Hifi Stereo Review May 1959

Hifi Stereo Review May 1959
•
•
REVIE\N
STEREO TUNERS - BUYor BUll
WURLITZER vs. BAROQUE ORe:
HIGH COSTaf MUSICAL CREA'
May
ONLY SOUNDCRAFT TAPES ARE MICROPOLISHED SMOOTH!
There's more to tape surface than meets the eye. Any coating
process can make the surface of unpolished tape look smooth.
However, unpoljshed tape surfaces contain microscopic irreg·
ularities that prevent the tape from making intimate contact
with the recorder heads. ' '''ith ordinary tapes, it takes about
10 plays, a "breaking in" period, before these irregularities
are smoothed out and proper contact is made.
During this critical period you lose important high frequencies and force your recorder heads to do the job of physically
polishing the tape surface. This can result in excessive wearing of your recorder heads and in gradual head deterioration.
With SOUNDCRAFT TAPES there is no "breaking in" periodno excessive head wear-no loss of high frequency response . ..
,,,.. e,,,",,
.~. ~o.""
"00
•
because SOUNDCRAFT TAPES ARE MICROPOLISHEDI MICROPOLISHING is SOUNDCRAFT'S exclusive way of physically polishing the
tape to insure a mirror-smooth and irregularity-free tape
surface. Your recorder heads make immediate and intjmate
contact with the tape surface, guaranteeing uniform high
frequency response right from the very first play. Remember,
only SOUNDCRAFT TAPES are MICROPOLISHED for your protection . Buy them-use them, your recorder doesn't deserve less
than the best. Write for SOUNDCRAFT'S free catalog RS58-IOR.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS RECORDING - "Sweet Moods of J~zz
in Stereo" recorded on one of two 7" reels of tape in
SOUNDCRAFf'S NEW PREMIUM PACK. You pay for the
tape plus only $1.00. Ask your dealer today!
~~~V£S SOUNDCRA FTcORP
w." " ..
N. La Brea, Los Angeles 36 Cal,',
C
•
,
.• anada· 700 W t
es on Road, Toronto 9 Ont
.
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.,
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ana a
R·S9
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NEW
AUDIO FIDELITY
THE
TCHAIKOWSKY
SYMPHONY1IT
TOHAIKOWSKY
BALLET smTES
(PATHIITIQUE) in BMinor.Opns 74
c()lukctd~
~erJ~!kjiJteilb
st COMPONENT
STEREO
SERIES·
STATEMENT OF
PLEASE READ (AREfULLY
Axiom: The first and most important COIl)ponent of a High Fidelity Stereophonic
phonograph system is the phonograph
record.
It is a little 'known fact that until now the
dynamic range of phonograph records has
been restricted by the inadequacies of cer·
tain cartridges and pick·up arms. Since
this new series was successfully recorded
with tremendously increased dynamic
range and since Audio Fidelity does not
wish to compromise the full potential of
'this' recording project to accommodate
inaClequate equipment we announce with
great pleasure and infinite satisfaction
the new Audio Fidelity First Component
Series* .
Since Audio Fidelity desires to raise still
further the high quality standards of its
product and to maintain the Highest
Standard of High Fidelity in this industry,
we decided to increase the dynamic and
frequency range, and level of sound of the
records in this new series - and state
therefore that we can certify ' only the
highest quality cartridges and arms to
track the First Component Series.
We do not recommend that you buy these
records unless your euqipment is of the
first rank. If you are in doubt, the Audio
Fidelity First Component Stereo Test Rec·
ord (FCS 50,000) provides a ready means
of determining the tracking ability of your
high fidelity stereo equipment.
The following arms and cartridges -have
been found by Aud.io Fidelity to be cap·
able of tracking its First Component Series
records:
ARMS: AUdax·KT·16; Elac;
P·100; Fairchild·282; · Garrard·TPA/ 12;
G. E.-TM·2G; Grado; Gray 212; Pickering
196; Rek·Q·Kut S·120, S·160; Shure 'Oynetic. , Weathers Stereoramic Pickup Sys·
tern, arm and cartridge MC·I,
CARTRIDGES: Dynaco B & Q Stereodyne;
[Iectrovoice Magneramic 21·M; General
Electric GC·5, GC·7, CL·7; Grado; Picker·
ing 371; Scott· London 1000 match,ed arm
and cartridge Shure M30 Professional
"Dynetic""; 'Stereotwin ([lac) 200; Weath·
ers Stereoramic Cartridge C·501; Fairchild 232 .
RAVEL BOLERO
BIZET CARMEN
~~ SUITE
Berlioz "DAMNAn ON OF FAUST"; Bizet -cAAMEN~
Borodin "PRINCE IGOR": Glinka "WIZAROS MARCtr,
Meyerbeer "THE PROPHET"; Mourt "FIGARO"";
R~Korsako""COQ D'Of!";Verdi "A1D.\";
WDcner "MEISTERSINGER"; W.grtet "TANNHAUSER"
c()lukctd~ &duTi 1Jilofm<t
NOTICE TO INDUSTRY: The First Component
Series is original and un ique. Any attempt at
infringement or plagiarism will result in prompt
and vigorous prosecution .
fREE: WRITE FOR CLASSICAL
BROCHURE & TECHNICAL DATA
AUDIO fIDELITY, INC.
770 Eleventh Avenue,
New York 19, New York.
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE $6.95 each 12 In STEREODISC·
MAy 1959
3
ON'
··Ir1I..·I...
COM ..
illfl
UALT • •
The advantages
areal I
vr
he
ITH
It's
It's
The G arrard is
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Garra rd
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There's a Garrard fa, every high fidelity system. Fully wired for Ste,eo and Monaural records,
Despite its man y
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Nrune'________________________
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GARRARD SALES CORPORATION, PORT WASHINGTON, N. Y.
Canadian Jnquirles to Chas. W. Pointon. Ltd., 6 Alcino Ave .• Toronto
1.,,190,1., olh., than U.S.A. and Canado to Garrard Engineering & Mfo. Co .• ltd .• Swindon. VVith ... England
s---------------Address.
City
State ___
HiFi
FEATURE
ARTICLES
REVIEW
May, 1959
Vol. 2
The High Cost of Creativity
31
Abraham Skulsky
37
Warren DeMotte
39
David Hall
40
Warren DeMotte
42
Robert Hazelleaf
45
Hans H. Fantel
Why is there so little monetary budgeting
for the American composer?
No.5
Stereo via Sonic Environment
Publisher
James B. lansing 's Paragon and Metregon
offer something new in stereo speakers
Oliver Read
Editor
Oliver". Ferrell
The Primal Eloquence of Pablo Casals
New insight on li the greatest musician
that e ve r drew a bow "
Music Editor
,DClvid Hall
Art Edito~
Saul D. Weiner
Letters of Mark
Letting the cat out of the bag on how
to create a keyboard v irtuoso-on records only
' Associate Editors
Hans H. Fantel
Warren DeMotte
Have Pipe Organ-Can't Move
Assistant Editor
Presenting the genius of the modern
"Mighty Wurlitzerll-conc!uding
a 2 -port article
R.odney H. William.
Cbntdbuting Editors
Madln Bookspan
Reilph J. Gleason
Stanley Green
Hat Hentoff
George Je/line"
Mail-Call for Stereo
Three house-brand stereo tuners with
va stly different functional design concepts
DavId Randolph
John Thornton
Advertising Director '
John A. Ronan, Jr.
REVIEWS
Advertising Man'a g er
Herb O/sow
ZIFF·DAVIS PUBLISHING co., One Park
Ave., New Yor,k 16, N. Y. Wi,IIiam B. Ziff,
C hai rman of the Bo'ard '(1946·1953);William
Ziff, President; W. Bradfo rd Bri g,i;;Is Execu- '
tive Vice Preside nt; Michael M Ichaerson,
Vice President and.' Circulatio n Director ;
He rs hel B. Sarbin, Sec reta ry; Howard
Stoughton, Jr. , Trea surer; Albert Gruen, Art
Director.
BRANCH' OFFICES; Midwestern Office, 434
S. Wabash Ave., Chicago 5, III ., Tom
Berry, Midwest Ad vertisi ng Ma nag er;
W~stern O ffice, Room 412, 215 West 7th
. St. " Los Angeles /1. Calif" James R. Pi"rc e,
w,estern Ad vertiSing Manager; Foreign Ad vertising Representa t ives; D. A. Goodall
Ltd. , London; ,Al beof Mjlh.d6 & Co., Ltd.,
Antwerp a,nf! Dusseldorf.
SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
Forms 3579 a nd . 11 subscriptio,n correspondence shou ld be addressed to Circulation Departme nt, 434 South Wabash
Ave nue, Chicago 5, Illinois. Ple'ase allow
.t least four weeks for change of address.
Incl ude you r old address a s well as new
-enclosing if possible an address label
fro m a recent issue',
; ..
.
, CONTRIBUTORS
Contributo rs ar", advised to retain a copy
of their manu,cript and illustrations. Contributions should be mailed to the New
York Editori a l office and must be accom·
panied by retu rn p"stage. C o nt ributions
are handled, with reasonab le care, but this
magazine assumes no responsibility for their
safety. Any acceptable ma nuscript is subied to wha tever adaptqtions and revisions
are necessary to mee t re<wi rements of this
pu b lication . Rayment ' covers all aut hor'.
rights, tit les c nd in terest in and to the
material acce pted and wiil be made at our
current rates upon acceptance. All photos
and drawings wi ll be considered as part of
material ' purchased.
Average Net
Paid Circulation
123,953
Stereo HiFi Concert
53
Martin Bookspan, George Jellinek,
David Randolph, John Thornton
M
67
Martin Bookspan, George Jellinek,
David Randolp h, John Thornton
Stereo Entertainment
75
Ralph J. Gleason, Stanley Green,
Nat Hentoff
Mono Entertal·nment
79
Ralph J. Gleason, Stanley G reen,
Nat Henloff
ono
H·F- C
11
once
rt
COLUMNS
AND
MISCELlANEOUS
6
HiFi Soundings
Musical Oddentities
12
The Basic Repertoire
14
Sch ubert's "Unfinished" Symphony
Just Looking
18
HiFi-ndings
49
Realistic "Solo" Speaker System; JFD
"Mardi Gra s" Speaker System Model
A LC-2
Advertisers Index
89
The Flip Side
90
Cover illustration by Fritz Wilkinson
HiFi REVIEW is published monthly by Ziff-Da vis Publishing C,?mpa ny , William B. Ziff,
Chairman of the Board (1946·1953), at 434 South Wabash Ave ., Chicago 5, III. Second class
postage paid at Chicago, Illinois. Authorized by the Post Office Department, Ottawa, Ont.,
Canad a as second cl ass matter. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One year U.S. and possessions, and
Canada $4.00; Pan·American Union countries $4.50, all other foreign countries $5 .00.
Copyright 1959 by ZIFF-DAVIS PUBLISHING ':ompony
All rights reserved
5
JansZen*
HiFi ·Soundings
By DAVID HALL
Charles E. Ives on What to Listen For ' in 'New Music
sound
vvithout fury
in
3
easy steps
Here',s a co~pact, do-It-yourself speaker system that delivers realistic, transparent reproduction without the fury
of bass or treble exaggerations. Perfe ctly match ed Electrostatic mid/high range speakers and a dynamic woofer give
measurably flat response over the entire audio spectrum_
What's more, you need not be an expert cabinet maker_
You create high fidelity at a sensible, do-it-yourself cost.
o
ELECTROSTATIC MID/HIGH RANGE SPEAKER
Model 65, Illustrated, uses two JansZen electrostatic
elements with a built-In power supply and high-pass filter.
Each element contains 176 perfectly balanced, sheathed
conductors to give absolutely clean response from 700 to
beyond 30,000 cycles. Furnished complete in cabinet at
$86-$91.50, depending on finish. Slightly higher In West.
Better yet ••• Model 130-considered as THE mid/high
range speaker-.contalns four elements for a broad, 120·
sound source. $161-$188, depending on finish. Slightly
higher in West.
o
DYNAMIC WOOFER DRIVER .
Specifically designed to complement the delicate clarity
of JansZen Electrostatic Mid/ High Range Speakers, the
Model 350 DynamiC Woofer offers clean, honest bass,
devoid of coloration, false resonances, hangover or boom.
It Is the only separately available Vloofer to give such
clean response In so small an enclosure-only 2.2 cu. ft.
Response Is uncanni Iy flat from 40 to 2000 cycles with
excellent output to 30 cycles. Only $44.50. Slightly
higher in West.
The decade since World War II has witnessed a fantasti c pre-occupation with
style and technique on the part of contemporary' cQmposers. all over the world.
Its most virulent manifes tation has centered around post-Webernian 12-tone
fashions and the variou s form s of "electronic tape" music. The mass commercialization of hi-fi and "sound for sound's sake" has added further to an atmosphere in which th e composer is tempted to indul ge in all mann er of sonic and
intellectual gimmickry.
How is the listenin g and record-buyin g public-other than the cognoscenti of
arty esoterica- to judge wha t is worthwhile ~nd what is " gimmicky" in the
great mass of contemporary music findin g its way to the LP and stereo catalogs,
whether from specialty labels like Louisville's First Edition series or Composers
Recordings Inc., or from major labels working under Koussevitzky or Fromm
Foundation au spices ?
Nearly forty years ago, Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954) - still the most modern
and truly creative of all Am erica n composers-published privatel y and at his own
expense a 124-page volume Essays Befor e a Sonata, the "sonata" being hi s Second for piano (Concord, Mass., 1840-60). The book was, in a sense, a justification
of his life and work as a mu sician and a deeply probin g statement of what he
felt to be the place of the creative arti st among his fellow humans.
Together with hi s 1912 pamphlet on life insurance- The Amount to CarryMeasuring the Prosp ect, printed by his own firm , Ives & Myrick, Essays Be/ore
a Sonata has become something of a legendary classic in its field. In 1956 a
new edition of the EpiLogue to the "Essays" was issued by Paul Boatwright of
New Haven as edited hy the distinguished musician and Ives scholar , Howard
Boatwright. From this Epilogue we have distilled those passages which seem to
us to have particular bearing on the present situation in contemporary music
composition- especially as experi enced by the enterprising concertgoer and
audiophile. We feel that th ere is much in Ives' words that can help relieve the
present confusion of values in th e mod ern music field-if not on tbe part of the
composers, then at least on the part of their audience.
"Many sounds th at we are used to do not both er us, and for that rea son
we are inclined to call them beautiful. Frequently- possibly almost
invariably-analyti cal and impersonal tests wiJl show, we believe, that
when a new or unfamiliar work is acce pted as beautiful on its first hearing,
its fundam ental quality is one that tends to put the mind to sleep."
"That which th e composer intends to represent as "high vitality" sounds
like something quite different to different listeners ... How far can the
composer be held accountable?"
DO-IT-YOURSELF WOOFER ENCLOSURE
Working with the plans Vie furnish with each Vloofer,
you'll be able to build your own enclos ure with basic
tools. The enclosure is a sturdy, yet simple, totally
enclosed cabinet. There are no tricky baffle arrangements
or adjustments . Size wi thout legs: 19" high x 25" Vlide x
13" deep. Cost of all materials should run about $12 to $IB.
Discover JansZen clarity for yourself. Write for
literature on JansZen's comp lete speaker systems and
the name of your nearest dealer.
"'including des igns bV ATthu T A. J'anszen and made only by
~ESHAMINY
ElECTRONIC CORP. Neshaminy, Pa.
EX-POTt D iD.: 25 Warren S t., New York 7, N, Y.
Cable: S imon trice, N. Y.
6
* * * * * * *
c.
"It may be th at wh en a poet .(01' a whistler) becomes conscious that he
is in th e easy path of any particular idiom- that he is helplessly prejudiced in favor of any particular mean s of expression- that his manner can
be ca talogued as modern or classic- that he fa vors a contrapuntal groove,
a sound-coloring one, ' a sensuous one, a ·s uccessful one (whatever that
means)-that hi interes ts lie in the French school or the German school,
or the school of SatUl;n- th at he is involved in this particular "that" or
tha t particular " this," or in any particular brand of emotional complexes;
in a word, when he becomes conscious that his style is " his personal own,"
(Continued on page 8)
HIFI REVffiW
I
I
"
An exciting new offer from the COLUMBIA ~ RECORD CWB] to help you acquire,
quickly and inexpensiv~ly, a fine STEREOPHONIC RECORD LIBRARY
5, 16 favorites . Sweet Violets , etc .
6, One of Broad·
way's biggest hits
7, Three brill iant
hl·f l showpieces
8. What ' ll I Do,
Warm , 10 more
ANY SIX
OF THESE 32 SUPERB COLUMBIA AND EPIC
STEREOPHONIC RECORDS
FOR ONLY
11. Berlioz ' most
popuJar work
$598
~;::;. '
,
10. Be My Love,
WhereorWhen , etc .
RETAIL VALUE
$35 88
'
if you join the Club now .. .' and agree to purchase only
5 s<?lections .during the coming 12 months
12. Nomad, Marble
Arch, 4 more
*EpicYoustereophonic
receive ANY 6 of these Columbia and
records for only $5.98
that deserve a place In your stereophonic record library. These selections are described in
the Club Magazine, wh ich you receive free
Your only obligation as a member is to
each month
purchase five selections from the more than
You may accept the selection for your
75 Columbia and Epic stereo records to be .Division, take any of the other" records offered,
offered in the coming 12 months .
or take NO record in any particul,k month
After purchasing only five records you reo
You may discontinue membership at any
ceive a 12" Columbia or Epic stereo Bonus
time after purchasing five records
record of your choice free for every two addi·
The recor.ds you want are ,mailed and billed
tional selections you buy
to you at'the regular list price of $5.98, plus
You enroll in either one of the Club 's two
a small mailing charge
Stereo Divisions - Classical or Popular
Mail the coupon today to receive your SIX
stereophonic records-a regular $35 .88 retail
Each month the Club's staff of musical
experts selects outstanding stereo recordings
value-for only $5.98
*
*
*
15. Great tunes
from thi s hit show
*
*
*
*
*
d
'SEND NO MONEY - Mall coupon to receive 6 records for $5.98
COLUMBIA <fe> RECORD CLUB, Dept. 222·5
Stereophonic Section
Terre Haute, Indiana
I accept your offer and have Indicated at t he right the six
records I wish to r eceive for $5.98. plus small malling charge.
Enroll me In the following Ster eo Division of the Club:
(check one box only)
0 Stereo Popular
o Stereo Classlc:ai
I agree to purchase five selections from the more than 75 to
be offered during the coming 12 months. at. regular lIs ~ price
plus sma ll ma11!ng charge. Fo, ever y t wo additiona l selection,
I accept, I am to receive a 12" Columbia or Epic stereo
Bonus record of my choice FREE.
Name .• . •. • • . ••••. '0' ••• • • • ••••••• • • • ••• •• •••••••••••• • ••• • ••
(Please Print )
Address • •••••.• • • • • •• •••••• • •• • • • • •• • ••• • •• • ••• • • •• ••••••••••
NOTE:
Stereophonic records must be played
only on a stereophonic record player
City • • • • • • •••••••• • •• • • • • • • •• • • . • .ZONE • ••• State • • ••••• ••• •• • ••
FOR CANADIA N MEM B ERSHIP:
1
It you wish a~~r~~~~ t~f. sg;;~~~~~~~p Tg:e(:rU~i~o . an established Columbia or Epic r ecor d dealer. authorized to accept
subscriptions, fill In below:
Dealer's
,
COLUMBIA @ RECORD CLUB
Terre Haute, Ind.
MAy 1959
~ame . •••
•• •. • • . •.•• '• • • ••• • •• • •• •• • • •• • . • •••••• • • • • ••
Dealer' , Address . • .• .•.••. •• •• • •••.•...• • • ••• •.• • •• • ••. • .• . 244
<& "Colum bl a ," <!p). " Epic, "
i=
CIRCLE 6
NUMBERS:
1
17
2
18
3
19
20
4
5
21
22
6
23
7
8
24
9
25
26
10
27
11
12
28
13
29
14
30
15
31
32
16
F·58
~ Ma l'cas ReG'. C Columbia Recorda Salea Corp., 1959
7
(Continlled from page 6 )
that it has mon dpolized a geographical part of th e world's sensibilitiesth en it may he that th e value of his substan ce is not growin g, that it even
may have started on its way backwards- it may be th a t he is trading
inspiration for a bad habit. ..."
"The intensity to·day with which techniques and media are organized and
used tends to throw the mind away from a 'common sense' and towards
ff
•
manner."
"Manner breeds a cussed cleverness only to be clever-a satellite of
superindustrialization-and perhaps to be witty in the bargain- "
"We are goin g to be arbitrary enough to claim . .. that substance can be
expressed in music, and that it is the only valuable thing in it, and , more·
over, that in two separate pieces of music in which th e notes are almost
identical, one can be of substance with little mann er, and the other can
be of manner with little substance. Substance has something to do with
character; manner has nothin g to do with it. The substance of a tune
comes from somewhere near the soul, and the manner comes from-God
knows where. . . . Substance lea ns toward optimism and manne.r
[towards] pessimism."
-"The lack of interest to preserve or ability to perceive the fundamental
divisions of this qnality accounts to a large ex tent, we believe, for some
-or many various phenomena ( pleasant or unpleasant according to the
personal attitnde) of modern art, and all ar t. It is evidenced in many
ways _ .. over-interest in the multiplicity of techniques, in the idioma tic,
in the effect as shown by the appreciation of an andience rath er than in the
effect on th e ideals of the inn er conscience of the artist or the composer."
I
"Manner breeds partialists. Is America a musical nation? - If the man
who is ever asking this question would sit down and think something
over, he might find less interest in asking it; he mi ght possibly remember
that all nations are more mnsical than any nation-especially the nation
that pays the most, and pays the most eagerly, for anything after it has
been professionally rubber-stamped. "
"We bear that Mr. Smith or Mr. Morgan etc., et at., design to establish
a 'conrse at Rome' to rai se the standard of Alnerican music (or the
standard of America n composers- which is it?) ; but possibly the more
OUT co mposer accepts from his patrons 'et al.,' the less he will accept from
himself. It may be possible that a day in a Kansas wheat fi eld will do
more fo~- him than thl-ee year s in Rome. It may be that many menperhaps so me of genius (if you won' t admit that all are geniuses) - have
been started on th e downward path of subsidy by tryin g to write a
thousa nd dollar prize poem or ten thousa nd dollar prize opera. . . . A
cocktail will make a -man eat more, but will not give him a health y, nor·
mal a ppetite . . .. Such stimulants, it stdkes ns, tend to industrialize art
rather than develop a ·spiritual sturdiness . . . . And for the most of us,
we believe this sturdiness would be encouraged by anythin g tha t will keep
or hel p us keep a normal balance between the spil-itual life and the
ordinary life. If for every thousa nd dollar prize a pota to fi eld can be
substituted so th at these candidates of 'Clio' can dig a little in real life,
perhaps dig up a natul'al inspira tion, art's air might be a little clearer.
.. . Perhaps the birth of art will take place at the moment in which the
last man who is willing to making a li ving out of art is gone, and
gone forever."
"The humblest composer will not find true humility in aiming low-he
must never be timid Ol" afraid of trying to express tha t which he feels is
far above his power to express . . . . He should never fear of being called
a hi gh-brow ... John L. Sullivan was a 'high-brow' in his art. A high·
brow can always whip a low-brow . . . _ If he 'truly seeks,' he 'will surely
find' many things to sustain him . .. . He can believe it is better to go to
the plate and s trike out than to hold the bench down, for by facing
the pitcher he may then know the umpire better, and possibly see a
new parabola."
-David Hall
8
I
•
!!:
~
We are indebted to William Henry Fox Talbot for the invention of the photographic negative and
discovery of the latent image. His work greatly advanced the art-science of photography. More than
a hundred years later the laboratories of James B. lansing Sound, Inc., developed the principle
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10 DC filament supply to reduce hum to complete
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12 Five-position input selector. 13 Five-position
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15 Master volume control. 16 Tape monitor switch.
17 High and low frequency filters. 18 Loudness contour switch. 19 Five input level adjustments (rear.) .
20 Phase-reversif)g switch to ,compensate for any improperly phased tape recordings or speakers (rear.)
~ 1 Tape recorder output jacks (rear.) 22 Special input
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•
11
-~ -
--4V&usical Oddentlties-
RENATA TEBALDI
tapes~
recordi
own
son
That alone is not
the reason why
~should use
Here's why
you should use
It's the best-engineered tape in the world
___ gives you better highs ___ better lows __ _
better sound all around! Saves your tape
recorder, too - because the irish FERROSHEEN process results in smoother tape
___ tape that can't sand down your magnetic heads or shed oxide powder into your
machine_ Price? Same as ordinary tape!
I s musical greatness inversely proportional to the neatness of manuscript? It should
appear so from a com parison of the musical manuscripts of Beethoven and of Lui gi
Cherubini. Beethoven's untidiness, both in personal habits and in writing music,
was notorious. Luigi Cherubini, who was a composer of great distinction but lacked
genius, was, on the contrary, a paragon of tidiness. When ink spread by accident
on mu sic paper, be would cut out the spotted section and replace it by a piece of
manuscript paper fitted so precisely that the patch was barely noticeable_ Cherubini
was a man of stern character, and during his directorship of the Paris Conservatory
demanded perfection from his students. He was sarcastic in his criticism but
reticent in his praise_ After a pal·ticularly successful rehearsal of the Paris Conservatory Orchestra, he was asked his opinion. " I said nothing," he replied,
"consequently it was sa tisfactory." His pupil Halevy invited Cherubini to the
premiere of his first opera _ CherulJini listened attentively, bnt remained sil ent
dluing the first two acts_ "Maitre," exclaimed Halevy, unnerved by his silence,
"please say somethin g about my music!" "For two acts your music is saying
nothin g to me," observed the master, "so what can I say to you?"
..
In his memoirs Bedioz presents a very disagreeable and perhaps unfair picture of
Cherubini as a pedantic and querulous old man_ In turn, Cherubini was naturally
antagonistic to the type of music that Bedioz was producing_ Once he passed by
the entrance of a concert hall where the Symphonie Fantastique was to be performed. One of Iris fri ends asked him whether he intended to hear it. "I have no
desire to lea rn how music should not be composed," was Cherubini's gruff reply.
The nalne cello is the result of a cw-ious pl-ocess of ll-uncation,
similat- in del"ivation to the word bus (which is the last syllable of
omnibus, which in turn is the dative plural of omnis, the Latin
wOI-d fot- all). The full name of cello is violoncello, which really
should be violonecello, violone being a large viol, and cello being
the suffix expt-essing minuteness. So violoncello is a big little
fiddle, something as incongt-uous as bullfiddlekins.
,
The roles of you ng lovers in opera are often performed by females_ The situation
becomes doubly inverted when a supposed male is disguised as a female, thus
reverting tbe singer to the original sex. In Der Rosenkavalier, Octavian, a mezzoso prano, pwfesses ardent love to the PI'incess von Werden berg, but fl ees when
Baron Ochs von Lerchena u arrives on the scene. Octavian reappears in th e disguise
of a chambermaid, to whom the libidinous Baron promptly makes advances. But
since th e person who sings the role of Octavian is actually a girl, th e B aron's
natural instin cts are amply vindicated_
The famou s K. of the Mozart catalog-ot- Schwann LP catalog
listings-was not a musician at all. Ludwig von Kochel was a
leat-ned mineralogist and botanist; several plants that he discovet-ed ,and described bear his name. He lived most of his life in
Vienna, but traveled throughout Em-ope in pursuit of his scientific studies. It was at the Mozat-t centennial in 1856, that his
gt-eat intet'est in Mozart became, to use a minet-alogical term, crystallized. He classified Mozat-t's works as he would minerals and
l)lants, and made the letter K. immortal as a symbol. Kochel died
in 1877, at the age of 77. His span of life was more than twice
that of Mozat't.
Available wherever quality tape is sold_
ORRadio Industries, Inc_, Opelika, Alabama
Mdropolitan Opera Star Renata Tebaldi i8 managed
/)11 Columbia Artists Managem.ent fnc_
12
In his Mein in gen orchestra, Hans von Bulow h ad two horn players, Miller and
Schmid, whom he disliked violently, but could not di-s miss before the term of their
contract. One morning, before the rehearsal, the supel"intendent of the orchestra
announced: "I have sad news for you, Herr VOIl Bulow, Miller is dead!" "Is he
really?" said Yon Bulow_ "And Schmid?"
-Nicolas SJonimsky
j
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13
Martin Bookspan
RATES THE - BASIC- REPERTOIRE
Item 7 ot the UFirst Fitty"
Schubert's' "Unfinished" Symphony
Pick and choose from two dozen monos-a good stereo has yet -to be released
I
J
...
SCHUII.ERT
UN' I NISHEO",_ .$\,N~Ht)NY
_
_
~ .""'_ .. .. ' - "
_
.
PHONY. NO. .S r':,
\II,(OR '.W 07
FERENC 'FRICSA Y'S . reading brings beauti-
GEORGE SZELL'S ,interpretation is clos,est to
fully molded phrasing, calm flow .
Toscanini's .among modern versions.
N APRIL 10, 1823, the name of Franz Schubert WI),S proposed for honorary membership in the Styrian l\'1usic
Society at Graz in Austria. His qualifications w ~re presented
as follows in the nom,ination ' papers: "A,lthough still yOlIng,
he has already proved by his compositions that he will some
'd ay rank high as a composer." ·
When the governing body of the Society voted to elect
Schubert to membership, the 26-year-old composer gratefully
accepted the honor and wrote: "May it be the reward for my
devotion to the art of music that I shall one day be fully
worthy of this signal. honor. In order that I may also express
in musical terms my lively sense of gratitude, ' I shall take
tlie liberty, at the earliest opportunity, of presenting your
h090rable Society with one of my symphonies in full score."
The late Alfred Einstein, in his masterful book, Schubert,
A Musical Portrait (Oxford University Press, New York,
1951), surmises that soon thereafter Schubert presented the
score and parts of a two-movement symphony he had recently
completed to the director of the Society, Anselm Hiittenbrenner. Hiittenbrenner appanliltly stuck the symphony away
in a drawer and promptly forgot about it-and so, too, did
Schubert! It was not until 1865, thirty-seven years after the
composer's death, that the Symphony finally came to performance. And thereby hangs a tale.
In 1860 Hiittenbrenne~'s brother, Joseph, had written to
the conductor of the Gesellscha/t der "Musik/reunde concerts
in Vienna, Johanll-Herbeck, ihat Anselm had in his possession a ·"treasure in Schubert's B Minor Symphony." For five
- years Herbeck ignored this information, fearing perhaps that
14 .
O
~\11f!Q/
•
THE CLE\n~>\NL) GEORGE SZELU lEt!.'Yc ,
0 RCJ;I ESTRA 'hlP, c,,~ [)l( 1'<)1,
...:~!~,
BE£THOVEN
.
part of any deal to pry the Schubert Symphony loose from
the Hiittenbrenners would involve a commitment for the
simultaneous performance of one of Anselm's dreary overtures. Finally, in 1865., Herbeck had ·- occasion to stop at
Graz. He sought out the aging and eccentric Anselm and is
supposed to have said to him: "I am here to ask your permission to produce one of your works in Vienna." According
to the account of Herbeck's son, Ludwig, Anselm's response
was instantaneous and uninhibited: he threw his arms around
Herbeck in an embrace and then proceeded to parade before
the weary conductor manuscript af~er worthless manuscript
of his own music. Finally, Herbeck decided upon one of the
overtures and informed Hiittenbrenner that he intended to
give a concert of music by three contemporaries, Schubert,
Hiittenbrenner and Lachner. "It would naturally be very
appropriate to represent Schubert by a new work." "Oh, I
have still a lot of things by Schubert," came Hiittenbrenner's
reply, and he pulled a pile of manuscript paper ;ut of an old
chest. On the cover of one of the manuscripts Herbeck saw
the words "Sin/onie in H Moll" in Schubert's own handwriting. Casually, ' he evidenced interest in the score and
Hiittejlbrenner promptly obliged by giving it ~o him for
performance. On December 17, 1865 the music was finally
heard for the first time. Since then Schubert's "Sin/onie in
H Moll" (B Minor) has become one of the most beloved
classics of the entire literature. .
Before we get to the recordings of the ' score, let us touch
upon the_ "Unfinished" aspects of the symphony. The lack
(Continued on page 16)
HIFI REVIEW
j
.
Once again Harman-Kardon has made the creative leap which distinguishes engineering leadership. The new Stereo
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Four new 7408 output tubes deliver distortion-free power from two highly conservative power amplifier circuits.
Additional Features: Separate electronic tuning bars for AM and FM; new swivel high Q ferrite loopstick for increased
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15
(Continued jr01n page 14 )
of a scherzo and finale has given posterity a handy title by
which to identify the score. If one insists upon the fourmovement format of the classical symphony as an unalterable model, then Schubert's B Minor Symphony may be said
to be unfinished. On .purely aesthetic grounds, however, the
work is a unified whole, a thing of beauty and .completeness
in itself, no more unfinished as an artistic masterpiece than
the Venus de Milo, missin g arms and all. Schubert must
have felt this instinctively when-having penned nine bars
of scherzo-he put the work aside with only two movements
completed.
There are presently more than two dozen monophonic recordings of the score. Strangely, there has been no new
major recording of the "Unfinished" sin ce Decca's release
(DL-9975 ) more than a year ago of a splendid performance
by Fricsay and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. And
stranger still is the curious fact that there is currently available only three stereo disc versions of the score, and only that
by the late Artur Rodzinski (Westminster 14052) merits any
consideration. Sooner than later , undoubtedly, the Hoodtides
of stereophony will engulf the "Unfinished" Symphony and
every major label in the business will have its own new
stereo recording of the score. But as of the time of this
writing, there exists a curious void vis-a-vis Schubert's B
Minor Symphony and its availability on stereo in truly outstanding interpretation.
Six among the mono recordings of the score seem to me
to have special distinction; these are the performances conducted by Beecham (Columbia ML-4474) , Cantelli (Angel
35524), the aforementioned Fricsay, Munch (RCA Victor
LM-1923) , Szell (Epic LC-3195 ), and Toscanini (RCA Victor LM-9022). In general the conductors take either of two
alternative approaches to the music: there is the Toscanini
approach-a kind of demonic attack upon the score which
elicits sharp contrasts of dynamics and mood and makes of
the symphony a herculean, defiant thin g. Then there is what
may be called the Viennese approach-a spontaneous and
casual warmth and mellowness, in which the listener is left
spellbound by the inevitability of Schubert's lyrical outpouring. The Toscanini recording is, of course, the very prototype of the forceful and dynamic approach. Recorded in
NBC's old Studio S-H in 1950, the sound matches the performance: it is hard, dry, and unresonant. Yet there is no
denying its power ; but of grace and charm and easy How
there is precious little.
The Fricsay is the very antithesis of Toscanini's : Where
the great Italian is often breathless in his unceasing momentum, Fricsay brings calm How and relaxed care. Phrases
are beautifully moulded, dynamic markings scrupulously observed, and the orchestral playing is luxurious, yet elegant.
The whole is surrounded with an acoustical environment of
warm mellowness. Fricsay's tempi are generally slow but
never lethargic.
The remaining four recordings in the "Top 6" category
16
generally ply a nea t middle gro und between the two extreme
approaches, Cantelli and Szell closer in spirit to Toscanini;
Beecham and Munch (surprisingly!) to Fricsay. Cantelli's
readin g is superbly disciplined and very smoothly recorded.
He makes much of the drama in the score with especially
keen dynamic contrasts. Szell is fu ssier and sometimes
forced, at times sacrificin g spontaneity to calculation . He is
the only conductor, though, who observes the repeat of the
first movement exposition and his orchestra is recorded marvelously well. Beecham, for his part, hasn't conveyed quite
as successfully the gentle and tender side of the music as he
did ill a memorable pre-war set of 78 rpm discs, but his is
nevertheless a deeply felt, strongly-focused interpretation,
sen timent-full without becoming sentimental. The Munch, as
intimated above, is a surprise. I have heard him drive this
music unmercifully in the concert hall, but at the time he
prepared this recorded performance he was content to take
a more leisurely approach. What emerges is a bea utifully
shaded, if slightly heavy-handed, treatment. The recorded
sound tends to become a little boomy, but this remain s one of
Munch's most successful standard r epertoire efforts on disc.
Conspicuous by its absence in all this discussion is the
name of the conductor who, perhaps more so than anyone else
in our time, has made of this symphony a very precious and
personal specialty: Bruno Walter. Walter has thus far recorded the symphony twice durin g his long career: with the
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the 1930's in a performan ce which had a brief currency in this country in the
Black Label Series of RCA Victor, and a performance of the
mid-1940's with The Philadelphia Orchestra (still listed in
the current catalog in a transfer to Columbia LP disc
ML-4880) whose glories were but dimly perceived through
very distant recorded sound. It is to be fervently hoped that
Walter will be given an opportunity to re-record the "Unfinished" with the West Coast musicians with whom he has
now re-made all the Beethoven Symphonies for Columbia.
- Martin Bookspan
Basic Repertoire Choice T o Date
I. Tcha ikovsky's First Pi ano
Concerto
Nov. '58, p. 48
2. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Dec. '58, p. 41
Cliburn; Kond rash in with O rc h.
RCA Vi ctor LM 2252 (m ono)
Cliburn; Kondrashin wit h O rch.
RCA Victor LSC 2252 (stereo )
Toscanini-NBC Sympho ny
RCA Victor LM 1757 (mono)
Ansermet-S uisse Ro mand e
O rch . London CS 603 7 (stereo)
3. Beethoven's "M oo nlight "
Sonata
J an. '59, p. 37
Petri
Westminster XWN 18255
(m ono )
4. Dvorak's " New World "
Symphony
Feb. '59, p. 54
Tosca nini-NBC Symphony
RCA Victor LM 1778 (mon o )
5. Beethoven's " Eroica"
Symp hony
March '59, p. 49
Klemp erer-Philha rmonia
An ge l 35328 (m ono)
6. Bach's C ha conne fo r
Solo Violi n
April '59, p . 16
Heifetz
RCA Victor LM 6 105 (mon o )
Segovia (g uitar )
Decca DL 975 1 (mono )
Rei ner-Ch icago Symphony
RCA Victor LSC 221 4 (stereo)
Szell-C leve la nd O rchestra
Ep ic BC 1001 (stereo )
HIFI REVIEW
A
Conquest of" Space
The Harmony
Trio Speakers
Here isa complete three channel steteo speaker.
