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T H
E
M A G A Z I N E
Volume
This Issue. It's
nice to have new
readers, and we
seem to have a
lot. But, in a way, they constitute a problem, since some of them are new to high
fidelity as well as the magazine of the
same name, and they keep asking for a
basic run -down on it. Yet we hate to keep
presenting the seasoned aficionadi with
the same old what- is -hi -fi story. Luckily,
however, many of the old regulars themselves have been demanding something
not too dissimilar. What they want is a
definition, distinguishing genuine hi -fi from
the quasi variety making its appearance so
widely these days in ready -made phonograph
radios. It suddenly occurred to Charles
Fowler that perhaps both these wants could
be satisfied with the same article, which
he then, after considerable pressure, volunteered to write. Called "Hi -Fi Revisited," it
starts on page 37.
Next Issue. Roland Gelait, feature editor
of the Saturday Review and lifelong record
enthusiast, has written a history of the
phonograph, to be published late this year.
It has some fascinating chapters on little known phonographic events and ventures.
You'll get a prepublication look at one in
March.
CHARLES FOWLER,
Executive Editor
JOHN M. CONLY, Editor
ROY H. HOOPES, JR., Associate Editor
ROY LINDSTROM, Art Director
Contributing Editors
RoY ALLISON
C. G. BURKE
JAMES G. DEANE
JAMES HINTON, JR.
EDWARD T. WALLACE
MANSFIELD E. PICKETT, Advertising
Mgr.
WARREN B. SYER, Business Manager
FRANK R. WRIGHT, Circulation Manager
Branch Offices (Advertising only):
New York:
Room 1209, 6 East 39th Street.
Telephone:
Murray Hill 5-6332. Fred C. Michalove, Eastern
Manager. - Chicago: 5449 W. Augusta Blvd. Telephone: Columbus 1 -1779. Charles Kline, Western
Manager. - Loa Angeles: 1052 West 6th Street.
Telephone: Madison 6 -1871. Edward Brand, West
Coast Manager.
MUSIC
F O R
3
Number 6
LISTENERS
January - February 1954
AUTHORitatively Speaking
Noted With Interest
Readers' Forum
As The Editor Sees It
Will We Run Out of Music to Record? by Erich Leinsdorf
4
7
18
33
34
There is a grave shortage, a noted conductor discovers, of
just one particular kind of music.
Hi -Fi Revisited, by Charles Fowler
37
Is there any clear way to distinguish nowadays between
what is high-fidelity and what isn't?
Big Noise From Methuen
The decline and rescue of a fabulous organ.
WGMS Makes Money, by James G. Deane
40
42
Washington, D.C., bat one of the few good-music stations
which stays sturdily in the black.
Beethoven Begins at Six, by Eleanor Edwards
45
It's a job, but sometimes a parent can instill a love of music
into a child long before the teens begin.
In One Ear, by James Hinton, Jr.
46
Harpsichordist Among the Bubble Hunters, by Fernando Valenti 48
Record-shopping today is a strange, new art.
Records In Review
Enclosures For Loudspeakers, Part III, by G. A. Briggs
Tested In The Home
Bogen Tuner and Amplifier
Fisher Preamp -Equalizer and Hi -Lo Filter
Martin Amplifier System
Pilot FM-AM Tuner
Pfanstiehl Pickup System
Jensen Duette
Dubbings Equalizer- Checker
Components Corporation Turntable
Traders' Marketplace
Books in Review
Professional Directory
Music Listener's Book Shelf
Advertising Index
49-88
89
93
132, 150
133
146, 147
148
I51
High Fidelity Magazine is publiahed bi- monthly by Audiocom, Inc., at Great Barrington, Mass.
Telephone:
Great Barrington 1300. Editorial, publication, and circulation offices at: The Publishing House,
Great
Barrington, Mass. Subscriptions: $5.00 per year in the United States, Canada, and countries
American postal union. Single copies: $1.00 each. Editorial contributions will be welcomed byofthethe Pan editor.
Payment for articles accepted will be arranged prior to publication. Unsolicited manuscript.
accompanied by return postage. Entered as second -class matter April 27, 1951 at the post officeshould be
at Great
Barrington, Mass., under the act of March 3, 1879. Additional entry at the post office, Albany,
Printed in the U. S. A. by The Ben Franklin Press, Pittsfield, Mass. Copyright 1954 by Audiocom,N. Y.
Inc.
The cover design and contents of High Fidelity magazine are fully protected by copyrights and
must not
be reproduced in any manner or in any form.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
3
www.americanradiohistory.com
AUTHORitatively Speaking
something of an oddity that Erich
Leinsdorf, conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic, should choose this particular
time to scold major record companies for
their reluctance to record anything but "warmuch - played music of the sohorses"
called standard repertory. Even as he was
writing his article "Will We Run Out of
Music to Record ?" (page 34), critics everywhere were heaping praise on two disks of
Beethoven's
three undeniable war -horses
"Eroica," Mozart's G Minor symphony,
and calling them
Schuberi s "Unfinished"
the best musical buys of the ages. The
featured conductor: Erich Leinsdorf. Born
a Viennese, now 4o, Leinsdorf has hit most
of the high places. At 22 he was assistant to
Bruno Walter at the Salzburg Festival; later
he was enlisted again by Toscanini. At 26
he was a full conductor at the Metropolitan
Opera. In 1943 he took over the Cleveland
Orchestra; now he is with the Rochester
Philharmonic. His plan for recording new
music before it is publicly performed
strikes us here as a very ingenious one indeed. This article might start something.
