brass one that all the foreigners in the south end use.” I merely asked him to run his file over it which he did and to his further surprise he found out his mistake. They are Gold Plated over a special steel and not brass. They burnish the record and surely add to the life of same. True and clear defini- tion, irrespective of type of record. As many writers admit “once used, always used” and to these same writers who were so kind to write in, I repeat that I honestly feel after using these same needles for nearly a year on every kind of make and recording, they are the truly ideal semi-permanent point, and not to be feared for the playing of that ninth or tenth record side. A Re-Review By ROBERT DONALDSON DARRELL T HE phonographic developments of 1928 have been of a continuously excitory nature calculated to give the record buyer little opportunity for looking backward. Vainly en- deavoring to keep abreast of the flood tide of monthly and special release lists, and with ever a side glance toward the incoming shipments of imported records, even those gramo- philes of considerable means have been unable to fulfill their mental resolve to look back over the past year’s issues and to note the many significant works that they passed over at the time of release. The aim of this “Re-Review” is to summarize the more important recordings of the year so that individual collectors may discover the gaps in their libraries that cry for filling. Perhaps it may also serve as an unofficial roll of honor. It covers loosely the period from the “Re-Review” in the February, 1928, issue of this magazine, to the time of present writing. It is largely confined to works which has been either reviewed in the magazine or added to the Studio library; however, cognizance is taken of some significant impending releases and some notable European releases that have not yet been reviewed in these pages. So many titles are to be listed that for convenience and the sake of appearance they will not be italicized or put in bold-face type. The name of the company is given only when the recording artist and his affiliation is not well-known or when the work is an imported one. Perhaps the event by which the phonographic year will be best remembered was the observance of the Schubert Centenary by the issue of many recordings of his works by all the leading companies. These Schubert Centennial releases were discussed in detail in the November issue of this magazine Only two new major works have since appeared: the H. M. V. Mass in G, sung by the Philharmonic Choir, and the “Forellen” quintet played by Bachaus and the Inter- national String Quartet. Without attempting any estimate of comparative significance, the other outstanding record releases might be summarized as follows: the various series of complete or nearly complete operas, headed perhaps by Tristan and Isolde, the Pelleas excerpts, and Die Walkiire; the large choral works, headed by Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and the Messiah; the Bayreuth Festival recordings; the new Boston Symphony records (Koussevitzky’s record debut); the English Singers’ recorded program of English folk songs and Elizabethan part songs; Sokoloff’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s second symphony; the Hollywood Bowl recordings; Shavitch's performance of two Fabini tone-poems; the Bodanzky Wagnerian series; Stokowski’s re-recorded Firebird suite and entr’acte from Khowantchina, and the new Bach chorale prelude; the series of short works by Dr. Blech and Sir Hamilton Harty. Of par- ticular note also was the increasing attention paid to modern composers, particularly de Falla; to large scale piano, organ, and choral works, and to “concert jazz” compositions. These are of course merely the highest peaks in the year’s mountain range of notable recordings. There is an extensive honor roll of disks undeniably of permanent technical and artistic worth. There has been no series of recorded symphonies issued this year comparable to the Stokowski series of last season. However, many excellent works have been released: six sym- phonies were added to the recorded list and nine or more re- recorded. Rachmaninoff’s Second, Schubert’s C major, and probably the new versions of Tchaikowsky’s Fifth by Mengel- berg and Kitschin were outstanding. Reference may be made to “Recording Conductors” in the October and December issues for more detailed notes on the full list of recorded symphonies. The new concertos were Brahms’ for violin, Bach’s for three pianos (French H. M. V.), Liszt’s A major and Chopin’s E minor (Polydor) for solo piano. There were re-played ver- sion of Grieg’s and Liszt’s E flat (Polydor) for piano. While all were of considerable merit, none was epoch-making. The long operatic list included Tristan and Isolde, Pelleas (excepts—French H. M. V. and Columbia), Die Walkiire, La Boheme, Rigoletto, Carmen (French Columbia), Pagliacci (English Columbia), Cavalleria Rusticana (English Columbia), Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury (H. M. V.) and miscellan- eous excerpts (Brunswick.) The notable Victor Metropolitan Opera House series of separate disks should also be mentioned, nor should the same company’s series of “gems” from the more popular operas be forgotten. The choral works bulked high. First, the Missa Solemnis from both Victor and Polydor, and the complete Messiah by Beecham. Then, the Bach Magnificat, St. John and St. Matthew excerpts (French Columbia and Polydor), the Ro- man Polyphonic Choir album, the Westminster Choir records, Schubert’s Mass in G and the newly issued choruses from Boris Godounow (H M. V.). Shorter works of distinction were: Holst’s Psalm 86 (PI. M. V.), Moussorgsky’s Robber song by the Russian State Choir, Glorification of the Virgin and Gretschaninow’s Credo by the Russian Symphonic Choir, a Palestrina Sanctus and other works by the Staats und Domchor, the vocal version of the Blue Danube waltz and excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio by the Vienna Philharmonic Choir, Benelli’s Lullaby and Pergolesi’s Adora- mus Te by the Florentine Choir. (All these last works were issued in the Victor foreign supplements.) The principal orchestral sets—works recorded in three or more disks—were first the Bayreuth album, Koussevitsky’s Petrouchka, Stokowski’s Firebird, and Goossens’ Hollywood Bowl program, mentioned before; and then Dr. Muck’s Victor Wagnerian album, Harty’s Rosamunde album, Casal’s per-