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Hideaway Bass $69.50
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MAY
1959
17
j
• American Electronics has designated its ~ew stereo tape recorder and playback system as the Mark VII Concertone.
Mounted in an attractive magnesium carrying case finished in black vinyl, the entire
system weighs slightly less than 40 pounds.
A companion 17·watt power amplifier and
speaker (two are required) are <similarly
packaged and are optional accessories to
the reco:rder.playback unit. The Mark Vll
. utilizes three motoFs in the tape transport
system as well as Separate heads for record,
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push·button type and there is a . provision
for remote controlling of all functions. Price
$795.00. (American ElectJ:onics, Inc., 9449
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18
• Channel Master has entered the
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(Cha~m el Master Corp., Ellenville, N. Y.)
• Cletron now supplies a new fl ex·edge
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Usable up to around 3500 cycles, th e new
HIFI REvmw
I
I
',BUDGET for t959
TQO 'e xpensive to eonl::iider
Plenty' if ydu' can a1'f,o rd it
EDUCATION, of PUBLIC
Who careS what they think? ,
RECO'RDING, COM" AN~ES
aetter 'than ,expected
l
. CONCERT PRODUCERS ,
Sp~nd as little as possible
The
igh Cost
of
Creativity '
The Plight
0'"
American Composers
discussion / ABRAHAM SKULSKY
A
MERICAN music, from its beginnings, has depended almost totally on European sources and techniques. Although we may refer to the jazz element and the skillful use
of folklore idiom, our composers have followed and still follow Western European techniques and schools of thought
when it comes to large scale concert works. Whether it
suits our inclinations or not, it is that yardstick of European
music which we must use as the basis for judging our own
development. At the same time we must take into consideration the very different conditions of musical life as they have
existed on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In every country
' an,d ev~ry city of Europe there are active composers, and they
play an unquestioned role in their community and national
milieu, though they may not attain major world stature.
Those few who achieve fame beyond their national frontiers
MAY 1959
do so in accordance with long recognized procedures and
criteria; and under these circumstances, there is little danger
of confusing local celebrities with figures of genuine universal consequence.
On our vast continent, however, there exists no such accepted "natural selection." Creative musical activity is focused for the most part around two or three great metropolitan centers, with New York, for economic reasons, as
, the principal one. One consequence of this is a certain
confusion when it comes to singling out composers and their
work on the basis of quality. True, New York can boast of
the greatest ama·lgamation of composers within its confines
wherein important creative figures work in a highly competitive situation against second-rate and even mediocre ones
who are apt to be given performance priority_ '
31
One avenue of approach to a study of the currellt situation
of American music for the concert hall is through the performan ce statistics of native works by our major symphony
orchestras. In order to be fruitful, such an approach must
be based 011 the certainty that what is being played is truly
the best that exists-with no stylistic trend being kept from
our concert audiences. If such a certainty were indeed the
case today, the situation would be rather disheartening, for
it would then appear that for a decade or so no major
American composer has appeared on the horizon to gain recognition comparable to that accorded such well-known creative figures of the 1930's and 40's as Aaron Copland , Samuel
Barber, Roy Harri s, Walter Piston , and William Schuman.
However, if we look beyond the statistics of performances
and discover what is actlLally being composed, it becomes
evident, so far as concert hall performance is concerned, that
works of importance by a whole younger generation of
American composers are being systematically ignored by our
symphonic organization s. Thanks to the yeoman work of
various Foundations and allied groups, the situation is not
quite as bad in terms of recording.
But the fact remains that there exi sts at this very moment
a unique cri sis which , while not reflecting on the creative
ac t itself, can become extremely dangerous for the composer.
Willy-nilly, he is being slowly but surely separated fr om his
audience by an ever-widening gap that is by no means wholly
of his making. This in turn creates an impression among
knowled geable listeners that our composers are ignorin g and
falling behind many of the most stimulating present European trends ill creative music. To gain a clearer view of
this picture and its significance, let us set forth some basic
truths regarding the actual relationship between our music
and that of Europe, and in so doing give a brief summary
of our development in terms of musical composition.
ntil the end of World War One, American music may be
considered as having a strictly local character. The sole
exception seems to have been Charles Ives (1874-1954) , who
was pioneering in a sort of ivory tower and who was not
"di scovered" until almost twenty years after he had composed his finest works. His case, too well known to be discussed in detail here, does highlight in its own wa y a characteristic of our own time which can be summed up in the
form of a question: How would Ives have developed had the
opportunity of being a full time composer and hearing his
own works competently performed presented itself during
the years when he was at his creative peak (1910-20)?
It was in the 1920's that American music suddenly began
to achieve stature worthy of international consideration .
Chief among the composers who, by their individual qualities of creative invention and by their awareness of the most
vital new trends in Europe, contributed to this country's
attainment of status as a major musical nation were Roger
Sessions (1896- .... ) , Edgar Varese (1885- . . . . ) , Carl Ruggles (1876- . . .. ) , Wallingford Riegger (1885-.. .. ) , Aaron
Copland (1900-. . .. ) , Henry Cowell (1897- .... ), and Virgil
Thomson (1896- ... . ). Not the least interesting aspect of
these gad fl y-creators is the wide disparity of their childhood homes: Sessions (Boston); Varese (Paris- came to
the U. S. in 1916); Ruggles (Massachusetts); Riegger
(Georgia); Copland (Brooklyn); Cowell (California);
Thomson (Kansas City) .
.
As for the works produced by these men during their first
fine Bush of creation , we find Th e Black Maskers and First
32
U
Symphony by Sessions nOLable in their structural strength
and powerfully dissonant language. Though Ruggles and
Riegger developed along different lines, both dealt in the
tonal chromaticism first explored by Schoenberg in the first
decade of the century. French-born Varese and Brooklynborn Copland created immensely exciting abstract pieces
which could be called distin ctively American , for all their
lack of any specifically folklori stic element. Such obviou s
Americanism as is found in Copland's music of the 1920's
stems from Ius highly original " spatial" harmonic idiom,
his Stravinsky-like sharp sonorities, occasional use of jazz
flavoring (Musi c for the Theatr e ; Piano Con certo) , and the
general zestfulness of his musical language. In this music
Copland could be said to evoke the serious aspect of city
folklore in contrast to the lighter-veined expression of Gershwin. Varese, on the other hand, through his prophetic
explorations in the realms of sheer sonority and rhythm
could well be said to represent the audible eXllression of our
technological era and of the architectural grandeur of New
York. In truth, Varese's music could have been conceived
in no other city. To round out these various aspects of
musical creativity, Cowell and Thomson must be mentioned,
though their music is of considerably lighter substance than
that of their confreres. .one can scarcely equate Cowell's
piano tone clusters against the huge tonal structures encompassed by Varese!
So it is that for the first time in our history we find
American music keeping pace ,vith the European scene and
on both continents the 1920's manifest themselves in the muical arts as a decade of dazzling new ideas and works of
truly seminal importance for the years to come. Interestin gly enough, the modern composers of the Twenties, both in
America and in Europe, had ample chance to hear their
own works. Organizations like the International Composers' Guild and the League of Composers were operating at
peak power, with magnetic conducting personalities like
Stokowski in Philadelphia and Koussevitzky in Boston backing their efforts to the hilt.
With the 1930's we come to an era of reaction against
the vol canic eruption of new tonal languages and forms
of expression that characterized the preceding decade. The
. trend was worldwide in scope and in the totalitarian societies
of Germany and Russia it assumed an official character,
silencing in drastic fashion all tenden cies toward "modernist"
experimentation. Elsewhere the manifestations of this reaction were more varied and confusing. While Stravinsky,
Schoenberg, and Bartok continued along their uncompronlisingly individualistic paths, composers like Milhaud,
Honegger, and Hindenlith attempted to simplify their
musical idiom whilst preserving their essential originality.
During this same period, we find new composers coming
on the scene who, almost as a form of protest against
Stravinsky's classicism, sought to create newer means of
expression without going back to traditional formula s. The
young Igor Markevitch, Luigi Dallapiccola, Olivier Messiaen,
and Andre Jolivet were the chief heralds of new things to
come. In the field of contemporary music performance, the
radio studio now began to replace the concert hall throughout much of Europe.
The manifestation of this general trend in the U. S. A. took
on a yet different form. The genuinely original composers
of the 1920's found themselves for the most part being
forgotten, if one can say that their importance had ever
been fully realized except by a discerning few like critic
HIFI REVIEW
.
Roger Sessions
Edgar Varese
Wallingford Riegger
J
•
Paul Rosenfeld. Varese and Ruggles disa ppeared into a kind
of limbo; Sessions and Riegger were little heard. Onl y
Aaron Copland seemed to develop his style in accordance
with the prevailing trend so that he emerged as the most
consistently important of our composers durin.g this second
stage of musical growth in America. While adding a strong
folkloristic color to his creative palette and simplifying
certain other aspects of his musical expression, Copland still
retained in his work a characteristic harmonic and sonic
originality which made it impossible to confuse his scores
with those of any other composer of the day.
With the ascendance of Copland, there emerged during
the middle of the decade a number of new American com·
posers who at present seem to constitute, from the standpoint
of symphonic repertoire, the backbone of our concert music
up to the present day. A distinctive new folkloristic aspect,
reflecting the . vast ex panses of the West was introduced by
the music of Oklahoma-born Roy Harris (1898), whose
work has also suffered at times from lack of structural
cohesion. A further development of this trend appears in
the music of New Yorker, William Schuman (1910),
but he succeeded in giving a more sharply defined form plus
a strong dramatic forc e entirely his own . From New England
) who carried on a tradition
arose Walter Piston (1894of refined French symphonism, but powerfully organized
),
nonetheless. Then there was Samuel Barbel· (1910almost none of whose music has shown any distinctivel y
American traits; and whil~ he has leaned strongly toward
traditionalism complete with varied influences, he has also
proved to be one of Oill" truly superb musical craftsmen.
These are the composers whose music provided us at the
beginning of the 1940's with a full self-awareness of our
status as a sovereign musical nation.
This process was facilitated by the frequ ent performances
given the works of these composers by Koussevitzky and
others and by the beginning of substantial recording activity.
It was during the latter part of this era, on the eve of World
War II, that the names of David Diamond (1915), Paul
Creston (1906), and Leonard Bernstein (1918)
began to assume an aura of significance in the contemporary
American concert r epertoire.
But now we must t urn to consideration of certain crucial
aspects of the mu sical situation as it developed during and
just after the Second World War. The War years resulted
in almost total cultural isolation between the European
continent and America. The acknowledged European masters, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartok, Milhaud, and Hindemith, all took up residence on these shores and in the
subsequent course of their teaching and of performances
accorded their work, a whole younger generation of comMAY 1959
Carl Ruggles
Henry Cowell
posers came under their powerf ul influence. From 1945
on, it became clear that two main currents of compositional
style were taking shape among these young composers-a
neo-classic manner deriving from Stravinsky, Hindemith, and
Copland; and a 12-tone style r eflecting the teaching of
Schoenberg in California and certain of his disciples.
Though Bartok did no direct teaching of composition either
here or in his native Hungary, there were more than a few
American composers of the middle 1940's who became influ enced by his music as it became more and more widely
performed.
In Europe, the combination of wartime isolation, lack of
contemporary music performances, and the absence of these
all-powerful creative masters seemed to llave brought abou t
something like a destru ction of the neo-classic " tradition"
established during the 1920-40 era. True, Dallapiccola in
Italy, now in his middl e fifti es, has developed a distinctive
and mature 12-tone style; and Messiaen and J olivet in
France have gone tlleir special ways in working out rhythmic
and harmonic innovations. But the youngest generatiOll of
composers found themselves at the end of the War in a
complete stylistic ~'a cuum. For those who turned twenty-one
at the time of the liberation, tbe music of the "mainstream"
master s of the cent.ury had comparatively little significance.
The first really modern music to be experienced by this
youngest generation was that of Schoenberg, Berg, and
Webern-Viennese 12-tone wizards all. In a mat.ter of a
few years, 12-tone serialism became the order of the day for
growing composers throughout th e length and breadt.h of
Europe.
It was in 1948 that I came to this country to live, and
not. long after it became obviou s that what we had heard in
Europe as new American music was actually that of an older
generation. This music of Harris, B.arber, Pist.on, Schuman,
Creston, and even Copland sounded on the whole much too
conservative for contemporary-music-oriented European ears
in 1948. What I did find in this COlmtry after several
mont.hs of intensive ex ploration was something quite different
from what I had experienced in Europe. There were indeed
younger composers working in terms of the most advanced
musical techniques and compositional materials. However,
it was not the policy among the cultural powers that be to
display our avant garde works abroad. Serge Koussevitzky,
though, was still active as conductor of his great Boston
Symphony Orchestra and as founder of the Koussevitzky
Music Foundation. He could still indulge in programs of
American works in which the younger neo-classicists began
to take their place alongside of the accepted masters whom
Koussevitzky had introduced to the public in the 1930's.
Then ther e was Dimitri Mit.ropoulos who in Minneapolis
33
..
~I
Walter Piston
Roy Harris
Samuel Barber
William Schuman
and during his early years with the N. Y. Philharmonic took
up the battle on behalf of a broader public understanding
of 12·tone composers from Schoenberg and Berg to the
younger men working in that idiom. During the years just
after the War, the League of Composers and the I.S.C.M.
(International Society for Contemporary Music) were still
strong progressive forces. By 1952 it was apparent that we
did have among us some few composers who, in terms of
technical brilliance combined with creative power, could
stand up against the best of their European contemporaries.
Pride of place, in my opinion, belongs to Elliott Carter
who, though born in 1908, ' wa's late in gaining substantial
recognition. While the works he wrote during the late
Thirties and early Forties show some influences of Stravinsky
and neo·classicism, his Cell~ Sonata (1947) and his Minotaur
ballet (1948) represent a wholly individual and immensely
powerful musical speech. . Here we find the beginnings of
Carter's subsequent development of 'subtle polyrhythmic
patterns and a highly ·flexible use of variable metres; but
such intellectual refinements enhance rather than vitiate the
dramatic urgency of his music. A distinctive use of serial
tec!:mique becomes manifest in the String Quartet of 1952
and the Variations for Orchestra (1955), commissioned by
the ~oui sville Orchestra. Both are striking works of the most
impressive individuality and expressive power; and they may
well mark him ' as one of the most important composers
anywhere in the world today. Indeed there is good reason
to believe that certain novel technical elements in Carter's
Quartet may have provided stimulus for some of the develop·
ments carried forward most recently- by Pierre Boulez in
France and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne, Germany.
) is another major creative
Leon Kirchner (1919·
talent among the American composers who have come into
their own during the last decade. Combining the strong
expressive qualities of Bartok's music with the linear patterning of Berg and Schoenberg, together with metrical de·
vices of his own, Kirchner has arrived at an individual and
strongly urgent style of his own. The Piano Concerto,
Toccata for Orchestra, String Trio, and Quartet No. 2 are
among the most notable of his l:ecent works.
Other composers among the post-War generation who
must be taken account of are Ben Weber (1916.
), whose
12-tone work follows more traditional lines ; Milton Babbitt
(1916) whose works take the innovations of Webern as
a point of departure; George Rochberg (1918), an
orthodox 12-toner with unmistakable expressive gifts; and
finally Gunther Schuller (1925) who, apart from having
produced some very original concert works, has tried his
34
Aaron Copland
hand at combining 12-tone serialism and · jazz-Milton
Babbitt has also turned his hand to this.
A special word is in order at this point on behalf of Stefan
Wolpe (1902- . ) who, since his arrival in this counfry
from Germany twenty years ago, has become a singularly
powerful teacher-composer. His own compositions cover a
wide variety of forms and trace his development from a use
of , orthodox 12-tone technique ' in the 1930's ' to a highly
indiVIdualized counterpoint as applied t~ . ev'ery possible'
musical element. The trademarks of his style arise out of the
expressive strength of his musical ideas, together with a
structural design flexible enough to allow for soft and
angular contours by turn. As a teacher he has strongly
influenced some of the most gifted composers of the youngest
generation. Two whose naines have begun to come into
prominence are Ralph Shapey and Keith R4)binson.
The neo·classic side of the current American musical fence
has also brought forward some very valuable new work~.
Typical- among the most skillful composers in this vein is
Alexei HaiefI (1914) whose Piano Concerto, Ballet in E,
and Second Symphony can be counted among the best works
of their kind to be written in recent years. Lukas Fo~s
(1922) and Harold Shapero (1920) are two other
Americans of ne.o-classic persuasion who have made potable
contributions to the riches represented by today's Amefican
music. Arthur Berger (1912), until recently a dyed-in."
the-wool neo-classicist, most lately has followed the
'Stravinskian weather vane in a Webernian direction.
Above the hustle and b~stle of these two main "schools"
of present-day American composition still loom the giant
figures of the 20's and 30's. As a matter of fact, the renewed
post-War interest in avant-garde musical techniques has
brought with it a demand for rehearings and revaluation of
the music of those men who created such a stir i~ the 1920's
-Varese, Ruggles, Sessions, Riegger, and the early Copland.
Meanwhile, Copland today in his Piano Fantasy has adopted
certain aspects of serial technique and .has turned his back
on the more obvious elements of his folkloristic style of the
1930's. Sessions has completed a Third and Fourth symphony, as well as the beautifully expressive and inventive
Idyll of Theocritus for soprano and orchestra (a Louisville commission). Riegger's new Fourth Symphony is only the
latest in a remarkable series of scores to come from his
pen within the last half-dozen years; while Edgar Varese
after years of ' silence has come into his own both in Europe
and America, creating in his Deserts and Poeme Electronique ..
music of the most boldly advanced character, using both
conventional and electronic means of tone production with
HIFI REVIEW
I
I
the most exciting results yet achieved in this field. ,
I have avoided until now discussing the field of American
opera because here ,t he American composer is still far behind
his , European colleague. Except for' Gian-Carlo Menotti
), still an Italian citizen and thus a "special case,"
( 1911:
only two composers to my way of thinking have achieved total
mastery in the art of operatic composition. Hugo Weisgall
(1912' ), of Czech origin, has composed four operasThe Tenor, The Stronger, Six Characters in Search 0/ an
Author, and Purgatory. All except the full-length third of
the series are one-acters. Weisgall's a"r t impresses by its
powerful synthesis of musical structure and dramatic urgency.
The style is chromatically lyric with a very rich harmonic
texture, together with Stravinsky-like rhythmic ideas.
Norman DelIo .Toio is rhe other American operatic composer of distinction. Both in The Ruby and in The Trial at
Rouen, lyricism and dramatic strength join forces 'to create
a powerful artwork. While his musical materials are based
in tonality, Dello Joio makes use of a tightly knit harmonic
and contrapuntal texture, rich in the extreme.
Oddly enough, Weisgall and DelIo J oio have been almost
totally neglected by our professional opera institutions.
Broadcasting and the "workshops" have been the chief
sources for production of their stage works.
Despite the good, work of the recording companies-with
the help of support from the Koussevitzky, and Fromm
Foundations, the American Composers Alliance; and other
groups; despite the fact that Leonard Bernstein 'as conductor
of the N. Y. Philharmonic has embarked on a systematic
concert revival of the controversial works of the 1920's; the ,
fact still remains that one is hard put to find a single conductor of a . major American orchestra who has assimilated
the best of what our composers have created since the War.
There se'ems to be no willingness on the part of these
gentlemen of the baton to educate their audiences to what
is new in music by bringing the best of these new American
works into the repertoire, not just f~r a "first-~nd-last" p'~r­
formance, but for the kind of repeated hearings that makes
possible a stable evaluation based on reasonable familiarity.
Then there is that nagging question of the amount of
rehearsal time allowed new works scheduled for concert
premieres here in the U. S. A. Two r ehe~rsals constitute
par for the course with a new score; three amount to a minor
miracle. An orchestra of virtuoso geniuses cannot hope to
master a complex work like Elliott Carter's Orchestral Variations in this amount of rehearsal time. Thus are concert
audiences cut off from new music-however interesting and
meritorious! If a reason can be found why New York has
never heard the , remarkable Holidays Symphony of Charles
Ives in its entirety (though Minneapoiis did some five years
ago), here, in the rehearsal limitations, lies part of the
answer.
Europe today presents a quite different situation for the
comp'o ser working with the most advanced musical means,
thanks in large measure to state-subsidized broadcasting
establishments. There are conductors like Harts Rosbaud,
Hermann Scherchen, and Bruno Madern/1- for whom the
most advanced music of Schoenberg or Dallapiccola is as
Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to our American podium gentry.
Publishers and writers are fully up on what composers are
doing. When extra rehearsals are needed for a new difficult
work scheduled for European broad cast performance, ways
and means are usually at hand to provide them. The gifted
European composer need feel no limitation in terms of developing new techniques of musical expression. Such is not
the case in' this country for a composer who wants to be
widely performed. He had better be careful to see that his
new work can meet the two-rehearsal limit for adequate
performance-or else!
A situation of this kind can only be regarded ' with fear
and wonderment; for with such limitations tacitly imposed
on today's young American composers, we inay find them
resorting to three , possible courses of action: 1) resignation
to a limited standard of quality and daring when it comes
to large-scale orchestral composition ~ 2) composing directly
onto tape by electronic means, thus doing away with the need
for performers and rehearsals altogether; 3) resignation to
the Ivesian ivory tower, composing ,idealized tonal concepts
for the future with neither thought nor hope of hearing
the music in live performance.
It is up to the persons and organizations responsible, for
the channels of communication-concerts, broadcasting,
recording, publishing-between the composer and ' the listening public to make "sure that such a ' triple-threat does not
become an actual and dismal reality.
.. Abraham Skulsky came to these shores from his native Antwerp ,in 1948 and has been in the swim of contemporary music
activity ever since as critic, program annotator, and feature writer
--Musical America, ACA Bulletin, and others. He has been active
both as composer and violinist and is presently at work on a book
dealing lVith contemporary opera.
Leon Kirchner
Gunther Schuller
Hugo Weisgall ,:
"MAY 1:959
Elliott Carter
35
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Eastman Symphonic Wind En se mble, Fre d e rick Fennell condo Mercury MG 50084 $3 .98
PISTON: Symphony No.4; SCHUMAN: Symphony No.6. Phi ladelphia Orchestra, Euge ne Ormandy cond o Columbia ML 4992 $3 .98
PORTER: Qua rtet No.8 ; CARTER : 8 Etud es and a Fantasy. Stanley Q uartet; N.Y. Woodwind Quartet. Composers Re cordings 118
$5.95
R.UGGL.ES : Evoca t ion s; Lilacs; Port als; COWELL: Toccanta . John
Kirkpatrick (piano), Juillia rd Stri ng Orchestra, Helen Boatwright
(soprano), Frederick Prau snitz condo Columbia ML 4986 $3.98
condo Columbi a OSL 162 3 12" $14.92
SESSIONS: Th e Bla c k Maskers-Su ite ; HOVHANESS: Pre lud e a nd
Quadruple Fugu e ; LO PRESTI: Th e Masks . Eastman-Rochester Sym-
GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue; An Am erican in Paris; Piano Con-
phony Orchestra, Howa rd Hanson con d o Mercu ry MG 50 I 06 $3.98
(S essions available in ste reo tape)
c e~to ; 3 Preludes.
Morto n G ould Orchestra wi th Morto n G o uld
(plano & cond .) . RCA Victor LM 6033 2 12" $9.96
SESSIONS : Quartet No.2. New Music Quartet. Columbia ML 5105
GOEB: Symphony No.3;. WEBER: Symphony on Poems of William
$3 .98
Blake. Leopold Stokowski Orchest ra with Warren G al jour (ba ritone )
Compose rs Re cording s 120 $5.95
.
SHAPERO: Symphony fo r C la ssical Orch e stra. C o lumb ia Symphony
GO!TSCHALK: . The Banjo; March of th e Gibaros & other piano
mUSIC. Eug ene Li st. Vangua rd 485 $4.98
Orchest ra, Leo nard Bern stei n condo Columbia Ml 4889 $3 .98
THOMPSON: Th e Peace able Kingdom. St. J ose a C appella C hoir.
Mu sic Library 7065 $5
GOULD:
· BERNSTEINI t B II t Fall
Th River legend-Ball et,
. Facs "1
lml e- Ba Ieatre Orch estra, J oseph Levine cond o Capitol P 8320
THOMSON: Variat ions on Sunday School Tun e s; SESSIONS :
Chora le-Pre ludes. Marilyn Mason (organ) . Esoteric 522 $4.98
GOULD: ~pirituals for String Choir a nd Orch estra; GERSHWIN.
BENNETT. Porgy and Be ss-Symphonic Picture. Minneapolis Sym-
USSACHEVSKY: Pi ece for Tape Record e r ; LUENING·USSACHEV·
SKY: Poem in Cycl e s and Be lls; King Lea r-Su it e; BERGSMA: Th e
Fortunate Island s. Dani sh State Rad io Orchestra Members & Tape
$~:98 a e
phony Orchestra, Anta l Dorati condo Mercury MG 50016 $3.98
GRIFFES: Piano Sonata ; RUDHYAR: Gran it es' WEBER' Episod es,
~~ . 26a . William Ma sselos. MGM E 3556 $4.98
•
R.ecorder, Otto Luening , Vladimir Ussachevsky cond.: Rome St. C eo
CIlia Orchestra, Alfredo Anto nin i cond o Composers Recordings 112
$5.95
l lIF I R EVIEW
:.
STEREO via SONIC E VIRO
NT
A home-use report on the new JBL.Rallger METREGON stereo speaker system,
equipment/WARR EN DeMOTTE
N
OT every stereo enthusiast wants to Le an "experimenter"
in the field of speaker placement. The problem of fixin g the relationship between stereo speakers is not solved
merely by deciding upon the di stance one should be from the
other. In the normal use of two separate spea ker system s, the
trial and error method must be ernployed to obtain satisfa c·
lory results.
For some situations, stereo speaker s have been designed
that offer the maximum in flexibility'-x, Other systems pro·
pose possible alternatives *.::. which are more effective in other
situations and work out very well in certain livin g rooms.
But regardless of the extra fl ex ibility. the end result could
never be predicted.
The James B. Lansin g designers of th e PARAGO 1 and
METREGON have so ught to overcome all of the difficulties
usually encountered in the selection and placement of stereo
speakers by creating a stereo speaker system with a built·in
"sonic environment." By combining direct s peaker radiation
• See "Stereo-With a Speaker and a Half," November 1958, p . 39.
• • ce " They Aim [or Stereo, " J anuary J 959, p. 39.
with a carefull y calculated amount of reflected sound, they
have achieved a mean s of producing optimum stereo sound
from speakers in a fix ed relation ship-with excellent stereo
spread , depth , and directionality.
In the very natlUe of the matter, such speaker systems
mu st be large. The PARAGON measures no less than 106
inches in length and 24% in ches in depth. Its new little
broth er, the METREGON, is 30 in ches tall, which is ordinary
table height, extends only 22V2 inches in depth and is just
under 74· in ches in length. These are impressive figures, but
in view of the fun ction s the unit performs, they are an ass ur·
ance that every square and cubic inch of the METREGON
has its purpose.
The graceful, cur ved panel between the two louvered
grilles on the METREGON acts as a sound wave reflector. Its
purpose is to diffuse and integrate the sound waves radiated
by the two speaker systems mounted behind the grilles. Be·
hind the curved panel is a huge padded cavity, divided by a
rigid separator, which contains the two speaker systems. Each
of these twin enclosures, with its ducted port, enables its own
speaker system to operate at maximum efficiency.
TWO SPEAKER SYSTEMS are behilld the louvered grilles-one right (visible), aile left
(hiddell). The high frequencies makillg up the
directional component are radially dispersed
by the huge cllr ved lamin.ated panel.
MAY
1959
37
CAVITY
DI30A
SPEAKER
< 600 CYCLES
REFLEX
DUCTED-PORT
TOP VIEW SHOWING HORN MOUNTING
PADDING
PANEL HELD BY SCREWS
Our particular METREGON employed th e Model l30A
IS-inch bass drivers, working in conjunction with the new
JBL Model 275 high frequency drivers and HS040 exponen- '
tial horns. The crossover point between the bass drivers and
the high frequency drivers is established at 600 cycles.
While this is the optimum speaker system recommended for
use with the METREGON, other James B. Lansing speakers
and horns may b e employed with very good r esults. In fa ct,
the manufacturer indicates that the METREGON system can
be built up, starting with two 0130 full-range speaker s.
Producing and distributing stereo sound through the "sonic
environment" method-partly direct and partly reflected-is
exceptionally effective in avoiding the " hole-in-the-middle"
shortcoming that plagues many stereo systems. The wellbalanced diffusion of sound from the two speaker systems
blends the two stereo signals into a solid so und wall, while
the direct-reflection principle maintains directionality without
se parating the points of so und-origin from the main hody of
so und. This provides the type of listening yo u would customarily expect to find in the concert hall, where 'primary
directionality is from the stage, with the sound enveloping
the listener rather than engaging him in a species of musical
ping-pong.
While there is effective pinpointing of in st~' umepts within
th e METREGON'S deep wall of ~o und , such pinpointing does
not become an end in itself. In our tests, we fouild that this
balance between fusion and pinpointing permitted an easier,
more relaxing r elationship between the music and the listener, in effect making the listening area more spacious and
less criti cal.
~
When driven by a monophonic signal, the METREGON
deserves the appellation of "sensational." The so und seems
to unfold and, oddly enough, take on much of the spatiality
of stereo, frequ ently to a degree wherein it is hardly distinguishable from two-channel stereo.
The METREGON is also an extremely effi cient .system.
Only a very small fraction of th e rated output of th e average
stereo amplifier is utilized in normal operation. Hence, th e
results are almost identical r egardless of whether it is drive n
by a 12 or SO-watt amplifier.
The character of the so und produced by th e METREGON
-stereo or mono-is bright, crisp and clear. Thert; is an
absence of the "cavern effect" noted in some bass r efl ex and
38
REM OVI NG BA C K PANEL reveals one of th e ducted-port
bass reflex enclosures in th e METREGON. A similar
cavity and speaker system comprise th e other half. New
model 275 Jam es B. Lansing dri ver feeds every thing
above 600 cycles through a right-angle hom. Crossover
network on back pallel also has switch to attenuate level
. oj th e 275 dri ver.
exponential horn systems. Transien t response is ver y good
and th e over-all bass reproduction is firm , with no sign of
mushin ess. Instruments are sharply delineated and s peech
is natural and free from sibilance.
In their pursuit of the ideal in an integr ated stereo sp ~a ker
system, th e JBL designers of th e METREGON have achieved
considerable su-ccess. They had the option of strivin g for the
maximum so und separation possible with a given physical
dist!lnce . between speaker s. However, their decision was
rather in favor of a maximum so und spread co upled with
center fill growing out of the original speaker s in a natural
fusion , an acoustic principle the compan y terms "radial
r efraction. "
Ther e is an integrity in this concept that is r efreshing to
the serious audiophile who looks for quality before all else.
Here, quality has been maintained as well as conditions met.
The METREGON is an easy ster eo speaker system to live
with and enjoy. And, given adequate wall space, its handsome,
beautifully crafted ca binetry is indeed a decorator's delight.
- Warren DeMotte
IN HEIGHT and depth- L ength speaks for itsel/the METREGON measures a little less than an average floor-standing system with identical speakers.
HIFI REVIEW
THE PRIMAL ELOQUENCE OF PABLO CASALS
feature review/DAVID
HALL
• BACH: 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello-No. I in G Maior;
No.2 in D Minor; No.3 in C Major; No.4 in E-f1at; No.5 in C
Minor; No.6 in D Malor. Pablo Ca sa ls. Angel COLH 16/18 $5.98
each
•
DVORAK: Cello Cohcerto in B Minor, Op. 104. Pablo Casals
with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg e Szell condo Angel
COlH 30 $5.98
Musical Interest : Dvorak-for everyone
Bach-for Bachians & Casalsidolators
Performance : Unique and irreplaceable
Recording: Pre-LP best
/
If the more than three dozen Columbia LPs issued from the
festivals at Perpignan, Prades, and Puerto Rico can be called
the artistic testament of Pablo Casals the complete musician,
it IS these four remarkable Angel reissues which reveal the
essence of Casals the supreme artist of the violoncello. '
The great Catalan had just passed his 60th birthday when
he began this series of recordings by committing to disc in
London the Second and Third of the Bach Solo Suites. That
was on November 23, 1936. Casals' native country was already
torn by civil war and Franco was besieging Madrid. April of
the following year found Casals in Prague recording the
Dvorak Concerto with George Szell and the Czech Philharmonic. The remaining four Bach suites were recorded in Paris
-in June of 1938 and in June of 1939. By the time the last
ses~ions were done, Franco'~ German "technicians" and Italian "volunteers" had staged their victory parade through the
ruins of Madrid. If one senses an almost demonic intensity of
phrasing in these recorded performances there is ,a mple
l'eason for it.
Unlike the Prades and Perpignan discs, some of which seem
to have been recorded under makeshift conditions, the originals of these Angel LPs were done in the Imost ideal recording studio environment. They sounded that way when first
issued in 78 rpm format. Thanks to the loving care with which
Angel's Paris engineers have accomplished the transfer to LP,
they still sound that way. Despite the lack of overtones that
characterize today's, hi-fi reproduction, it is astounding how
much of the presence of the man and his instrument has been
preserved. So much the better that Casals should have been
at the peak of his artistic and technical powers.
The Casals version of Dvorak's lush Cello Concerto still
remains unique in its dramatic intensity, its lyrical fervor,
and in utter perfection of orchestral collaboration. This is not
only one of the greatest of all Casals recordings, it is very
possibly the finest work ever done on discs by the Czech Philharmonic and by George Szell. Hearing the initial cello entry
on the Angel disc still carries with it the overwhelming impact that it did back in 1938 when I heard the RCA Victor
78's for the first time. Of the more than half-dozen "modern"
recordings of the music, that by the extraordinary Janos
Starker (available on Angel stereo and "mono") represents
the most formidable solo competition; but there is no George
Szell and the Czech Philharmonic on hand to provide an
orchestral backdrop of comparable excitement and color:
It is young Starker who also provides (on Period 542 and
583) the most interesting point of comparative reference to
Casals in the Bach solo suites. These works offer neither the '
weight nor the complexity of the Leipzig master's stupendous
solo violin sonatas and partitas; but there are some lovely
MAY 1959
PABLO CASAlS was just past 60
when he began the recordings newly
re-issued by Angel.
individual movements scattered throughout the entire set.
My own personal preferences are for the grave No. 5 in C
Minor and the exuberantly virtuosic No. 6 ,in D Major (this
last was written in actuality for the higher:pitched viola pomposa, so that anyone playing the music on the solo cello has
to spend a lot of time skating on thin ice in the upper register) . Casals himself introduced these six suites into the active
repertoire back in 1908, creating a sensation 'at the time; for
only he among the cellists of that day had developed an agile
enough bowing and fingering technique to make such unaccompanied music j)alatable to the ear.
In general Starker tends toward faster tempi and a somewhat
lighter tone. Where Starker is elegant, Casal's is earthy. It is
. the synthesis of weight, line, and tension that appears to be
the secret ofthe Catalan's unique artistry. Indeed, this type of
artistry seems to have disappeared almost completely among
the younger artists of our own time. They are more preoccupied with agility and perfection for their own sake.
Be this as it may, Casals' "weighting" of a phrase seems to
stem from an essentially organic conception-that the principle of inherent vitality in the psycho-biological sense shall
have priority over mere musicological considerations, and on
occasions even over the letter of the score. How else explain
the daring freedom of Casals' phrasing? At the hands of any
lesser master, it would sound downright eccentric. Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (one year Casals' junior) is the
one other major artist of our time who successfully exhibits
a similar daring. Others, like pianist Artur Rubinstein and
conductor Wilhelm Furtwiingler, have carried off the trick
from time to time. It will be interesting to see whether the '
art of truly organic musical phrasing will come into its own
again. What a welcome relief that would be from the merely
efficiently l'!lusicological or virtuosic! Cellist Janos Starker
together with pianists Glenn Gould and Van Cliburn ,are
some of the yo ung artists ' to watch.
, While these four Angel discs represent the very cream of
the Casals recorded performances of the pre-microgroove era
-particularly as , an ideal comQination of interpretation and
sonics-we hope that there will be more re-issues forthcoming, in particular the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas.
-David Hall
39
Letters of Mark
fiction/WARREN De MOTTE
Em'ollte to Paris
May 8,1958
Dear Mabel:
Would you believe it- I'm on my way to Europe! Mr.
Hemmlein's secretary eloped and he chose me to make the
trip with him. He's our new A & R man at Syncratic Records.
His full name is Otto Royce Hemmlein.
A & R stands for Artists and Repertory. They decide what
music the company should record and the artists who will
perform them. In some companies, the A & R man doesn't
do all the deciding; for sometimes the boss's wife butts in
and then the A & R man has trouble and maybe finds himself
out of a job.
At Syncratic, Mr. Hemmlein does the deciding. He's a
genius and the bosses know it. He is going to Europe to
record Syn.'s winter releases. Someone told him about a
young pianist who Mr. Hemmlein's going to make into an·
other Horowitz or Rubinstein. This pianist is a young fellow
from one of those Iron Curtain countries and he escaped
not so long ago. We're going to meet him in Zimmer·amAmster, a little town near where Mr. H . was born.
Mr. H. wants to record him there because he doesn't want
the other record companies to find out how this fellow plays
or what he's going to record for us. Mr. H. doesn' t want
the other companies to discover his recording secrets. He
has his own way of recording so it sounds better than anybody else's. He doesn't want our competitors to know how
he does it and I'm not supposed to tell anybody. He won't
even tell me the pianist's name.