It is
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Special treatment of the cone surround reduces
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Concentric H.F. horn, the development of which is
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Fernando Valenti, a dark -haired, strong fingered youth of 26, has recorded more
Scarlatti than anyone else. A native New
Yorker, he showed such early aptitude for
the keyboard that Jose Iturbi took him on as
Later, at Yale, he met
a piano student.
Ralph Kirkpatrick, who helped sway his
allegiance to the harpsichord, and his interest to the music of Domenico Scarlatti.
Except for a few early LP's for Allegro,
Valenti has recorded exclusively for Westminster, whose rich, powerful sound, he
admits, has helped sell both Scarlatti and
the harpsichord to the new listening public, whom he describes so vividly on page
48, in "Harpsichordist Among the Bubble
Hunters." Valenti himself has misgivings
about picking up so clearly all of what he
calls the "digestive noises" of the instrument.
P. S. He still has no phonograph. Says he
can't afford any he'd really like.
Newest addition to HIGH FIDELITY'S review -staff is Robert Kotlowitz, who replaces Edward L. Merritt, Jr., at the Music
Between stand. A 29- year-old Baltimorean,
his only previous (paid) connection with
musical publications has been a brief stint
at Musical America. Currently he is associate editor of Pocket Books, Inc., and
associate editor of Discovery, its subsidiary
annual of contemporary writing. (Kotlowitz has a poem of his own coming out
in the next Discovery; we didn't ask him
who chose to include it!) He likes opera
and ballet and collects records, the more
melodious, the better.
Charles Fowler, whose keen second look
at hi -fi sound reproduction begins on page
37, hardly needs introduction to Hi -Fi
readers. He's the boss around here. No introduction is needed either for James G.
Deane, a regular contributor who this
issue profiles the leading good -music stadon of his native D.C. As for Eleanor
Edwards, she will be remembered as the
"hi -fi wife" of the November issue. Appropriately, she seems to have a hi -fi child,
too. See page 45-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
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Note how the PEERAGE complements the famous E-V
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PEERAGE is made of sturdy, kiln -dried veneers and is available
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Audio Fairs (N. Y.
&
Phila.)
After discussing the matter with a good
many people, we have not been able to
determine whether it is better to be a visitor or a visited. If you're a visitor, you walk
steadily for hours on end until your feet
fall off, get your eardrums blasted until
your ears are ready to fall off, and emerge
dazed, bewildered, and perhaps delighted.
If you are a visited, you stand rooted to
one spot, talk until your voice gives out
(as did ours on day three of the New
York show!), hear the same few selections
of music until you're sure you're going out
the window if the needle (sorry! stylus)
approaches that high trumpet shriek just
once again, and emerge late of a Saturday
evening onto West 35th Street (service entrance or exit) to a scene of trucks doubleparked as far as the eye can see, carton after
carton of exhibit material piled onto the
sidewalk and dozens of exhibitors, just as
battle-weary as you are, all wondering dully
just where in sam hill their truck has gone to.
Next year, we're going to do a piece
about an audio show from the exhibitor's
point of view, a behind -the -scenes story.
This time, however, we'll stick to the
proper story, that of the visitor
what
there was to see at the New York Audio
Fair in mid -October and at the Third Annual High Fidelity Conference and Audio
Show in Philadelphia the first week of
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-
November.
New York was four days, four floors in
the Hotel New Yorker, four hundred exhibitors (or at least it seems like that many),
and a reported 20,000 visitors. It was far
and away the biggest, the best, and not the
noisiest of the five Audio Fairs held so far.
Certainly, the sum total of noise was the
greatest ever, but individually speaking,
exhibitors held their sound levels down
pretty well (Chicago was where they let
loose) with, of course, the usual number of
miscreant exceptions.
Philadelphia was two days; one and one quarter floors, and maybe 8,000 visitors.
We give a special nod to the Philadelphia
organizers; they did a splendid job all
around
and this was only the third time.
Philadelphia was a local show, as distinguished from New York which was national. Essential difference was that Philadelphia relied on local hi -fi sales organizations to sponsor and organize the show,
and to man most of the exhibits.
Philadelphia pre -show publicity was excellent and
attracted just the right kind of people
those who wanted to know what high fidelity was all about. Big drawing card was a
talk by Eugene Ormandy, who jammed the
-
-
Continued on page 9
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the Regency High Fidelity Ensemble has
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components assures a lifetime of optimum performance.
An outstanding innovation is the variable crossover compensator which provides much closer matching to crossover characteristics of the better loudspeaker systems.
One low impedance and two high impedance inputs
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Equivalent noise input level
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In addition to a flat response across a range both
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the equipment has an unusual characteristic flexibility which allows precise adjustments not only for the
source of the sound but for the particular room acoustic and individual psycho- acoustics. This is achieved
by an extraordinary range of controls which are:
A continuous variable loudness control which selects
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Gain control (which is a recording level compensa-
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Six position cross-over selector for adjustment to
various recording characteristics;
Low frequency response equalizer (step control
each position provides approximately 1.2 db per octave compensation);
High frequency response equalizer (step control
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NOTED WITH INTEREST
THE HI -FI BOOM
...means people will
Continued from page 7
Ben Franklin Hotel's Crystal Ballroom with
a capacity crowd of about 1,400.
