Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 6. April 9, 1968
Records — Much recorded
One of the most-recorded works in gramophone history is Dvoraks New World Symphony—the catalogues overflow with dozens of different versions by every orchestra under the sun.
In England in 1967 Decca didn't just release one new recording, they went one step better and issued two!
Istvan Kertesz and the London Symphony completed their set of Dvorak symphonies and Antal Dorati put the New Philharmonic through its paces on the Phase Four Stereo Concert Series.
Unfortunately, so far none of the Kertesz symphonies have been released out here, but here's hoping they will be. I have often lamented the manner in which these wonderful works have been neglected.
We have to be content with the Phase Four one (PPSM 34125). A straightforward account, very good orchestral work, and a brilliant recording. It you haven't a recording it is well worth buying, but if you have a dated version and are wanting a new one, I would recommend waiting a few months in the hope that HMV (NZ) Ltd. will see fit to press the Kertesz one —I have been lucky enough to hear an English pressing of this most impressive version and it certainly justifies a release here.
The latest and brightest star on the international scene is, without doubt, Daniel Barenboim, a 24-year old Israeli, born in Buenos Aires.
At this comparatively tender age he has possibly the most arduous line-up of proposed recordings of all pianists—the 32 Beetnoven Sonatas, two Brahms concertos with Barborolli and the New Philharmonic, and most promising of all—the complete Mozart piano concertos with himself conducting the English Chamber Orchestra.
The first of the Mozart has just been released—No. 20 in D. Minor K460 and No. 23 in A Major K488 (HMV ASDM 2318). The sleeve note says "it was Fischer who first inspired Barenhoim with the idea of conducting Mozart from the keyboard", and a practice that has spelt doom for lesser musicians is a wholehearted success.
He shapes the phrases beautifully, has a good control over the orchestra, and above all his playing is superb. The beautiful Mozart concertos gently trickle through his gifted fingers. There are none of the flashy mannerisms of Bernstein's approach.
The recording is clear with a good tone. An outstanding beginning to a major series.
Edwin H. Tarr has studied under the best trumpeters in the US—Roger Voisin of Boston and Adolph Herseth of the Chicago Symphony. He is now performing in Europe and has recently recorded The Art of the Trumpeter: Music by Torelli, Marc-Antonie Charpentier, Attenburg, Handel and Others, with the Consortuim, conducted by Fritz Lehan (HMV HQS 1049 Stereo).
I don't like knocking champions of unknown music. However, the plain fact is that many of the works should have remained lost—they are not representative of the composer's best works.
Tar's playing is very good—a nice clean tone, especially in the higher register and excellent tongueing. However, much of his effort is wasted because of indistinct and muzzy recording.
In 1965, a new complete recording of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" was issued by Decca, with Karl Munchinger conducting the Stuttgart Chamber orchestra.
As far as I know, it was not pressed in New Zealand but three years later HMV have released an outstanding single disc of excerpts.
The choice of arias and choruses gives a good allround resume of the work, but the only problem with the disc is that it makes one yearn for the complete set.
All soloists are good but the focal point is Peter Pears' excellent singing in the role of the Evangelist.
The Stuttgart Hymnic Boy's Choir deserve special mention. An excellent stereo recording with a good balance in the choral work. (Decca SXLM 6272 Stereo).