We're going to stay in Paris two or three days while our
tape recording equipment goes on ahead to Zimmer-amAmster. Then we'll drive out and get to work. Mr. H. is
real energetic. He can work right through a whole week
with hardly any sleep or time off for eating or anything. He's
awfully hand some, a real dreamboat, about 6 foot one with
wavy hair. I wonder if he's married. He never talks about
personal matters; he's all business. He's very dynamic, knows
just what he wants and makes sure he gets it.
I'll tell yo u all about everything when I have a few free
moments.
Remember me to the gang.
Au revoir,
Allison
Dear Mabel:
" IT SOU NDED HIG H AN D BRI LLIANT and Otto's eyes started to
gleam. H e lVas excited."
40
Zillllllel'-am-Amstel'
May 14, 1958
This town is just like a postcard. There's the river down
below, and bea utiful fields and mountains right in back of
us. We have all our tape equipment in a lovely old building
they call a schloss-that means castle-it's small but very
old and has a very large room that Otto (Mr. Hemmlein)
uses as a recordin g studio. It's filled with microphones and
two big tape recorder s and two tremendous grand pianos.
The rooms in the schloss don' t have the conveniences of
home, but they are very clea n. Otto's room is across the hall,
I1IFI REvmw
•
next to Howard Wemley's-he's the pi ano tuner and more
or less Otto's assistant- he's a mousey sort of fellow.
Next to Mr. Wemley's room is Shibi Ornuld's r oom. Tha t's
the name of that pianist I was tellin g yo u about. Otto says
he will be a sensation.
We go t to work as soon as we unpacked our clothes. The
first thing, Mr . Wemley tuned the pianos. There are th ese
two big grands plus a small upri ght. The upright won't be
used for recording. It's just for reference and M r. Wemley
tuned it first. Otto told him how he wanted it tuned, exac tly
to 44,0 A. That's the standard pitch that practicall y &.11 pianos
and oth er instruments are tun ed to for concert purposes. It
mean s ,hat the middle A on the piano vibrates 440 limes or
cycle~ per ,econd when it is stru ck. Gee, isn't science wonderful!
Otto then told Mr. Wemley to tune one of thp. grand s with
the A at 350 cycles. Mr. W. said he had never heal:d a piano
tuned so low, but Otto told him to go ahead. If you ever
heard Otto give an order , yo u know that Mr. W. went ri ght
to work and tuned it just as OUo wanted. Otherwise, there
would have been fireworks a nd Mrs. Wemley's husband would
have been out of a job.
When Mr. W. fini shed tunin g thjs piano, Otto had Shibi
play some scales first on the upri ght and then on the grand.
They sure sounded different. The grand so unded so dee p
that Shibi Ornuld said it was hard to get used to playing it.
Then Otto told Wemley to tune the other grand , only he
wanted it tuned very high, about 550 cycles for the A. Mr.
w. said the strings migl1t not take it, but Otto told him to
go right ahead. Mr. W. wasn't ha ppy about it but he co uldn' t
ar gue with Otto. H e tuned it hi gh. A few strin gs snapped
but he replaced them.
Otto told Shibi to play something. It so unded high and
brilliant and Otto's eyes started to gleam. H e was excited.
You could see he had somethin g important in mind. I wouldn' t
want to get into an argument with him when he looks like
that. Of course, I wouldn't get into an argument with him
about anythin g.
Anyhow, they set the mikes around the pianos and sta r ted
up the tape machines. It took more than an hour to set the
mikes to Otto's satisfa ction . They'd set one and play a few
notes on the piano and then they'd play them back on the
ta pe machine and OUo would move the mike a nother inch or
so. He's so particular; everythin g must be just right.
After the longest time, Otto finally said , "I've go t it," a nd
I kn ew we were ready. I was almost dying with excitement.
Otto then told Shibi to play a scale on the low-tuned pian o
as fast as he could. Ornuld's fin gers ran up and down the
keyboard and I thought it was very fast, but Otto said ,
"You 're slow, boy." H e was smiling when he said it so I
wasn't sure he r eall y meant it was slow.
Next he told Shibi to play the same scale slowly on the
high piano, but play it legato . That means the notes are ti ed
together so they won' t sound choppy. Ornuld played th e
sa me thing on the high-pitched piano that he played on th e
low one, but it certainly sounded different. When he fini shed,
Otto patted him on the shoulder and told him , " We'Jj slow
yo u down , boy ; don't you worry."
Shibi looked confused. You could see he did not und erstand. Neither did I. But Otto pl ayed back the tape of the
two scales that Shibi had just played. They sound ed fin e,
j li st 1ike the or iginals.
C tto fiddled with the knobs and lever s on the tape machin e o • They are special mach.ines. with a lot of sec ret
MAY 1959
fe atures tha t Otto had built into them. When he finished
adjusting the machines, he told us to listen carefully while
he played back both of the scales.
Suddenly the music started and Ma bel , I swear you never
heard such a brilliant scale in your whole life. It was as fast
as lightning, ye t ever y note was just so, clean as could be.
Then the slow scale started, and Mabel, it was slower than
slow. You'd swear no pianist co uld play that slow and still
have one note tied to the other.
Then I realized the pitch of both scales was the same !
What I mean is origin~lly, the slow scale had sounded much
higher than the fast one. Now both scales sounded alike.
Mr. Wemley yelled that OUo had done it, but Shibi Ornuld
just sat there. He was flabb ergasted.
Well, there we had it. An example of pure geniu s by the
greatest A & R man in the :msiness. Was I ever proud!
None of this fazed Ouo. H e got ri ght down to business.
He and Mr. W. loa ded the tape machines with fr esh tape
and then Otto told Shibi to sit down at the low piano and
start playin g the H ammerklavier Sonata by Beethoven. Just
like that! Mabel, that Hamm erklavier Sonata is about 45
minutes long and it's ever so hard to play. But there you are.
The first recor ding Shibi Ornuld is makin g for Syn. R ecords
and it's no less than the H . Sonata.
What a day ! Ornuld played the Sonata through on the
low piano, stopping ever y time he hit a clinker and playin g
that part over. They patch up the bad spots easily on ta pe.
Then Otto made him play sections at a time, first at one
speed, then at another.
Got to close now. I'm bu shed. Write yo u tomorrow.
Love,
Allison
Zinuuc.·-aUI-Auls tC.·
May 16, 1958
D c a.· Mabcl:
We didn't finish recor din g the H. Sonata yesterday. OrnuJd
was too tired after about 6 hours of steady playing. After 4
hours at the low-pitched piano, he had to do it all over again
on the high-pitched piano. No wonder he was pooped. We
all were, except Otto. He's nuide of steel, I think . He wasn' t
at all tired, just pepped up.
Today, they worked hour on hour, and believe me, it is
work. At about 3 P .M., Otto said that was it. Shibi went out
and Otto and Mr. W . made safety copies of ever ythin g they
ha d taped and then Otto set to work editing one complete
performance of the Hamm erklavier. He shooed us all out of
the schloss, tellin g us to go into the village and see a movie
or somethin g, just so long as we didn' t return until about
10 o'clock. Otto likes to do his editin g alone.
Just before we went out, I was alone with Otto for a few
minutes and I asked him what he thou ght of Shibi 's playing.
" It stinks !" he said. " But th at doesn't matter. When I
get through with th ese tapes, yo u'll hear the best performance of the Hammerkla·vier Sonata anybody ever heard. This
kid can't play for beans, but when we fini sh the record , the
critics'll turn handsprings and hail him as a H or owitz, Rubinstein and Rachmaninoff rolled into one."
In the village, Shibi, Mr. W. and I wandered around a
while and then dropped into an inn for dinner and a co uple
of beers. I'll tell you all about that some other tim e. Ri ght
(Continued on page 50)
41
HAVE
PIPE
ORGAN,
CAN'T MOVE
Wurlitzer vs. Baroque
history/ROBERT HAZELLEAF
Part IT o.f Two. Parts
HO is responsible for the sound of an organ? That is
where the artisan leaves off and the artist begins.
Each manufacturer employs a tonal designer. He is '
responsible for layout of the pipe blueprints for a specific
installation and the ultimate quality. A good man is as
jealously guarded as a Milwaukee brewmaster.
When pipes are made, using methods little changed in a
millenium, they are given to a voicer. He does the finish
tuning along with bringing out the exact tonal nuances desired: keen string, soft string, strident reed or plaintive oboe.
On flute pipes, the voicer will gently notch the languid,
lovingly benq the metal here and there; on reeds he will
burnish and curve the reed . itself, performing other operations known only to him. He must match tone quality in sets
going up to 96 pipes, l!long with volume of sound. The
delicate shading's brought by partials or over tones must be
balanced.
.
When the voicer is done, the completed instrument is set
up on the builder's floor for a complete checkout. The man
responsible is,a finisher, who must meld the instrument into
a cohesive, pleasing blend of sound. W. H. Barnes, in his
book, The Contemporary American Organ, says that finishers
are a temperamental lot. They are sometimes lovers of the
fermented grape, and not without reason-theirs is a tremendously nerve·wracking job. Barnes goes on to say that
more than once ...an o;gan.builder has had to hunt for his
finisher, then dry him out before he could be put to work.
WheI1 his job is done, all circuitry checked, and the organ
given a complete run-through, it is taken down and shipped
to the buyer. It will weigh many tons, made as it is from
5,000 pipes or more if a large church or auditorium instrument. Each pipe must be carefully guarded against dents or
other damage. Any slight mar or blemish can frequently
change the delicate tonal balance.
On church instruments especially, there is the additional
task of designing a suitable case. Some of these are great
works of art, serving to set off large speaking pipes at the
front of the organ. Heavy tomes have been written about
casework alone, delving into acoustics as well as looks.
W
42
HIFI REVIEW
,EarLy in the 18th century, the romantic outlook first began
to make itself felt in the arts. The pipe organ was not immune
to die, movement. Composers from Mozart onward began to
t~at themselves from classic form. Gradually, the organs
became partners in this movement with the addition of purely
orc_hestral-imitative voices-much to the chagrin of the classicists. It became during the next century a period of high~
voltage dissension among composers and keyboard artists
alike. The outcome was the ascendency of the romantic
"orchestral oriented" organ_ Previously the organ had
-been limited almost exclusively to the music for oratorios.
Recitals were compounded of this music. Exemplifying a
dogma still very much in existence, organists said, "Nothing
should be played on the pipe organ that is not expressly
written for that instrument. Down with transcriptions of
symphonic themes, operatic works, and especially music
composed for piano!"
In reaIlty, the classic group may have had little room to
quibble. They might have remembered that it was a long
time after the invention of the organ before the church accepted it. There was plenty of dissension too, because early
in their history the first water organs had been employed
in the Roman amphitheaters to accompany the gladiators'and the throwing of Christians to the lions. The organ was
Uttle more than a calliope-type noise box then, but in Nero's
time the pulific taste in entertainment was also crude.
, These mt dern instruments incorporate many voices originated by the romanticists, though opinion is still sharply
divided. We've mentioned the theater organ (Part I, p. 41,
HIFI REVIEW, March '59), but what makes it different from
any other instrument? Many details, all of them roundly
cursed by classicists.
In a book published in 1934 in England, A. C. Delacourt
de Brisay says: " . . . that it should ever pass under the term
of organ is, I repeat, to travesty and degrade a name which
five centuries and more of sanctified effort have made hallowed in the annals of music. Those who wish to go to a
musical perdition should do so to the tune of an instrument
bearing a name other than that of organ; or be made conscious of the sin of sacrilege." Opinionated, isn't he? That
general thought was and is shared by organ builders aI)d
musicians. It will never be decided who is right, of course.
Some people like green olives, others prefer ripe.
Blame or credit for the theater type instrument most certainly' goes, in large measure, to Robert Hope-Jones. He was
'; n Englishman who was both electrical engineer and organ
,builder. As a businessman, he was destitute much of the
' ROBERT HOPE-JONES- "
created the high-powered
orchestral organ.
MAY 1959
ti!lle. his association with organ companies here and abroad
was marked by a trail of financial losses, lawsuits, firings and'
hirings, and finally his suicide. His genius, however, has its
monument in thousands of pipe organs,
In an early demonstration of his newly designed electropneumatic action, about 1886, he played on a console among
the tombstones in a churchyard. The organ and audience
were inside the church. Hope-Jones had a decided flair for
the dramatic.
He designed many new kinds of pipes, among them tibia
clausa, "sobbing flute," and kinura, both dear to the hearts of
theater organists. He also used leathered lips on s.ome
voices to accommodate the great increase in wind pressure
he pioneered.
The old Wurlitzers bear the legend on the nameplate:
"Wurlitzer Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra." The ' idea was to
make an organ that would provide an orchestra at the fingers
and feet of the organist. "Unifying" meant the borrowing of
pipes from one set to ' combine with others, thus making
"new sounds" as well as duplicating single voices of the classic organ. Hope-Jones went a step further with coupling,
making it possible for the artist to use practically any stop
set-up on any man~al, from top to pedals.
The result was to give the theater organ, even one of two
manuals and eight or ' 10 ranks of pipes, the sound and
versatility of a much larger instrument. And don't you dare
mention a fully unified organ to builders of classic organs.
There are instances, for economy's sake, wheJ:e churches buy
partially unified instruments, but some builders fight them
every inch of the way. The electrical work added on a unified
organ is more than offset by the saving in pipework.
Some of Hope-Jones non-controversial ideas are used today
on classic organs. The electric action, a swell shutter he invented, and a few other brain-children have proved a boon
to overworked organists.
For theater music, you've got to have traps. Any percussion gimmick that can be actuated by striking with a blunt
object or · blown is fair game: chimes, bells, pianos, dru!lls,
ll)arimbas, vibraharps, sleigh bells, train whistle, Klaxon
horn, you name it. The theater man in the silent movie days
handled sound effects as well as mood music.
The semi-circular arrangement of stop tablets at the console is a strictly theater organ innovation. It's an efficient
arrangement for the artist who had to keep one eye on the
screen and one on the music, if any.
There are ;"escendo pedals and sforzando pedals. Some'times found on church organs, the former, when depressed,
gradually bring more pipes into play to increase volume and
effect. The sforzando ped'a l does the same thing-not gradually, but right now.
Another cute trick is "second touch." Certain stops are
designed as such. The organist plays with normal finger
pressure until he needs to bring different voices into play.
Depressed beyond the first set of keycsprings, the keys drop
down, engaging' whatever is set up on. seco~d-touch stops.
Be~ides ' all this, there ·are combination pistons, used on
practically all typ-es of larger organs today. The artist selects
the stops desired for a passage, then punches the piston located u~der the ~roper manual or above the pedals. This he
may do' for each "change until he runs out of piston? The
' little gadgets, when pressed again, cancel previous s'e ttings
and engage the new: voices immediately. Occasionally, the
pffut-pffut can be heard on a hi-fi theater organ recording as
piston changes are made. Some recording companies ask the
43
artist to set the stops manually, pausing in the session. The
gap is lated edited out.
An outstanding difference between church and theater organs is in wind pressure. Classic organs do very well on from
2% to 7% inches of pressure on a water gauge. On a theater
monster that wouldn't make a peep. They usually start at
7% inches, running as high as 25 on some of the really big
ones. Hope-Jones designed an organ at Ocean Grove, New
Jersey, on 50 inches of wind for the large pipes, which were
bolted down to keep them in the loft.
Early builders experimented with attaining a tremolo effect for certain vox humana stops, then carried the idea to
the whole organ. They tried fan-type beaters to disrupt the
air flow; tuning pipes slightly off-pitch; and weighted bellows
into which the main air supply for a wind chest was diverted.
This, too, was a bone of contention among the classicists.
They wanted nothing to do with such schemes. The theater
organ took the weighted bellows to its bosom. It "shakes" the
wind supply, and when two or more are used together, gives
us the lush sound found only on the picture house giants.
The theater organist of the silent film era was a busy fellow.
Sometimes he would have the advantage of a prior runthrough of the filmed feature, but frequently he saw the pictnre for the first time in a crowded theater. Cue sheets were
furnished, but more often than not the organist was flying
blind, ready to improvise a passage for a scene or call on his
memory for Hearts and Flowers.
Bob Mitchell, of boys' choir fame, says many of the early
theater men didn't read music at all. The trick was to rush
downtown to hear Jesse Crawford or another top artist play
a matinee so they could use the same new material on their
evening programs. This silent film tradition was responsible
for the flamboyant, colorful sound we hear today when the
"old pros'" take a turn at the console in a recording session.
churches. Among these were Skinner, Kilgen, Moller. Austin, Marr & Colton, to name a few. Their combined output
in' the motion-pictuTe field probably totaled far less than
either Morton, with about 1800 installations, and Wurlitzer,
with about 2500. Theater chains ordered from the latter
firms not only by model number, but by the dozen!
Then came the debacle. When "talkies" made their appearance, it was as though someone had turned the blowers off of
nearly every theater organ in the country. "Why," said
theater owners, "pay good money for music when it's already
on the film?" Partly due to maintenance costs, most theaters
merely let their organs wear out, after using them only for
pre-program and intermission music. The records being
made today depend on the Hub Rink in Chicago, the Paramount Theater in New York, Radio City Music Hall, the
Byrd Theater and Mosque Auditorium in Richmond, Virginia, to name a handful.
Much of the credit for today's fine recordings belongs to
individuals who have had theater organs dismantled for installation in their homes or studios. A goodly number of these
individuals belong to the nation-wide American Association
of Theater Organ Enthusiasts or the Los Angeles Theater
Organ Club. The AATOE is composed of some 750 members
-organists, music lovers and technicians. The Los Angeles
group embraces about 300 paid-up members drawn from the
same cross-section.
Whenever a theater organ is about to be torn out, club
members hear the cry on their private frequency and immediately try to find someone to save it. They have been
successful. George Wright uses an organ from the Paradise
Theater, Chicago, owned by Richard Vaughn of Los Angeles,
who, incidentally, is the mentor of HiFi Records. Wright,
Gordon Kibbee (Omegatape), Don Baker (Capitol) and
others have used a 4-manual Morton from a Redwood City,
California, theater now owned by Lorin Whitney Studios in
Glendale. Other organs are spotted across the country, making music instead of food for mice.
Now, how about the music itself? Never did a devotee of
either theater "pops" or classical music have such a wide
field to choose from. Take a more-than-passing glance at the
organ selections available in any large record shop. You
will see over two hundred good LPs waiting to be placed
on your turntable. Along with the theater organs, there are
scores of excellent· classics made on some of the finest instruments in the world. As this issue goes to press, over fifty
theater organ stereo discs are on the market, as well as a
substantial number of classic organ recordings in the new
medium.
The labels on the latter read like an itinerary for a trip
around the world. Organs in France, England, Hollll'nd,
Germany, and stops in between are represented. AeolianSkinner Organ Company has a series of fourteen records
entitled "King of Instruments," made on their installations
across the country from San Francisco to New York, and
available on the Washington label.
Stereo fans should come into their own in the near futnre.
With an eye to the future, several companies recorded on
stereo tape, "just in case." Undoubtedly, many of these releases will be put out on stereophonic discs, as well as tape.
Maybe you haven't gone in much for classical organ music.
Now you can break in gently, starting with lighter works and
developing a taste for the more aesthetically advanced compositions. Admitt'1dly, some music requires getting used to,
but so does a taste for rocquefort!
- Robert Hazelleaf
o
I
F you're looking for someone to build a theater organ, give
it up. The two largest builders have long since given
up the ghost. Wurlitzer closed its pipe organ department
in the early '40s. One of the last of the Wurlitzers made
virtually the last boat to England in the early days of World
War II. Another grand old name, Robert Morton, is heard no
more. From something like 6,000 theater instruments that
graced the silent movie houses during the palmy days, the
number has dwindled to little more than a score of first
class instruments in regular use across the country.
Some traditional organ manufacturers strayed into the
theater field, but their primary customers have always been
E. POWER BIGGS-
spearheads revival of
the classic instrument.
44
MA.IL - CA.LL
FOR STEREO
New features and circuits in "mail-order" stereo tuners
equipment/HANS H. FANTEL
T
HIS is an article about three stereo AM/ FM tuners. The
one thing that they 118ve in common is that they are all
"house hrands" distributed by mail-order firms with the aid
of catalogs. One of them is available only as a kit (Heathkit
PT·l ), another as a pre-wired, preassembled model (Allied
Radio "Knight KN-120"), while the last is offered both ways
- kit or pre-assembled (Lafayette KT-500 or LT-50) :Y..
Combining two separate tuners on one chassis-one for
* Both Allied Radio and Lafayette also sell virtually every brand of cuslommade stereo tuner- in addition to their exclusive hOllse brands.
AM, the other for FM-is by far the most convenient and economical way to receive stereophonic AM/FM broadcasts. Now
that a wide repertoire of stereo recordin gs is coming into
existence, numerous good music stations in the major metropolitan areas are devoting increased time to such broadcasts.
The self-contained stereo tuner obviates the cost and complexity of separate AM and FM tuners. Unlike conventional
AM/ FM tuners, they permit separate tuning of each section
and provid e separate signal outputs for AM and FM. This
allows the audiophile with stereo equipment to receive simul-
HOW THEY STACK UP-three house-brand mail-order stereo tuners pictured here represent un.ique dol-
lar values. Heathkit (top), Lafayette (center) alld Knight (boltom) are similar in physical size. Each
tUller has a ferrite rod antenna for built-in AM reception. On the Lafayette and Knight it overhangs
the chassis but, on the H eath, is located on top of th e chassis deck. The Knight ferrite rod may be
swiveled to secure maximum AM signal pickup-a good idea accordil/.g to our tests. Heath is only tuner
that is fus ed for maxim um circuit protection. Lafayette has tlVO accessory a.c. sockets COl/.trolled from
front panel-along with level adjustments of AM and FM output.
45
Make & Model
Heathkit
PT-1
Knight
KN-120
Lafayette
KT-500 (kjt)
LT-50 (pre-assembled)
taneously the AM signal through one channel and the FM
signal through the other channel.
Stereo by radio ~as actually the first two-channel sound
ever reproduced in the home_ Years -before stereo discs and
tapes made two-channel reproduction the modern norm,
enterprising broadcasters were already linking AM and FM
transmitters for what was then called "binaural" transmission. In those early days, the only available stereo material
was live concerts_
Now that the bottleneck in stereo sources has been broken
with such spectacular success, there is no doubt that the
trend toward stereo broadcasting is gaining rapid momentum.
With stereo broadcasting still in its infancy, some might
hesitate to buy stereo tuners at this time. It has been pointed
out that stereo broadcasting is inherently unbalanced because of the different characteristics of the AM and FM
channels in regard to frequency response, dynamic range,
and signaI-to-noise ratio. For these reasons they look forward
to the replacement of AM/FM stereo by some form of multiplex transmission. **
But this distant prospect is no reason to put off the purchase of a stereo tuner. All tuners are designed with an eye to
the future. Multiplex outputs are provided on all models.
Whatever type of multiplex may finally become the national
norm, present tuners will accommodate the proper adapters.
In this sense, they are fully obsolescenceproof. Meanwhile,
stereo tuners are the royal road to the enjoyment of presently
available AM/FM stereo broadcasts as well as conventionally
transmitted radio programs.
All three of these "house-brand" mail-order tuners are
quality products capable of very fine performance. Each is
highly individual in concept, differing from the others in
design and circuitry. For this reason it may be helpful to
compare the technical aspects of these tuners.
*. See "The Flip Side," this issue, p. 90.
46
What Is the AM Circuitry?
Heath: An exceptionally well-engineered circuit design with
equivalent 7-tube performance. Selective tunable r.f. stage
and rigidly mounted ferrite rod antenna atop the rear of the
chassis. Two-position bandwidth switch and coil arranged
in plate circuit of the 6BE6 mixer--controlled from the front
panel. Two i.f. stages, first stage fully a.v.c. controlled, second stage Va controlled. Novel push-pull crystal diode AM
detector reduces possible r.f. and audio distortion. Also simplifies filtering out residual i.f. signal. Highly effective
bridged T-notch filter removes 10 kc. whistle without undue
loss of quality. Separate a.v.c. voltage amplifier and delayed
a.v.c. rectifier. Bandwidth is 6 db. down at 14 kc. ("Narrow") and 20 kc. ("Broad"). Image ratio is more than 55
db. and harmonic distortion is less than 1%. Tuning meter
(set for maximum swing) switched into circuit on "AM" and
"Stereo" positions. Very sensitive tuning indicator driven
by separate voltage amplifier. Also has cathode follower output and provision for adding single-wire AM antenna.
Knight: Basic 4-tube circuit with one tube having two sets of
elements (3-tube total). Tuned r.f. stage with ferrite rod
antenna, 6BE6 combination mixer-oscillator, single i.f. stage
using one half of a dual purpose 6AS8 tube. Half-wave diode
AM detector uses second section of above tube. Rod antenna
mounted on pivot and may be swiveled away from tuner and
Your Opinion Please
This article has been made more "technical" in comparison with material of this nature we have previously published. The editors would appreciate your comments on thevalue of this article and whether or not we should follow
the editorial procedures outlined here.
HIFI REVIEW
chassis to secure maximum, AM signal pickup. Thnie.position bandwidth switch peaks high frequency audio response
while simultaneously lowering Q of rod antenna in r.£. stage
grid circuit when. in "Broad" position. Intermediate steps
of "Med" and "Sharp" lessen above ' effects. Nominal frequency response flat from SO-7000 cycles. Built-in LC filter
removes 10 kc. ·'whistle. Separate tuning indicator (EM84
tube) turned on when function switch is moved to "AM"
position. Also has cathode follower output and , provisions
to add single-wire AM antenna.
Lafayette: Essentially the same circu,i t as the Knight. However, ferrite rod antenna is rigidly mounted to rear skirt of
chassis. No provision is made to control AM bandwidth
characteristics. Bandwidth is reported to be 6 db. down at
8 kc. Utilizes 6US tuning eye-same one switched between
AM and FM sections by front panel control. Also has cathode follower output and provision for adding single-wire AM
antenna.
What Is' the FM Circuitry?
Heath: Essentially an
..
ll-t~be circuit counting the double-
purpose tubes in the front end. Special antenna coil arrangement built into the a.c. line permits good signal pickup in
moderately strong si'g nal ar~as. Tuned r.f. stag~ is cascode:
coupled 6BS8 into a 6AB4 triode mixer from ,a 12AT7 reactance modulator (for a.f.c.) and local oscillator. I.f. strip
consists of five 6AU6 tubes-four of which operate as limiters. With a weak signal only the true 6AU6 limiter goes into
action, but with increasing signal strength, consecutive limiting in three of the previous i.f. stages occurs. A wide-band
discriminator (with multiplex takeoff), tuning meter, am·
plifier and cathode follower (latter tubes not included in
above total) finish up the circuit. Full quieting occurs at
20 /Lv. input, 20 db. quieting at 2.0 /Lv. R.f. and i.f. sectionsless discriminator-are pre-aligned to simplify wiring. Printed circuits used throughout.
Knight: A 9-tube circuit with a' tuned 6CB6 .d. stage (pentode-operated), 6AB4 mixer and 12AT'l oscillator/reactance
modulator (for a.f.c.) followed by two 6CB6 i.f. stages and
two 6AU6 limiters. Foster-Seeley discriminator, cathodefollower output" and EM84 tuning indicator complete the
circuit. Most novel feature is the addition of what Knight
calls its "Dynamic Sideba,nd Regulator" (DSR), which"
imllroves quality of overmodulated or very weak FM signals.
May be switched in or out of the circuit. When an FM station overmodulates, the DSR circ~it' feeds a small voltage
from the discriminator back to the local oscillator. This reduces the frequency deviation by wobbling the oscill~tor to
counteract the overmodulation effect. Disadvantage of DSR
is in the need to switch it out of circuit when tuning from
station to station. However, DSR principle is valid and quite
valuable in areas where most FM ' signals are very weak (it
cuts back on noise picke,d up with t-he signal ), or are heavily
overmodulated. Sensitivity rated at 2.S /Lv. for 20. db. of
quieting. 1M distortion with 'DSR switched on is less than
2% at 130% modulation-a most remarkable figure substantiated,in our tests. Has a multiplex takeoff jack.
Lafayette: Also a 9-tube circuit with a grounded-grid d.
stage (6AW8), triode mixer , and 6BK7B oscillator/reactance
modulator (for a.Lc.). Two 6BA6 i.f. stages, two 6AU6 limiters and Foster-Seeley discrimina,tor. Cathode follower and
tuning indicator finish up circuit. Prealigned assemblies on
two printed circuit boards for convenience in kit wiring.
Identical model sold completely wired at extra charge
($SO.OO). Sensitivity claimed to be 2 /Lv. for 30 ' db. of
quieting.
Is It Convenient to Operate?
Heath: Despite the presence of a well-proportioned front
panel, it is unfortunately difficult to ' decide (in the absence of a stereo broadcast) whether ,you are listening to
BEHIND-PANELS OF THE HEATH AND KNIGHT show the intricate workmanship that goes into the construction of a stereo tuner. Note that both
units ha ve massive heavy flywhe els to. facilitate smoothness of tuning action.
Heath (o n left) is built on a printed circuit board to simplify kit wiring.
Spiral wound coil at bottom of illustration is , special ferrite rod antenna.
Pre-assembled Knight uses point-to-point wiring .
•
MAY
1959
switches is a good idea. As mentioned above, DSR must be
switched off when tuning FM section to find a new station.
If left in circuit, there is a tendency for the tuner to go into
"motorboating." DSR also reduces volume level of FM output, necessitating readjustment of amplifier volume level.
Lafayette: Smoothest working dial mechanism of the three
LAFAYETTE KT-500 (or LT-50) has single "magic eye" tuning
indicator hidden behind FM decal 011 slide rule dial glass. Both
AM and FM output levels are cOlltrolled from the front pane/.
Extreme left-hand position of control fUllction switch turns
off tuner and two a.c. accessory sockets o n rear skirt.
AM or FM. The only available indication is derived from an
almost pointerless knob and the extremely small print under
the rotary "Selector" switch. Has smallest slide rule dial of
three units tested, only moderately illuminated. Although
a kit, the tuning controls can be made to operate smoothly
and without backlash. Only tuner of this group with a fuse,
thus assuring adequate protection should p'ower supply fail.
The AM tuner section is probably one of the most sophisticated designs on the market. The FM section is equally as
good and the novel arrangement of using signal pickup from
the a.c. line will often be preferable to the pickup obtainable
from twin-lead dipoles supplied with most FM tuners.
Knight: Considerable "human engineering" went into the design of this tuner. Commendable convenience in mounting
both tuning knobs on the right-hand side of the panel. Such
adjacent knobs save a lot of waste motion when tuner is used
for straight-through AM or FM reception. Oddly enough,
this is the easiest stereo tuner to show quickly whether the
output is AM or FM. Bright EM84 tuning indicators (AM to
the right, FM to the left ) are activated by the " Selector"
switch. Use of horizontal levers on two of the 3-position
:'M
. ! ../
~
TlN!~G
....
,
KNIGHT KN-120 has two " beam-type" tuning indicators-the
left for FM and the right for AM. Wh en tuner is used to
receive non-stereo material, only one section (AM or FM) and.
its indicator is activated. Bandwidth switch lab eled "AM
Tuning" is oj the lever type, as is th e jun ction switch in the
opposite corner.
48
units tested for this article. Mounting AM and FM level
controls on front panel appears to be of doubtful advantage
(could have been used best on the Knight) . Pair of a .c. convenience outlets on rear skirt controlled by tuner on-off
switch. These are handy for the audiophile who listens mostly to AM/FM and wants amplifier turned on at the tuner.
Disadvantage to the fellow playing records-must turn on
tuner to start amplifier. Overly active tuning eye indicator
rather anachronistic on a supposedly modern stereo tuner.
Eye closes completely with slightest signal input, tending to
make user undecided rather than assisting him while tunin g
in a station.
What Are the Most Important Features the
Buyer Should Consider?
Heath: This kit was designed by some of the smartest engineers in the electronic industry. It is the most complicated
hi-fi kit offered to the general public. But, in keeping with
standards established years ago by the Heath Company, the
instruction booklet makes assembly a r easonably easy matter. The AM circuit is capable of true high fidelity performance-provided you are in an area where such programs are
being broadcast. The FM section is clean and straightforward and the inclusion of the novel signal pickup from
the a.c. line should be used by more receiver manufacturers.
"Cascade limiting" is a valuable FM circuit innovation.
In strong signal areas it enables two of the i.f. stages to lead
a double life and act as limiters. The quieting ability is
equal to some of the best FM tuners on the market. The
value of the assembled unit is well worth twice the sellin g
price of the kit alone.
Knight: The DSR circuit is far from being a gimmick tacked
on to a conventional FM tuner. It is the only cure we have
ever seen whereby the listener can neutralize the effects
of FM station overmodulation. The Knight people claim that
overmodulation is far more common than we suspect. There
is little reason to doubt that this may' be so since it is often
to the advantage of the small FM station to overmodulate and
make its signal appear that much louder-while simultaneously losing quality. The DSR permits the tuner itself to
correct this situation-dramatically improving the quality
of weak as well as overmodulated signals.
Lafayette: The kit version of this stereo tuner can be assembled in just under fifteen working hours. This represents a
real bargain over the price of the wired model-unless yo u
consider your personal time worth more than $3.30 an hour .
As in the Heathkit mentioned above, the r.f. and i.f. transformers are prealigned. Satisfactory FM performance is obtainable with a rather simple " touch-up" procedure. The
FM section is a joy to operate; first, because of its astonishing sensitivity and second , because of the very effective a.f.c.
circuitry.
-Hans H. Fantel
Realistic "Solo" Speaker System
:i \'Iallufacturer's Data: A small, ducted·port speaker sys·
tem in a dark mahogany enclosure. Lacquer finished on four sides
for horizontal, vertical or suspended use. Employs an 8·inch du al·
cone dr iver. Frequency response : 50.14,000 cps. Power handling
capacity: IS watts. Power requirement: less than I watt 1m·
pedance : 8 ohms. Size : 14%" w. x II" h. x 10%" d. Price : $15.95
(or 2 for stereo: $29.50). (Radio Shack Corp., 730 Commonwealth
Avenue, Boston 17, Mass.)
JFD "Mardi Gras" Speaker System Model ALC-2
Manufacturer's Data: A small sealed enclosure speaker
system with top and bottom panels of walnut, mahogany or blond
wood. Frequency response: 55·18,500 cps ± 5 db. Cone resonance:
63 cps. Power handling capacity: 10·15 watts continuous, 24·40
watts peaks. Power requirement: 5·15 watts. Magnet weight: 0.5
lb. Total flux: 15,000 maxwells. Flux density : 5,000 gauss. COil e
design: acoustic loading by cOile center ·structure. Impedance :
16 ohms. 4 ohms and 8 ohms impedance taps also provided. Size:
14" w. x 10" h. x 10" d. P rice : $30.00 (JFD Electronics COql.,
Brooklyn 4, N. Y.)
..
High fidelity is a relative term. It has been stretched from
quality instruments of music reproduction to cover also what
might best be called a multitude of sins. Somewhere a line
must be drawn b y which we can tell whether a given piece
of equipment is still on the side of the an gels. Obviously,
not all items can be of equal merit. Differ ences in size, price
and concept-and consequently in performance-are legiti·
mate in asfar as they serve a variety of situations and purses.
As long as we have to be practical, perfec tion cannot be th e
only aim. The industry must fire a few scattered volleys in
the general direction of intelli gent compromise. In this kind
of shoo ting these two speakers score a clear hit.
The two bantam-size speakers, by example, provide a work·
able definition of minimum hi·fi . This is meant as compliment and approbation, for speaker s of this categor y are an
honest answer to a definite need.
To pin down specifics we must examine a) what is the
need, and b ) what is the answer.
Obviously there are innumerable people unwillin g or un·
able to spend sizable sums on high fid elity, but eager to have
music in their homes and have this music sound pleasurable.
Ordinar y radios and or " hand-me· down" packa ge· ty pe phonographs fall short of their requirements while large hi·fi installations exceed them. For them "minimum hi-fi," as repreoented at its best by these speakers, has much to offer, espe·
r,i ally if installed in mod erate·size ro oms where a lar ge sys-
tem could not fun ction to full advantage in the scant space.
Wha t is really important in listening is not so much extreme bass and treble, but clean, undistorted balanced sound
(not too low and not too high) in the region from about
60 cps to 10,000 cps_ Of course, the frequ ency extremes,
deep lu sh velvet in the bass and silken in the treble, are
dear to the hard-bitten audiophile_ But the less demanding
listener can easily r econcile certain abridgements of range.
What he cannot abide is the gratin g erosion of his nerves
caused by severe unbalance or high di stortion content. To
him, the primary sought. for obj ect in high fidelity is low
di stortion rather than wide ran ge.
In this r es pect, both the Realistic "Solo" and the JFD
" Mardi Gras" perform nobly. The sound is clean and balanced. Bass becomes effective around 60 cycles, thou gh there
is measurable output furth er down. It won' t shake the floor,
nor put much conviction into orchestral thunder. But if
placed in a corner for acoustic bass r einforcem ent these
speakers will put an adequ ate bottom under most musical
material.
The high end of these speakers extends beyond what is
actually necessary to balance the bass r esponse, thu s offerin g
the possibility of extra brightness to those who like that
kind of sound .
The speakers respond nicely to a deft touch of the tone
controls. Addin g a little bass boost and shaving just a trifle
of treble produ ces an extremely listenable and musically
correct balance.
Thou gh comparable in performance, the two systems differ
in design. The Realistic operates on the bass·reflex principle,
with a ducted port (plus linin g ) to provide low resonance in
a cabinet of minimal dimensions and efficient use of ampli·
fier wattage. The JFD employs a sealed enclosure, lined with
fiber glas for acoustic absorption of the back wave. Low resonance in thi s case is attained through the s peaker cone
design itself.
Both systems have 8·inch driver s with un conventional cone
structu res to obtain what amounts to dual-cone action with a
mechanical crossover. In the JFD, the center cone heble
radiator also ac ts as an acoustic load for the surroundin g
parts of the cone_
Hi gh efficiency is an inherent attribute of ported enclosures. It is th erefor e to be expected that the R ealistic excels
in this respect. But relatively high effici ency for a sealed
enclosure is attained by the JFD. This means that either of
these speaker systems can be used with even the smallest
low·power amplifier-an important fa ctor to consider in a
"minimum hi~ fi " installation.