Harold
Weiler, with a talk on diamond styli,
drew a good but smaller crowd on the sec-
ond night.
Perhaps because most of the manufacturers made their big new -product effort
for the Chicago show in September, we
left the New York show without any feeling of special significance to this particular
Audio Fair. Last year, for instance, we felt
that that Fair was the "cabinet' show, because so many manufacturers discovered
simultaneously that speakers and other
equipment required cabinets.
well, possibly the signifiThis year
cance of this phenomenon will show up
next year more dramatically, but we might
label the Audio Fair of 1953 the "lots for
little" show. H. H. Scott's model 99 amplifier was typical:
lots of quality, ample
power, yet small of size and low in price
(just under $too). It looked no bigger than
a good -sized preamplifier. Brook Electronic
did much the same thing with their model
22 -A, which seems to include most of the
features of their big job in a single chassis
of very modest proportions
and at a
modest price ($119.99). Fisher, who has
had one of the largest power amplifier
chassis in captivity, showed also a baby
25 -watt job using 5881 tubes. Small speaker
enclosures were all over the place. The
strides taken in the direction of better sound
from smaller enclosures was really heartening. Even Electro -Voice followed the trend
to miniaturization by trimming a few inches
off their Patrician and introducing the
still plenty big, but filling a
Georgian
real need for something in the E -V line of
less grandiose proportions than the Patrician.
In the tape recorder classification, Telectrosonic Corporation showed a complete
unit weighing only 14 pounds and costing
less than $too
the kind of a thing you
could have a lot of fun with. They also had
a professional model, at $425, which looked
very interesting. Both models, by the way,
have been promised us for a "Tested in the
Home" report.
There were many other tape recorders,
mostly in the complete- package style ... we
need more designed for the high fidelity
enthusiast who already has an amplifier and
speaker system and who, therefore, wants
only the tape transport mechanism and the
preamplifier-equalization section of the
package units.
Turntables received some attention, Col laro showing a stripped version of its changer
mechanism, Bogen exhibiting a variable speed arrangement, Garrard a transcription
unit (as well as a souped -up changer), Paul
Weathers a built- to -my- specifications turntable which features a raised (Tié -in.) platform about the size of the record label, on
which the disk rides. And Jerry Minter,
President of the Audio Engineering Society,
partially associated with Measurements
Corp. and fully associated with Components.
Inc. (this -all for the record), had several of
his flying saucers around the Fair; feature
is a nylon belt which runs around the rim
insist on Better Phono
Needles
-
-
-
-
Continued on page to
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
More and more people are becoming increasingly
particular about tone reproduction now that high fidelity is available to everyone. But all of this amazing
equipment becomes "second rate" in acoustical quality
unless particular attention is paid to the phonograph
needle.
f.
Regardless of what you have been told, there is no
such thing as a permanent needle! It is true that some
needles wear much faster than others depending on
the material from which they are made. But the moment a needle is worn down and rides on the bottom of
the groove, good tone is lost and the records you play
are permanently ruined!
\
Duotone makes a needle for every phonograph in
every price range, from steel needles to the Duotone
Diamond. Naturally, the Duotone Diamond needle is the
nearest thing to a permanent needle that man can
devise -after thousands of plays the Duotone Diamond
gives faithful performance. But the diamond is not
good for ever, and other needles must be checked and
replaced frequently to avoid damage to fine discs.
JJ
\-
Whether or not you are a "Hi -Fi Bug ", check your
needles often and if you don't have a Duotone Diamond,
keep an extra needle on hand for quick replacement
when needed.
D\lOtOOE
KEYPORT, NEW JERSEY
CenaGian
ss.s,sWbEirs
E.se.1 D:.
"
1/
,se
AD
CHARLES W. 101NTON, TOSONIO, CANADA
AUENNA, INC , NEW VOIE CITY, N Y.
NOTED WITH INTEREST
Continued from page 9
of the turntable and to
a thoroughly isolated motor shaft. From the design point of
view, rumble ought to be practically non existant. (If last minute changes in editorial
plans, between writing this column and
putting the balance of the issue together,
don't fool us, there should be a TITH report on this turntable further along in
this issue.)
Duotone, hitherto best known for its
needles, broke into the open with a line of
speakers (manufactured by Europe's Phillips) and microphones. The speakers looked
very good but you can't listen to a microphone at an Audio Fair! and a "Tested in
the Home" report will be upcoming.
Another line -broadener was Fairchild, who
introduced a new arm and a new preamplishould be right good equipment,
fier
judging by previous standards for this
company.
Binaural (or stereophonic; were still trying to keep out of that argument!) received
Newcomb, Bell,
considerable attention.
Livingston, and Madison Radio -Sound (of
Madison, N. J.) were among those showing
and Emory
two -channel amplifiers . .
Cook has developed a method of adapting a
regular tone -arm with a second head (looks
like a motorcycle with a sidecar), so that
binaural is now relatively simple for anyone.
There were FM tuners galore, nearly all
of improved quality. Radio Craftsmen announced a new one, the C -900, which is
FM -only, and Radio Engineering Laboratories (better known as REL) came back
into the hi -fi field with its very professional
looking 646 -C or "Precedent". The earlier
646 -B was primarily intended for broadcast
and relay station use, but found its way into
many a hi-fi installation in the late '4o's.
