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Design Review: Volume 4, Issue 5 (October-November 1952)

Gramophone Notes

Gramophone Notes

Things to Come–These are exciting and exasperating times for record collectors. The flow of long-playing discs from all quarters has become a mighty flood, but of the deluge little more than a trickle finds its way into New Zealand shops. In listing here a few current and forthcoming releases, therefore, I am not implying that they may be readily obtained. (Whether or not he can lay his hands on new releases, the enthusiast is never averse to having news of them.)

The first list of long playing records issued by the EMI organisation in England is not perhaps very exciting, since about seventy five per cent of it has already been available on normal pressings. Of the previously inaccessible issues, Columbia has a Marriage of Figaro by a Viennese cast headed by Schwarzkopf, Seefried, and Erich Kunz, and conducted by von Karajan. This covers three records and should be very much in demand. H.M.V. offers the Moussorgsky-Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition in a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Rafael Kubelik, and the first two Brahms symphonies in new releases by the NBC Symphony under Toscanini.

Parlophone have transferred to long playing some of their excellent recordings by the London Baroque Ensemble. Owing to current sterling exchange difficulties it would be unwise to speculate on how soon some of these treasures may be expected here.

As though to counteract the EMI offensive, Decca have brought up some heavy artillery in their latest English release. The appearance of Beethoven's first, second, and ninth symphonies now completes Decca's long playing representation of these perenmal works. The orchestra is the Vienna Philharmonic, under Carl Schurecht (for Nos. 1 and 2) and Erich Kleiber (for No. 9). This last is spread over four sides, a movement to each, expensive, but in the long run satisfactory, I should think. Mahler comes into his own with the fourth symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra under Van Beinum (one disc) and a new issue of The Song of the Earth with Bruno Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic with Julius Patzak and Kathleen Ferrier–three sides, with, on the fourth, some odd songs rendered by Miss Ferrier. Other releases in a most impressive list include the second piano concertos of both Beethoven and Brahms (soloist Backhaus), the Schubert ‘great’ C major symphony under Josef Krips, Beethoven's ‘Archduke’ Trio from the Trio di Trieste, and two important quartets–Brahms in C minor and Schubert in A minor–played by the Vegh Quartet. A complete recording of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande on four discs is fully worthy of so important an undertaking.

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