If JFD has sacrificed a small margin in efficiency by its
choice of the sealed enclosure principle, it has gained in the
bargain the ability to absorb more ba ss boost from the ampli-
49
fier without encountering problems of cabinet resonance and
a generally somewhat tighter sound and sharper transients
than the Radio Shack's 'Realistic "Solo."
The most conspicuous difference between the two speaker
systems is in their appearance. The grille cloth of the Realistic is stretched to all four corners of the front panel and
the sides of dark mahogany have lacquer finish in the Oriental
style, so smooth as to seem almost like plastic.
, In ~ontrast, the JFD has only a light finish on top and
bottom slabs of decorative wood, permitting the grain to show.
There is a choice of blond, walnut or mahogany. The fabriccovered "working structure" of the JFD enclosure is made
of SA," "Tim-Board," a new type of composition board said
to be acoustically equivalent to l%," solid core lumber.
These speakers, each small enough to be tucked under one's
arm, make a convenient stereo pair, and it is in this capacity
that they will probably find their most widespread use.
In summary, if your requirements tend toward " minimum"
without degradation of essential musical quality, these speaker
systems definitely deserve yOur consideration.
•
Letters of Mark
wasn't his performance at all. I don't think it helped his
morale either when Otto slapped him on the back and said,
"Cheer up, Shibi, you'll be world-famous soon. Only you'd
better not let the public and the critics get you on a stage
and hear you in person."
Otto is so frank and honest. Poor Shibi Ornuld. He just
ran up to his room. He couldn't take it. C'est la guerre or
something.
On second thought, it's not so bad. He's no worse off than
many movie actors. The director has to lead them around by
the hand and film scenes in bits. These are spliced just like
tape r ecordings. Put those actors on a stage in front of an
audience and they'd be paralyzed.
Well, we slept .late this morning and today we'll loaf
around. The mailman was just here with a special delivery
for Otto. I'd better close now and go down to the village
and get this letter 'off or it won't go ou~ today.
(Continued .from page 41)
now, I want to tell you about tbe recording.
I know you'll pe as .excited as I was. Well, almost, becau se
I could see btto in person and he's 'r eally something to watch
when he's working. He's ' awfully handsome. I guess I've got
a crush on him. What girl wouldn't?
Naturally, I didn't ' get a ,chance to finish this Jetter la st
night because we didn't get back to the schloss until 10 for
the big event and I didn~t want to: mail what. I had written
until I could tell you all about it. ' So here it is the next day.
Well, it was a big eve~t. When we got back, Otto was
ready for us. He',s a wonderful ·showman. He had our chairs
set in a circle in front of the speakers and then he started
the tape machine going.
Mabel, y~u n ever heard anything so wonderful in your
life! The sound was terrific and the. playing, well" all I can
say is that nobody ever played the fast passages of , the H.
Sonata so fast and so clean' without even missing a single
note. It was fabulous! The last movement, one of the most
<;Iifficult things to play, it's a complicated fl,1gue, went at
breakneck speed, and was it brilliant! The slow movement
,se'e med to float. You'd think it was an orchestra playing, it
was so rich.
Of course, it was that final fugue ' that got us. Mabel, it
was so exciting! When it ended, we 'got up and cheered. Mr.
W. brought out a bottle of champagne and we drank to
Otto's wonderful achievement.
.
Only poor Shibi looked ' downcast and almost ready to
burst into tears. You could hardly blame him. It really
Auf wiedersehen,
Allison ,
Zimmer-am-Amster
May 17, 1958
Dem' Mabel:
We were just fini shing breakfast this morning when .a
~\'oman and two children drove up to the schloss and what
do you think? She's Otto's wife and they have two children.
She's not much to look at, horsey type, if you know what I
mean. I was just wondering if I shouldn' t pack this job in
and get back to the good old U .S.A. You get pretty lonesome
for ail hon est-to-goodness hot-dog after a while.
See you soon,
Allison
•
ORCHESTRA FOR HIRE
Back in the dark days of the great Depression,
Vienna's Philharmonic, despite its musical renown,
sometimes found it expedient to balance the budget by
selling itself bodily. The kind of overtures the orchestra liked best apparently were those from well-heeled
baton-wielders who let it be known that they would
find ways to express their appreciation for th e honor of
being invited to conduct the orchestra. Rank amateurs,
of course, wer, excluded 'from consideration. But there
were a number of orchestra leaders financially upperclass but artistically strictly lower-middle. Conducting
50
the Vienna Philharmonic, they felt, would give a
needed boost to their jJrestige..A suitable assignation of this kind was thus arranged
for an ambitious young American conductor. After a
genero us contribution, he found himself facing the
great orchestra. The players gamely liv~~ up to their
bargain and gave a superb performance. But when a
newspaper reporter called the orchestra manager preceding the concert to find out "what Mr.
was going
to conduct," he only got the tart answer: "That we
don't know. But we are playing Beethoven's Fifth."
x:
HIFI
REVIEW
I
I
for ,Ultimate , Fidelity
STEREO
by
SHERWOOO*..
WHAT'S THE
MEANING OF
I i
):0-
::E::I
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(1)
:r::E
0::1
AN AWARD?
So£,
gil)
-(II
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~=
II)ce
bestowed, unsolicited,
by m.,.t recOgnlled
tostingoraanllallons.
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(11::1
(113
oc:
·outstandine honors
:s:
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CD
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CD
Those illustrated above mean everything!
*
But some awards mean little-only
that the manufacturer shook hands in
the right place, or paid ·the right
price.
Fortunately, for the audiophile, this
sort of meaningless award "giving"
has never been a part of the High
Fidelity industry. Here, awards come
the "hard way" for outstanding performance based on high technical
standards.
If your choice is stereo, 'Sherwood offers
The Ultimate in performance-and two models
to choose from :
Model S·5000, a 20 + 20 watt dual
amplifier'preamplifier for stereo "in a
single package".. .
.
Model S·4400, a stereo preamplifier with
controls coupled with a single 36 watt
amplifier for converting monaural systems to- .
stereo (can also be used with Model S·360
-a 36 watt basic amplifier"-($59 .50) ·to
mak~ a dual 36 watt combination).
Basic coordinated controls for either stereo
or monaural operation include 10. two·cha~nel
controls, stereo norma l/reverse switch,
phase inversion switch, tape·monltor switch
and dual amplifier monaural operation
with either set of input sources. Bass &
treble controls adjust each channel
individually or together.
The five modes of operation (stereo,
stereo·rever.sed, monaural I, monau(al 2, .
monaural ' 1+ 2) are selected i1y the fun,ctlon
switch which also operates a corresponding
group of ind ic'ator lit es to identify the
selected operating mode ... and all Sherwood
amplifiers ' feature the exclusive
presence rise control.
'Model S·4400:
single 36·watt
Model S·5000:
amplifier, Fair
Stereo pre·amp, controls & .
amplifier, Fair T~de $159.50
20+20 watt dual stereo .
Trade $119.50
for complete specificalion., write oepi. v·s
: .. SHERWOOD
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ELECTRONIC LABORATORIES, INC.
4300 H. C~Iif~rn ia ~ve.• Chicago
,8.Illinois
The "complele high fidelity home'music ~ enter"­
monophon ic or stereophon ie.
•
For the American Pavillion at the
Brussels World'; Fair, the ~nly FM tuner
s.elected. was the Sherwood, S-3000.
.w
i- • ~
. ,-.
Undoubtedly the most commonly displayed seal in the United States is
the "UL" of Underwriters Laborato-. .
ries-commonplace except in the HiFi fleld! Only Sher.wopd and two
other popular Hi-Fi tUile'fs I1ear this
seal of acceptance-your guarantee of safety from the hazards of
shock and flre.
And when the Dean of High Fidelity
publishers created the Hi-Fi Music in
the Home performance commendation seal, Sherwood's S-2000 AMFM tuner was the first to be chosen
for the honor.
Wyeth Engineering, Inc. just one of
many,-many testing laboratories (one
in particular must remain anonymous)
recently tested Sherwood tuners and ,
certifled their adherence to F.C.C•
and I.R.E. standards of conducted
and/or radiat~d interfe-:..e nce.
Just ask High Fidelity dealersyou'/I flnd a majority recommend
Sherwoocf as "the best buy" in a
complete High Fidelity Home Music
Center•
Edward S. Miller
t.
J
Therefore, Sherwood is justly proud
of its many outstanding honors bestowed, unsolicited, by most reco.gnized testing organizations, plus
many other special recognitions.
General ,Manager
o
l!l.
MAY ·1959
51
Four Great Premieres on
GERSHWIN
Gershwin'S last orchestral work-his own orchestration of the Suite from PORGY AND BESSnever performed since his death. The first and only
recording of this historic work.
The Utah Symphony, Abravanel, conductor.
Monophonic: (with Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite) XWN
18850. Stereo: (with Copland: EI Salon Mexico) WST 14063
PROKOFIEFF
THE FLAMING ANGEL (Opera in Five Acts): A Gothic
tale of the supernatural transformed into a dramatic
masterpiece.
Rhodes, soprano; Depraz, bass; other soloists; Chorus of
Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise; Orchestre du Theatre
National de I'Opera de Paris; Bruck, condo (Monophonic, OPW
1304)
SCARLATTI
TETIDE IN SCIRO (Opera in Three Acts): A newly
discovered opera by Domenico Scarlatti in a magnificent authentic performance. A historical find!
Soloists, Angelicum Orchestra of Milan; Janes, condo
(Monophonic, OPW 1305)
WEISGALL
THE TENOR (Opera in One Act): A modern psychological drama by one of America's outstanding
composers!
Cassilly, tenor; Coulter, soprano; other soloists; Vienna State
Opera Orchestra; Grossman, condo (Monophonic, OPW 1206
-Stereo, WST 208)
For complete Westminster catalog, write : Dept. MR-5, Westminster, 275 '7th Ave" New York, N. Y.
52
W 32
RIFt REVIEW
.
Reviewed by
BEST OF THE MONTH
MARTIN BOOKSPAN
GEORGE JEllINEK
•
London's flair for "stereo theater" recording pays off again with a neardefinitive album of Lehar's immortal Viennese operetta, The Me rry
Widow. - "In this bubbling production ... the over-all recorded sound
is delightful." (see p . 56)
•
Decca's stereo disc of the Richard Strauss Thus Spake Zarathustra is,
under Karl Bohm's baton, a brilliant achievement. - "A magnificent
addition to the recorded Strauss catalog . . . a vivid reading that bristles
with energy." (see p. 60)
•
Capitol's Music for Strings finds Leopold Stokowski achieving a remarkable re-creation of the glorious string sound of his Philadelphia days.
- "Breathtaking . . . and from start to finish commands attention for
the plastic beauty of the string choirs." (see p . 63)
DAVID RANDOLPH
JOHN THORNTON
•
BACH: Clavi er Concerto in D Minor;
Clavier Concerto in A Major. Rugg e ro Ger·
lin (harpsicho rd ) wit h the Cento Sol i Orches·
t ra of Paris, Victo r Desa rzens condo Omega
OSL-13 $5.95
Mu sical Interest: Masterpieces
Pe rfor mance : Done with gusto
Reco rding: Excellent
Stereo Directionality: Very good
Ste reo Depth: Good
Don't be frightened away by the tasteless
back cover of the jacket, with its garish
yellow. This is a fine disc. The performances are direct and straightforward. There
is no attempt here at any "museum recreation" of Bach. The orches tra sounds fairly
full and the playing has body to it.
The soloist does a fine job, and his harpsichord has an appealing sound. Moreover,
it is located squarely in the center of the
group, with an amazing degree of presence.
The recording is full-bodi ed.
The D Minor Concerto is, of course, one
of Bach's finest, and the co mpanion piece
is an appealing work.
D. R.
•
BACH: Magnifica.t in D; Cantata No .
5Q.-Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft. Mim i
C oert se and Marga re t S jostedt (sop ran os ),
Hild e Ross i-M a idan (co ntralto ), Anton Dermota (te no r), Fre derick Gu t hri e ( bass ) wit h
Choir and Orchestra of the Vienna State
Opera , Fe li x Prohaska co nd o Bach Guild
BGS-5005 $5.95
Mu sica l Interest : Baroque staples
Performance: First rate
Recording: Excellent
Stereo Directionali ty: Fine
Ste reo De pth : Good
,
•
As the above thumbnail descriptions
might indica te, this disc can be highly recommended. If any fault can be found with
it, it is the tendency of the tenor soloist to
over· balance the alto in the beautiful Et
misericordia duet. Otherwise the recording
is nicely balanced throu ghout, and the
stereo perspective is fine. Gratifying is the
" bite" of the tone of the three trumpets,
thanks to th e excellent stereo recording.
All the soloists are goo d, but a special
word ·should be said for the artistry of Mr.
Dermota. The bass ha s a rather big voice,
but he wisely keeps it within the bounds
of the stylistic needs of the music.
The chorus, also, deserves commendation,
despite th e fact that the co ntraltos mi ght
be a little more prominent. This mi ght be
du e to th eir placement, thou gh, ra ther than
to any inherent weakness on their part.
Th e Cantata No. 50 consists of a sin gle
MAY
1959
movement, lasting less tha n four minutes.
It is presumed to be part of a larger work,
the remainder of which is lost. What it
lacks in length, it makes up in strength. It
is a powerful, almost angry work, for double
chorus and orches tra. It is, with its anti- phonal writing, a "natural" for stereo.
Prohaska has brought a fine sense of style
to his readin gs of both works.
D. R.
•
BEETHOVEN: Overtures-Leonore No.
3; Egmont; Fidelio; Coriolan. Vi e nn a Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Munchi nger condo
London CS-6053 $4.98
Musical Inte rest: High indeed
Performance : Dull
Recordi ng : Slightly muffled
Ste reo Directi o nalih' : Good
Ste reo De pth: OK .
These performances have very little to
commend them. Miinchinger's tempi, by
and large, are ploddin g and dull. L eonore
No. 3 and Egrnont, both of which should
erupt into ecstasies of jubilation at their
conclusion, are delivered in a very ho-hum
manner and there are so me ra gged string
attacks in th e chords that open Egrnont and
Corio/an. The Fidelio Overture fare s best
of all, but here again the erement of jubilation in the perora tion is missi ng. Complet·
ing the sorry picture is I'ecorded sound
mumed in quality. Miinchinger obviously
was the wrong conductor to entrust with
M. B.
this heroic music.
•
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E
Flat, Op. 55 ("Eroica"). Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Br uno Walter condo
Stereo-Columbia MS-6036 $5.98. MonoColumbia ML-5320 $4.98
Musical Interest: O lympian
Performance: Steady and assured
Recording: Bigger sound in the mono,
with deta ils better in stereo
Stereo Directionality: Exce llent
Stereo Depth: OK
In the March issue I incl uded a brief discussion of this performance in the Basic
Repertoire article on the recorded Eroicas.
Walter's is a broad, assured reading, slower
than mo st but with its own particular brand
of heroism. I would put it second to Klem·
perer's Angel disc in my own affections.
The recorded sound is, surprisingly,
bolder and fuller in the monophonic recordin <Y but there are detail s in the scoring
whl~h emerge more clearly in the stereo version. The direc tionality in the stereo version
is especially well contrived, with good separation between the two channels. Wal ter's
new Beethoven series is off to a good star t
wi th this release and the Pastoral Symphony
of a few months ago.
M. B.
•
BIZET: Carmen Suite. RAVEL: Bolero.
Virtuoso Symphony of Lon d o n, A lfred Wa llenste in co ndo Audio Fidelity FCS 50,005
$6.95
•
BIZET: Carmen Suite; L'Arlesienne
Suite. Sui sse Romand e Orch estra, Ern est
Ansermet condo London CS6062 $4.98
•
BIZET: L'Arlesienne Suites Nos. 1 and
2; Carmen Suite No. I. Ph ilh a rm onia Orchestra, H erbert Von Karajan condo Angel
Mono 35618 $4.98
Mu sical Inte rest: Familiars all
Pe rfo rm ance : Close race
Reco rdi ng: London and Audio Fidelity,
the winners
Stereo Dire cti o na lity: Equal and good
Stereo Depth: Good throughout
The three recordin gs represented offer
fa scinating comparisons in technique and
interpretation, and each offers something
the others do no t. Audio Fidelity has gathered a fine orchestra of many of En gland 's
lea din g players and given th em a polished
leader in Alfred Wallenstein. Ansermet,
10nO' an accomplished conductor, hea ds
one" of Europe's bes t orchestras, whil e
53
Von Karajan and the Philharmonia are top
rank in any league. Which of the three,
then, should be chosen, Considering that no
collector in his right mind would want to
spend 'his money on three versions of the
Carmen Suite combined with two of L'Ar·
lesienne?
Audio Fidelity presents a marvel of bal·
anced stereo, with plenty of articulation too,
. in a performance, while not noted for ex·
ceptional interpretative finesse, is to the
point, expert, and flawlessly done. London
and Ansermet combine to present a more
plastic performance, one that has a much
more varied dynamic sense, a delicacy and
a sensitivity not present in the Wallenstein
issue. Von Karajan, who leads the Phil·
harmonia in a fuller and more energetic
reading than either, offers his in terpre·
tation in a ' very good monophonic reo
lease. The latter offers more music froni
'L'Arlesienne, and ·a shorter quota of Car·
men, while Audio Fidelity offers on its other
side Ravel's Bolero. So you flip this musical
coin and what comes down is·interesting to
behold. If you want sound to demonstrate,
then it is Audio Fidelity,and a great engi·
neering triumph it is. London's sound is
close behind, with a bit of. an '. edge on first
string sound,· but 81so a more satisfying
reading by Ansermet. It is unfair to com·
pare Karajan in sound; but the monophonic
Angel is as good as any from the viewpoint
of engineering, and indeed some of the finest
L'Arlesienne playing is to be heard from
the Philharmonia.
All things considered, this is a ' 'victory
for Audio Fidelity. Spatiality is ,very pro·
nounced, and everyihing is smoothly set out
in as well balanced a stereo spread as I'v~.
yet heard at this 'stage of the art.
J. T.
BORODIN: Polovelsian Dances (see COLLECTIONS)
• BRAHMS: Double Concerto in A Minor, Op. 102; Tragic Overture. Ope 81. David
~istrakh (vio!in); Pierre Fournier (cello);
With the Phdharmonia Orchestra Alceo
Galliera condo Angel S-35353 $5.98'
Musical Interest: Certainly
.
Perfor~ance: Just mis,ses catching fire
Recording: Good
-Stereo Directionality: Unobstrusive
Stereo Depth: OK
This slightly sedate performance of the
Brahms Double Concerto somehow 'falls
short of its promise. Everything is played
well, with great polish, but the sparks doh't
fly the way they should. Undoubtedly a
more assertive figure on the podium would
have galvanized the whole to a far greater
degree than Gallier.l.
'
The stereo recording has a richer, fuller
sound than the previous monophonic issue
with both soloists coming from just left of
center.
M. B.
'BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy (see MENDELSSOHN)
• . CORELLI: Concerti ' Grossi. Ope 6
(complete). Chambe~ Orchestra of fhe
Societas Musica, Copenhagen. Jorgen Ernst
Hansen condo Bach Guild ,BGS 5010/12 3
12" $17.95• . Mono-Bach Guild BG 585/17
3 12" $14.95
54
Musical Interest: Baroque Masterpieces
Performance: Completely idiomatic
Recording: Very fine
Stereo Directionality: Just right
Stereo Depth: Good
No hesitation is in .order when it comes
to recommending this set. The performances
are masterful in every way, and the fine
stereo recording. puts the players right in
your living room. Moreover, they'll fit into
your living room since they sound like a
chamber group. In this respect, this set
differs from both the Westminster and the
Vox album of the same music. Both the
latter two are larger conceptions, employ·
ing a greater number of players. The Vox
version, especially, seems to have been made ,
with a full string orchestra.
It should be made clear that comparison
with the other versions was made on the
basis of the monophonic versions only.
Westminster supplies a fuller bass than
either of the other recordings, while Van·
guard puts the largest space around the
players, yet preserving fine clarity of line.
From this point on, your individual preferD. R.
ence must determine final choice.
• DOHNANYI: Variations on a Nursery
Tune; Piano Concerto No.2. Erno Dohnanyi
with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Sir
Adrian Boult condo Angel S-35538 $5.98
Musical Interest: Variations-A delight;
Concerto-Varia ble
Performance: Excellent
Recording: First.rate
Stereo Directionality: Fine
Stereo Depth: Good
The appearance of the stereo versions of
these two performances is most welcome
especially since the stereo is .so successful:
Dohnanyi, who. is over eighty, is still are·
markable pianist and his performances of
these scores will probably be studied by
future generations. The Nursery Tune
Variations is a sturdier work by far, but the
Second Concerto, with its bold Romantic
splashes, may prove to be durable also. First
class ,.collaboration from Boult and the or·
chestra rounds out an unqualifiedly successM. B.
ful release.
• DVOiAK: Cello Concerto in B Minor
Op. 104; FAURe: Elegie for Cello and Or:
chestra. Ope 24. Janos Starker with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Walter Susskind condo
Angel S-35417 $5.98
Musical Interest: High
Performance: Technically fine
Recording: Good
Stereo Directionality: OK
Stereo Depth: OK
.
There's not much channel separation in
this stereo re·issue of performances released
mono~honically about a year ago, but the
cello IS firmly planted a little to the left of
center and there it remains through both
w.orks. The stereo recording does, however,
gIve off a rounder, fuller sound than its
monophonic equivalent.
Starker's performances of both works are
marvels of technical security; an added
measure of virility would have made these
interpretations landmarks of the recorded
repertoire.
M. B.
• FALLA: Concerto for harpsichord, flute,
oboe. clarinet, violin and cello (Robert Veyron-Lacroix. harpsichord. with soloists of the
National Orchestra of Spain ),; EI Retablo de
Maese Pedro (complete opera). Julita Bermejo (soprano)-The Boy; Carlos Munguia
(tenor)-Maese Pedro; Raimundo Torres
(baritone)-Don Quixote. The National
Orchestra of Spain. Ataulfo Argenta condo
(both). London CS 6028 $4.98
Musical Interest: Stimurating oddities
Performance: Very good
Recording: Sharp and vivid
Stereo Directiona lity: life-like
Stereo Depth: likewise
These two works of Falla'!! full maturity,
both written in the same period (around
1923), provide a logical coupling as well as
an interesting stylistic contrast to the better
known national·romantic aspect of the com·
poser's art. Both utilize harpsichord, and
the presence of this instrument symbolizes
Falla's striving for classical discipline and
the influence of 16th and 17th century
traditions.
.
The concerto is a work of austere neoclassicism in which the composer achieves
stringent sonorities with the' unconventional
blend of his instrumentation. Argenta con·
. ducts his soloists with admirable vigor and,
if your ear relishes the sound Falla con·
trived for this concerto, your enjoyment will
be enhanced by stereo's added dimension.
Argenta's authority lends similar weight
to a smooth and expert performance of
Falla's inventive operatic treatment of the
familiar Cervantes episode. Raimundo Tor·
res sings the music, of the Knight vigorously
but with more strength than elegance;, the
.other two parts are well sung and charac·
terized. The appeal of both pieces is of a
somewhat. specialized nature, but the pro·
gram adds up to a rewarding listening ex·
perience, mirrored in fine stereo realism.
G.J.
FAURIA: Elegie (see DVOitAK)
• GLAZOUNOV: Birthday Offering (arr
Robert Irving). LECOCQ: Mam'zelle Angot
(arr. Gordon Jacob). Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra. Robert Irving condo Angel S 35588
$5.98
Musical Interest: Romantic ballet fare
Performance: Very good '
Recording: Disappointing
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo' Depth: Good, a little close
Angel has released a coupling of opulently arranged ballet scores-a very beautiful
presentation of lush romanticism. Glazou·
nov has the edge for long-lasting melodic
value. Lecocq's music is', tyjJicallyFrench,
dazzling and saucy, liut without too much
imagination. Irving, a much better conductor than he is given credit for, makes the
,most of his opportunities with the Royal
Philharmonic.
'
Irving has taken music from four Glazou·
nov scores for Birthday DOering which was
given by Sadler Well's company in 1956 to
celebrate its Silver Jubilee. The production
was a surprising and overwhelming success
so it has been kept in the repertoire. Mos:
listeners will recognize quotations from The
Seasons. There is a bad tendency for the
orchestra to sound too .hard in full 0 pasHIFI REVIEW
(jAP.
ike JIlUJie
tJ-n a rJ3udrjet •••
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1959
1
55
sages, a result of too close brass pickup,
and the first stTin gs al so become too brilliant at tim es. Th e problem can be solved
by hi gh frequency roll-off. Otherwise, all
is serene. Th e r ecording offers a great deal
of sublime melody and some really breathJ. T.
takin g woodwind playing.
•
HALFFTER: Si nfonietta. Orq uesta Nacional d e Espa na, Ataulfo Argenta con do
Lond on CS-6029 $4.98
LECOCQ: Ma m'zell e Angot
ZO UNOV)
(see
GLA-
•
LEHAR: The Merry Wid ow (comp lete ) .
H ild e Gu e d en (soprano) -H anna G la wa ri;
Per G ru nden (te nor )-Graf Da nilo ; Wa !demar Km e ntt (teno r)-Camille de Ros ill on;
Emmy Loose (sop ran o )-Valencienne; Ka rl
Donch (barito ne)-Mirko Zeta, and othe rs.
Th e Vie nna Sta t e O pera Choru s a nd Orch est ra , Ro be rt Stolz cond o London O SA 1205 2
12" $10.96
Mu sica l Interest: Everlasti ng
Performance: Effervesce nt
Rec ording: Exc iti ng
Stereo Directiona lity: Exp ert
Ste re o Depth: Exe mp lary
Mu si cal Inte rest: Fascinating
Performance: Tre mendo us
Recording: London 's b est
Stereo Directiona lity: Perfe ct
Stereo Depth: Exactly right
Th ere are several reasons why thi s new
London stereo record is exceptional. The
most im portant reas on is that th e Halff:er
score is so fa scin a ting ! It is unpretentious,
it abounds with good humor, it is part classical, part Romantic, part modern in so und,
part sensual and nationalistic in tex tu reand wholly individual.
Magn ificently played by Orqu esta Nacion al de Espana under th e inspired direction of Argenta, this score, despite its transparency, poses no problems for the lead ing
seats and the first desk men of this orchestra ~arry off their parts with polished
virtuosity. London does not have a more
perfectly engineered stereo disc in its already sizable catalog. It is easy to understand why Toscanini, Walter, Stokowski,
and others so strongly favored thi s Sinfon ietta when it won a prize in 1924. Players and conductors alike must find this
charming score a delight to work with. T h e
Halff ter work was the last recording Argenta made for London before his untimely
death, which makes it all th e more valuable.
Th e Merry Widow is Viennese operetta
at th e summit. The story may add up to
littl e more than a con glomeration of tired
cliches, yet mi sguided efforts to endow th e
book with Broadway.styl ed' " sophistication"
can only result in a hopeless tangle akin to
a staging of Pal Jo ey by a group of Tyro lean yod elers. On the other hand , if you
pre~e rv e th e spirit of the original inspiration
and en trust the parts to a group of sin ging
actors who ca n perform their tasks with
conviction but also know the right moments
for a tongue-in -cheek approach-the enterprise j nst cannot fail. Not wh en you have
Leluir's music on your sid e.
In this bnbblin g production, London wise·
ly relied on yet another powerful ally- the
MEN DELSSOHN : M i ds um m er N i gh t's
Dre am (see TCHAIKOVSKY)
•
MENDELSSOH'N: Violi n Concerto in E
Mi nor, Op. 64 ; BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy,
Op. 46. Alfredo Camp oli with the London
Ph ilharmonic Orch estra, Sir Adrian Boult
condo London CS -6047 $4.98
J . T.
HANDEL: Messi ah-H a ll e lujah (s ee COLLECTIONS)
Mu sical Inte rest: Me ndelssohn-A masterpiece ; Bruch-No maste rpi ece , b ut
e ngaging
Performance; OK
Reco rding : Good
Stereo Directi o nality : Fine
Stereo Depth: OK
•
HAYDN : Symphony No . 100 in G Major (" Military" ) ; and Symphony No. I0 I in
o Ma jor (" Clock"). Vi e nna State Opera
Orchestra, Mogens Wold ike condo Vanguard
SRV 109-SD $2.98. Mono-Vangua rd SRV109 $1.98
Musical Interest: Enduring Haydn
master p iece s
Performance: Exemplary
Recording: Good
Stereo Dir ectional ity: Suffici e nt
Stereo Depth : Plea sing
Th ere is no a ttempt at the merely spectacular in this recording. As a resul t, it
is an eminently sa tisfying disc. Woldike's
way with Haydn is thoroughly admirabl e,
and his tempo in the last movement of the
Military Symphony does not suffer from the
excesses of th e Scherchen version (Westmin ster) .
Both stereo and monophonic versions
mi ght benefit from slightly more bass, but
thi s is a very minor criticism. A word
should be said for the fin e presence of the
percussion instruments, so important in the
slow movement of th e Military Symphony.
D.R.
HAYDN: Trump et Con ce rto (see COLLECTIO NS)
56
but whatever it is, Karl Don ch has mastered it hilariously in th e delicious characterization of the bun glin g diplomat.
Equall y excellen t is EmlDY Loose in the
rol e of th e " dutiful wife."
Asid e from certain spots on Side 1 where
the choru s gets a slightly blurred r eproduction, th e over-all recorded sound i delightful. There is a di stin ct spatial illusion but
the engin eers have wisely and tastefnll y concentrated on th e " middl e ' zone," leavin g
incid en tal attractions ("on stage" dancin g
of the Polonaise and off-stage effects) di stinclly separated in the right chann el. AI1
in all, a hi gh degr ee of s tage ilJusion is
achi eved in this well -prepared production.
For all my whole-hearted endorse ment of
the foregoin g, my admiration [or the oldcr
(non-stereo) Angel se t is by no mea ns lessened. (SchwaTZkopf, Gedda , Loose and
Kun z are Angel's sin gin g principa ls, th e
last na med a superb Danilo even thou gh
this role is conventionally sun g by a tenor).
Angel's so und , on r e-hearing, is as bri ght as
ever and th e over-all perfo rmance is every
bit as · exciting (even more so in th e
Schwarzkopf-Knnz ensembl es) as the on e
offered by London.
Th e London set starts off with a spl endid
performance of the overture- a brand new
potpourri fa shioned by Stolz. The updatin g
shows a masterly hand and th e passing
anachronism of the beguine rhythm is more
charmin g than intrusive. On e dem erit, however, goes to London for failing to include
a libretto . The notes and synopsis whi ch
accompany the se t are only so-so.
G. J -
directorial ha nd of Robert S:olz, who, as
som e will recall, presided over th e operetta's
brilliant New York revival of 1943 (Witll
Martha Eggerth and Jan Kiepnra ). Of
co urse, hi s association with the treasura bl e
score is much dee per than that- it goes
back all th e way to 1905 when Th e Merry
Widow started its fablll ous journey. Stolz,
now 79, is probably the world's leading exponent of a great tradition, a fact this se t
most attractively demon strates.
The cast is excell ent. Hilde Gueden's
glamorous and lively portrayal of the Widow
makes Danilo's stubborn reticence to the
very end of the third act almost in comprehensible, and she sin gs with charm and assuran ce. P er Grunden, the youn g Swedish
tenor of the Volksoper, does not create a
very dashing ima ge of Danilo, but he, too,
sings with an easy grace, thorou ghly steeped
in th e styl e. Waldemar Kmenlt, as Ca mill e,
is an ard ent-voiced wooer whose sin ging of
"Kontnt in das Ie/eine Pavilion" is one of the
hi gh points o E th e perform ance. I am not
sure I could describe a Marsovian accent,
Campoli has had a previous go at th e
Mendelssohn Concerto, in a performance
with this same orchestra under Eduard va n
Beinum (now availabl e on Richm ond
19021). That one is a beautifully poetic,
understated reading. Since then Campoli
has become more of the virtuoso showman
and this new reading is fl ashier and more
extroverted. I still prefer the old Campoli
for it possesses qualities which a re all too
rare in today's music mart.
Bruch's Scottish Fantasy is a minor, bnt
charming score. Campoli plays it well , but
Boult's accompaniment is no more than routine- mu ch less involved with the score
than when he conducted the Phil harm onia
Orchestra for Rabin's An gel recording of
th e music (35484) . The recorded sound is
well -balanced and cleanly-focused. M. B.
•
M OO RE : The Devil an d Da niel W e bster
( com p lete) . Lawre nce Winters (bariton e ) Dani e l Webster; Joe Blankenship (b ass ) J abez Stone; Do ri s Youn g (soprano)-Mary
Stone; Frederick Weidner (tenor )-Mr.
HIFI REvmw
Juan Mcmtero. matador.
From BULLFIGHT. by permisoion oj
Simon and Schuster, Publishers.
Copyright ©1958 by Peter Blickley.
. . . for the matador - it comes
when he can no longer play at the
game of bravery, but must at last
face up to the supreme test of his
courage and greatness - when he
must conquer or be conquered .
paper claims, every brand, every
product of old must now face up
to the new challenge wrought by
stereophonic sound. Regardless of
past laurels, it is today's perform·
ance that counts.
. . . for the turntable or changer it comes when the stylus descends
to the groove of a stereo record, to
track as never before required ...
vertically as well as laterally, with
lighter pressure, greater accuracy,
less distortion and far more sensitivity-when the operation must
be silent, smooth and flawless to
permit the music to emerge with
clarity, purity and distinction.
The United Audio DUAL·I006
••• totally new, significantly dif·
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We invite you to visit your author·
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hear it in its "moment of truth."
Shorn of pretension and mere
The DUAL-1006
combination professional turntable / deluxe changer for uncompromised stereo and mono reproduction
Actually tracks and operates automatically or manually with only 2
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Choice of heavy. large diameter
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dynamic balance and plano surface.
Rigid equipoise motor suspension
prinCiple eliminates vertical rumble.
Built-in direct reading stylus pressure/tracking force gauge.
· s'h lb_ standard;
MAY 1959
5~
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Truly freefloating tonearm - unique
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- automatic disengagement makes
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Stereo-mono switch has phase-cancelling feedback circuit to remove
vertical noise signal from mono records played with stereo cartridge.
Obsolescence-proof intermix for
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1I united Gtudio
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57
Scratch. and others. The Festival Choir and
Orchestra. Armando Aliberti condo WestminsterWST 14050 $5.98
Musical Interest: Fine Americana
Performance: Enjoyable
Recording: Tops
Stereo Directionality: Very effective
Stereo Depth: Very good
Douglas Moore's setting of Stephen Vin·
cent Benet's famous story has long been
recognized as one of the best examples of
American folk opera. It is tuneful, rich in
native color and makes its point plainly and
vigorously. The Westminster performance
is no more than competent but, fortunately,
never less than that either. The magnetic
personality of Webster should call for an
American Chaliapin-and where are you
going to find one?
The benefits of stereo are added to the
fine recorded sound with singularly happy
results---the two channels are buzzing with
activity. One niinor complaint-the faint
vocal presence allotted to the satanic Mr.
Scratch. Otherwise-an excellent produc·
tion job and decidedly fun to listen to. G. J.
•
MOZART: Cosl fan tutte (highlights)"
Lisa della Casa (soprano I..:...Fiordiligi; Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano)-Dorabella '; Anton Dermota (tenor)-Ferrando; Erich Kunz
(baritone)-Guglielmo; Paul Schomer ("bari~
tone)-Don Alfonso; Emmy Loose (soprano)
-'-Despihti. and others. The Vienna State
Opera Chorus and The Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra. Karl Bohm cond o London. OS
25047 $5.98
Musical Interest: High
Performance: Outstanding ensemble
Recording: Clear and welf balanced
Stereo Directionality: Realistic
Stereo Depth: Good
The cast of this performance features Vietma's·fIDest singers, who happen to be. outstanding Mo~a,t specialists to boot. ~o ' is
conductor Bohm" and it naturally follows
that the ensemble wor~•.~ essentiLtl in this
opera is of the highest order. Not that this
record lacks demonstration of shining indio
vidual talents: Lisa della Casa is a bewitch,
ing Fiordiligi. and, Christa Ludwig (a comparative newcomer when this recording was
made about two years ago) is her worthy
peer. Dermotaendows his characterization
with a manliness n~t always suggested by
Mozartians of similar vocal assurance, and
Kunz perform!! with the expertness ,and
bonhommie that, are his trademark. Finally,
though Schomer's contribution is ~ll too
brief, every moment of it is filled with authority. Come to think of it, my only reservation is non-musical. It concerns the Ital•.
ian diction which, while not exactly hard to
take, does suggest a certain amount of un·
easiness for all principals except Miss della
Casa.
..,..
The recorded sound is excellent. The
natUre ()f the selections chosen (arias an'd
close ensembles) places a limit on direc·
tionality-an aspect which will be more
discernible wben the complete set is is·
sued. ,-Meantime, should you hold the opin.
ion that one LP of Cosz fan tutte's music
is all you need (you are wrong, of course)
this is the record for you. It is, ·at, the
present time, "the .only abridged " eosz"
available~
G. J.
58
MOZART: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
TCHAIKOVSKY)
(see
•
MOZART: The Magic Flute (highlights).
Wilma Lipp (soprano )-Queen of the Night;
Hilde Gueden (soprano)-Pamina; Leopold
Simoneau (tenor)-Tamino; Kurt Boehme
(bassl-Sarastro; Emmy Loose (soprano)Papagena; Walter Berry (baritone)-Papageno. and others. The Vienna State Opera
Chorus and The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Karl Bohm condo London OS 25046
$5.98
Musical Interest: Masterpiece-streamlined
Performance: Above average
Recording: Just about average
Stereo Directionality: Slight
Stereo Depth: Satisfactory
London's complete Magic Flute dates
back to 1955-it must have been one of the
first operas recorded stereophonically. Nothing startling is revealed in the two channels
-'-in fact the definition of choral voices
leaves something to be desii-ed. The over-all
sound, however, is entirely satisfying.