Magnecord showed two interesting items:
a binaural MagneCordette (tape transport
mechanism plus two preamp- equalizer sections) and a new Magnecord M -8o professional recorder, the latter in the $1200 class.
much gaping at the new
Meandering
Ferranti pickup (lots of imported items at
.
Stephens showed 011ie
this show)
UTC preRead's new speaker enclosure
Vee-D -X
viewed its printed -circuit kits
Beam Inhas a broad -band FM yagi
struments now imports W -B "Concentric
Duplex" speakers from England, also the
Sonex is a
QUAD amplifier and preamp
relatively new name in the amplifier group ...
We've mentioned Paul
.
so is Shields .
Weathers before; he has a neat "player"
which includes specially- designed turntable,
arm, and tone control unit .. Fisher's compact preamp for $19.95 and Hi -Lo filter for
$29.95 are reviewed in this issue; at Philadelphia, he showed a speaker enclosure,
which gives him a pretty complete line .. .
last word goes to a smart chap by the name
of Stan Davis who took some special foam
rubber sheets in 4 and 1/ -inch thickness,
cut them to lo, 12, and i6-inch circles,
topped some with soft, felt-like material in
gay colors, and produced a turntable pad
with real merit; his company name is Turn -
...
.
The sensation of
TWO Audio Fairs
Thousands of engineers and music lovers at the
New York and Philadelphia Audio Fairs acclaimed
PRECEDENT as the hit of the show! They agree
that this utterly different, superlative new FM tuner sets
the pace in performance and beauty.
The ladies are especially enthusiastic about the
luxurious simplicity of PRECEDENT's handsome table-top
model (above), which enhances the finest homes
without need of built -in installations or additional
cabinet. Chassis and rack models are
also available to meet every mounting purpose.
in
To learn for yourself about this exciting new advance
radio reception, write today.
...
...
...
...
...
.
RADIO ENGINEERING LABORATORIES
36 -40 Thirty Seveiith Street
INC.
Long Island City 1, N. Y.
.
Continued on page 12
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
Io
www.americanradiohistory.com
These are the tests of high fidelity .. not claims, not
boasts. That's why Collaro, confident of the results,
invites you to compare.
.
Collaro has developed an entirely new turntable drive
mechanism, and thus has succeeded in achieving performance considered impossible in earlier record
changer designs. Rumble, wow, and flutter are virtually eliminated. Mechanical operation is smooth
... gentle to the record and to the delicate stylus.
FULLY AUTOMATIC
3 -SPEED RECORD CHANGERS
*!*-
WITH
ANY
REGARDLE35 OF PRICE
You will also discover that the Collaro changers are
absolutely jam -proof; that they automatically shut off
at the end of the last record; that the tone arm is ball bearing mounted, and tracks accurately with as littl
as 3 gram stylus pressure.
Remember these features ... look for them, c
them ... and you will agree that Collaro rea
high fidelity record changers for high fideli
reproduction.
RUMBLE
FLUTTER
and
shed; and dust and grit particles cannot become
imbedded. On the underside is a 4 -pole motor with
self-aligning oilite bearings for silent steady power.
RECORD
CHANGERS IN THE FIELD
F01'
And while you are comparing these, look at the construction. Note that there are no intermediate drive
wheels employed and no belts to slip or to replace.
Rotate the turntable and observe how freely it spins.
This is the combined result of dynamic balance and
hall -bearing suspension. Now lift the turntable. It's
heavy ... intentionally weighted to give flywheel
action for constant, steady rotation. You'll notice that
the turntable is rubber covered. Important...because
unlike other materials in use this surface does not
wow
LIST PRICE
Model 3/532 Intermixes 10 and 12 inch records
Model
3 /531
Non-intermix
Model 3/534 Single record player
Available at Radio Parts Jobbers,
Distributors, and Hi-Fi Dealers.
MIL
JANUARY- FEBRUARI, 1954
$65.00
54.50
33.60
Ji
R
rite for complete details to:
O
C
K B
A R
C
O R P
O
R
A T
215 EAST 37th STREET, NEW YORK
O
N
16, N.
Y.
I
1
NOTED WITH INTEREST
Today's most influential voice...
LiUV!
IN HIGH-Fli
Continued from page ro
table Products and he roused much well justified interest.
Audio Fair,
L. A.
Before we slip too far away from audiofairdom, let us remind readers that the big
doings on the West Coast are scheduled for
February 4, 5, and 6 at the Alexandria
Hotel in Los Angeles. To indicate what to
expect: last year, two floors were occupied;
this year, the first five floors have been reserved for registration and exhibit facilities.
HIGH FIDELITY will be represented; be
sure to look us up (can't tell you room
number; at press time, it hadn't been assigned).
Naming The SME Bulletin
your ears audition this revolutionary sound component. Check its smoothness... range of response...
sensitivity and every factor vital to quality performance.
You'll agree with the high- fidelity experts who report:
In all- around speaker value General Electric's Model
A1-400 is unsurpassed!
At the same time examine the complete G -E Custom
Music Ensemble. No greater economy in true high -fidelity
equipment has ever been offered. Your local distributor
has the G -E system on display now. Call him today!
LT
IDEALLY MATCHED G -E COMPONENTS
For New Sound Quality...Simplified Installation
orgrwirg P
Preomplifier- Control Unit Al.200
tj
Boron Tone Arms:
AI.500 (12 ")
Al -501 (16 ")
MEE
SEND FOR
THIS NEW
BOOKLET!
