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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 4. 22 March 1972



How pleasant, when asked to review a recording of a work whose idiom is entirely distasteful, not to have to hide a begrudging admission that the piece is well played and recorded behind protest at this perpetration of a bouquet of Bohemian fold-tunes in the name of "symphony". Dvorak's symphonic music may be pretty silly, but it was never so gross as to warrant the debasement to which it is subject in this issue which appears as a compendium of errors of modern recording.

The sound is completely artificial - for once the proverbial kerosene tin does seem apposite - a curious and highly metallic sheen which is utterley unreal, I am shocked at the amount of out-of-tune playing, unclear rhythmic articulation, dynamic imbalance and the continual "whipping-up" of the climaxes (eloquent enough as they stand), in a manner beloved of fashionable young men of the podium and reminiscent of the grimiest of Dr. Graham'sevangelisings. Mr. Jorda often takes a curiously literal view of the score markings which leads him into several traps; staccato articulation of parts of the Introduction and of the opening of the Scherzo so fragment the phrase as to render the musical shape quite meaningless. The record surface on the review copy is un-pardonably noisy and there are some bad editing slips And so on.

The label may be a cheap one although the copy submitted does not say so. Lest the makers plead 'economy' let me add that that is the last excuse or reason which I will accept in justification of the sort of nonsense here permitted. It might be appropriate to suggest some kind of protest against the monolithic commercial recording structure by ignoring its effort in the present contemptible case, and showing that it cannot assume that any half-witted performance of big-name, second-rate music will be lapped up by a gullible buying public.

If there are people who will buy this disc, good luck to HMV. If you must have a recording of the piece, don't buy this one. It is very, very nasty.