TIie excerpts have been reasonably well
chosen-you just cannot condense this opera on a single disc and hope to satisfy
all listeners. This particular listener would
gladly reduce in this instance the gerierous
representation allotted to Walter Berry's
unsteady Papageno in favor of, say, "0 Isis
und Osiris," which is omitted. Sarastro,
sung by Boehme with imposing if not mellif.
luous sonority, gets decidedly shortchanged
her~nIy one verse is given of "In diesen
heil'gen Hallen."
,
The remainder of the distinguished group
of singers comes through in fine style, with
Gueden's tender and sensitive Pamina taking the vocal honors. The orchestral accou,llt ,
is above reproach, if hardly sparkling. For
the time being this is all there is to "Zauberflate" in stereo-doubtless a temporary state
of affairs which, nevertheless, should height- "
G.}.
en the 'appeal of this abridgement.
OFFENBACH:
• page 69)
Tales ' of Hoffmann
" '
ORFF: Catulli ' Carmina
TIONS)
(see
(see COLLEC-
•
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concertos-No. 1
.In· D.i,Maior.,Op.,:,~9,: No:~2 in G Minor. Op.
63. . Ruggiero ' RicCi." with the Suisse Romande. Orchestra. Ernest Ansermet condo
London CS 6059 $4.98
Musical Interest: Considerable
Performance: Fine
Recording: Good
Stereo Directionality: OK
Stereo Depth: Fair
This coupling' represents two Prokofiev
works in the same form, composed twenty
years apart; yet each bears an unmistak.
; ~ble stamp. Although , the GMinor isa
warmer work; cast in a more lyrical, pattern, it is ' still filled in with those characteristic Prokofievan compositional traits.
Flashing changes of mood, sudden key transitions, teasers of exquisite melodic phrases
interrupted by harsh dissonances--those
things that were so much a part of his bril·
'liant technique all his life, are scattered
throughout both concertos in delightful
profusion.
The newcomer to music, on first hearing
these concertos, will be puzzled, and even
repelled by Prokofiev's unexpected changes
of mood. But after a few repetitions, you
hear sounds emerge not heard before, and
before you can say Serge, you begin to
appreciate what Prokofiev has been telling
'
you all along.
Ricci in these performances displays a
rather wiry tone at times, but his ~rtuosity
overcomes all of the technical obstacles that
appear with frightening regularity on every
page. Ansermet is careful not to let his mar·
velous orchestra sound too big, but keeps
the dynamics transparent and clear-cut.
Ricci seems more comfortable in the youthful D Major Concerto, and London has issued better engineered stereos. But even
so, the standard throughout is high, and
the record is well worth the having. A
little tip . . . listen underneath the solo
, parts to what is going on in the orchestra,
especially the woodwinds, to appreciate
right away the special brilliance .of. Proko·
fiev's way with instrumentation. ' :f.-T.
(
PURCELL: Trumpet pieces (see COLLECTIONS).
RAVEL: Bolero (see BIZET)
•
RAVEL: La Valse: Bolero: Rapsodie Espagnole. New York Philharmonic. Leonard
Bernstein condo MS 6011 $5.98
Musical 'Interest: Great Ravel
Performa nce: Routine
Recording: Substanda~d .
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo Depth: Shallo~
The stereo release of Bernstein's all
Ravel album is no different in essence than
tlie monophonic version reviewed 'by the
, 'writer in a recent issue. 'The performances
are slick; pat,. routirie,. ana \Yi,th a less com.
petent orchestra c;O\ild :be considered quite
ordinacy;,~-Perhapk<i~e,J)f the dangers of so
much' abundance of releases is that mediocre performances are bound to crop up
with disappointing frequency, especially
where the familiar scores are concerned.
La Valse appears the best 01 the offerings,
but .it is a poor winner, and the stereo
version makes it even plainer than on the
mono recording.
J. T •
RIMSKY.KORSAKOV: Russian Easter Overture (see COLLECTIONS)
..~-
.
ROSSINI: William Tell Overture (see COLLECTIONS)
,
•
SHOST AKOVICH: Symphony No.5 in
,0 . Major. Op. 47. Stadium Symphony Orchestra ' of New YQ~k. Leopold Stokowski
condo Everest SOBR 3010 $5;98
MU'sicill fnterest:Considered ' by many
the best of Shostakovich
Performance: Variably good
Recording: Spotty in H parts
Stereo Directionality: Excellent
. Stereo Depth: Balanced well
9
If an impossible speculation could be
indulged for ,a moment, this music as reo
corded in. stereo wit.h the Philadelphia Or·
che~tra in its great Stokowskian era with
, present 'day techriiques, would have resulted
HIFI REVIEW
[].
[
.
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Radio Shack 1959 Hi-Fi Buying Guide
I
Check
0 Money Order
0 C.O.D. 1
•
City
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Zone ____ Slale
I
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, MAy 1959
59
get more
in a terrific release. Stokowski has a special way with the Shostakovich "Fifth,"
and even with the Stadium Symphony Orchestra of New York, there are 's ome great
moments. One does miss, though, the opulence of tone, that glowing gorgeous color
that Stokowski achieved with the P hi ladelphia strings, so right for the long drawnout lyricism of the slow movement. The
electrical energy of the Finale, with its hairraising percussion in the firs t measures
so unds rather Hat compared to existing
mono versions, partly a fa ult of rillcrophoning, partly because the percussion lacks real
presence. Some forrilldable break-up also
occurs in middle and high frequencies a t
climactic points--an obvious reminder that
not too much can be crowded onto a stereocut groove at this stage of the art. The
recording has some magnificen t moments,
especially in the first and th ird movements,
and the bass work in the Scherzo is well
reproduced. But, over-all, this disc is a disappoin tment.
J. T.
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Besides telling you how to use your equipment for the best possible reproduction,
the 1959 HI-FI GUIDE & YEARBOOK presents a round-up of the trends in the hi-fi
field, .. tells you how to save on repairs ... guides you in the selection of records .. .
gives you tips on tapes. It's actually like getting two big books for the price of one!
GUIDE
Section 1: IMPROVING YOUR HI-FI-Strange Allergies of hi-fi. Square Waves Check
Tone Controls. Give Your Pickup a Chance. Getting the Most from Your Tweeters. MX
means Multiplex. Your Stereo Listening Area.
Section 2: INSTALLING YOUR HI-FI SYSTEM-Hi-ing the Fi to the Suburbs. Index Your
Music. Ceiling Mounted Speaker.
Section 3: TAPE RECORDING-Getting the Most From Your Tape Records. Tips and
Techniques. Don't Let Your Tapes Hiss at You. Make Your Own Stereo Tape Recordings.
YEARBOOK SECTION - TRENDS IN HI-FI: developments in 1958 and what the
future holds.
CRITICS' CHOICE OF RECORDINGS: a conductor, a music critic, and a sound engineer
tell what records (classical and jazz) they would select-and why.
THE ULTIMATE IN FM STATIONS: here's how
an FM station in Chicago really caters to its
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434 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago 5, Illinois
60
•
STRAUSS WALTZES-Emperor; Vienna
Blood ; Blue Danube; Tales From the Vienna
Woods. Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra of
London, Emanue l Vard i condo Audio Fidelity FCS-50,0 13 $6.95
Musica l In terest: Masterpieces all
Performance: Not bad for non-Viennese
Recording: Big and resonant
Stereo Directiona lity: Good
Stereo Depth: Fine
T his disc and Wallenstein's recording of
the Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" reviewed below are two of the initial releases in Audio
Fidelity's entl'y into the field of recorded
serious music. Since its creation about four
years ago the company has made rather a
fetish of sound and the initial release of
recorded classical m usic has been accompanied by extravagant claims in this area.
I've heard all five items in the initial release and can report that the sound on all of
them is full and bold and very impressivebut so is the work of almost every significant company in the business today, when
you come righ t down to it. It is along musical lines that Audio Fidelity will either
"make it or break it" in serious music, and
along these lines the company's initial venture is solid and promising.
Vardi, the conductor of these Strauss
Waltzes, is Audio Fidelity's Director of classical artists and repertoire. H e is a wellknown viola player and h as appeared wi th
increasing frequency as a conductor in the
New York area in the past decade. T hese
performances of the Strauss Waltzes don't
have the matchless style nor tlle irresistible
appeal that someone like the late Clemens
Krauss brough t to them in his series of
J ohann Strauss recording for London, but
for non-Viennese performances these are
qui te good. Vienna Blood and T ales From
the Vienna Woods fare best of all, with an
especially successful zither ·soloist in the
latter. The recorded sound is big and bold,
with fine spaciousness and depth.
M. B.
•
R. STRAUSS: Also Sprach Zarathustra
-Tone Poem, Op_ 30. Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra. Karl Boh m con d o Decca DL 79999
$5.98. Mono-Decca DL 9999 $3.98
Musica l Interest: Controversial Strauss
HIFI R E VIE W
Performance : Immense!
Record in g : Superlative
Stereo Directionality: Perfect
Stereo Dep th : Full and round
For splendid sound, for the summ onin g
of overwhelming orchestral forces, "Zarathustra" has no competi tion among "the
Strauss tone poems except for moments of
Ein' H eldenleben. Inspired by the writings
of Nietzsclle, the music is magnificently
contrived. In the full romantic sense of
musical expression for its own sake, "Zarathustra" is an impressive example of musical architecture, conceived by a man who
second-to-none understood the art of instrumentation.
Karl Bi:ihm takes this impressive score
and makes the most of it. Th e result is a
magnificent addition to the recorded Strauss
catalog. Engineering aids and abets a
vivid reading m at bristles ,yith energy adding up to one of the most thrillin g issues
in the whole Decca line. If the work fails
to overwhelm you in the earth-shaking openin g measures, such as is ach ieved by Reiner
on the RCA Victor stereo tape, do not be
di sappointed, for what follows the rest of
the way is sheer orchestral magic. Strangely enough, the stereo version is superior to
the monophonic in respect to solid ba'ss
line. This is certainly the best stereo LP
th e writer has yet heard on the Decca label.
J.T.
•
STRAVINSKY: Ebony Concerto; Symphony in Three Movements. Lond o n Symph o ny Orche stra, Sir Eugene Goosse ns cond .;
W oody Herman and his Orch estra. Everest
SDBR-3009 $5.98_ Mono-Everest LPBR-6009
$3.98
.
"
Mu sical Interest: Echt Stravinsky
Pe rformance: Exemplary on both
Record ing: Overmodulated at times
Stereo Directio nality : Perfect
Ste reo Depth: Also
If all th e devotees of modern and · socalled "progressive" jazz, could listen intelligently and closely to 'Ebony Concei·to,
and the lovers of contemporary music for
large ensemhle give repeated listenings to
Symphony In Three Movem ents, then I'm
sure there would be a remarkable meeting
of the minds. A grea t master, writing in
any form , and choosing to express musical
thought influenced by the changing times,
will almost always manage to create something that will outlive the birth pangs_
Stravinsky composed Ebony Concerto as a
shor t composition, and says more in this
minor piece, than a thou sand " Progressive"
jazz bits that have come and gone since
1946, when Woody Herman et al (for
whom it was dedicated ) performed it first
at Carnegie Hall.
Symphony in Three Movements dating
from 1936 is a much larger and more serious composition. Every bar has the stamp
of a master at this trade, and it is musically
and intellectually fascinating from beginning to end.
The coupling provides a fa scinating study
ill contrast, with the chamber w un d of
Woody Herman and his. ensemble on the
opening bands, and the large forces of the
Symp hony on the remainder. In bo~h, a
great master, pI'obably the greatest composer of our time, says so well ·what ·be must
MAy 1959 .
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61
that you wo nder what he can possi bly "explore" next_
The performances are spl endid, but the
recording is somewhat overmodulated. This
is not the usual tbing for Everest, and th e
overloads occurred only in fff passages, despite the use of three different car tridges,
several equlization changes, and a close
check of styl us.
The mono recording was the lesser offender, and the Ebony Concerto was technically almost flawless. Stereo spread gives
added meaning to the Symphony, and lend s
a fa scinating new dimension to the ConJ. T.
certo.
SUPPE: Overtures (see COLLECTIONS)
•
TCHAIKOYSKY: Nutc ra c ke r S u ite,
Op. 71a : MENDELSSOHN: A Mid summ er
Nig ht 's Dream-Incidental music. Hollywood
Bow l Symphony Orch estra , Fe li x Slatkin
con do Capitol SP 8404 $5.98
Mu sical Inte rest : Ma st erpi eces both
Performanc' Exce llent Nutcracke r
Rec ording: W ell above par
Stereo Directional ity : Well divid ed
Stereo Depth : Just right
There are now about thirty version s of
Nutcracker available to the collector III
various versions from the complete score to
the familiar Suite recorded here. Slatkin
enjoys the di stinction of bei ng one of a very
few worthy stereo -is-s ues of the Suite, and
unless f uture releases are topnotch, th en
the Capitol LP should h old its own, the
fin est for so me time to come. T he Hollywood Bowl Symphony OrcheS l1-a perform s
the Suite with elegant precision, and Mr.
Slatkin presents a reading notahle for exquisite detail. Capitol engin eering has produced one of the best stereo di scs in its
catalog to da te, with a noticea bl e lack of
distortion in transients, and with all th e
lines beautifully balance d. A well artic ulated and resonant soundin g "Nutcracker,"
and one to own. The reading of Mendelssohn's In cidental music does not match the
Tchaikovsky, hut it is ivell played throughout, and th e engineering is just as fine. The
scherzo emerges as a real miracle, for stereo
sound gives to this little mas terpiece th e
dim ension it needs for perfect ]-ecorded
J. T .
realization.
TCHA tKOYSKY: O ve rture 1812 (see CO LLECTIO NS)
•
TCHAIKOYSKY: O vert ure 1812 , Op.
49; Cap ric cio Italien, Op. 45. Minneapolis
Symphony Orchestra, Uni versity of Minne sota Bra ss Band, West Point cann on, Riverside Ch urch Carillon, Anta l Dorati condo
Mercu ry 90054 $5.95
Mu sica l Interest: His most famili a r overt ure
Performance : Good musi ca lly, not so
good for cannon son~s
Recording: Va rie d
Stereo Directionality: Very good
Stereo Depth: Good but a little close
Back in 1954 Mercury released its now
famou s recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812
Fes tival Overture. It was Mercury's intention that the m usic be played as nearly as
it was originally conceived, complete with
church bells, a nd cannon. Whether th e
62
I«ajority of collectors p urcha -ed the album
for the music, or to h eal' th e cannon, can not be accurately determined, but the fact
remains, the public did buy thi s parti cular
Mercury release, in fabulou s quantity, although the 1812 Overture ha d all-eady been
r ecorded in some depth on oth er labels.
With tlle advent of stereophonic I-eco rd ing, it must have become immediate ly evident tha t the "1812" should be J-e-recorded,
b ells and all. Therefore, on April 5, 1958,
at Northrop Memorial Auditorium, the project was accomplished for tb e second time,
in full ster eo fa shion. Mercur y's technique
placed th e Minnesota Brass Band players
behind the brasses of the Minneapolis Symphony Orch estra. Th e orchestra itself was
spread in normal classical fa shion, with
percussion right center, and double basses
on the left. Although the lin er does not include microphon e information, I assume the
n ewest Telefunken stereo m ikes were used,
and of course three-chann el tape ma chines.
In ord er to achi eve t he spectacular effect
indicated in the or iginal score, Mercury engineer's previously mad e a stereo-tape of
th e Laura Spelman Ro ckefell er Memorial
Carillon at Riversid e Church, which contains 74 bells. Bass bells are quite impressive, weighing more than 40,000 pounds,
and the whole of th e galaxy is housed atop
the 392 foot church tower. It total weight,
if you are interested in that sort of thing is
more than a balf-million pounds ! Bells
were r ecorded through th e cooperation of
Carrol B. Fitch and carillonn eur Dr. Kam ie l
Lefev ere of Riverside Church. In order to
preserve th e sound of th e carillon, Mercury's techni cians hung thTee mikes, left
channel for th e low pitch bell s, ri ght channel n ear the med ium pitch, and center
microphone for the brilliant hi gh -pit ched
bells.
In ord er to cap ture the ca nnon sho:s, th e
recording team visited We3 t Point 8gJ in,
and through the cooperation of Mu seum
Curator Gerald C. Stowe, cho e Ca nnon 10 •
87, a venerable beauty weigh ing 3,180
pounds. By anci ent formula , this bronze
beauty was load ed with black powder,
rammed tight with wet waddin g.
Now, all thi s information is to let you
know the enormou s amount of trouble tha t
Mercury executives and oth er personnel had
tto go throu gh for this proj ect. Aft er the
music was l-ecOI'ded, and th e carillon tape
and th e ca nnon-shot tape int egrated into a
first "composite" master, the metal parts
made, th e tes ts fi na ll y okayed, the presses
begau their production run.
The result, mu sicall y, technically, and
"dramaticalIy?"-Dorati a nd the Minn eapolis Orchestra and University of Minn eso ta
Brass Band play er combi ne to render a
very exciting and sonicaUy sup el'im stm-eo
recording. The percussion ection acquits
itself nobly, and the carill on effects are
good. Lamentably, th 0ugh, tIl e cannon
sounds like two stick s bei nb hit together,
and is a very large disapP.ointm ent. The
ca nnon used ir. tIl e 1954 monophonic version was a grea t deal better. That piece
did have a sa tisfactory reverberatory bang,
and added a vital bit of excitement to the
old "1812." What is lackin g, q uite obviously, is a low hequ ency impact, a series
of dissipati ng rever berations as the sound
decays. No matter how yo u explain it, the
cannon so unds· harsh, loud, and too close.
Comparison of two recent issues of the
same score would place either competitive
l-ecording on a superior platform if -you consider only the sonics of the finale. Slatkin
uses only percussion, and to great advantage in th e Capitol ster eo disc reviewed
elsewh ere in this issue. London's recording
to my ears is still the best, and A1wyn uses
some sort of cannon, or cannons. Compare
the solid impact of the London ster eo to
th e Mercury, and the difference will he
quite noticeabl e. Both readings are good,
on a pal', altbough I slightly prefer ilie London LP. From the viewpoint of well balanced stereo sound, and wide frequ ency
response well contained in the grooves, Alwyn's effort is by far th e more desireable.
Perhaps if Mercury had not spent so
much of an effort for authenticity and had
just used its very tal ented engineering staff
to r ecOI'd a full -throated reverberant ca nnon roar that would sound with overtones
£01- five or six seconds, a sound tha t you
could f eel in the low, low hequencies instea d of capturing the sharp whap of the
vintage hl'Onze at West Point, a much happier r esult might have been obtained . J. T.
•
TCHAIKOYSKY: String Serena d e in C
Maj or, Op. 48 ; MOZART: Sere nad e-Eine
Kle in e Nacht mu sik (K. 525). Isra el Phil ha rmonic Orchestra, G eo rg Solti condo Lo ndon
CS bObb $4 .98
Musical Inte rest: La st ing favorites
Perfo rm an ce : Exc ell e nt
Recordi ng : Tcha ikovsky fares bett er
Stereo Direction ality: See abov e
Ste reo Depth: Good
First, let it be said that th is is excellent
playin g. Th ere is r emarkable tec hnical
address and tonal ri chu ess. Both performances, moreover, are fin ely suited t.o th e
stylistic needs of the resp ective works.
Tchaikovsky's familiar music brings new
thrill s, thanks to th e sp irited concep tion
and " close to" recording. One has th e feelin g of b ein g right on th e conductor's podium. True, the strings do no t b enefit from
the sheen that might have resulted from a
more distant placement. However, one ca n
hear the inn er Pal·ts as n ever before, even
if, as a consequence of this proximity to
the players, one also occasionally heaTS the
so und of the bow against the stI-in gs. If
yo u like to follow the score while li tening,
tbis r ecordin g will put you righ t among th e
player s.
Th e Mozart, on th e other hand , em erge
with a shallower quality. Moreover, lhe dir ectionality whi ch was so fine in the case
of th e Tchaikovsky seems to be not as much
in evid ence her e. Most of the players seem
to be co ncentrated on the left chann el.
D.R.
•
TCH AI KOYS KY: Symp hony No. 6 in B
Minor, Op. 74 (" Path eti qu e") . Virt uoso
Symphony of Londo n, Alfred Wa llenstein
con d o Aud io Fid elity FCS-50,002 $6.95
Musical Interest: A classic
Perfo rmanc e: Respectable
Recording : Good
Stereo Directiona lity: Good
Stereo Depth: Good
Wallenstein's is a -respectable pel'form-
H IFI
REVIEW
ance of th e "Pathetiqne," if lackin g a bit in
personal profile. But this seems to be the
prevailing style in T chaikovsky perform·
ance these days. You ca n enumerate on the
fingers of one hand the poe t·condu ctors of
1959-and Wallenstein is certainly not one
of th em. But within its own aesthetic
framework this is a valid performance. The
recorded sound is on the thick side, with a
resultant muddin ess in some passages, es·
pecially the very en d of the symphony with
its divid ed low strings. The clarity and
articulation her e are not all th ey should be.
M.B.
Which twin has
the Audiotape?
VIVALDI: Concerto for 2 Trump ets (see
COLLECTIONS)
COLLECTIONS
•
MARCHES FROM OPERASMarches from Aida (VERDI); The Marriage of Figaro (MOZART); The Damnation
of Faust (BERLIOZ); Tannhauser, Die Meistersinger (WAGNER); Carmen (BIZET);
Coq d'Or (RIMSKY-KORSAKOV); Russian
and Ludmilla (GLINKA); Prince Igor
(BORODIN); Le Prophete (MEYERBEER).
Virtuoso Symphony of Lond on, Arthur Win ograd condo Audio Fidelity FDS 50,008 $6.95
Musical Interest: Moderate
I'erformance: Variable
Recording: Supercharged
Stereo Directional ity: Impressive
Stereo Depth: Perfect
The idea of programming operat ic
marche is app ealin gly unco nventional, and
the excerpts here have been well chosen
for variety of color and spirit. Of co urse,
certain marches are very effective outsid e
of the dramatic co ntext (the Rakoczy
March and the Fest March frol11 Tannhauser) while others suffer by th e loss of
pageantry or stage action (Aida, Carm. en,
The Marriage 0/ Figaro and Die Meistersinger). Th e r elatively seldom heard Russian excerpts are welcome choices in any
case.
According to th e rumors th at have
reached us the individual talents which
make up The Virtuoso Symphony of London are of the caliber to justify th e extravagant designation. But the pedormances
are several degrees short of virtu osity. Some
of the marches come off creditably but the
"Rakoczy" is singularly un exciting at such
a slow tempo, th e Coronation March of
Meyerbeer suffer s from poor ensemble and
Borodin's Polovetsi March needs more co nviction and fire to save it from its inh erent
dullness.
There are some stunnin g moments on this
disc-the reprodu ction of th e trumpet
so un d and the sense of directionality attendant to the contrap un tal strin g passages
in the Aida Grand March, and the clear
definition of insu' umental nuances in the
Mozart excerpt, for exampl e. Also I do not
recall the cello passages so clearly revealed
in oth er rendition s of the Berlioz march (is
the cond uctor's cellist background responsible for this?) . However, in th e portions
requiring full instrumen tation and heigh tened dynamics the grooves are evid ently
taxed to the limit of endurance alld the ex·
cessive reverberation hampers th e desired
clarity.
G. J.
•
MUSIC FOR STRINGS-BACHSTOKOWSKI: Mein Jesu, Was Fur See lenMAY
1959
NOT EVEN their mother can always tell these boys apart.
But it's pretty easy to see which one is getting the rich,
realistic performance that Audiotape consistently delivers.
Like twins, different brands of recording tape often look
the same, but are seldom exactly alike. And though the
differences may be slight, the discriminating tape recordist
won't be completely satisfied with anything but the very
finest sound reproduction he can get. Most of all, he wants
this fine quality to be consistent-he wants identical results
from every reel, regardless of when it was purchased. And
so, he chooses Audiotape.
You'll find that Audiotape is different in other respects,
too. For example, only Audiotape comes on the C-slot reel
-the easiest-threading tape reel ever developed. Another
example is quality. Audiotape has only one
standard of quality: the finest possible.
And that's true regardless of which of
the eight types of Audiotape you
buy. Don't settle for less. Insist on
Audiotape. It speaks for itself.
Mo"",,,'"""
by AU.'• •'V"". '.C.
444 Madison Ave., New York 22, New Yo.rk
GlaciiotaR'S::ox:.;;
.
~
Offices in Hollywood & Chicago
63
Musical
Interest
Tlfle
CHOPIN HITS IN STEREO HI-FI-Badura-Skoda, Boukoff, Lewenthal, Reisenberg
Polonaise No.6; Waitz No.6; Fantaisie·!mpromptu; Mazurka No.5 & 6 others.
$5.98
Westminster WST 14055
YOUNG IDEAS-Ray Anthony and His Band
Moonglow; WhyDo I Love You?; lonely Night In Paris; Coquette & 8 others.
$4.98
Capitol ST 866
CONCERTOS UNDER THE' STARS-Leonard Pennario with Dragon condo the
Hollywood Bowl Sym.
liszt: liebestriium; Bath: Cornish Rhapsody; Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto & 4 others.
$5.98
Capitol SP 8326
LEIBERT TAKES A HOLIDAY-Dick Leibert playing Byrd Theater organ
All The Things You Are; Donkey Serenade; laura; September Song & 8 others.
$5.98
Westminster WST 15034
MITCHELL AYRES PLAYS ROMANTIC BALLADS FOR YOU-with Orchestra
Embraceable You; I Love You; There's A Small Hotel; Dearly Beloved & 8 others.
Everest SDBR 1016
$5.98
STRINGS BY STARLIGHT-Hollywood Bowl Sym. Orch., Felix Slatkin condo
Borodin: Nocturne; Bach: Air for G String; Tchaikovsky: Waltz & 3 others.
Capitol SP 8444
$5.98
CHOPIN BY STARLIGHT-Hollywood Bowl Sym. Orch., Carmen Dragon condo
Polonaise in A·flat Major; Fantasie·lmpromptu; Prelude in A Major & 7 others.
Capitol SP 8371
$5.98
MUSIC OF JOHANN STRAUSS-Musical Arts Sym. Orch., Leonard Sorkin condo
Die Fledermaus; Pizzicato Polka; Blue Danube Waltz; Perpetual Motion & 2 others.
Concert-Disc CS 28
$6.95
ON WINGS OF SONG-Mishel Piastro and His Concert Orchestra
Spanish Serenade; Zapateado; Hungarian Dance No.6; Vocalise & 6 others.
Decca Dl 78675
$5.98
THE ORCHESTRA SINGS-Capitol Symphony Orchestra, Carmen Dragon condo
Largo 01 factotum; Toreado Song; Amami Alfredo ; Vesti 10 giubba & 6 others.
Capitol SP 8440
$5.98
VOICES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS-The Boys Choir of Vienna, Carl Elti condo
Songs of Johann Strauss, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Mozart.
Omega OSl28
$5.95
CONCERTO-Freddy Martin and His Orchestra
We live For Love Tonight; Cornish Rhapsody; Our love; My Reverie & 11 others .
Capitol SW 1066 . $5.98
SWINGIN' SCHOOL SONGS-D~ve Pell and His Octet
On Wisconsin; The Victors; Iowa Corn Song; The Eyes of Texas & 12 others.
$5.98
Coral CRl 757248
GOSPEL SINGING IN WASHINGTON TEMPLE-Ernestine Washington
I Thank You lord; Wipe All Tears; I'm Tired And Weary; Holdin' On & others.
$5.98
Westminster WST 15032
MUSIC FROM THE BLUE ROOM-Jan Garber atthe Roosevelt Hotel (New Orleans)
Cheek To Cheek; Swingin' Shepherd Blues; lonesome And Sorry and Medleys.
Decca Dl 78793
$5.98
CHA CHA CHAS AND MAMBOS-Socarras and His Orchestra
Tea For Two Cha Cha; Sixty Second Mambo; Nervous Gavotte Mambo & 9 others.
Decca Dl 78936
$5.98
OPERA WITHOUT WORDS-Rome Symphony Orchestra, Domenico Savino condo
Tasca.
Kapp KCl 9022
$5,98
MOST HAPPY HAMMOND-Jackie Davis, organ
Standing On The Corner; Surprise; Push de Button; All Of You & 8 others.
Capital ST 1046
$4.98
M
Performance
Stereo
Direction
Stereo
Depth
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Score
16
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11
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10
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7
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HIFI REVmW
~,
"
weh Befiillt Dich in Gethsemane; Preludio;
GLUCK : Suite; BORODIN: Nocturne; PAGANINI: Moto Perpetuo; RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise. Leo p o ld Stok ows ki with
Symphony Orchestra. Capitol SP 8415 $5.98
Musi cal Interest: ;'xceptional transcriptions
Performance : Superb
Reco rding: Likewise
Ste reo Directi o nality: Classic seating
Ste reo De pth: Just right
At last! Of all the Stokowski r eco rdin<Y·s
of r ecent years, tllis is the one that mo~ t
closely resembles the very best tbat this
co ntroversial conductor can offer, and th a t
is co nsiderable. Stokowski somewhat astoni hed the musical world by his introduction
of non-unison bowing with the Philadelphia
Orchestra, and thi s, plus other techniques,
made for an unearthly beauty of string tone_
During the 78 rpm era, between 1929 and
1940, Stokowski made many RCA Victor
albums, and in almost every one th e startlingly rich so und of the Philadelphia is
etched for posterity. Old-fashioned sound
by mod ern .day standards, but within the
dynamic and frequency response limi ta tions
of that day, one can still make a definite
critical evaluation of the peculiar "'lowin '"
opulence of the Philadelphia .s trin; . Sto~
kowski has made many recordin gs with
"His" orchestra since that time and they
all faIl far below the magnificence achieved
with his previo us RCA Victor shellacs. Th a t
is until now. Music jer Strings is breathtaking in some moments, and from start to
finish commands attention for the plastic
beau ty of the 'S tring choirs.
Stokowski's restraint in these tran scriptions and in his conducting adds much to
th e success of this release. "M ein J esu" is a
mo ving experience and is read with touchin g tenderness, a reminder of the Stokowskian nliracle achieved with the Philadelphia in his lovely transcription of Komm
susser Tod. Preludio is given a stirring perform ance, and contrasts nicely with the
Gluck Suite which follows. The Mu.sette is
played with unusual verve. Borodin's Nocturn e fail s to come up to the standard of
the other repertoire here, and Moto Perpetuo is merely go od. Vocalise emerges
with restraint-all the better for the almost
chamber ahnosphere created there by. An
altogether admirable relea'se, one to own
and a credit to a conductor to whom all of
us owe a great debt.
J. T.
•
OVERTURE! TCHAI KOVSKY: 1812
Overture; ROSSINI: William Tell-OvertureSUPPE : Poet and Peasant, Light Cavalr;
Overtures. H o llywood Bowl Symph ony Orchestra, Fel ix Slatkin cond o Capitol SP 8380
$5.98
Musica l Interest: The pots boil
Performance: Energetic
Rec o rd ing : Excellent
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo De pth. Brasses shallow
The only thing missing from this album
of energetic pot-boilers is some antique
Hollywood cannons for use in T chaikovsky's 1812 Overture. We must be content
to r ely on Mercury and London to satisfy
those who will tolerate nothing less than a
r everberatory roar that will make the house
reek of cordite fumes (tbere's an idea ..•
a five-inch firecracker with each album, to '
MAY
1959
he lit on cue, score excerpt furni shed in
deluxe issues) . Mr. Slatkin uses a big bass
drum, with a fundam ental of below 40
cycles, and it so unds real fin e. A fin e sheen
is imparted to the strings, especiaIly in the
" William Tell," wh ere they manage to mask
the trombon es in the storm scene. The "Lone
Ranger" finale is a shade slow in tempo.
Suppe's wonderful overtures are given slick
treatment too, but "1812" is the real solid
effor t here, and worth th e price of th e whole
album. Th e superlative London stereo of
"1812" (CS 6038) with the London Symphony and Grenadier Guards Band offers
high powered competition, but the Capitol
disc has th e adva ntage of including a more
varied program. For those of you who want
cannons, London has 'em, and if you want
it perform ed more realisticall y, the only
choice left is to join the Army. Overture!
is recommended ,vith only slight reservation. High brasses are over-brilliant and
tend to "fry" in loud parts.
J. T.
•
RUSSIAN COMPOSER MASTERPIECES-BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances;
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Russian Easter Overture; Dance of the Buffoons; GLiERE: Russian Sailor's Dance; MOUSSORGSKY: Polonaise from Boris Godounov. Audio Fidelity.
FCS 50,009 $6.95
Mu sica l Interest: Familiar Russian dressing
Pe rfo rm a nc e: Straightforward
Reco rd ing: Very, very good
Ste reo Directio na lity: Superlative
Stereo Depth : Warm and full
Aft er a great deal of cleverly planned
and ' skilled advance publicity, Audio Fidelity has released its first batch of serious
music st.ereo recordings. At th e outset, let
it be said tllat this young company has
achi eved a notable success in engineering.
Here is some of the smoothest stereo I've
yet listened to. The orchestra is microphoned magnificently, resultin g in clean
lin ed articulation, all the way from the
lowest fund amental to the high frequencies
and their overtones. Despite the claim of
absolute lack of di stortion, ther e is some in
the final grooves of each side. But, that is
a minor fault, and one that will be with us
on flat disc recording for some time to
come. Audio Fidelity is to be co ngra tul a ted
on some magnificently reproduced sound in
what app ears to be an intelligent r esult of
very careful engi neering. The sound does
not "drift" ; directionality is razor sharp
and well balanced, the hall has good acoustics, and the orchestra is well positioned
for microphone pickup. Th e newest Neuman stereo mikes were used I am sure, for
there are no cancellation effec ts. The orches tra itself plays very well indeed-surprisingly well for a hastily organized ensemble.
It takes a deal of time for any orchestra
to begin to develop real unity and character,
a nd that little fact poses a serious problem
to a company which wants th e best but
cannot have it for the simple r eason " the
best" is under contract. Audio Fidelity
spared neither money nor effort to put together th e best it could, and the ensemble
is very good. In due course, it will become
much better if it plays together long
enou gh. We have on these first discs some
stunning sound, with straightforward, carefully contrived performances. Sound is
LEONARD BERNSTEIN'S
MIRACLE
ON 57th STREET
The New York Philharmonic is currently
having the finest season it has had in years.
The Carnegie Hall box office has dusted
off its SRO sign. Critics are digging for
their most commendatory adjectives. And
life is great for the nation's oldest symphony
orchestra. Credit for this goes to Leonard
Bernstein, the supremely gifted young conductor who became permanent musical
director of the Philharmonic this season.
I:;ZWn~~~~I<{[email protected]
LEONARD BERNSTEI N
SH OSTAKOVI TCH:
PIANO CONCERTO NO.2
RAVEL: PIANO CONCERTO
IN G MAJOR
Leonard Bernstein
at the piano and conducting the
New York Philharmonic
~ "Columbia" "Maaterworks lt ~ Marc"s R.t!1l' .
A division ot Columbia Broadcaetinlr System, Jnc .
65
(Advertisement) ,
King here, however, and Audi o Fidelity will
dazzle ears from one coast to th e other.
J.T.
Sound
Tall~
by fohn K.' Hilliard,
Director of Advanced En gineerin g
WHAT SPEAKERS FOR STEREO,?
Sound engineers agree that the finest
stereo reproduction can be achieved only
by two identical speaker systems of exceptional quality. Short of this ideal , however,
the premise is muddled by an ever-increasing number of unfounded claims .. . most
of them based on sales philosophy rather
than scientific fact.
Actually, the proper selection of stereo
speakers is quite clear. Due to certain
,psycho-acoustic effects, one exceptional
speaker system and one of moderate abilities will provide better stereo than matched
speakers ,of intermediate quality. This is
only true, however, if the lesser speaker
meets cer-tain requisites.
'
The two speakers IUust be similar in frequency response and character. In the high
end of the spectrum they must have the
same limits. At the low end, they must be
similar down to 100 cycles. Below that
point, the performance of the lesser
speaker is relatively unimportant.
If the lesser speaker goes down to only
300 cycles or has major irregularities in its
response, a phenomenon yalled the
"orchestral shift" will occur. This shift
results from the fact that the sound from
any given instrument is reproduced from
both speaker systems . The comparative
loudness determines the auditory location.
If an instrument is "placed" in the lesser
speaker and then plays into a frequency
range where that speaker is inefficient, it
will then be louder in the better system
and will appear to shift to that better
sys-tem.
.
Speakers that are inefficient below the 300
'cycle point will not provide true stereo.
This is obvious because the 300 cycle point
. is above middle C on the piano, 70 cycles
above the primary' pitch of , the female
voice and nearly 200 cycles above primary
male pitch. For full stereo it is therefore
imperative that the lesser speaker efficiently reach ~t least 100 cycles.
All ALTEC speaker systems are similar
in their exceptional smoothness of frequency response, have a high frequency
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For further information concerning the
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LANSING CORPORATiON, Dept. 5MR-B
1515 S. Manchester Ave. , Anaheim, Calif.,
161 Sixth Ave., New York 13, N. Y.. " .35
66
•
HAYDN: Trumpet Concerto in E-f1at;
VIVALDI: Concerto for Two Trumpets and
Orchestra in C; PURCELL: Tune and Air for
Trumpet and Orchestra in D; Voluntary for
Two Trumpets in C; Trumpet Voluntary in D;
Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D. Roge r
Voisin an d A rm an d o Ghitalla (t rumpe t ers )
with Unico rn C once rt O rchestra, Harry Elli s
Dickson con d o Kapp KCL 9017 $5.98
M us ic a l Interest: Unusual
' Perfo rman ce: Full blown
Re co rdin g : Resonant
Ste re o Di rectio na lity : Much in evidence
Stereo De pth: Good
When th e monophonic version of this
disc appeared, my review for HFR noted
that the perform ances were nothing short
of " brilliant." This opinion is now furth er
substantiated by the stereo version. I t would
be difficult to imagine more skill ful performances, h om either soloists or orchestra.