Power
PL
Amplifier
Al -300
Speaker Enclosure
(Blond, Mahogany or
Unfinished V
s)
A1-406
MI
=MI
IMMI
ANN
MO
.............
CITY.......... .....
-
HIGH FIDELITY
General Electric Company,
Electronics Park, Syracuse, Section 6414
N. Y.
Please
me
of the new G -E
Cmponens
High-Fidelity
BookletPy
ADDRESS
The original By -Laws of The Society of
Music Enthusiasts called for the publication of an official organ to carry news
and articles of interest to members. After
scoring an initial error by calling this
bulletin "Baton" (a name which, it turned
out, already had been copyrighted by someone else), the Society announced a "Name
Your Bulletin" contest. The prize for the
winning title was to consist of a complete
set of high fidelity components. An assortmant of manufacturers kindly volunteered to furnish these.
The response was, to put it mildly, substantial. And a good many of the suggestions were usable. Eventually (and this time
after a check through the copyright department at the Library of Congress) the judges
decided on The Crescendo.
Very shortly afterward, winner Herbert
Markell, a New York architect, received
most of what it takes to make a crescendo
to wit: a Garin his own living room
rard "Triumph" record changer; a Weathers
FM pickup cartridge and power -supply, a
Bogen DB -xo amplifier; a model FM -6o7
Pilotuner tuner; a University 6201 co -axial
speaker, and a Cabinart Klipsch "Rebel"
speaker enclosure and Model 21 equipment cabinet.
STATE..........................
-
Nos. 4 and
5
Several more readers have written in with
offers to loan or sell copies of out -of -stock
issues 4 and 5. Below is the list to date,
including names printed in the previous issue
of HIGH FIDELITY as well as new ones received since then:
To
LOAN:
Harold A. Gordon. 17 Summitt Ave.,
Mt. Vernon, N. Y.
Andrew Menick, 915 N. Palm Avenue,
Whittier, Calif.
Ralph L. Kanau, Sabula, Iowa.
To SELL:
W. H. O'Kane, Box 287, Chagrin Falls,
Ohio.
J. P. Tidwell, 12456 12th N.W., Seattle
77, Wash.
MISCELLANEOUS:
G
N
RAI
á
ELECTRIC
We can't fit the following two into the
neat list above. Edward Morrill, 65 Kneeland St., Boston II, Mass., has Nos. 2, 5,
Continued on page 16
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
V -M 936HF High
V.M
Fidelity
Record Changer Attachment. "all the music is
all you hear"
Fi'
936HF High
lity'
Record Changer
ATTACHMENT
Beautiful music and simplicity go hand in
hand. Connecting the V -M 93614F to your
amplifier and speaker is as easy as plugging in
a lamp. Your reward
the thrill of hearing
the music on your finest records faithfully
reproduced with rich, full -bodied tonal beauty.
Look at these V-M 936HF features. They
give you more in high fidelity performance,
more record protection and more record playing convenience than any other changer attachment!
Exclusive, resonance -free aluminum
diecast tone arm balanced for easy adlustmentto desired needle pressure.
Two die cast plug -in tone arm heads,
will fit most cartridges.'
Exclusive laminated, balanced turntable. Precision -formed concentricity
for constant -speed operation.
Exclusive 4 -pole, 4 -COIL motor assures silent, steady speed, eliminates
electronic hum and rumble.
Gentle tri -o -matic spindle protects
records, eliminates holders that grip
record grooves.
V -M 45
...
'Pre-a mplificatiou stage required with magnets, t.pe hrcAupr.
"Slightly higher in
the reed.
UL Approved
the
V-M HIGH
PORTABLE
P
FIDELITY
BENTON
-A SYSTEM
Powerful g Watt package, I 0" Jensen PM speaker
with 25' cord, "slide -out" amplifier stays near
automatic record changer. Matching leathereue cases. Model 960 record changer $64.50* *.
Model 160 amplifier $66.50 * *.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, I954
V-M
Spindle included. Permits
automatic play of up to fourteen large
center -hole records.
;"DICE
C
O
R
P
O
R
USIC
OF
A
T
I
O N
I, MICHIGAN
Please send ate your ill usi ra/ed folder,
-Bring Concert Halls Within Your 1Valls. "
HARBOR
NAME
ADDRESS
CITY_-
,
STATE
_
Made by V -M Corporation, world's largest manufacturer of phonographs and record changers exclusively.
13
e
Jensen "DUETTE"
WON
at the INTERNATIONAL SIGHT AND SOUND EXPOSITIO)
and the thousands who came to listen, said ..
... "I never dreamed you could get such
a full range from such a small unit"
... "They must do it with mirrors"
... "Why this bass sounds as good as our
big, expensive setup"
... "I'll bet it took real engineering to
get that balance"
.. If that's all the bigger
it is, you can
have it in the living room"
.
... "Why doesn't our set sound like that
when you turn the volume down ?"
... "I always thought two -way systems
...
...
cost a fortune"
"I never thought you could get such
clean highs, at such low cost."
"Notice how there isn't any boom in
the bass!"
...
a skil
THE Jensen "Duette" is a true two -way system that fulfills the high standards of true high fidelity
fully balanced combination of a special 8 -inch "woofer" for the lows and a multicell horn -loaded "tweeter" fc
the highs, plus crossover system in a new, acoustically coordinated very small enclosure.
Not since Jensen engineers developed the bass reflex principle has there been such a new departure i
enclosure acoustics
a miniature cabinet that makes possible full low bass reproduction.
The "Duette" In the smallest space (11" x 23''/ x 10" -one bookshelf or a small corne
...
At the lowest cost
($69.50)
has the most sought -after qualities in fidelity of reproduction ... thrilling true definition, separation and realis
of sound through the whole musical range.
With the "Duette," Jensen makes high fidelity a luxury everyone can afford now. You don't have to waituse with your present TV, radio and phonograph, or build your high fidelity system around the "Duette" in le
space and at lower cost
speaker systems that give you far less.
ttthan^
SHOWN ACTUAL SIZE
Jensen Manufacturing Company -6601 South Laramie Avenue, Chicago 38, Illinois
Division of the Muter Company -In Canada: Copper Wire Products, Ltd., Licensee
.
.i
1
1f+n;¡vF
t
:;.
Sii?tg
.j
r,t;.
á,
THE GOLD
SPECIFICATIONS
MODEL DU -201
able now-)
(as
Dimensions:
Finish:
23y"
L -F
11" x
illustrated- availx 10 "
Mahogany toned pigskin
textured plastic case with
contrasting front. Copper
toned trim.
Unit:
Special 8 -inch heavy -duty
H -F Unit:
Multicell horn -loaded compression driver unit
tweeter" (as used on Jensen
' woofer.'
'
Impedances:
Power
Rating:
H -222 and H -520 Coaxials).
4 and 8 ohms available on
3- terminal strip on back of
case.
20
watts speech and music.
Net Price:
$69.50
AL
MODEL DU -202 PORTABLE
(available January 15)
Dimensions:
Finish:
11' x
x 11 3,4"
Black plastic leatherette
case with light gray front.
Aluminum toned
trim.
(Acoustic and electrical specifications same as DU -201)
Handle on end of case. Snap
locked removable front cover contains 25foot cord and plug, plus storage for 2 7 -in.
(or 3 5 -inch) boxes of tape with retaining
strap.
Ideal for portable hi -fi record and tape reproduction, and sound reinforcement by lecturers, musicians, recording
engineers and hi -fi enthusiasts.
Net Weight:
21
lbs., Net Price:
$89.50
www.americanradiohistory.com
NOTED WITH INTEREST
Continued from page 12
Now make Magnecordings
of all you love
to hear
6, and the latest six available, and also a
copy of "World Encyclopedia of Recorded
Music" for sale.
M. E. Bigler, 335 Iris St., Redwood City,
Calif., will swap his No. 5 for a No. 1 or 2.
L. B. Weller, RR-z, Valparaiso, Indiana
writes: "My subscription has just expired,
and much as I would like to continue to receive HIGH FIDELITY, I cannot afford it!
I have on hand every one of your 12
But
issues to date, all in mint condition. Perhaps this collection is worth $t8 to you or
to one of your readers a sum I would
gladly invest in an additional subscription
for myself."
We'd like that renewal, so we feverently
hope some reader makes a deal with Mr.
Weller!
-
-
Wire Tape Spondence
with your choice of
mag
...
3
f4//e/
...
highest fidelity of all
home tape recorders
Make the world's finest home tape recordings!
Play them back with this magnificent instrument
through your custom audio system or quality
radio -phonograph. MagneCordette is the standard
broadcaster's Magnecorder, beautifully restyled
for home use. Now in three models, it's the finest
home tape recorder ever offered!
Magnecording
Make broadcast- quality tape
recordings that won't scratch
or wear out, using any radio,
phono, or microphone source.
Response is flat from 50-15000
cps, ± 2 db. Total harmonic
distortion less than 3% , flutter
less than .3% .
Standard MagneCordette
PT6 -AH recorder and custom G amplifier
enclosed in o handsome blond, mahog-
Portable MagneCordette
Maybe we should head this item "talksponanyway, it
dence ' or "voicespondence"
has to do with the various organizations
which encourage conversations among their
members by means of wire or tape recordings. We had an item several issues ago
about "World Tape Pals," and later one
about the "Global Talkawire Club." Two
more have since come forward to tell us
there's a lot of activity
about themselves
in this field!
"Tape- Respondents, International" was
started in December 1952, now has members
throughout the United States and in 22
foreign countries. Fred Goetz, their key
man, writes us that membership is growing
daily. For more information, write him at
P. O. Box 1404, San Francisco, Calif.
"The Voicespondence Club" stems from
what is probably the oldest organization of
the original "Wirespondence
its type:
Club" sponsored by Webcor as a public
service. In 1953, Webcor decided the Club
was strong enough to stand on its own feet
and turned it over to John Schirmer, as
Secretary, and Charles E. Owen, Jr. who,
along with Mrs. Owen, is entided "associate." The new club officially began on
July t, 1953, completely on its own, as a
non -profit group. For further information
about this club, write Charles E. Owen, Jr.
at Noel, Va.
any, or block lacquer cabinet. $449.00.
-
MagneCordette with power amplifier
double speaker unit added. A complete
record -playback -P. A. system in one
carrying cose! $549.00.
Binaural MagneCordette
MagneCordette with extra G amplifier
designed for use with your binaural
Blond, mahogany, or
block lacquer cabinet. $647.00.
sound system.