'Curiously, the trumpets seem to emerge
from the left hand channel, with the first
violins of th e orchestra grouped on th e
right. Although one might have exp ected
the soloists to be located in the center, the
e al' has no trouble in adjusting to this
placement.
In the Purcell Trumpet Volun tary in D,
the balance leaves much to be desired. The
strings are much too far back, so that if the
level is raised to the point where they are
suffi ciently audible, the trumpet solo is
piercing. Also, in the same composer's
Tune and Air in D, th e studio sound drops
out during the splice just preceding the return to the opening section.
Aside from these two minor complaints,
however, the recording is very satisfa ctory.
As in the case of the mono version, the
spacious acoustics are nicely matched to the
nature of the music.
The final Purcell work on Side 2, although it is perhaps the least spectacular
sounding 011 the entire disc, is nevertheless
a gem. It has an exquisi te quality, especially in the writing for strings, reminiscent
of moments in his masterful work, The
D. R.
Fairy Queen.
•
HANDEL: Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah; LASSO: Echo Song; MOZART: Alleluia from Exsultate Jubilate (K.165); BORODIN: Dance of the Polovetsian Maidens from
Prince Igor; Soon I Will Be Done (arr. William Levi Dawson) Polly Wolly Doodle (Arr.,
Gail Kubik); ORFF: Praelusio from Catulli
Carmina. Ro ge r W ag ne r C hora le . Capitol
Stereo SP 8431 $5.98
Mu sica l Inte rest: Variable
Pe rfo rm a nce: From magnificent to superficial
Re cording: Spectacular, not always wellbalanced
Stereo Directional ity: Mostly satisfactory
St ereo De pth : Good
At first listening, this is a spectacular
di sc. Mr. Wagner obviously knows his way
around with a chorus, and this group sounds
like an aggregate of singers of solo calibre,
so polished is the tone.
Under more careful scrutiny, however,
there is something to be desired. Herewith
my runnin g notes :
Halleluj ah Chorus : Beautiful tempo, but
orchestra is far too di stant; chorus is prominent beyond all proportion, so that timpani
and orchestral basses are all but missing.
Almost everything seems to be left channel.
E cho Song : The main bod y of the chorus
is "close up," and the good stereo recording clearly places the echo group in the
distance and to the left, giving an excellent
spatial effect. However, there is one psychologically disturbing fa ctor ; th e main
group does not seem to be singing loud
enough to call forth an echo h om such a
great distance ! Moreover, why does a professional chorus that prides itself on its
vir tuoso calibre sing this work in English,
when amateur groups with much less skill
have sung it in th e I talian original ?
Shouldn't a professional chorus set all example for others?
"A lleluia" : quite a virtuoso feat, having
all the women sing the solo coloratura
lines ! They carry it off very well.
Dances from Prince Igor. Aga in the
chor us is so prominent that th e orchestra
is sadly lacking in presence. Seems to be
sung in Russian. However, here is where a
professional chorus leaves something to be
desired. The tone is so polished th at one
misses th e earthy, folk quality that lies at
the root 01 this magnificently exciting music. Its latent barbarity is vitiated by toosophisticated ton e quality.
S oon I Will be Done: 'Excellent ensemble,
but the rhythm is so metronomic th at the
music lacks the "insinuating" quality it
should have.
Polly Wally Doodle : A well-performed
" novelty" number, but what a strange bedfellow for Handel and Mozart!
Orff's Praelusio: This is indeed a fin e
performance on the part of all concerned,
including the anonymous instrumentalists.
The recording, too, is spectacular , in its
ability to reproduce the sounds of th e four
pianos and the battery of percussion instruments. However, to my , ears, this mu si~ is
no more than a series of cleverly put-together rhythmic effects. Despite the furor
that Orff's works have been creating, I find
that the music loses its interest after first
hearing. If you like OrfI, get this disc, by
all means. The performance is virtuosic
with a vengeance.
D. R.
•
CHARLES K. L. DAVIS SINGS ROMANTIC ARIAS FROM FAVORITE OPERAS-with the Sta d iu m Symph ony Orch estra of New Yo rk, Wilfre d Pe ll etie r condo
Everest SDBR 3012 $5.98. Mono-LPBR 6012
$3.98
Musica l Interest: Operatic hit-parade
Pe rform a nc e : Promising talent
Reco rd ing: Near perfection
Ste reo Di rectio na lity : Natural
Ste reo De pth: Good
Davis, winner of the 1958 Metropolitan
Auditions of the Air, has been heard previously in popul ar collections and now
makes his bow in an operatic program.
Aside from generous vocal endowments he
also exhibits the results of sound musical
training. His voice is bright, his delivery
confident, he has a good legato and phrases
sensitively. Still one cannot help thinkin g
that this is a somewh at premature exposure
of a yet un for med artist in a program which
autom aticall y invites the most formida ble
compari sons.
G. J.
HIFI R EVIEW
,.
Reviewed by
BEST OF THE MONTH
MARTIN BOOKSPAN
,.
GEORGE JElLINEK
Westminster has a real "sleeper" in its anthology of Debussy
pieces conducted by Manuel Rosenthal -
DAVID RANDOLPH
... not anywhere." (see below)
•
•
Monitor's disc' of Schubert's A Minor Piano Sonata rev.eals in its good '
sonics the real greatness of Russia's Sviatoslav Richter. -
BACH: Prelude and Fugue in C Minor
(BWV 546). Prelude and Fugue in C maior
{BWV 547}; Fantasia in C Minor {BWV
562}; Toccata and Fugue in F Major (BWV
540). Finn Vid er0 (O rga n of St. Johannis,
Ve ile, De nmark) . Bach Guild BG-580 $4.98
and flow./I (see
•
J
Columbia's coupling of Richard Strauss's almost unknown Frau ohne
OrmandYi is a masterstroke -
D.R.
•
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No.3 in
C minor, Op. 37. Pa ul Badura-Sko da, with
the Vi e nna State Ope ra Orchestra , H erman n
Scherch e n cond o Westminster XWN-18799
$4.98
Mu si cal Interest : Yes, yes
Performan ce: Fine
Recording: Good
An element of exhilaration is' lacking in
the finale, but otherwise this is a first·class
recording. Badura·Skoda plays the solo
beautifully and Scherchen gets the proper
strength and sensitivity into the over·all
presentation. The recorded sound is good,
with ' fine balance between the solo instru·
, ment and orchestra. This version automat·
ically takes a place near the top of availa ble
recordings of this Concerto.
M. B.
BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No . 3 (s ee
.
BEETHOVEN:
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat
{"Eroica"} (see p . 53)
BIZET: L'Ari esie nn e; Carmen Suit es (see p.
53)
BRUCH : Violin Concerto No . I (see MENDELSSOHN)
CHARLES K. l. DAVIS SINGS ROMANTIC ARIAS FROM FAVORITE OPERAS
(see p. 66)
p. 72)
Schatten Suite with the familiar Rosenkavalier music, as led by Eugene
These are skilled performa nces of fine
music, with recording th at captures the
so und of the organ wi th complete success.
My only slight complaint would be about
lack of variety in registration. In other
words, here is a well·played convention al
conception of Bach's organ music that can
readily be r ecommended-provided that
one enjoys that "conventional conception."
But, as I have sta ted in the past, I would
prefer to hear Bach played on an organ in
a room that offers grea t clarity of line, in·
stead of a blur that obscures the music.
MAY
"Here is
nobility and power, mated to instinctive feeling for the music's ebb
M usica l Interest: Tops
, Pe rfo rm a nc e: ExO)ert
Recording: Resonant
COLLECTIONS)
"combining breathtaking
performance with fabulous engineering . . . . There are no weaknesses
JOHN THORNTON
I
master~
"the full Philadelphia treatment
sound is gorgeous ./I (see p . 72)
CHOPIN:
Pia no
pi eces
(s ee
COLLEC-
TIONS)
too heavy. Altogether a tremendous release,
an d one that this revi ewer, for one, will
enj oy fpr many, many playings.
J. t.
CORElLl: Conc erti Grossi (see p . 54)
DEBUSSY:
Reflets dans I'eau (see COLLECTIONS)
DEBUSSY: Iberia (se e COLLECTIONS)
•
DEBUSSY: Jeux-Po e me Danse; Pre lude
to The Afternoon of a Faun ; Fetes, Nuages
from Nocturnes for Orchestra. Orchestre du
Theatre Natio na l d e I'Opera d e Paris, Manuel Rosentha l condo Westminster XWN 18771
$4.98
Musical In te rest : Jeux is magnifice nt!
Perfor mance: Worth an award
Reco rdin g : Westminster's best
One of the most perfect Debussy record·
ings in the disc reperto ire, combinin g
breathtaking performance with fabulous en·
gin eering, has been issued by Westminster
here in this monophonic issue. Of all th e
Rosenthal releases on Westminster, this one
by far is the best. There are no weaknesses.
Not anywhere. f eux comes forth in jewellike splendor with every facet glistening,
with every delica te nuance of tone placed
with shimmeri ng perfection, in just the right
place. Virtuoso playing under a man who
has a superb sense of dyna mics, and who
never loses the long line, adds up to a re·
cording you must own.
So many times the music of Debussy suf·
fers from over· tran sparency, r esulting in a
clear, but brittle sound. Rosenthal manages
to obtain this ice·clear articulation without
losing warmth of tone, and the result is in·
toxicatin g. f eux is the prize·winning effort,
a nd worth the price of the recordin g many
tim es. "Afternoon of a Faun" is very well
done, and Fetes is most notable beca use of
the stea dy bea t that Rosen thal maintains
in the middl e sec tion. Nuages is very good
too, and tbe orchestral tone never becomes
•
FRANCO: The Virgin Qu ee n's Dream
Monologue (with Paula Lenc hner, soprano);
Fantasy for cello and orchestra (with Sam uel
Brill . ce ll o ). Rotte rd am Philharmonic Orchestra , Ed ua rd Flipse condo HOWE: Castellana for two pianos and orchestra {with
Ce li us Do ugherty, Vi nc enz Ruzi cka, pianist.};
Stars; Sand. Vienna Orchestra, William
Stri ckland cond o Composers Recordings CRI
124 $5.95
M usica I Interest : Moderate
Performance: Sympathetic
Recording : Good average
The program of this LP is evenly divided
between two contemporary composers, Holland·American .Tohn Franco (b. 1908) and
Virginia.born Mary Howe ( b. 1882). The
monologue for dramatic sopra no and orchestra from Franco's uncompleted opera .
a bout Sir Francis Bacon is the most impres, sively ' individual entry on the record-a
scene of considerable dramatic impact
heightened by the ima ginatively eerie use
of celesta and percussion in the accompaniment. P aula Lenchner performs the music
a dmirably. The Fantasy, in which a g/)rminal motive is treated to an elaborate
"cyclic" development is, apart from ex. hibiting the composer's contrapuntal skill,
decidedly less interestin g.
Mary Howe's Castellana is an eflec tive
virtuoso showpi ece for two pianos and orchestra whose openly romantic appeal
makes one wonder why it is not better
known. Stars and Sand are miniature tone
poems of consi derable skill and expressiveness and just as easi\)' accessible. The per-
67
1959
69
. 1
Olympia and Antonia to the same singer
is quite permissible-the adventurous history of thi s opera provides handy precedents for all kinds of productional twists.
Mattiwilda Dobbs is an unusually agile
Olympia-her Doll Song exhibits, aside
from two firmly anchored E flats, a dazzling interpolated F-also scale passages of
almost impeccable purity and accuracy. For
the part of Antonia a warmer, full er sound
would be conducive to better results, but
her portrayal is touching and agreeably
musicaL Uta Graf, on the other hand, is a
rather colorless Giulietta, a part that requires more vocal allure. Weakest of the
entire cast is Nata Tuescher who appeal"S
in the entirely unrelated parts of Nicklausse
and the Voice of Antonia's mother ( for this
I don't recall a precedent ) . Her singing is
a di stinct handicap to the performance and,
to make matters worse, by maintai ning a
respectful distance from true pitch she
turns the Barcarolle into a real triaL
Similar expediency-or economy- has
evidently ruled that the interpreter of
Crespel should al so assume the roles of
Schlemihl and the student Hermann. The
singer in question, Bernard Lafort, fortunately comes through handily. Aime Donat,
however, who is called upon to add the
parts of Nathanael and Spalanzani to the
quartet of tenor buffo roles, sports a frail,
trem ulous voice that is tailor-made for the
feeble Frantz, but not quite so for the
vigorous student NathanaeL
This is, for all purposes, a complete
version, although a somewhat baflling one.
Both the Prologue and Epilogue offer more
music than found in the Schirmer score.
On the other hand, the Entr'acte to Act I,
the interlude before the Waltz Scene and
the final e of Act I are abbreviated. The
Barcarolle Entr'acte, also unacco untably
shortened, is placed after Act III, which
seems rather illogical. Definitely on the
credit side is Epic's smartly designed package (Hollywood, rather than Paris-influenced) with full libretto but no information on the performers.
Hats off to th e recorded sound- plush,
spacious; cleanly articulated. Stereo adds
mixed blessing~sharper definition of orchestral detail and vocal ensembl es ( particularly the two trios of Act III) . On the
other hand, Hoffman and Nicklausse, who
enter the stage side by side in the first
scene, reach your ears through separate
speakers. It's separa te speakers, too, for the
Barcarolle, supposedly an intimate duet
sung in a clinch.
Faults aplenty, this is still an enjoyable
performan ce. It may be a while until a
better one comes along, so the set is well
worth considering if you wan t Offenbach's
weird but brilliant ma'sterpiece in your colG. J.
lection.
•
PALESTRINA: Sicut cervus; Soave fia iI
morir; 0 beata et benedicta et gloriosa;
Adoramus te Christe, Stabat mater; MONTEVERDI : Lamento d'Arianna; Ch'io t 'ami.
Netherlands Chamber Choi r; Fe lix de Nobel
cond o Angel 35667 $4.98
M usica I Int erest: Masterpieces
Perfo rmance: Sensitive
Record ing : Excellent
This is an admirable disc. On the one
side, Palestrina's relatively r eserved music;
on the other, Monteverdi's emo tional outbursts, including the famou s Lasciatemi
morire.
It is to the credit of the cond uctor that
he is so sensitive to the needs of both
kinds of music, and to the credit of his
singers-apparently eighteen in numberthat they respond completely to hi s demands. The recording, likewise, leaves nothing to be desired in tonal beaut¥', balance,
and acoustics.
A compariso n of the Monteverdi side with
the Vox version of a few years ago, by the
Couraud Vocal Ensemble r eveals the fact
that the earlier conception is somewhat
more emotional, while the present disc has
greater tonal warmth.
D. R.
•
POULENC: Dialogues des Carmelites
(complete opera). Denise Duval (soprano )
-Blanche de la Force; De nise Scharley (m ezzo-sop rano)-The Prioress; Regi ne Cres pin
(soprano) -M adame Lidoine; Rita G orr
(so prano)-Mothe r Marie; Xavier De praz
(baritone) -The Marquis; Paul Finel (tenor)
-The Ch evalier de la Force; and others.
Orchestra and C horus of the Th eatre Nationc i de l'Opera de Paris, Pi e rre Derva ux
cond o Angel 3585 3 12" $15.94
Musi ca l Inte rest: Major contemporary
opera
Performanc e : Very good
Recording: Good-with some reservations
Francis Poulenc has written three operas.
The first one, a youthful work (Le gendarme incompris, 1920) is hardly known.
Les mamelles de Tiresias followed in 1947
and quickly ascended to fame (or notori-
;
HIFI ItEvmw
ety} by virtue of its daring subject matter.
Then, in 1953, Poulenc accepted a commission for La Scala, choosing for his li bretto
the moving Dialogues des Carmelites, a
play of Georges Bernanos based on a his·
torical fact. La Scala introduced the "Dialogu,es" on J anuary 26, 1957, and the NBC
Opera made a memorable television production of it a year later. The Paris premiere by the Opera took place on June 21,
1957, presided over by the conductor of
Angel's performance, Pierre Dervaux.
ihe fervor of religious fai th is the only
emotion manifested in this opera. T he story
begins in 1789. Blanche de la Force, the
central figure, is a creature of Melisandelike fragili ty. Unable to adj ust herself to
life's turmoil she seeks escape-against the
wishes of her father and brother-as a
Carmelite nun. But convent life, with its
unquesfioning acceptance of rigid discipline, proves equally harrowing. The storm
of the Revolution soon overtakes the sheltered world of the convent. The Carmelite
order is disbanded by th e government and
the nuns are expelled. They are joined in
a vow of martyrdom, but Blanche, find i:;:;
herself incapable to meet this new crisis,
escapes. The Revolutionary Tribunal finds
the entire order guilty of forbidden activities and the death sen tence is summarily
pronounced on the nuns. In the last scene,
as -the tragic procession moves toward the
g uillotine, Blanche appears in the crowd in
time to join her sisters in their last moment of martyrdom.
We might pause a moment here, for this
is an unforgettable scene-the implacable
climax toward which the entire opera grav-
itates slowly and inexorably. T he n uns ap'
proach the scaffold singing "Salve R egina"
in steady tones of celestial puri ty over
vaguely defined choral voices emerging from
the crowd. The grisly and terrifying noi se
of the falling blade is heard at irregular
intervals, and each time it is heard the
singing dimini shes in strength until the
melody is sustained by a single voice. As
the last nun is silenced Blanche lifts her
voice in the last verses of Veni Creatorthen her voice dies out sudderily andcurtain.
The chilli ng drama of the opera's last
scene is all the more electrifying since it
is preceded by a series of episodes in
which dramatic elements are understated
or completely absen t. Through most of the
opera th e characters express themselves in
a natural, conversational tone-theatricalism is pointedly avoided and the music
r uns a delicate course of r estraint. To be
sure, Poulenc di splays a mastery of the
flowing song-speech that is r eminiscen t of
Debussy and Moussorgsky at their most inspired. But the predominance of feminine
voices, wh ich inhibited P uccini's exquisite
Suor Angelica, proves even more formidable
for Poulenc's subtler, less demonstrative
talents. Where Puccini made us constantly
aware of the undercurrent of hidden emotions, Po ulence offers only brief moments of
contrast and relief- the gripping death
scene of the Prioress, the poignant duet between Blanche and her brother- which
seem like isolated r ipples in a sea of undisturbed placidity. But then comes the
final scene with an impact to make one
momentarily forget the dramatic shortcom-
i ll ~s
of the preceding two hours.
Here a word may also be add ed about th e
orchestral writing which, though full-textured and abundant in vivid harmonies, is
always transparen t and sensitively shaded
to the all-important vocal design. The deserved world recognition of the "Dialogues"
should inspire other operas from Poulenc's
pen-few indeed are the skills today comparable to his.
The cast presented here discloses only
one singer of renown, Denise Duval, in the
role of Blanche. This is a difficult pal'!, too
demanding vocally to allow full concen tration on the considerable variety of shadi ngs
that make up this fragile and pi tiful figure.
Miss Duval falls h wIlanly short of perfection, which makes her characterization all
the more human. My recollection of Patricia Neway's television performa nce find s
Denise Scharley's Prioress a little paler in
dramatic strength by comparison, but Regine Crespin is very impressive in the part
of Madame Lidoine and Rita Gorr is appropriately stern as the determined Moth er
Marie. In the all too brief role of the
Marquis, Xavier Depraz is excellent, while
Paul Finel displays a rather ligh t and not
too expressive tenor voice as Blanche's
brother. Dervaux's direction may be accepted as absolutely authoritative and the
balances he maintains between voices and
orchestra most happily reveals both elements in a complimentary light.
For the most part the perfllrmance is
blessed with luminous sound. The overabundance of high sopr ano tones is fraught
with engineering diffic ulties which are nol
always solved to satisfaction- there's quite
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71
DIETRICH AUF
DEUTSCH
a bit of shrill singing, some of which, of
course, cannot be blamed on the engineering. Still-more care should have been
taken in this area.
G. J.
RAVEL: Alborada del gracioso (see COLLECTIONS)
ROSSINI: L'ltaliana in Algeri-Overture
(see COLLECTIONS)
•
SAINT·SAeNS: Piano Concerto No. 4
in C Minor, Op. 44; MILHAUD: Le Carnaval
d'Aix for Piano and O rchest ra. Grant J oha nnese n wit h th e Philhar.monia Orchestra,
Georges Tzipi ne condo Capitol EMI G 7151
$4.98
.
Mu sical Interest: For French pastry fanciers
These recordings by Marlene Dietrich went
to war , did the ir work (they were broadcast
to audie nces in e nemy territory) and vanished into ass files in Washington . Fortil e
nately Miss Dietrich had her own copi es,
which were made available for this albuma collection filled with the haunting sadness
a nd dee p feeling which represents her at her
unforgettable best.
LlLI MARLENE-Marlene Dietrich
CL 1275
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EVERY MONTH
Performan ce : Saint Saens-Lacking a little in seasoning; Milhaud-Just right
Recording : Slightly boo my
R. STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra (see
p. 60)
Johannesen doesn't bring to his performance of the Saint-Sa ens quite the degree of
sophisticated elan which characterized the
pre-war recording of the score by Alfred
Cortot with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra under the direction of a then obscure
conductor named Charles Munch. Nor does
Tzipine illuminate the orchestral part with
any great insight. This, in short, is a serviceable but by no means exceptional performance.
The saucy Milhaud score, on the other
hand , fares very well in thi s, its first recorded performance. This is a product of
the 1920's and is a re-working by the com·
poser of some of the material he used in his
ballet, Salade. There are twelve section.s to
the Carnaval, each one perkier than it~ pre·
decessor. Johannesen and Tzipine combin e
to give us a pert and zestful performance,
with expert collaboration from the orches·
tra. The r ecorded sound tends to get boomy.
•
R. STRAUSS: Death arid Tra nsfi guration;' Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome ;
Dance Suite After Couperin. Philharmonia
Orchestra, Artur Rodzi nski cond o Capitol
EMI G 7147 $4.98
M .B.
SCHUBERT: Impromptu in B-f1at (see COLLECTIONS)
•
SCHUBERT: Sonata in A Minor, Opus
42; Impromptus in E Flat, Opus 90, No.2
and A Flat, Opus 142, No.2. Sviatoslav
Richter (pia no). Monitor MC-2027 $4.98
Musical Inte rest: A strong Sonata and
engaging Impromptus
Performance: Extraordinary
. Recording: One of Russia's best-sounding
exports
name
address
city
zone
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Check one: 0 3 years for $10
o 2 years for $ 7
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In. case you've been wondering whether
or not all the talk about the greatness of
Rich ter has been exaggerated, just listen to
these performa nces. Here is nobility and
power, mated to an instinctive feelin g for
the 'm usic's ebb and flow. The Sonata itself
is one of the grea t ones of the literature
and Richter's reading is remarkable.
He is equally successful with the two
Impromptus, neatly capturing the casual
charm of the music.
Th e sound is resonant and bold, among
the best I've yet heard from the Soviet.
M.B.
In the U . S. , its possessIons and Canada
Foreign rates: Pan American Union
countries, add $.50
per year; all other
foreign countries,
add $1.00 per year.
Mail to: HiFi REVIEW H-5-9
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72
Even if these performances were not as
good as they are, we should be in debt to
the Endres Quartet and to Vox for this
tremendous und ertaking. As it happens,
the players are fully equal to the demands
of Schubert's music, with the result that
these arC" rich, technically secure and expressive interpretations. In view of the
great number of works included, it would
be pointless to dwell on the interpretations
accorded individual movements. Suffice it
to say that these are searching readings,
and that the recording is tonally faithful
and well·balanced.
My enthusiasm for this undertaking-especially at the asking price!-is as gr ea t
as this review is brief.
'
D. R.
•
SCHUBERT: String Quartets and Quintets-complete (15 quartets and 2 quintets) .
Endres Quartet, with Rolf Reinhardt (pi ano )
and Fritz Kiskalt (c ello). Vox VBX-4 3 12";
VBX-5 3 12" ; VBX-6 3 12" $6.95 pe r album
Musical In te rest : Unquestioned
Performan ce: Splendid
Re co rd ing: Good
Mu si ca l In te rest: Variable
Pe rformance: Clean
Recording: Fine
The most impressive thing about this
Death and Transfiguration is the enormous
dynamic range contained within the grooves
of the disc, from the whispered opening
to the III of the apocalyptic pages. The
performance is steady, if a bit antiseptic.
I want more passion and drive here than
Rodzinski summons.
Similarly, others have made a more voiuptuously sensuous thing of Salome's
Dance. In tlle Dance Suite After Couperin
Rodzinski omits' two of tire eight sections;
the si"~ that he does gjve. us have a period
charm, but as a whole the score is not up
to 5he composer's' earlier .evocation of the
spirit of Lully in' the "Bourgeois Gentilh~mthe'" music. Performances and recording 'al'e uniforfuly fine, however.
M. B.
•
R, STRAUSS: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier; Suite from Die Frau ohne Schatten.
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eug ene Ormandy cond o Columbia ML 5333 $4.98
Mu sical Interest : Grand coupling!
Performance: Luxuriant
Record ing: ' Deluxe
Pairing the familiar, though not overrecorded "Rosenkavalier" score with the
first recordin g of the suite from Die Frau
ohne S chatten rates as "A & R" inspiration
of the highest order. W e have had several
excellent readings of the former-all, with
slight alterations, following the sequence
laid out by the composer himself decades
ago-and only recently Capitol gave us a
beautifully recorded one with Steinberg
and the Philharmonia (PAO 8423). But
Ormandy is a masterful hand with this music, and his treatment is all one can ask for.
Avoidin g both fussiness and over·dramatization he guides his unique ensemble through
familiar episodes with tempi tha t are reo
laxed and logical, and builds to a stunning
climax in the ecstatic music of tIle tIlird
act trio.
But wha t makes this an irresistible disc
is the revelation offered overside. Although
the mystically pel'plexing story of Die Frau
HIFI REVIEW
s
ohne Scli alten is leag ues apart frOIll tllc
hwnanly engag in g one the same von Hofmannsth al fashioned for Der Rosenkavalier,
tbis juxtaposition clearly proves th at both
have sprun g from the same rich fountain
of musical inspiration. One might add that
the massive colors, bold orchestrating
strokes and sweeping waves of se nsuous
melody never again returned into Strauss's
ope~atlc writing with the magical effect
presen t in these two scores.
Columbia has come throu gh with th e
full Philadelphia treatment- the r ecorded
sound is gorgeous from the fir st note to
· .. not exactly the last, for th e sustain ed
chords at the very end are marred by sagging pitch.
G. J.
an impressive percussion section. In thi s
new Capitol-EMI recording Sir Malcolm
Sargent mak es the most of the considerable
fOl"ces at his command.
Capitol fall s short of a stunnin g release
only because th e pick·up is too di-stant, and
while the chorus acquits itself magnificen tly, the ear keeps "reachin g" to understand the English text. The old Westminster set (WL 5248) has a much closer
sound, and as a result, has a mOl"e intellihIe, cleaner articulation.
However the Huddersfield choir is much
th e better gro up, and Sir Malcolm, who
also conducted the premiere, lead'S his combined force s in a warmer, more vital read·
ing. Boult's performance is sonically ex-
cltmg, and the words can be understood,
but the soloist, Dennis Noble, is not as vocally sure as Milligan.
This new recording also offers as a plus
the most famous of Handel's Coronation
anth ems which is stirrin gly performed, as
well as the excerpt from Solom.on, a teaser
that will make you want to own the whole
set. (You won't be sorry, either, for it's on
J. T.
Angel with Beecham conducting.)
WEBER: Oberon-Overture (see COLLECTIONS)
COLLECTIONS
•
DEBUSSY: Iberia.
RAVEL: Alborado
STRAVINSKY: Ebony Concerto; Symphony
in Three Movements (see p. 61)
•
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 in
F Minor, Op. 36. New York Philharmonic,
Leona rd Be rnste in con do Columbia ML-5332
$4.98
Mu sical Interest: Repertoire cornerstone
Perfo rma ne e: Excellent
Re cording: Excellent
r
Here is a performance of the T chaikovsky "Fourth" that has real personality. This
doesn't necessarily mean that tbe co ndu ctor
distorts the music to fit it into his own personal conception; what it does mea n is that
one can feel an overwhelming involvement
on the cond uctor's part with th e music- he
feels it deeply and passionately and it is
these qualities which he conveys in hi s
performance.
Not everybody will agree with Bernstein's
ideas; for one thing, he favors generally
'S low tempi and he indul ges in an occasional
rubato which may be questionable. And
sometimes he will draw out an inn er voice
and give it an exaggerated prominence. As
for me, however, I find the reading always
an absorbing and often an excitin g one.
Columbia has captmed an admirably
transparent and vibrant orchestTal soundand how well th e Philharmonic plays in this
recordin g !
M. B.
VERDI: La Forza del Destino-Overture (see
COLLECTIONS)
WAGNER: Die Meistersinger-Prelude (see
COLLECTIONS)
WALTON: Belshazzar's Feast. HANDEL:
•
Coronation AntheM-Zadok the Priest; From
the Censer Curling Rise, from ~olomon. Hud dersfield Ch ora l Society, with J ames Mi lliga n
(baritone) and the Royal liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malco lm Sargent condo
Capitol-EM I G 7141 $4.98
Mu sical Interest: "Must" for choral fans
Performance: Excellent!
Reco rding : Good, but too distant
Belshazzar's Feast, a work that has been
popular in En gland sin ce its premicre in
1931, calls for an exceptionally large or·
chestm , which i'S probably the reason why
amateur choral organizations do not perform it with any frequency in the United
States. The score presents no serious musiI'al problems for the chorus, and the solo
part can he handled with ease by any com·
]Jetent and robust baritone. The real impact
of the work is furni shed by the instrumental
ensemble, aided by extra bras. choirs and
MAY
1959
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73
d el Gra cioso. IBERT: Escales. Orchestre
National de la Radiodiffusio n Francaise, Leopold Stokowski condo C apitol P8463 $4.98
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Performance: Fair
Recording: Good
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Mr. Stokowski, who has been very busy
on the Capitol label, conducts still another
orchestra, that of the French Radio, one of
the best ensembles in France, but what he
exacts is not one of the better performances
of any of the trio of selec tions he has
chosen. He has conducted these in much
better fashion before, notably Escales on
RCA-Victor LM9029. None of the excitement that runs through the "Albarado" is
conveyed to the orchestra by the conductor,
and the one major piece on the recor.d,
I beria, is taut, unrelaxed, and wiry throughout. For the best performances of this last
work, turn to Mercury, Victor, or to the
London disc where the late Ataulfo Arf;enta
conducts the complete Images in the best
effort of them all. Rein er does an electrifying "Albarado" on the Victor LP. It is unfortunate that neither the recording quality
nor the performance ha:s any substance, for
' Mr. Stokowski can usually be counled on
to work miracles with this kind of music.
J . T.
•
OPERA OV ERTURES-WAG N ER : Die
Meisters ing er-Prel ude ; ROSS INI : L' lta liana
in Alg eri-Overtu re; W EBER: Ob ero nO verture; MOZART: Th e Marriage of Figaro
-Overt ure ; B EETHOVEN : Leono re O vert ure
No. 3 ; VERDI : La Fo rIa d e l Destino-Ove rture . Ph ilharmonia Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf condo Capit ol P 8465 $4.98
Mus ica l Interest: Tops in their class
Performance: Expert
Recording: Good
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No mere curtain~aisers, these, but a collection of overtures one is likely to encounter in concert halls as frequently as in the
opera house. They follow a well-contrasted
sequence and receive, not unexpectedly, excellent performances from a conductor who
is equally at home in symphony and opera.
Credit must also be given to the topnotch
Phil harmonia Orchestra, 'whos~ members
perform brilliantly-with special recognition due the flute and oboe soloists in the
Rossini overture.
Leinsdorf renders all there's due to Rossini's lighthearted humor, Verdi's grandeur,
and Weber's glowing romanticism with
equal aptness. Only the "Meistersinger"
. Prelude disappoints slightly with a reading
that 1-S careful, correct, but a bit mechanical
and lacking the full measure of expressiveness.
Aside from treating tlle brasses as stepchildren of the instrumental family in the
" ill[ eistersinger" Prelude, the engineering
successfully preserves the likeness of these
attractive performances, bringing the inner
voices, particularly in the Beethoven and
Verdi excerpts, into clear focus. The overall sound is slightly under the level of Capitol's best, but still considerably better than
"good enough."
G. J.
fl...
~
74
•
DEBUT RE CITAL - CHOPI N: " Black
Key" Etud e; Nocturn e in D-f1at; G rande
Valse Brillante; LlSZT: Me ph isto Waltz ;
BAC H: Nu n Komm' d er Hei d en H ei land ; In
d ir ist Fre ud e; SCHUBERT: Impromptu in
B-f1a t; DEBUSSY: Ref/ets dans /' ea u ; RIMSKY-KORSAKOFF-RACH MAN INO FF: Fli ght
of t he Bumb le Bee. John Browning (p iano)
C a pitol P-8464 $4.98
•
Musical Intere'st : Con sist e ntly high
Performance: Poetic a nd sens itive
Recording: Exce ll e nt
In 1954, J orm Browning was one of the
two top winners in the Queen Elizabeth
of Belgium In,ternational Competition-the
same contest which Leon Fleisher had
walked_off with two years earlier. Upon his
return to this country Browning appeared
in many of our leading cities in recital and
with orchestra, and then in 1956 he went
into the army. He was released a little more
than a year ago and since that time has returned to the concert stage. This disc marks
his recording debut .
It is a very impressive one, for Browning
has a poet's soul and it is in the more introspective pieces, like the Chopin ,N octurne and ' the first of the Bach Chorale
Preludes (in the Busoni arrangement) that
he is most successful. He displays the
greatest refinement and sensitivity and .Jlis
ear for delicate tonal shading is a' joy. And
yet at ' the same time these very qualities
would s~em to conhibute to a certain weakness in some of the more virtuosic pieces
of this l'ecital. The Mephisto Waltz, for
example, is lacking in the demonic drive
and kaleidoscopic fireworks display which
pther pianists have brought to' the music.
, If Browning is able to' develop the power
to go along with his poetry, he is certain
to become one of our most hnp.o rtant pianists;
M . B.
I
•
RENATA SCO n O-O P"E'RQ IC
La Traviata-Ah fOl's'e lui (
BELLINI : I Puritan i-Q ui la' voce; D 0N'1ZETTI : Lucia di Lamm ermoor-'::II d'GI.ce suono
(Mad Scen e) ; ROSSINI : li" Barbier,e d.i -Sivfg'.
lia-Una voce poco fa; PUCCIN"I: .'f,urando
-Signore ascolta ; Tu che. di gel se i cinta; .'
- Madama Butterfly-Un bel d l, ve d re m o ~
Gian ni Sch icc hi-:O mio babbino caro;
BOITO ; Mefistofele-L 'altra notte; with Philharmonia O rchestra, Mann'o Wo l f~Ferrari
cond_ Ang e l 35635 $4.98
ARIAS~VERDI :
Musica l rnterest:· Standa rd· a rias
. Performance: Pl easing
Recording: Just right
In addition 'to a- fetching physiognomy
and a promising first name, Renata Scotto
also possesses a very agreeable voice and
impressive technique. This is her debut disc
recital -and; in all aspects, an auspicious
one. Minor and momentary lapses of in·
tonation and an occasional explosive phrase
will not alter the fact that she can meet
the florid chall enges of Donizetti and Bellini with agility and accuracy (her chromatic runs in the Bellini cabaletta are
particularly expert!, can ·hit a strong and
confident high C at will, as well as negotiate the E-f1at of the Mad Scene without
undue effort.
The Boito and Puccini excerpts are_also
well vocalized, though without revealing
striking individual qualities and without
full exploitation of the dramatic subtleties.
These, too, will come in time. Miss Scotto
is ouly 25 years old and ~vill undoubtedly
go places. Here she benefits from excellent
orchestral background and faultless reproduction.
G. J ..
HIFI
REVIEW'
I
I
Stereo Entertainment
Jazz, Pops, Stage and Screen
BEST OF THE MONTH
Reviewed by
•
RALPH J. GLEASON
again with Dick Cary Hot and Cool-a fine collection of modern jazz
STANLEY GREEN
stylings . . . lithe ears of this veteran reviewer were consistently surprised and delighted . . . definitely recommended for all schools of
NAT HENTOFF
]
The new Stere-O-Craft label made liThe Best" last month and does it
jazz fans." (see below)
JAZZ
•
Capitol's stereo version of The New James displays the trumpeter in
great form. "Like his band, his trumpet playing is clean, economical,
•
MOVIESVILLE JAZZ -
HEINIE BEAU
AND HIS HOLLYWOOD JAZZ STARSHeinie Beau (clarinet, alto saxophone,
flute), Don Fagerquist (trumpet), Ted Nash
(flute, alto, clarinet) or Buddy Collette
(flute, tenor, clarinet), Bill Ulyate (bass sax,
baritone sax, bass clarinet), or Chuck Gentry
(bass sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet), Jack
Sperling or I!ill Richmond (drums), Red Callender or Red Mitchell (bass), Jack Cave or
John Graas (French horn), Tony Rizzi or
Howard Roberts (guitar), Frank Flynn (percussion). In Yo ur Pri vate Eye ; Gu llib le
Travels; Moo nset Bouleva rd a nd 9 others.
Coral Stereo CRL 757247 $5.98
Mu sica l In terest: Unusual if thin
Perfo rm a nce: Well integrated
Recordi ng : A little distant .
Stereo Dire ctionality : Good
Ste reo Depth: Very good
This is a coll ection of parodies and some
rela tively serious "impressions" of movie
scores by a jazz-oriented arranger. Not intended to be taken too solemnly, the album
contains a fair portion of effec tive satire.
The "mood" tracks are attractive if not
memorable. The playing is skilful, and the
solos are quite competent. The basic idea,
however, wears thin fairly soon and Beau
might be enco uraged to work on a more substantial thema tic premise in hi s next album.
As jazz, the album is unimportant. As a
pointed look at film scoring, it's interesting
enough.
N. H.
•
DICK CARY HOT AND COOL.
Rose roo m; Yo u Do Something To Me; More Th a n
You Know a nd 5 oth e rs. Stere-O-Craft RTN
106 $5.98
.