Call to L. A. Tapesters
Leslie A. Smart, Jr., of 2863 California St.,
Huntington Park, Calif. (phone: Lafayette
LA 689o) writes: "If there are any two track individuals in the greater Los Angeles
area who would like to get together with
me for exchange or dubbing of binaural
tapes, please phone, write, or just drop in
the home is open to bigger and better music."
...
Any Spare "Eroicas ?"
Editor John Conly spent most of Sunday,
Dec. 6, on his roof, twisting a dipole, but
he couldn't get WNBC-FM (New York)
clearly enough to tape Toscaninï s performance of Beethoven's "Eroica." Says
he'll pay money for a good hi -fi copy,
taken direct from the New York FM
source on a hi -fi recorder.
took under "Recorders" in the
phone book for your dealer's name.
INC.
225 WEST OHIO
I6
ST.,
CHICAGO
10, III., DEPT. HF -1
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
only JIM LANSING SIGNATURE SPEAKERS are made with a 4" voice coil
FOR
PRECISION LOW -END RESPONSE
crisp, clean reproduction of bass tones is an
immediately -apparent distinguishing feature
of Jim Lansing speakers. The reason: The 4"
voice coil makes the cone a more rigid piston.
every note a perfect quote
FOR EXCEPTIONAL HIGH -END RESPONSE
overtones and timbre, as reproduced by Jim
Lansing Signature Speakers, give music
dramatic presence, give personalities vivid
reality. Smooth, extended h. f. response is
due to the large, spherical durai dome which
has the same diameter as the 4" voice coil
...and is attached directly to the voice coil...
as it should be.
the most efficient general purpose speakers made anywhere
ANSING SOUND, INC.
2439 fletcher drive
los angeles, california
_.
Lansing
Lansing
Lansing
2" voice
15" g. p. D1J0 with 4" voice coil.
12" g. p. D131 with 4" voice coil.
8" g. p. D208 with proportional
coil.
send for catalog of Jim Lansing speakers and enclosures.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
17
www.americanradiohistory.com
-PenieR-Si
UMSIR:
I do
"Of the very best!"
-HIGH
FIDELITY MAGAZINE
FISHER
SERIES
"50"
It is only natural that more than one manufacturer will claim his
product is the best. For that reason it remains for you to be the judge.
We say- demand the specs. Then check workmanship, performance
and beauty of appearance. If you do all these things, the answer will
inevitably be
THE FISHER SERIES "50." There is no finer made.
...
F SHER
Master Audio Control
M
0C I
"One of the finest units yet offered to the enthusiast or audio engineer."
-Radio and TV News. Can be used with any amplifier. IM distortion virtually unmeasurable. Complete, professional equalization settings and tone
controls; genuine F-M loudness control: five inputs, five independent input
level controls, two cathode follower outputs. Self- powered.
Chassis, $89.50 With blonde or dark cabinet, $97.50
THE
FISHER
FM -AM Tuner
MODEL
OR
Features extreme sensitivity (1.5 my for 20 db of quieting); low distortion (less than 0.04% for volt output); low hum (more than 100 db below
2 volts output.) Armstrong system, adjustable AFC with switch, adjustable
AM selectivity, separate FM and AM front ends (shock- mounted). cathode
follower output, fully shielded, aluminum chassis, self- powered. $164.50
1
want to express to you, through the
contents of this letter, the immense amount
of satisfaction that I get from receiving
a copy every other month. My one regret
is that it is not a monthly publication but I
can well appreciate the fact that the contents
might not be as high quality if it were put
out on a monthly basis. (Perish the thought!
Ed.]
See editorial, page 33.
As near as I can tell there is something
for everyone, no matter whether he is interested in popular music, light classical or
strictly classical music. The technical articles
are deep enough to appeal to those who love
to rend the air with technical phrases.
However, there is a very serious situation
arising in the field of so-called "high fidelity"
music. You touched upon it very lightly in
your editorial in the September- October
issue. I should like to bring up another side
of it and I think it is something that should be
made the subject of an editorial in the forthcoming issue, and that is that people today
are so interested in gadgets and new types
of reproducing mechanisms that they are unconsciously losing sight of the fact that
they are putting more emphasis on the means
of playing than they are on the actual music
-
itself.
For instance,
I was visiting a friend's
house the other evening and he put on two
or three LP records. He was jumping up
and down like a Mexican jumping bean,
twiddling dials and making adjustments,
until I almost went "nuts." I said to him,
"I think that you have become so obsessed
with the two words "high fidelity" that
you have forgotten that Bach and Beethoven
got along very nicely before these two words
were coupled together."
Last Saturday this friend of mine came
over to my house and we spent the whole
evening listening to various types of music.
I changed the controls in only two instances;
I suppose this, to an editor of HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE, is heresy, but he had to
admit that he enjoyed it just as much without changing knobs and controls as he did
changing them from record to record.
think that the love of meSometimes
chanics and gadgets in the American citizen
is so strong that he forgets all about the
music and goes into ecstasies over the fact
that he can hear 18,000 cycles, simply because some advertising company writer,
who woke up in the middle of the night
and had ham and cheese sandwiches with 'a
glass of beer, thought up some sort of
weird selling idea to convince the unsuspecting public that it should buy this or that
piece of equipment.