.Musical Interest : Unusual
Perfo rm ance: Topnotch
Rec ordin g: Crisp
St e reo Directiona lity : Good
Ste reo De pth : Just right .
I
A group of men . mostly associated with
,so-called "dixieland" jazz in a collection of
standards and originals in a modern jazz
style that is quite surprising: They play
with facility, feeling an d fine emotional concept and th e ear s of this veteran r eviewer
w~re..consis.tently sUl:prised .and delighted at
the result. The stereo has' proper depth, the
MAy 1959
and hits with sharp impact . . . engineers are t.o be congratulated for
their tasteful use of stereo." (see below)
•
London scores a major coup in stereo theater with its drama production of Alice in Wonderland-"a treat for the ears and-almost-the
eyes ••• the illusion of actually taking part in the mad tea party
is little short of startling." (see p. 78)
solos ( which are excellent, mu sicall y) are
just off dead center. This one is definitely
recommended for all schools of jazz fans.
R.J.G.
•
DIXIELAND FROM ST. LOUIS with
Sammy Gardner and his Mound City Six.
J azz Me Blu es; Tige r Rag ; Tin Roof Blues;
H in du st a n an d 8 others. Everest Stereo
SDBR 1002 $5.98
Mono LPBR 5002 $3 .98
Mu sical Interest : Nil
Perfo rmance: Uneven
Reco rding: Excellent
Stereo Directi o nality: Good
Ste reo De pth: Adequate
The trouble is with th e music, not the
recording, here. Dixieland as drab and dull
as thi s is little better than amateur and not
as good as some amateurs, at tha t. Despite
the competent recordin g, there is little of
interest. Groups of this ;size and makeup
don't lend themselves particularly well to
stereo; thus, for once, th e monophonic is
just as good.
R. J. G.
•
THE NEW JAMES - HARRY JAMES
AND HIS ORCHESTRA. Fai r And Warmer;
Ju st Luc ky ; Be lls and ' 6 othe rs. Capitol
Stereo ST 1037 $4.98
M usica I Inte rest : A delightful band
Pe rformance: Consistent verve
Reco rdi ng: First-rate
Stereo Dire cti o nality: Excellent
Ste reo Depth: Very c'onvincing
This stereophonic version of The New
James und erlines even more clearly how
valuable and stimulating a band J ames now
leads. It's easily the best he's ever had,
and it's characterized by fun ctional, swinging arrangements ( by Ernie Wilkins and
J . Hill in this se t). The feeling communicated is that of the better swing era uni ts
in terms of directness of approach. There
are modern overtones as well. The secti~n
work is exact without seeming mechanical,
and there is a superior use of dynamics.
The rhythm section is admirably crisp and
consistent, and there are good soloists in
tenor saxophonist Sam Firmature, altoist
Willie Smith, and J ames him self.
The "new" J ames has abandoned nearly
all of the nei ghing sound that used to mar
his work. Like hi,s band, his trumpet playing is clean, economical, and hits with sharp
impact. Capitol engineers are to be congratulated for their ta steful use of stereo
and the clarity of the balance. Monophonic
version reviewed November, 1958.
N. H.
•
JUMPIN' WITH JONAH - THE JO. NAH JONES QUARTET-Jonah Jones
(trumpet), Hank Jones (piano), Harold Austin (drums), John Brown (bass) . No Moo n
At All ; Nigh t Tra in; Th at's A Pl e nty and 9
others. Capitol Stereo ST 1039 $4.98
Mu sical Interest : Pleasant
Pe rfo rm ance: Good cooking by Jonah
Re co rding : Very alive
Stereo Di rectio nality: Tasteful
Stereo Depth : Well done •
It is qu estionable how much a jazz quartet benefits from stereo, unl ess its arrangements are specifically geared for it or are
unusually intricate. In thi s ca'se, since J ones
is the focal point of th e set, I find th e
greater cohesion of the monophonic version
more satisfying.
75
SERKIN CONCERTOS
:Musically, J ones' straightforward, swinging trumpet with its full tone is enjoyable.
His casual vocals are pleasant but not dis·
tinctive. The occasional shuffle rhythm
background is irri tating.
N. H.
•
RENDEZVOUS WITH KENTON. Memories Of You; Two Shades Of Autumn; Hig h
On A Windy Hill ; I See Your Face Before
Me and 8 others. Capitol ST 932 $4.98
Musical Interest: Modern big band jazz
Performance: Slick
Recording: Excellent
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo Depth: Good ballroom sound
\ 'Vhen it comes to the piano concertos oC
Mozart, probably no man 's performances of
them are as close to ideal as those of Rudolf
Serkin . His pianistic equipme nt is just the
rare blend of agility, eloquence, control and
poetry this music d e mands. H ere are two
.cxiJ-inples of Serkin perfection-the aimiable
F Major and the passionate D M'inor both
on a sing le @ R ecord.
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in 0 Minor.
This is one of Kenton's best bands of
recent years. The LP was recorded on 10·
cation at Balboa Beach in California, in
1957 and the sound is quite good. The soloists are flexible and competent and are fea·
tured prominently. Even though this reo
viewer feels little warmth for the Kentonian
brass and bluster, this is one of Tbe Great
White Father's more easily digestible LPs.
Even so, there is more frenzy than seems
quite justified. Kenton no longer holds the
attention of the young jazz fans: this is an
interestin g postscript to hi,s decade of "for·
R. J. G.
wardism."
K. 466; Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major. K.
413-Rudolf Serkin, Pianist, with the Marlboro
Festival Orchestra conducted by Alexander
Schneider
ML 5~67 MS 6049 (stereo)
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76
•
CHICAGO JAZZ-JOE MARSALA·Joe Marsala (clarinet), Adele Girard (harp),
Dick Cary (piano), Carmen Mastren (guitar), Rex Stewart (trumpet). Johnny Blowers
(drums). Pat Merola (bass). Wolverine
Blues; Sing in' The Blues; Mandy and 4- others.
Stere-O-Craft RTN 102 $5.98
Musical Interest: Joe's been missed
Performance: Mostly spirited and warm
Recording: Good
Stereo Directionality: Competent
Stereo Depth: OK for small combo
This is the first record by veteran clarinetist Joe Marsala and his jazz harpist wife,
Adele Girard, in some time. Despite the fact
that some of the performances are uneven
and Night Train could have been omitted,
the record brings pleasure. Marsala's solos
are personal, logical and emotional; Adele
continues to be one of the few harpists who
somehow manage the illusion of making
that cumbersome insu·ument swing. Rex
Stewart contributes. some of his most consis tent playing in years. The rhythm sec·
tion could have been more supple. The bal·
N. H.
ance on Wolverine Blues is bad.
•
PARADE OF THE PENNIES - RED
NICHOLS AND HIS FIVE PENNIES-Red
Nichols (cornet). Moe Schneider (trombone), Jackie Coon (mellophone), Wayne
Songer (clarinet, alto and baritone sax).
Heinie Beau (clarinet and tenor), Jerry Kasper or Joe Rushton (bass sax), Bobby Hammack or Bobby Van Eps (piano), Allan Reuss
(guitar), Morty Corb (bass). Jack Sperling
or Rollie Culver (drums), Ralph Hansell
(percussio·n). Capitol ST 1051 $4.98
Musical Inte rest: Mostly nostalgic
Performance: Highly professional
Recording: Well balanced
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo Depth: Very convincing
"The idea for this session," writes annotator·musician Heinie Beau, "was to
recreate some of the classic renditions by
Red and the 'Five Pennies.''' There are
also three originals by Red and Heinie in
The Pennies' vein. All the playing is very
competent, but these Pennies' performances
-like most of the originals- are stiff rhyth.
mically. And the arrangements (called
"models of imagination, color, and good
taste" by Beau) are like slick magazine fiction. They're well·made but shallow in con·
tent. There's often enthusiasm in the playing, but most of its effect is dated by the
over·all context.
The stereo version is preferable to the
mono because the band is big enough for
sections to play against soloists and there
are other parts of the arrangements as well
that are apt for stereo's spaciousness. N. H.
•
GEORGE WETTLING AND HIS
WINDY CITY SEVEN. Four Or Five Tim es;
Hindustan; Mo ritat; I Found A New Baby
and 3 others. Stere-O-Craft RTN 107 $5.98
Musical Interest: Unusual
Performance: Topnotch
Recording: Tops
Stereo Directionality: Good
Stereo Depth: Adequate
This is a rewarding LP of dixieland·type
music, with a fine clarinetist, Herb Hall
(brother of Edmond) ,and an excellent tram·
bonist, Vic Dickenson, featured throughout.
The mood, feeling and virility of this music
is surprising when played by ranking artists
such as these. The stereo sound is quite
good, though there is a bit too much sep·
aration for my taste.
R. J. G.
POPS
•
REPERCUSSION featuring David Carroll and his Orchestra. · La Paloma; Dizzy
Fingers; The Bells Of St. Mary's; The Peanut
Vendor and 6 others. Mercury SR 60029
$5.95
Musica l Inte rest: Sound bug special
Performance: Outstanding
Reco rding : Topnotch
.
Stereo Directio nality: Sharp
Stereo Depth: Excellent
As with the monophonic version, the
tweeter· woofer 'set will have a field day with
this one. It's made for sound bugs and al·
most every conceivable percussion instru·
ment is utilized, as well as strings and wind
instruments. The music itself is more an
excuse to show off than to communicate,
but it makes a fine forty minutes 01 Iun.
The stereo version is better than the mono,
as the possibilities in stereo have been utilized quite well. The r ecording is crisp and
clean.
R. J. G.
•
SAMMY DAVIS, JR. AT TOWN HALL
with Orchestra Conducted by Morty Stevens.
Hey There; Eth el, Baby ; Ch icago and II
oth e rs. Decca DY 78841 $5.98. MonoDL 8841 $3.98
Musical Interest: It's better seen
Performance: Aggressive
Recording: Good location engineering
Stereo Directionality : Excellent
Stereo Depth: Very good
This is part of a Town Hall concert given
by Davis for tlle Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital on May 4,
1958. Although Davis is a remarkable per·
former, his effectiveness is much more visual
than aural. When you see him , his tornado·
like energy often makes what he's doing
seem better than it is. In stereo, more of
that force comes through than in the mono·
HIFI REVIEW
phonic version. Thel'e is, for example, a
tap dancing number that becomes quite
realistic as Davis moves from speaker to
speaker; and in general, the greater space
made possible by stereo makes it appear at
times as if your living room has become
Davis' 'Stage.
Without visual aid, however, a Davis song
recital fails to impress. He's simply not
that perceptive a musician. He adds little
to most of his material but volume or obvious sentimentality. He gives a reading of
Old Man River, for instance, that could almost be taken as a parody, but I'm afraid
he didn't mean it that way. The audience,
it should be noted, clearly had a good time.
I did only during his impersonations. N. H.
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•
JULIE IS HER NAME Vol. II-featuring Julie London. Blu e Moon; Spring Is
He re; Littl e White Li es; I Gu ess I'll H ave To
Change My Plan s a nd 8 others. Liberty LST
7100 $4.98
Mu si cal Inte rest: Pleasant Pop
Performance: Good
Reco rding: Warm, intimate
Ste reo Directionality: Good
Stereo De pth: Adequate
Miss London is a warm singer with a
small voice and great ability to transmit
emotion in numbers such as Little White
Lies. The usual guitar accompanimen t helps
keep the sound intimate. The recording is
good, the voice is handled nicely and the
guitar does not intrude. There is no spark
to the LP, however, either technically or
R. J. G.
in the performance.
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SCREEN
•
SLEEPING BEAUTY (Peter Tchaikoy·
sky·George Bruns). Soundtrack recording
with Orchestra and Ch orus, George Bruns
cond .; Mary Costa and Bi ll Shirley (vocals).
Disneyland STER-40 18 $4.98. Mono-WDL·
4018 $4.98
Musical Inte rest: Tchaikovskyland
MAY
1959
•
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•
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0·' research, planning and englneering wont into the making of
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each with a sepa.r ate 3-9000 tuning condenser, separate flywheel tuning and
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permanently. Aside from its unique flexibility, this is, above all else, (, quality
high-fidelity tuner incorporating features found exclusively in the hiahes; priced
tuners.
FM specifications include grounded-grid triode low noise fron t' end with triode
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harmonic distortion, frequency response 20-20,000 cps ± 1f2 db, full 200 kc
bandwidth and sensitivity of 2 microvolts for 30 db quieting with full limiting at
one microvolt. AM specifications include 3 stages of AVe, 10 kc whtstle filter,
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STAGE
•
FLOWER DRUM SONG (Richard
Rodgers·Oscar Hammerstein Ill. Origina l ca st recording with Miyoshi Um eki. Pat
Suzuki . Larry Blyden , Ed Kenney, Juanita
Hall, Arabella Ho ng , Keye Lu ke and others ,
with Orchestra and Ch o rus, Salva t o re Dell' Isola co ndo Columbia OS 2009 $5.98
Mu sical Interest: Considerable
Performanc e: Admirable company
Reco rding : Slight surface noise
Stereo Directiona lity: Little needed
Stereo Depth: Excellent
Each soloist is beautifully spotlighted in
this stereo version of the original cast release (reviewed in the March issue), but
there is still little feeling of dramatic movement, even in the few cases in which it
seems called for. Don't Marry Me fixes
Miyoshi Umeki at the left and Larry Blyden at center stage although some action
is indicated from the song, and the same
is true of Sunday which puts Pat Suzuki
and Mr. BIyden between the speakers. During A Hundred Million Miracles, however,
stereo does manage the dubious miracle of
stretching poor Miss Umeki's arms; while
her voice comes from the center, the flower
drum she is supposed to beat is heard clearS. G.
ly from the left.
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ZO~''':':' ~~e.:.:.... :. .:': :. .:.:.::.::':":' ____________I
77
Perform ance: Suitably spacious
Recording: A bit sharp (ste'reo); tops
(monp)
Stereo Directionality: Always tasteful
Ste reo Depth: Impressive
The responsibility of being the finest ...
Adapting the Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty ballet score to fit the requirements of
the latest Disney dI'eam has been s plen didly
accomplished by George Bruns, plus a retinue of others including Sammy Fain. The
's tereo effects are done in good taste, and
in ~iew of the fact that the price is the same
for both versions, might be given the edge
in preference_'
' S. G.
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WORK I
•
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Lewis
Carroll!. Jane Asher, Margaretta Scott,
Vivienne Chatterton, Ian W allace and
others. London OSA 1206 2 12'; $11.96
Interest: For everyone
Performance: Superb company
Recording: Crystal clear
Stereo Direction ality : Outstanding
Stereo Depth: Brilliant
Already hailed for its splendid stereo releases of operas and operettas, London has
now entered the field of straight theater.
The results couldn't be more impressive.
Using an acting version prepared by Douglas Cleverdon and with Margaretta Scott a'S
narrator, a group of topnotch English actors
performs the classic story in a manner that
is a treat for the ears _and-almost-the
eyes_
All the familiar scenes take on a dramatic
clarity that would be impossible ,to achieve
on a monophonic release, or even, in some
cases, on the stage_ For example, when
Alice swims around in her own tears, not
only does the very room seem to be flooded
but her voice has even been given an appropriately hollow sound_ The sequence at
the Duchess' house may well have you
ducking the flying pots and pans, while the
illusion of actually taking part in the mad
tea party or the Queen's croquet game is
Ii ttle short of <startling_
S. G.
•
MIKE NICHOLS AND ELAINE MAY
-IMPROVISATIONS TO MUSIC with
Marty Rubenstein fpiano). Mercury SR
60040 $5.95. Mono MG 20376 $3,98
Anyone Can Assemble in
I HOUR
CHECK (~4ftedlica~
"Sing Along" is now a national pastlme, and
Mitch Miller our national kapellmeislel' for
community singing. There seems to be no end
to the old chestnuts America enjoys singing
along with Mitch and the Gang. Here is the
fifth album in this famous series, a collection
of fine, contagious folk songs that invite you
to join in.
FOLK SONGS-SING ALONG WITH MITCH
CL 1316 CS 8118 (stereo)
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®"Columbia" ~ Marcas Re2, Adivision of Columbia Bro.dc.stin2 System,lnc.
78
2506 W. Washington Boulevard HR-5
Los Angeles 18, California
Inte rest: Considerable
Performance: Remarkable
Recording : Tops
Stereo Directional ity: Who needs it?
Stereo Depth: Ditto
Mike Nichols and Elaine May are two
bright, observant and extremely gifted performers whose special forte is improvising
a humorous situation around a given theme,
and in this release they offer a <superb sampling of their special art.
Nothing is added, however, and quite a
bit is lost by the use of a sort of "spurio
~tereo" in which Mr_ Nichols is heard from
the left speaker and Miss May from the
right-even, as in one routine, when they
are supposed to be dancing together! The
monophonic release is certainly the preferred one here_ Incidentally, the take used
for - the stereo version of the hit. called
Cocktail Piano is diff'e rent from the monoS. G.
- phonic.
HIFI REvmw
)
)
J azz, P ops, Stage and Screen
Reviewed by
BEST OF THE MONTH
•
RALPH J. GLEASON
"his best LP in a long time . . . . The whole LP swings beautifully, but
STANLEY GREEN
Wee Baby Blues has classic proportions and seems destined to endure."
(see below)
NAT HENTOFF
JAZZ
•
THINGS ARE GETTING BETTERCANNONBALL ADDERLEY WITH MILT
JACKSON: Julian Adderley (alto saxo.
ph?ne); Mdt Jackson (v ibes); Wynton Kelly
(plano) ; Percy Heath (bass) ; Art Blakey
(drums ) . Blues O rien t al; G roovi n' H igh; Just
One O f Th ose Thing s and 3 others. Rive rsid e
RLP 12·286 $4.98
Mu sica l Inte rest: Hot mod e rn jan
Performance: The growing cannonball
Re co rd ing : Good
A wholly unpretentious an d infectiously
relaxed album, th is is a successful first pair ·
ing of Milt J ackson, the best of the modern
jazz vibists, and Cannonball Adderley of the
Miles Davis unit. As has been mentioned
in these pages in recen t months, Cannon·
ball's growth in the past year has been im·
pressive, and th is alb um is further proof
that he has not only found his own style
but is becoming sufficiently at ease in it to
be able to edit his solos more and more
e ffec tively.
Cannonball is convincing in a variety of
roles here--the shouting blues of Sounds
for Sid ; the thought ful tenderness of Serves
Me Right; and the gos pel·like j auntiness
of Things A re Getting Better. J ackson is
in characteristically flu ent, flowing form;
and there is excellen t rhythm section sup·
port.
N. H .
o
ALL ABOUT MEMPHIS-BUSTER
BAILEY. Bust er Bailey (clarinet), Re d Rich·
a rd s (p iano). G e ne Ramey (bass). Jimmie
C ra wford (drums) on four numb e rs. On
th ree , H erman Autrey (trumpet). Vic Dick·
enson ( t rombo ne ) and Hilton J efferson (alto
sax oph one ) a re add e d. Bea r Wa ll ow; Beale '
St. Blues; Hot Wa t er Bayo u an d 4 others.
.
Fe lsted FAJ 7003 $4.98
Musical Inte rest : Full·bodied swing
Pe rfo rm ance: Solid jazz e lde rs
Record ing: Well ba lanced
This is one of seven historically val uable
albums British cr itic Stanley Dance super·
vised in this cou ntry last year for British
Decca and American London R ecords.
They're being released here on F elsted, a
London subsidiary label. It was Da nce's
contention that a substantial num ber of
old er jazzmen-mostly swing era playersstill had much to say But were being largely
ignored by most America n labels.
M AY
1959
Capitol's Nat " King" Cole in Welcome to the Club comes through with
•
United Artists makes a major contribution with Hard Driving Jazz
starring the Cecil Taylor Quintet. "Taylor, a furiously personal modern
jazz pianist . . . impresses almost by his fire alone . . . draws on
the whole jazz tradition, g'ospel music, and his studies of Bartok and
Stravinsky." (see'p. 81)
•
Capitol's presentation of film star Judy Garland At the Grove "is a
striking set" of interpretations . . . . She can hurl herself into a song
much as AI Jolson did . An album that can be replayed often, and there's
no cover charge." (see p. 83)
I n thi s set, clar inetist Buster Bailey con·
tributes his best playing on records so far .
As always, he is technically expert bu t he
uses the technique m uch less as an end in
itself than he has usually done. His play·
ing-as in the long Memphis Blues- often
has considerable emotional impact and he
r eceives fully swinging aid from the side·
men. His original themes are also attrac·
tive. T here are rough spots, but the album
as a whole is refreshingly enj oya ble and
Mr. Dance and London Records are to be
commended.
N. H.
•
BASIE REUNION - Paul Quinichette
(tenor sa xophon e ), Buck Clayton , Shad Collins (trump et s ) , Jack Washington (baritone
saxophone), Na t Pi erc e (piano), Freddie
Gree ne (guit ar ), Eddi e Jones (bass). Jo
Jon e s (drums). Blu es I Like To Hea r; Love
Jumped O ut; John's Idea; Baby Do n't Tell
O n Me; Roseland Shuffle. Prest ig e 7147 $4.98
Musical Interest: Valu abl e me mori es
Pe rformance: Viril e, swinging
Recording .: Ve ry st rong prese nce
Six fo rmer Basie sid emen and two present
members play tunes originally recorded by
the full band between 1937-40. Baritone
saxophon ist jack Washington ha sn't been
r ecorded since the late 194.0's, and while
he's a little rusty, as the notes honestly
admi t, he plays with such rob ust spirit and
swing that he's very invigorating to hear
again.
T he best solo~ are by Buck Clayton, who
continues to grow wi th the years. Also generally effective is tr umpeter Shad Collins.
Paul Quinichette plays with ' much emo·
tional power ' bu t his conception is sometimes debatable and his to ne occasionally
wavers. Yet he cer tainly swings. The
r hythm 'section is sturdy, based co nfid en tl y,
as have been all Basie units since 1937, on
F redd ie Creene's gui tar.
T hese men play wi th so much outgoing
intensity and coll ective exhilaration that
the album should wear very well.
N. H .
•
BENNY CARTER. JAZZ GIANT. Blue
Lou; Old Fashio ned Love; Ain't She Sweet
and 4 othe rs. Contemporary C3555 $4.98
Mu sica l Int e rest: Mainstream ja zz
Pe rfo rma nce : Good all around
Recording; E~ cell e nt
Two of the very best j azz musicians of
the '30's join forces here; Benny Carter,
who is heard on alto sax and tru mpet and
Ben Webster on tenor. I t is Carter's trumpet work that is th e most in terestin g beca use, despite his techn ical proficiency on
the alto, he has never really communicated
very broadly on that instrument. Webster,
who is great ballad in terpreter, shines on
I'm Coming Virgini:a and there is good sup·
port thro ughout from the rhythm. All in
all, this is a pleasant, if not historic, LP .
R. J .G.
•
WELCOME TO THE CLUB-Nat
"Kin g" Col e with orch e stra conduct~d by
Da ve Ca vanaugh. Mood Indigo; The Lat e,
Late Show; I W a nt A Little Girl; W ee Baby
Blues and 6 others. Capitol W 1120 $4.98
Mu si cal Int erest: Almost un iversal
Perfo rmance: Scintillating
Recording: Brillii.nt
This is the best Nat Cole LP in a long,
long time and the best accompaniment he
has ever had by a big band T hat's because
it's really the Co unt Basie band (with
Cerald Wiggins sitting in for Count) playing beh ind Nat and it ma kes him sound
79
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80
like th e jazz sin ger he is, basically. The·
whole LP swings beautifully, but W ee Baby
Blues is the outstanding track, a blues vocal
that has classic proportions and seems des·
tined to endure. Any Time, Any Place, Any·
where is another gem. Interestingly enough,
this LP shows what can be done when a big
band is a truly cohesive unit. It is better
backing for swing vocals than any of the
studio groups extant, not excluding the
highly publicized ones. While there are
occasional solo spots, it is the ensemble
sound of the Basie band and its irresistible
rhythm that pushes this album into the top
rank of vocal efforts.
R. J. G.
•
SONGS FOR DISTINGUiE LOVERSBillie Holiday (vocals). Day In Day Out:
Stars Fe ll On Alabama: I Didn't Kn ow What
Time It Wa s and 3 others. Verve MF V-8257
$4.98
Mu si ca l Inte rest: Billie is nonpareil
Performance : Generally consistent
Re co rding : Competent
Most critics continue to dismiss the cur·
r ent Billie Holiday as a cracked shell of her
form er uniquely penetratin g self. She may
well be uneven these days, but to this reo
viewer she is capable at her best of ecli ps·
ing every other jazz singer. She has several
eloquent mom ents in this set, and no bad
ones. There are long solos for th e relaxed
accompanists; the tempos are right for her ;
and throughout, she gives th e lyrics more
meaning than anyone else now singing.
Norman Granz strangely doesn't list a
single supporting player. They sound like
Ben Webster ( tenor saxophone) , Harry
Edison ( trumpet), Barney Kessel (guitar)
and perhaps Alvin Stoller (drums) and
Jimmy Rowles ( piano). Even Billie, by the
way, can't make the lachrymose One for the
Road come alive for me.
N. H.
•
KEEPIN' UP WITH THE JONESES
featuring the Jones Brothers playing the
music of Thad Jones and Isham Jones. Thad
Jones (trumpet and fluegelhorn), Hank Jones
(piano and organ) , Elvin Jones (drums),
Eddie Jones (bass) . Nice And Na sty: Three
And On e : It Had To Be Yo u and 4 others.
Metrojazz E I 003 $3.98
Mus ica l Inte rest: A major jazz family
Pe rfo rm ance : Excellent
Re cord ing: Superior
Three of the best contemporary jazzmen
are brothers. Thad Jones is a trump eter
and arranger for the Count Basie band.
Hank J ones is one of the most active free·
la nce pianists in New York; and drummer
Elvin J ones works with Tyree Glenn and
is in increasing demand in the r ecording
studios. Each has a clearly identifiable
style, and each is consistently inventive. In
this album, they're joined by bassist Eddie
J ones ( no relation) of the Basie band.
The result is an unusually warm, con·
tinuously sa tisfying session. The star is
Thad. Since he's more or less buried in the
Basie brass section, Thad isn' t as widely
appreciated a modern trumpet soloist as he
deserves to be. He has a real brass sound
that ca n be assertively rin ging and also
touchingly lyrical. H e constructs choruses
with logic and taste, and he lias a superb
rhythmic sense. His accompaniment is ex·
cellent, and there are characteristicall y
crystallin e solos by Hank.
N. H.
•
JONAH JUMPS AGAIN-The Jonah
Jones Quartet. Pennies From Heaven: Any
Time: They Can 't Take That Away From Me:
Poo r Butterfly and 8 others. Capitol TIllS
$3.98
Mu sical Interest: Good pop jazz
Perfo rmanc e : Excellent
Recording : The best
The formula is the same. It will probably
always remain so. But it is still pleasant,
firml y swinging, melodic and thorou ghly
good jazz. J ones plays open and muted
trumpet and occasionally sin gs. His ballad
work is r eminiscent of Eldridge, but it
makes no difference what type of tune he
selects; the result is tasteful, mainsn'eam
jazz that fits into everyone's taste categories.
R.J.G.
•
THE POLL WINNERS RIDE AGAIN!
Barney Kessel with Shelly Manne and Ray
Brown. Vo lare: Spring Is H ere: Ang e l Eyes:
The Merry Go Ro und Broke Dow n and 5
others. Contemporary C 3556 $4.98
Mu sical Interest: Broad jazz
Perfo rmance: Tops
Reco rding: The best
This is a wonderful trio with a fine bea t,
good solos, fascina ting interplay between
the musicians and at least two major jazz
solo voices in Kessel and Brown. Their suo
periority is evident in their treatment of
tlle banal Volare and the novelty Th e
Me rry Go ROltnd Broke Down, as well as
in the beautiful ballad Angel Eyes. This
album is well worth space on any LP shelf.
The transcribed comments of the partici·
pants make fascinating liner notes. R. J. G.
•
LEGRAND JAZZ with Michel Legrand
(conductor.arranger), Miles Davis (trumpet)
on four numbers, Ben Webster (tenor saxo·
phone) on four numbers, and others. Di a ngo :
'Round Midnight: In A Mist and 8 others.
Columbia CL 1250 $3.98
Mu si cal In terest: Mostly for soloists
Perfo rmance: Fine despite the paper
Re cording : Clear and clean
This is Michel Legrand's first all·jazz
album. In his previous sets (Cole Porter,
French and Italian music, etc.), Legrand
indicated he was a technically brilliant ar·
ranger who could rarely resist the tempta·
tion of using bravura effects for their own
sake. He would seldom le t a line unfold
or a mood develop without l etting gratu·
itous cleverness intrude. The same fault is
evident here.
That the album is worth having i·s due
almost entirely to the caliber of the soloists,
especially Miles Davis and Ben Webster.
Th e arran gements are best when they're
most economical, as in Blue and S entim.en·
tal and Night in Tunisia. Th ey are worst
when overly cluttered as in In a Mist,
Wild Man Blltes, the background fi gures to
'Round Midnight and several other pas·
sages. Some of the figures are, in fact ,
surprisingly corny. There is little evidence
in this album that Legrand has much to
contribute to jazz although he does know
wbich soloists to use.
N. H.
•
THE GAMBIT, Vol. 7-Shelly Manne &
His Men. Th e Gambit ; Blu Gnu: Tom Brown's
Buddy & Hu go Hurwhey. Contemporary C
3557 $4.98
HIFI REVIEW
J
Musica l Inte rest: Good modern jazz
Perfo rmance: Competent-to-excellent
Recording: Topnotch
This group, which varies between a sort
of reprise of the bebop concept and an
escapade in the Hollywood far-out writing
school, produces some very good jazz when
it essays numbers like Blu Gnu and Torn
Brown's Buddy, in which the jazz freedom
can help out the dullness inherent in the
horn soloists_ But on the title suite, the
whole thing bogs down completely and
sounds pompous_ Even the excellent drumming of the leader and the bass playing of
Monty Budwig cannot move it.
R. J. G.
was produced by Tom Wilsoll, w],o gave
Taylor hi s first chance to record a few
years ago when Wilson owned the now defunct Transition label. The liner note writer
means Brandeis composer-teacher, Harold
Shapero, not Shapiro.
N. H.
Musical Interest: Some of the best Fats
Performance : Superior piano and wit
Recording: Good transfer
John Wilson has assembled one of Camden's best reissue sets. Included are not
(e~~)
*<>,q X v ¥:>"" ...
Musical Interest: Commercial jazz
Performance: Excellent
Recording: First rate
Someone once asked Carl Sandburg what he
wanted out of life. He mentioned being out
of jail, eating " regular", getting what he
wrote printed and " a littlc love a t home" .
" And the n, maybe the fifth thing I need ,"
he said, "it seems like every day when I'm
at all in health , I got to sing." H ere's a
collection of the songs Mr. Sandburg's " got"
to sing-American songs which have come
down through the generations.
Aided by the excellent recording techniques of the Contemporary studio, drummer Manne has produced an LP that should
be a big seller, even though its actual value,
jazz-wise, is questionable. The tunes are
all from the pen of Hank Mancini, who
does the Peter Gunn TV show, and include
several quite familiar to TV audiences. The
best solos occur when Victor Feldman
plays marimba and when Herb Geller takes
a blues chorus on Slow and Easy. R. J. G_
Musical Interest: High and intense
Performance : Rewardingly individual
Recording: Good
A fascinating album. This is the first
time Cecil Taylor, a furiously personal
modern jazz pianist, has recorded with
already established contemporaries. The
tenor saxophone is actually John Coltrane,
playing under a pseudonym. Taylor, the
most absorbingly original jazz pianist since
Bill Evans, draws on the whole jazz tradition, gospel music, and his studies of Bartok and Stravinsky, among other cla'ssical
musicians. His burningly personal style is
not, however, a pastiche. He has managed
to assimilate these influences without being
restricted by any of them. He is of particular interest harmonically, and is also
working toward freer rhythmic practices,
but so far he has not found a rhythm section that can play with ease within his
rhythmic concepts.
So intense is Taylor's emotional energy
that he impresses almost by his fire alone,
although he has much besides to offer.
Coltrane, one of the most daring of the
modern tenor players, is an appropriate
companion for Taylor because he welcomes
any musical challenge. He plays with consistent invention here. This quality of company spurs Kenny Dorham into some of his
best trumpet playing on records.
The rhythm section is steady. There are
interesting solos by young bassist, Chuck
Israels, a Brandeis music student, who has
both imagination and good tone. The album
MAy 1959
BAlLAD'S:
FLAT
•
THE REAL FATS WALLER. Carolina
Shout; Rosetta; Harlem Fu ss and 8 others.
Camden CAL-473 $1.98
•
SHELLY MANNE & HIS MEN PLAY
PETER GUNN. Peter Gunn; The Floater;
Slow And Easy; Dreamville; A Profound Ba ss
a nd 5 others_ Contemporary C 3560 $4.98
•
HARD DRIVING JAZZ-THE CECIL
TAYLOR QUINTET-Cecil Taylor (piano),
"Blue Train" (tenor saxophone). Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Chuck Israels (bass). Louis
Hayes (drums). United Artists UAL 4014
$4.98
SANDBURG SINGS
FLAT ROCK BALLADS-Sung and played by
Carl Sandburg
ML 5339
GUARANTEED HIGH - FIDELITY AND
STEREO-FIDELITY RECORDS BY
only several of Waller's most exuberant
(and often irreverent) vocals, but also the
piano solo on Carolina Shout and an excellent instrumental small band blues. Unfortunately, however, two essentials for any
reissue album are missing-complete information on personnel and dates. The latter
omissions aside, this is a fine bargain. N. H.
[COLUMBIA.
® "Columbia" "M ns t erworks" ~ Marcas Reg.
. A divis ion of Columbia Broadc8stinac Sys tem. In('.
POPS
ARM
•
LES BAXTER'S AFRICAN JAZZ. Congo Train; Ele pha nt Trai l; Walkin' Watusi;
Balinese Bong os and 8 others. Capitol T 1117
$3.98
Musical Interes t: Exotica
Performance: Competent
Recording: Fine
This is a compendium of blues cliches
with phrases and paraphrases from E very
Day to Sirnill£ running through the "original" compositions. Emotionally, it is empty
music ; highly derivative and though pleasant enough as a background for conversation, even the presence of some jazz men
(Larry Bunker and so on) doesn't give it
enough content to warrant serious listening. However, it is excellently recorded
and for this alone it will gain some acceptance. The liner notes infer that Mr. Baxter
rivals Martin Johnson as an explor~r. The
music sounds more like he went only as far
as the nearest record shop.
R. J. G.
THAT
CONTROLS
everything:
ESL
Provides cleaner lows, better Ilighs. Illcreases
stylus and record life. Perfect stylus contact with
both sides of recoid groove-regardless of turntable leveling. Approved by-the High Fidelity
Consumer's Bureau of Stalldards. Only $34·9 S.
•
•
FRANCOIS CHARPIN TRIO-CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL_
Lazza rell e ; C'etait
hier; Cha Cha Cha des Thons and 13 oth ers.
Kapp KL-IIII $3.98
Musical Interest: Aimable
Performance: Beaucoup de charme
Recording : Realiste
This is very pleasant list~ning. M. Char-
Gyro
FOR LISTENING AT ITS BEST
Electro-Sonic
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Dept R· 35-54 36th St· Long Island City 6, NY
The new ESL Gyro /jewel electrodjmalllic stereo
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ps:
81
KIT BUILDERS ·EVERYWHERE ASKED FOR IT!
Completely new edition of
ELECTRONIC KITS
pin breathes the Parisian airs in an inti·
mate cocktail lounge fashion, backed by his
own piano, plus guitar and drums. Four of
the numbers were written by the singer,
while two are the inspirations of the pro·
lific Domenico Modugno. No translations
S •.G •
are on the jacket.
•
MAURICE CHEVALIER SINGS
BROADW AY with Orchestra, Glenn Osser
now on sale!
condo Gi ve My Regards To Br.oadway ; Just
In Tim e; Do It Again and 9 others. MGM
E3738 $3.98
Musical Intere st : For Shubert Alley cats
Performance: In the Chevalier manner
Recording: A bit echoey
Broadway, as sung by Maurice Chevalier,
easily turns into a gay Parisian boulevard
-no matter what the tune may be. With
his own very special jutted·lip personality,
he gives a bright new sheen to even the
most familiar musical fare, from Give My
Regards to Broadwa:y all the way to I've
S. G.
Grown Accustomed to Her Face.
•
A MUSICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
BING (1934·19411 - with BUDDY COLE
AND HIS TRIO. June In January; Small Fry;
Yes Indeed and 23 others. Decca DL 9064
$.4.98
Musical Interest: Still dean of men
Pe rfor ma nce: Contagiously relaxed
Recording : Good
Because of the wide popularity of- its'
first Annual on kit construction, ZiffDavis now offers this exciting follow-up
-ELECTRONIC KITS #2! This brandnew sequel will save you money on hi-fi,
ham radio, other electronics devices by
showing you how to ·use easy-to-assemble kits! What's more, ELECTRONIC
KITS #2 features a big up-to-date directory of available kits, complete with
specifications, prices, and manufacturers' names !
over 160 pages-600 illustrations
HOW TO BUILD A KIT-Learn what's involved in building a kit,
and pick up tips on good construction practices.
KIT CONSTRUCTION CHECK LIST-Here's a summary of important steps in assembling a kit, enabling you to get it right the
first time.
HOW NOT TO MAKE MISTAKES-Pick up tricks to simplify
work and reduce the chance of error.
WORKING WITH WIRE-For rapid assembly and reliable operation, you should know how to handle various types of wire. You'll
find out here.
FOR YOUR HI-FI-How to construct a Stereo Preamplifier. Stereo
Adapter. Tape Recorder. Turntable. AM-FM Tuner. Book ~Shelf
Speaker Enclosure. Integrated Stereo Amplifier. Monaural Amplifier. Record Changer. Tone Arm. Speaker Enclosure.
FOR YOUR SHOP-How to build a Vacuum Tube Volt Meter.
Signal Generator. Oscilloscope. Tube Tester. Multitester. Transistor
Tester.
.
FOR YOUR HAM SHACK-Transmitter. Receiver. Grid-dip
Meter. Modulator. Single-sideband Converter. Mobile Transmitter.
FOR YOUR HOME-Table Radio. Transistor Pocket Radio. Junior Electronics Experimenter's Kit. Clock Radio. Radio Control
Transmitter.
ELECTRONIC KITS -# 2 IS NOW ON SALE
Be sure to pick up your copy today-only $1.00 (outside ·U.S.A., $1.25)
ZIFF·DAVIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, One Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y.
82
This single album is taken from the pre·
vio\lsly released five-volume Crosby package
(DXK-151). There are brief versions of 26
songs with which Crosby had success be·
tween 1934 and 1941. The accompaniment
by Buddy Cole and his trio is unobtrusive,
but I would have preferred the original reo
cordings (only two originals are included,
the duets with Johnny Mercer in Small Fry
and with Connee Boswell in Yes Indeed) .
Crosby sings with mellow consistency and
his spoken introductions are warm, concise,
informative, and never arch. For many,
these performances will bring back memo
ories of those crowded years. Bing's sing·
ing demonstrates once again that, as Dean
Martin said recently, "Bing set the pattern
for the whole present style of casualness, of
being yourself, not only in singing but in
acting."
N. H.
•
SOPHISTICATED SAVAGE featuring
the Savage Beat of AUGIE COLON. I'll
Always Be In Love With . You; EI Doctor;,
Tambo; The Peanut , Vendor and 7 others.
Liberty LRP 310 I $3.98
Musical Inte rest: Exotica
Perfo rmance : Good
Recording: Excellent
Mr. Colon seems to be more sophisticated
than savage throughout this LP, but on oc·
casion manages to sound a bit like Migue·
lito Valdes. There's a fine drup1mer (ap·
parently Mr. Colon) spotted throughout;
some of the songs have considerable humor
and occasionally a marvelously heterogene·
ous mixture of musical elements from Hawaiian to bop! The latter is especially
flavorsome in I'll Always Be In Love With
You. By no means a dull LP; the sound
alone makes it attractive to hi·fi fans.
R.J.G.
•
SENTIMENTAL AND SWINGING-
TOMMY DORSEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
featuring JIMMY DORSEY. Ruby; Let's
Ha ve A Party; Just Swinging and 9 othe rs.
Columbia CL 1240 $3.98
HIFI REVIEW
J
)
,.
Musical Interest: Moderate
Performance: Not the best Dorsey band
Recording: Competent
This is a collection of p~rformances recorded by Tommy Dorsey in 1955 and later
sold to Columbia. Among the sidemen are
trumpeters Charlie Shavers, Lee Castle, and
the late Andy Ferretti; and drummers
Louis Bellson and Buddy Rich. The program is similar to what one could have
heard around that time during an evening
at the Hotel Statler in New York. The band
is well drilled, at its best on ballads and
med ium tempo dance numbers, arid rather
strained on up tempo swingers. The leading soloist was Tommy, but he didn't give
himself nearly as many solos as he should
have.
N.H.
•
DEANNA DURBIN with Orc~estras, Edgar Fairchild, Charles Previn, Victor Young
and Johnny Green condo Spring Will Be A
Little Late This Year; Amapola; Always and
9 others. Decca DL 8785 $3.98
Musical Interest: Quite a mixture
Performance: Rather bland
Recording: Shows age
Decca has dusted off some of the singles
made by Deanna Durbin oven ten years ago,
and while the dubbing may leave much to
be desired, there is no doubt that her fans
will enjoy hearing her again. She seems
to have had little vocal projection, but there
is an attractively serene quality present on
most pf the less-demanding songs.
S. G.
• JUDY G,ARLAND AT THE GROVE.
You Made Me Love You; Wh en The Sun
Comes Out; Swanee and 10 others. Capitol
T 1118 $3.98
Mu sica l Interest: This is show biz
Pe(formance: An unforgettable stylist
Recording: Yivid
Recorded at the Cocoanut Grove, this is a
striking set of interpretations by Judy Gar- .
land. It's difficult enough to verbalize musical experiences ( it's all the harder to try
to define the "star" quality Miss Garland
possesses, and" has had since she was quite
small. Part of it is her controlled abandon.
This seeming paradox simply means she
can hupt.hetseH -into -a song, much as Al
J olson did, while part of her remains keenly
aware of the audience's reactions and knows
exactly when to alter- speed and dynamics.
Her timing, then, is superb. Her sense of
drama, which might seem overblown in a
lesser artist" is just right for her naturally
expansive style and voice and her huge ca- '
pacity for communicating emotion.
The material includes several songs long
identified with her; a few Jolson specialties; and even a Purple People Eater that
becomes her own "special materia1'1 by the
time she's through with it. This is an album than can be replayed often, and there's
N. H.
no cover charge.
-... ...,;;
Musical Interest : Well maintained
Performance: Full of razzle-dazzle
Recording: All right
Lest the album title lead you to assume
that this is an on-the-spot recording at a
night club, the liner notes set you straight
by allowing that the recital is "based" upon
Miss Kirk's night club act. To provide the
proper atmosphere, however, she is accompanied by four male singers, and every now
and then a can is pried open to let out the
applause 'and laughs. Miss Kirk's routines
are apparently elaborately staged affairs,
but even without visual aids she is impressively slick and slinky throughout her assortment of standards an!~ specialty numS. G.
bers.
•
I LIKE MEN! featuring Peggy Lee.
Good For Nothing Joe; I'm Just Wild About
Harry; My Man ; Bill and 8 others. Capitol
TI131$3.98
In this insplnng collection, Johnny Cash
turns his attention from the popular songs
that have made him one of the brig htest
stars of today to the simpler songs of faith and
devotion. H e sings them reverently and fervently. Listening to them, you will at once
sense the warm blend of artistry and sincerity
that has sO'CJuickly made him a star.
HYMNS BY JOHNNY CASH
CL 1284 CS 8125 (stereo)
GUARANTEED HIGH-FIDELITY AND
STER EO - FIDELITY R ECOR DS B Y '
ICOLUMBIA.
Musical Interest: Medium
Perform ance: Good
Recording: Excellent
®'-'C'~lumbia" ~ Martas Reg,
Miss Lee can be one of the very hest
jazz-oriented pop singers on occasion, but
this is not one of the occasions. Here she
concerns herself with an attempt' to be b~ld
and almost brazen in her implementation of
the album title and loses a few points by so
doing. Some of the tunes, though, are quite
well done; I'm Just Wild about Harry, Jim
and When a Woman Loves a Man. There
are good jazz solos s potted here and there
and the recording is really excellent.
Adivision 01 Columbia Broadcasting Syslem,lnc,
How .can two
stereo speakers
cost so little?
R.J.G.
•
JEANETTE MACDONALD and NEL·
SON EDDY-FAVORITES IN HI·FI with
Orchestras, Lehman Engel and David Rose
condo Rose Marie; Italian Street Song;
Wanting You and 9 others. RCA Victor
LPM-1738 $3.98
Musical Interest: Ah, romance!
Performance : Rather well preserved
Recording: Splendid
•
MATTY MALNECK ORCHESTRAWILLIAM HOLDEN : AS I HEAR IT. La vie
en rose; Diane; Tangerine; My Silent Love
and 8 others. Warner Bros. B 1247 $4.98
Musical Interest: For Holden fans
Performance: For Holden
Recording: Four stars
1959
.~~--."'-- ..
•
LISA KIRK SINGS AT THE PLAZA
with Orchestra, Don Pippin condo Travel
Light; Anything Goes ; Good Little Girls and
8 others. MGM E3737 $3.98
Offering gobs of Herbert, Romberg and
Friml, the fondly-remembered movie team
has finally been r ecorded in high fidelity
sound, and there is little question that members of the Eddy-Mac cult w.ill lap it up.
Mr. Eddy's nasal baritone seems to be better preserved than Miss MacDonald's rather
Schraffty soprano, but together they do
manage to recapture those dear, dead, romantic days when hearts were always happy
in May.
'
S. G.
MAY
JOHNNY CASH
SINGS HYMNS
.
.
No mistake •.. you heard the price correctly I
It's unbelievable because you'd expect to
pay so mu<;h more for just one superb high
fidelity speaker. How much does R&A cost?
Let your dealer tell you the price twice
(you'Ii raise your eyebrows the first time).
But it's true! Compare MA's "full-spectrum-of-sound" performance with higher...
priced speakers. Convince yourself that your
stereo speaker investment can be minimized
without sacrificing Quality. If stereo is in
your future plans, single R&A speakers
offer superb Hi-Fi enjoyment at a most
sensible price. Coaxial construction!
8". 10" and 12" models ... Alcomax
III Aniso-tropic Magnet system of
12,000 Gauss Flux Densities.
At better Hi-Pi dealers.
Buy it . . . try it .. . money back guaran t ee.
ERCONA CORPORATION
(Electronic Division)
16 W. 46 Street, Dept. 32, N. Y. 36, N. Y.
83
~ntertalnmeDt Music MisceHany
MORE NEW ITEMS ~ATED AT A GLANCE
Title
BE GENTLE PLEASE-Ernie Coleman Trio
Musi(ul
Interest
Performun(e
Re(orded
Sound
,f,f,f,f
,f,f,f,f
,f,f,f
S(ore
11
Stella By Starlight, April In Paris, So In love, Say It Isn't So & 8 others.
Warner Brothers W 1261
$3.98
DANCING AT THE MARDI GRAS-Lester Lanin Orchestra
Medley of 43 dance tunes.
Epic LN 3547
$3.98
11
FOR LOVERS-Ray Hartley (piano) and Ray Walker Orchestra
Heart of Paris, Secret love, A Certain Smile, Shadow of love & 8 others .
. RCA Victor LPM 1870
11
SONGS OF OLD NAPOLI-Roberto Murolo and Guitar
Marionni, Lu cardillo, lo zoccolaro, Cicerenella & 8 others.
Epic LC 3544
$3.98
11
STILL MORE-Sing Along with Mitch Miller and the gang
Smiles, When Day Is Done, Beer Barrel Polka, Good Night Sweetheart & 9 others.
Columbia CL 1283
$3.98
10
AROUND THE SAMOVAR-Leonid Bolotine and Orchestra
Curly Haired Catherine, Song of the Volga Boatmen, lesgi nka, Moscow & 8 others.
Warner Brothers W 1255
$3.98
10
COCKTAIL DANCING-Lester Lanin Trio
Medley of 56 dance tunes.
$3.98 .
Epic LN 3531
10
DANCING ROOM ONLY-Guy Lombardo Orchestra
Arrivede rci Roma, Stardust, Autumn leaves, Fascina tion & 8 others.
CapitolT1121
$3.98
10
PLAY FOR KEEPS-Jerri Adams (Ray Ellis Orchestra)
Fo r All W e Know, Every Night About This Time, But Not For Me & 9 oth ers.
Columbia CL 1258
$3.98
.
10
THE FRANK MOORE FOUR
Take The "A" Train, Frenesi, Manhattan. Night Train & 8 o the rs.
Capitol T 1127
$3.98
10
THE GYPSY AND HIS VIOLIN-Antal Kocze and his Bond
Magyar Dance, Balaton Czardas, Temesva r Czardas & 3 o thers.
Westminster WP 6103
$3.98
EXCITING SOUNDS FROM ROMANTIC PLACES-Leo Diamond (Harmonica) and Orchestra
,f,f,f
9
,f,f,f
9
,f,f,f
9
,f,f
8
la Vie En Rose, Arrivederci Roma, Sleepy lag oo n, lili Marlene & 8 o thers.
ABC-Paramount ABC 268
$3.98
MISTER PIPE ORGAN-Eddie Dunstedter at Morton Pipe Organ
Serenade In Blue, Poinciana, Brazil, Deep Purple & 7 others.
Capitol T 1128
$3.98
WORLD'S GREATEST LOVE THEMES-Joe Harnell (Piano) and Orchestra
Medley of 12 themes fr om Tchaikovsky, Cho pin, Grieg, Brahms, etc.
Epic LN 3548
$3.98
DRINKING SONGS SUNG UNDER THE TABLE-The Blazers
Father Dear Father, Rye Whiskey, Show Me The W ay To Go Home & 8 o thers.
ABC-Paramount ABC 270
$3.98
8
INFORMALLY YOURS-The Smart Set with Orchestra
Careless, Mean To Me, lover Come Back To Me, Hooray Fo r love & 8 o thers.
Warner Brothers W 1258
$3.98
8
SING ALONG AROUND THE CAMPFIRE-The Four Counselors
Clementine, Alouette, Good Night ladies, Red River Valley & 7 others.
$3.98
ABC-Paramount ABC 266
CHANTILLY LACE-The Big Bopper
6
The Clock, Pink Petticoats, White lightni ng, Strange Kisses & 8 others.
$3.98
Mercury MG 20402
Pleasing
Performanc.e:
Recorded Sound ,
84
B
Good
OK
Fair
Adequate
. Fair
" "
i1"
.,. . "
HIFI R EVIEW
)
l'
Golly, gang, here's an album of songs
that were taken j ust from Bill Holden's
movies ! Not only that, but each one was
picked by Bill himself, no foolin', and
they'r e all played just the way he likes to
hear them. And you know something, Bill
doesn't always hear them the way th ey were
played in the pictures. No sirree, no t Bill.
Like, take for in stance, you r emember how
Isn't It Romantic? was always played sorta
gooey-like every time he and Audrey got to·
gether in Sabrina? Well, Bill hears that
one real fa st. And that R iver Kwai March
-man, you should hear the way they swing
out on that one now. Gee, that Bill Holden !
S. G.
•
UMBERTO MARCATO-THE ROMANTIC VOICE OF UMBERTO MARCATO .
A nema e co re ; Ar rivede rci Ro ma; Picco lissima se re nata an d 9 oth e rs. Kapp KL-1114
$3.98
Mu sica l Inte rest : For the heart
Pe rfo rm a nce : From {he heart
Reco rd in g : A bit close
Unlike th e French, whose interpreters of
musical romances seem to be mostly wom en,
the Italian singers of amore are usually
men. One of the newest is Umberto Marcato, who whispers his emotions with ap·
propria te fervor in both I talian and English,
no matter if the origins of the songs are
Viennese (Fascination) , American (eh e
Sera Sera, Around the World) or French
(Autumn Leaves) .
S. G.
•
SALUTE TO THE SMOOTH BANDSFREDDY MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA.
Do es Yo ur H eart Beat Fo r Me ? ; Accen t O n
Yo uth; Moo nlight Sere nad e a nd 9 o t he rs.
Capitol T 1116 $3.98
Musi ca l Interest : Excellent concept
Pe rformance : Fine, loving replicas
Record ing: Superior
Historically, this is an in triguing r ecord.
Freddy Martin has recreated the styles of
twelve of the best known " sweet bands" of
the Thirties and Forties, even unto the
"Here's the band again" introduction to
Dick Jurgens. It's the only available anthology I know of that allows immediately
available comparisons between these leaders, who cer tainly did establish strongly individ ual styles.
Although this kind of music is not my
area of preference or specializa tion, I did
enjoy hearing all these styles come alive
again, because it also r eanimated some recollection s of the era with which these
"sweet" bands were connected. Very good
notes by Martin.
The bands saluted are Lawrence Welk,
Russ Morgan, Ambrose, Henry Ki ng, Hal
Kemp, Clyde McCoy, Dick Jurgens, Guy
Lombardo, Orville Knapp, Wayne K ing,
N. H .
Glenn Miller, and Ray Noble.
•
OPEN FIRE, TWO GUITARS featuring
JOHNNY MATHIS. Te nd e rly ; I C o nce nt ra te On Yo u; Pl ease Be Kind; My Funny
Va len tine a nd 8 othe rs. Columb ia CL 1270
$3.98
Musical In te rest: M iddling
Pe rfo rm ance: Uneven
Re co rding : Elegant
This.is not Mathis's best LP, though anything by him these days has th e Midas
touch. He is more excitable th an usual ;
MAY
1959
why
profeSSionals
choose
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~
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Sound engineers select the Roberts because its
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85
RATE: 35¢ per word.
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July Issue closes
GOVERNMENT Surplus Receivers, Transmitters, Snooperscopes, Parabolic Reflectors, Picture Catalog 10¢.
Meshna, Malden 48, Mass.
AMPEX, Concertone, Crown, Ferrograph, Presto, Tandberg, Pentron, Bell , Sherwood , Rek-O-Kut, Dynakit,
others. Trades. Boynton StudiO, Dept. HM, 10 Pennsylvania Ave., Tuckahoe, N. Y.
FREE Monthly HI-Fi Magazine. Write for quotation on
any Hi Fidelity components. Sound Reproduction Inc.,
34 New St. , Newark, N. J. Mitchell 2-6816.
HI-FI Haven, New Jersey's newest and finest sound
center. Write for information on unique mail order
plan that offers professional advice and low prices.
28 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick. New Jersey.
BUILD your own high fidelity kits; simple instructions.·
Also, wired and tested sets available. Box 301, HI Fi
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WESTERNERS! Buy Your Sound Equipment Near Home
and save. money. Get our delivered prices. Free consultation service. Charles MunrO-Audio Components,
470 Linden, Carpinteria, California.
"CROSSOVER network kits. Write Watson Industries;
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MOVING to · Europe: Selling $1300. Fisher Hi-FI (Custom Sixty) Performance, Appearance perfect. $450.00.
Write: Lussenburg, 94 North 6th Street, Paterson 2,
tlew Jers.ey.
GARRARD RC98 Changer mounted, Fairchild Cartridge
225A like new $60, or best offer. Dr. Museles. 91
Esmond, Dorchester, Mass.
STEREO equipment: Stereo Preamp Two-32 Watt Amplifiers AM-FM Tuner Miracord Stereo Changer. Pentron Tape recorder stereo play back plus Tapes , Mike.
Write Martines, 29 April Lane, Hicksville, New York.
PRICES? The Best! Factory-sealed Hi-Fi components?
Yes! Send for Free Catalog. Audion, 25R Oxford Road,
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UNUSUAL Values, HI-FI Components, tapes and tape
recorders. Free Catalogue MR. Stereo Center, 51
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FOR Saie-Custom-Bilt Heathkit Preamps: WA-P2
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lP RECORD Cleaning Cloth in Handy Case, Only 25¢!
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"
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1959 INDUSTRY Training. Home·Study. Drafting, Design , Electronics. Aero Tech, 2162·ZD Sunset Blvd.,
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I:I1!Jm'J
there are times when he stram s and all his
unsure intonation is exposed. He is al·
most cloying in his sweetness on Bye Bye
Blackbird. But Columbia has given him the
best of recording and some sympathetic accompaniment by guitars and bass. R. J. G.
BEETHOVEN·
FOR THREE
•
CARMEN McRAE BOOK OF BALLADS with Orchestra directed by Frank
Hunter. The Thrill Is Gone; My Romance;
Please Be Kind; Angel Eye s and 8 others.
Kapp KL 1117 $3.98
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(Established 1843)
-.
I'm walking
o.n
•
air.
Mu sica l Intere st: Popular ballads
Performance: Not her best
Recording : Good
Despite the fact that this is superior pop
singing, it is by no means the best of Carmen McRae, who is one of the very top
girl singers around. The selection of songs
is first class and the accompaniment is
quite sympathetic, but Carmen is basically
a rhythm si nger and th ese songs are all
taken straight and sometimes a bit blandly.
R.J.G_
•
GARRY MOORE - THAT WONDER·
FUL YEAR-1940 with Orchestra and Chorus, Irwin Kostal and Keith Textor cond o You
Are My Sunshine; Intermezzo; John so n Rag
and 10 othe rs . Warner Bros. W 1282 $3.98
Mu sica l Interest : Nostalgia stuff
Performance: In .the right mood
Recording: Up-to-date
Under the over·all title of Tha.t Wonder·
/ul Year, Garry Moore devotes a portion of
his weekly television program to the songs
and the fads of a particular year. With a
vocal group singing some pleasantly 'unobtrusive arrangements, this is an acceptable
enough formula for rounding up a group of
numbers that were either written or popularized during 1940. Mr. Moore is on
hand to sing occasionally, while the theme
song is used to bridge the selections by inquiring, somewhat redundantly, " Do you recall-remember at all. . . ?" Of course,
whether 1940 was such a "wonderful year"
has a lot to do with geography, as the inclnsion of The Last Tim e I Sa.w Paris all
too painfully attests.
S. G.
•
I'VE HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE
featuring PATTI PAGE. Let Me Call You
Sweetheart; Tenderly; Memories Of You; It
Had To Be You and 8 others. Mercury MG
20388 $3.98
Mu sica l Interest: Tops in pops
Perfo rmance: Good
Recording: Excellent
Just had my annual medical checkup. (Smart move.J I'm making out
. a check to the American Cancer
Society, right now-that's a smart
move, too.
I
. :
MAY
Guard your family!
Fight cancer with
a checkup and a check!
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
1959
There's a fine selection of material here
designed to give Miss Page's voice a favorable showcase. It Had To Be You is one
of the best (and swin gingest) and Sunday
Kind 0/ Love gets a good, intimate feeling
to it. She is not a great singer, but an ex·
ceedin gly pleasant one and the recording
is topnotch, live .and vibrant.
R. J. G •
•
BLUE CHIFFON-THE GEORGE
SHEARING QUINTET AND ORCHESTRA.
N octu rn e ; Kinda Cute; My One And Only
Love and 8 othe rs. Capitol TI124 $3.98
Mu sical Interest: To read Mary Worth by
Performance: All the notes are right
Recording: Very good
George Shearing and his quintet are
heard with a string orchestra in an innocnous mood album. Shearing's piano is the
H ere is some unusual music-a concerto, a
large one, with not one soloist but three.
Listening to it is a little like hearing a
Beethoven trio a nd one of his symphonies at
the same time-a musical banquet in terms
of sheer sound! Bruno Walter conducts this
fine performance .
BEETHOVEN: Concerto in C ("Triple"); leonore Overture No.3-John Corigliano, Violinist;
leonard Rose. Cellist; Walter Hendl, Pianist;
Bruno Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic
Ml 5368
GUARANTEED HIGH-FIDELITY AN D
STER EO- FIDELITY RECORDS BY
ICOLUMBIA II
® " Columbia" "Masterworks" ~ Marcl1s Reg.
A division of Columbia Broadcnslina' System, In c.
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HiFi REVIEW
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New York 16, New York
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HI-FI PRICES?
Write us your hi-fi needs
-you'll be pleasantly surprised. Ask Jar ollr Jree
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KEY ELECTRONICS CO.
120 Liberty SI.
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87
heavily {ea:ured solo instrum ent throu gh·
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N.H.
•
LOVE IS A KICK featuring FRANK
SINATRA. You Do Something To Me; Saturd ay Night; Deep Night; Five Minutes
More and 8 others. Colum.bia CL 1241 $3.98
Mu sica l Interest : Broad
Perfo rm ance : Excellenf
Recording: Early hi-fi
These are re·issues from th e last time
Sinatra was with Columbia and, although
he sin gs very well on some of them, such
as Deep Night and Satlbrday Night, th ey
are not up to what he is doing ri ght now,
nO!" is the sound as good as what is pro·
duced today. However, Sinatra fans ( in
other words, 9/l0ths of th e world's popula··
tion ) will dig them as much as I do, which
is a lot.
R. J. G.
THE FINEST OF ITS KIND • • •
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88
•
THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS
CMalcolm ArnoldI. Soun dtrack reco rdi ng
with the London Royal Phi lh armonic, Malcolm Arn ol d cond o 20th Fox FOX·3011 $3.98
Musi cal Interest: The "Nick-Nack" score
Perfo rmance: Cinematic
Recording: Tops for music portions.
Following up his o,vn lea d of in corpor atin g the Colonel Bogey March into the score
for Th e Bridge On the River Kwai, Mal·
colm Arnold has done much the sam e thin g
by utilizing the ancien t children's marchin g
song, This Old Man, for the most dramatic
moment in The Inn OJ the Sixth Ha.ppiness. The emotional impact of this song
easily transcend s musical values, a nd is
especially effective as th e voices are first
heard in the di stance and then seem to
come closer and closer. Otherwise, the
film 's main theme, whi ch starts out with
th e first four notes of Almost Like B eing
In Love, get's quite a workout, and th ere is
the added attraction of tran sitional dialogue inserted between musical sequences_
S. G.
•
PORGY AND B.ESS (George Gershwin>. Cootie Wi llia ms, Rex Stewart, Hilton
Jefferson, Lawrence Brown, Pinky Williams,
with Orchestra, J im Timm ens condo Warner
Bros. W 1260 $3.98
Mu sica l Interest: Gershwin's masterpiece
Performa nce: Imaginative
Recording: One of ihe best
The 'score for Porgy a.nd Bess lends itself
admirably to jazz trea tment, and thi s release is highly I·ecomm ended for its taste,
ima gination, musicianship, and, above all,
its fidelity to its source. Ins t.ea d of approaching the numbers individually, the
concept of t.his package has been to tI·ea t
the opera as a whole, with each of the in·
struments taking the part of a specific char·
acter in the story. Thus, Cootie Williams'
tend er trumpet is heard as Porgy, Hilton
J efferso n's lyrical alto saxophone is Bess,
Rex Stewart's dri ving wa·wa comet is
Sponin' Life, and Lawrence Brown's elo·
quent trombone soars high as Clara in an
especially affecting Summ.ertime. Alto·
gether, it is one of the best planned and
most successfully realized jazz versions of
a Broadway musical.
S. G.
•
REDHEAD CAlbert Hague-Dorothy
Fields). Original cast recording with Gwe n
Verdon, Richard Kile y, Leona rd Ston e, Cyn thia Latham, Do ris Ric h and others, with Orchestra and C horus, Jay S. Blackto n condo
RCA Victor LOC·1048 $4.98
Musica l Interest: Infrequent
Pe rfo rmance: Fabulous
Recording: First-rate
That R edhead is New YOl·k's latest hit is
unqn estionably du e to th e performance of
Gwen Verdon, and the recording of th e
score does little to cha nge the general verdict. Miss Verdon's numbers are all in·
fused with an altogether winning quality
of plaintiveness; even when she is at her
most joyous, as in Look Who's In Love, or
amusing, as in ' Erbie Fitch's Twitch, she
is still the shy little kid tryi ng her darnedest to enjoy h erself and also to pl ease
others. Wh at is also r evealed on the record·
ing, possibly even more than in th e thea tre,
is that Richard Kiley is one of the best
musical comedy leadin g men around, with
a ric h, mascnline voice th a t can do wonders
even with the most ordinary lyric.
Th e above preoccupation with the stars
of th e offerin g may lead you to believe that
the songs are less than inspired. And you
would be right. Albert Hague's music does
little to captnre the turn·of·the· century flavor of the story, but even on its own terms
there is a dear th of mel odic inven tiveness
or wit. Doro thy Fields' lyrical muse (a
most cooperative one in tll e past) seems to
have temporarily deserted her, except in
the mu sic hall turn 'ETbie Fitch's Twit ch
or the fnnny piece of jumbled advice called
Behave Yourself.
The score contains man y patter num·bers,
but such items as lust For Once and The
Uncle Sam Rag lack the gaiety implied in
their IYTics. Possibly til e most original
idea, as well as the most atu·active melody,
is to be found in She's lust Not Enough
Woman jor Me, in which Mr. Kiley, kidded
along by Leonard Stone, reveals his true
feelings for Miss Verdon while still pro·
testing, "she's not enough woman for me."
Later, with an affinnative litle, the same
tun e is mated to an almost aggressively dac·
tylic rhythm scheme, but Mr. Kiley's deliv·
ery makes i t easy to forgive combini ng
" unbeatable" with " meet·abl e," and when
he co mes to "posterior" and "snp erior," the
sentiment is positively lofty. After all, he's
describing Gwen Verdon.
S. G.
•
SOME CAME RUNNING CElmer Bernstein>. Soundtrack recordi ng with arche s·
tra , Elmer Bernstein con do Capitol W·II09
$4.98
Mu sica l Interest : More than mast
Performance: Doubtlessly definitive
Recording: Capital
By virtue of hi s havin g co mposed and
conducted three film scores for Frank Si·
natra (the fIrst two were Th e Man With
the Golden Ann and Kings Go Forth ),
Elmer Bern stein most certainly merits the
title of official Kapellmeister to the court.
Also in attendance to lend Iheir omn ipres.
ent hands are those royal balladeers, Jimmy
Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, who have
co ntributed the main them e. The combined
talents have put togetller a freq uently
bright and enteI·taining score, which in·
cludes, of course, tile almost inevitable jazz
sequences to contrast w ith the fairly heavy
dramatic goings on.
S. G.
HIFI REVIEW
r
Hi fi Review
iFi
lndex of Advertisers
MAY 1959
CODE
NO.
ADVERTISER
REVIEW
PAGE
NO.
69 Ai rex Radio Corporation . ............
3 Allied Radio ....... . . . . . .. ..... .. .
2 Altec lansing Corporation . . . ... .. . 13,
American Cancer Society.. . ... .. .. .
100 Apparatus Development Co. ..... . .. .
156 Argo Record Corporation .... ... .. ...
5 Audio Devices, Inc. . .. . . .. . .. ......
83 Audio Fidelity, Inc. .. ..... .. .. .. . ..
80
20
66
87
88
74
63
3
161
143
7
9
Bigg of California ..... . .. .. .... .. .
Blonder·Tongue laboratories, Inc .. . . .
Bogen·Presto Company ..... .. .. . .. .
British Industries Corp. . . .. . .. ... ..
78
28
22
4
104
111
151
157
Cletron Inc . . . . ............. .. .. . .
Columbia lP Reco rd Club . . . . . . . . . . . .
Columbia . ..... 65, 72, 76, 78, 81 , 83,
Conrac, Inc ... . ..... ... . .... ... . ..
73
7
87
61
146 Dynaco Inc. .. . ... .. . . ... .. .. . .. ..
8
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F i REVIEW. This free informa tion will add
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for its fullest enjoy ment.
1
10 EICO ................. .. .. .... .. . 30
Electronic Kits # 2 ................. 82
115 Electro·Sonic laboratories, Inc.. . .... 81
11 Electro·Voice Inc ... . .. .. . ... .4th Cover
62 Ercona Corporation .... .. . .. .. . .... 83
153 Erie Resistor Corporation . . . ... . . .. . . 85
13 Fisher Radio Corporation .. . ... 10, 11, 29
9 Garrard Sales Corporation . . . . . . . . . .. 4
14 Glaser·Steers Corporation ........... 68
99 Harmon·Ka rdon Inc .......... .. . . ..
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Print or type your name and address on
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2
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6
16 Omegatape .......... . .. . .. . . . .. .. 76
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P.O. Box 1778
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62
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R & A Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 83
Radio Shack Corporation . . ... . ...... 59
Reeves Soundcraft Corp ... . .... 2nd Cover
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Roberts Electronics Inc ... .... .. .... 85
Rockbar Corporation . . . . . .. .. .. 3rd Cover
29
30
56
98
121
Scott Inc., H. H. .. ........ .. ...... 19
Sherwood Electronics laboratories, Inc. 51
Stereophonic Music Society . . . . . . . . .. 55
Stromberg-Carlson .............. . 70, 71
Sun Radio & Electronics Co., Inc .... . 88
140 Uni ted Audio ............. .. ...... 57
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101 Weathers Industries . . ....... . . .. . . 17
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Hi Fi REVIEW
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lift-Davis Photographic Annuals ... . . . 80
M AY 1959
89
Oliver P. Ferrell, Edit'o r
Why Don't They
• Several members of my staff have recently spent
considerable time working with stereo AM/FM tuners.
A part of their work is published on page 45.
Getting so close to such a variety of stereo tuners,
we were all impressed by the occasional lack of "human
engineering" that went into functional designs. While
ofttimes the electronic circuitry is superb, the manufacturer seemingly has given little thought to the possible
use of his equipment. For example, we would earnestly
recommend that all AM tuner manufacturers (stereo or
mono) keep those ferrite rod antennas away from the
vicinity of power transformers. One tuner-which we
tested at considerable length-had a tunable hum due
solely to the proximity of the ferrite AM antenna rod
and the power transformer. Also, more 'manufacturers
should go in for mounting the ferrite rods on pivots.
Such AM antennas are directional and there is always
a good chance that your favorite AM station may be
off a null point of the antenna.
For the past few months we have been agitating for
more constructive thinking relative to mounting the
primary hi-fi equipment off-on switch on the tuner. A
surprising number of amplifiers still are turned off and
on by rotating the volume control. We think th~t the
volume control should be left fixed and that either a
push-button off-on switch can be installed in the amplifier (or a rotary switch) or that the equipment be turned
on from the tuner. A possible solution to this dilemma
might be putting in a two-way, three-position a.c. switch
on the tuner panel. In one position, the tuner and
amplifier can be turned on simultaneously. In the second
position the amplifier can be turned on but the tuner
stays off-permitting the amplifier to be used for playing
records while not using up electricity to heat up the
tuner. In the third position, the whole hi-fi rig would
be turned off.
Stereo tuner manufacturers should also realize that
such equipment will ·often be used to listen to straight
AM or FM broadcasts. Thus, the audiophile needs a
visual indicator to tell him quickly whether he is listening to AM or FM. Practically every stereo tuner that
we have tested to date seems to be predicated upon the
assumption that all audiophiles have a long memory.
Bull's-eye lamps or an additional tuning indicator could
be used to signify AM versus FM inputs. Certainly the
solution is not as difficult as a few manufacturers make
it appear.
Multiplex-How Soon, If Ever?
• Proponents of stereo broadcasting-especially those
using AM/FM or AMI AM equipment-refuse to roll
-over ~n:Q play dead now .that FM multiplex is on the
horizon. In fact, the first optimistic estimates regarding
multiplex are rapidly being re-evaluated, as storm clouds
press in on the supposedly bright future of FM multiplex
from all sides.
'
At this writing, there are at least nine mutations of
the FM sub-carrier multiplex idea-all slightly different
and all claiming to be superior to any other system. To
90
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confuse the whole picture, a variety of new methods to
achieve the stereophonic effect has been proposed by
the "Big Boys." Bell Telephone has tested a compatible
system via AM/FM/TV that left listeners and viewers
wondering what it was all about. RCA, meanwhile, carries out mysterious AMI AM stereo broadcasts-not using
their originally proposed single sideband technique-in
the wee hours of the morning. Practically all manufacturers with Crosby multiplex adapters are reluctant to
sell them until the Federal Communications Commission
decides on a standard-FM multiplex system. Meanwhile,
sales of stereo AM/FM tuners scramble toward new
heights. The .audiophile may well ask, -"Where will it
all end?"
Those in the know, and capable of objective views,
feel that stereo broadcasting is more desired by the
listener than it is by the stations themselves. -This is
in sharp contrast to color TV, where the shoe has been
on the other foot. Most broadcasting stations are still
leery of stereo discs. Quality is a major problem. Discs
seem to be okay in the home, but lack the qualityreqUIred by broadcasting stations-of good ster.eo .tapes
which are now in extremely short supply.
FM multiplex enthusiasts privately admit that the FCC .
has good reason for dragging its feet and not ma~ing a
hasty decision. Rather than subject itself to possible
avenues of criticism, the FCC may wen let 1959 go by
without okaying FM multiplex. Simultaneousl'}', it is '
even more doubtful that it will approve 'various "compatible" AM methods now being offered to the .public
as being as good as straight FM multiplex.
. And Now Stereo Cartridges and Tone Arms
• CU's man in . the white coat recently introduced some
new terms (t" sha~ter;'" motional impedance, etc.) into
the lexi~on of- the 'hi~ fi 'enthusiast. In the March issue of
"Consumer Reports" he ciaims to have thoroughly tested
stereo cal'triciges and tone arms. Once again he went out
on a limb, :r:ecommending certain units and damning
others. Fortunately-at least on this occasion-there appears to have been a somewha"t greater sampling of
available consumer items. Few knowledgeable audiophiles question the "check-rated" Shure cartridge/ESL
tone arm combination and much to my surprise, there
was no touting of a "bargain" stereo cartridge and tone
arm. Oddly enough, some six samples of the Shure
cartridge were tested but as far as we can determine,
only one sample of each of the remaining 21 cartridges
was evaluated. The purpose of this shenanigan remains
a mystery as does CU's continued iecommendation of
equipment long since discontinued-D&R turntables,
Bogen DB130 amplifiers, etc. Also, I cannot help but
wonder why C'onsumers Union refuses to test hi·fi equip.
ment in the same manner . as most manufacturers-in
this case, measuring frequency response of the individual
channels vs. channel-to-channel separation. If Consumers
Union would recognize that the hi-fi component manu·
facturers are .little people, not multi-million-dollar concerns ready and eager to bilk the public, I could personally have more credence in their test procedures.
U.S .A.
HIFI REVIEW
Ralph Bellamy, starring in "Sunrise At Campobello", listens to stereo on his Collaro changer and Goodmans Triaxonal Sp eaker System.
CollarO-yoUr silent partner for Stereo
Listen to stereo records and discover the most exciting way of
listening to music in your home. Listen to the new Collaro
stereo changer and discover the changer which provides truly
silent performance to meet the rigid quality demands of
stereo. Here's why Collaro is your best buy:
A. Five-terminal plug-in head: Exclusive with Collaro.
Provides two completely independent circuits thus guaran·
teeing the ultimate in noise·reduction circuitry.
c.
Spindle assemhly: Typical of Collaro precision quality
is the spindle shaft which is micro-polished to .000006 (6
millionths of an inch) for smoothness - insuring no injury
to records.
There are three Collaro changers priced from $38.S0 to $49.S0.
The changer illustrated here is the new Continental, Model
TSC-840.
For full information write to Dept. MRS Rockbar Corporation,
Mamaroneck, N. Y.
B. Transcription-type tone arm: As records pile up on
a changer, tracking pressure tends to increase. Result may
be damage to records or sensitive stereo cartridge. This can't
happen with the Collaro counter·balanced arm which varies
less than 1 gram in pressure between the top and bottom of
a stack of records. Arm accepts any standard stereo or monaural cartridge.
R~
American sales representative for Collaro Ltd. & other fine companies.
Rce
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I
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