I happen to be the Assistant Treasurer of
Continued on page 21
1
FISHER
50 -Watt Amplifier 5A
Truly the world's finest all -triode amplifier, yet moderately priced. A
man's size unit! Less than 1% distortion at 50 watts (.08% at 10 watts.)
IM distortion below 2% at 53 watts. Uniform response within .1 db from
20 to 20,000 cycles; db, 5 to 100,000 cycles. Hum and noise more than
96 db below full output. Quality components throughout.
$159.50
1
Prices slightly higher west at the Rockies
WRITE TODAY FOR COMPLETE SPECIFICATIONS
FISHER RADIO CORPORATION 45 EAST 47th STREET
N. Y.
I1111111111
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
18
www.americanradiohistory.com
Now for the first time, high fidelity
with...
eXtra Dimensional Sonnà
Columbia"360" Phonograph introduces XD
Today the remarkable "360" by Columbia Records is the first and only
instrument to release music from the limitations of phonographs with fixed
speakers. Now it is possible for you to custom -tailor the reproduction of your
records through an extraordinary new mobile speaker. Called X -D, (Extra Dimensional) this "Roving Speaker" plugs into the "360" and can be moved
anywhere around the room. It adds to the superlative twin speakers of the
"360" a flexibility that even costly, custom -engineered systems cannot equal.
Here is depth, color, realism. Nothing comparable to the "360" with X -D
exists today. And the cost -only $139.95 for the beautiful "360" plus $24.95
(optional) for X -D. Exclusive development of Columbia Records.
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
the"RmiIlg Speaker
Pricy higher in the West,
"l',Jumhia." Heg. 11. S. l'at. Off. Marren
i
Hegiatradan. "9gU,"
"XO" Trade
Mark..
19
www.americanradiohistory.com
FIDELITY
Fidelity and Simplicity are synonymous in the
TITONE
TURNOVER
CERAMIC CARTRIDGE
Only through the magic of the Titone ceramic principle
-an original development of the Sonotone Laboratories
-may record reproduction have the advantage of both
average measured output at 1000 cycles on the RCA
12 -5 -51V test record is 0.95 volt.
NO EQUALIZERS
Fidelity and Simplicity.
Now your finest records may be flawlessly reproduced
without equalizers, preamplifiers, oscillators, polarizing voltages -or any of the other cumbersome, erratic
and costly accessories heretofore deemed necessary.
The typical frequency response -with no equalization
-is flat within ± 3 db from 30 to 15,000 cycles on the
new RCA 12 -5-51V test record. Similar flat outputs
are obtained from records cut to LP, NAB, AES, and
other modern characteristics.
NO SPECIAL COMPONENTS
NO PREAMPLIFIER
The high output voltage and the ceramic structure
provide the highest signal -to -hum ratio available,
eliminating the need for special motors, turntables or
mu-metal shields.
This tiny new Titone reproducer utilizes barium titanate in a high compliance design to provide one volt
output on modern microgroove records. For example,
m
+5
+5
0
o
-5
-5
z
Ñ
z
o
w
¢
20
50
100
200
500
FREQUENCY
IK
IN
2K
5K
IOK
20K
CYCLES
TITONE TURNOVER
List Prices
9980 -S
(Dual- sapphire) $9.50
9980 -50 (.001 Diamond)
(.003 Sapphire) 34.00
9980 -D
(Dual Diamond) 56.00
TITONE TURNOVER RESPONSE ON RCA 12 -5 -51V RECORD
Electronic Applications Division
SONOTON E CO PORATION
Elmsford, New York
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
www.americanradiohistory.com
READERS' FORUM
Continued from page r8
the Buck Printing Co. in the City of Boston
and our business is printing and advertising,
so that I feel that I am not a neophyte in
the business. I am also a spare -time musician
I play the organ and the piano and do quite
a bit of singing both solo and in groups.
I
have always kidded myself into thinking
that I have a superior ear for music, and
brother I am telling you that it was some
comedown for me to put on a London test
frequency record and find out that I could
not hear above i 3,000 cycles.
What I am getting at is that I don't want
the "high fidelity" end of the business to
become a Frankenstein and destroy the love
of music that many people have. A number
of years ago I bought all types of amplifiers,
speakers, cartridges, record compensators
and all the rest of it, only to find out that it
was safer (from the matrimonial standpoint),
cheaper (from a financial standpoint) and far
more satisfactory (from a musical standpoint) to get a good sounding set and stick
with it until I had really come to enjoy it.
I went through the same growing pains in
the photographic field and I find that I have
taken my best pictures, both color and black
and white, after I have really mastered a
particular camera, developer and film.
I
can see the trumpet bells of publicists being
raised for a last assault on the American
public, many of whom are going to be sold
a lot of material that they really don't want
and that really will not give them good
record reproduction.
I hope that you will be able to bring up
this side of the argument in one of your
future editorials. Now I have said it and
I am glad.
still setting
the standards
DYNAURAL
the new H. H. Scott"121 /tEqualizer
Preamplifier
We believe
the new "121" control unit to be the finest ever offered. For the
connoisseur, the "121" affords complete control and compensation For any
record and record condition, past, present and future. Rolloff frequency and
both turnover frequency and extent of lmost are continuously adjustable for
any equalisation curve. The amazing DYNAURAL Noise Suppressor gives you.
actual concert presence by virtually eliminating turntahle rumble and record
scratch or hiss. The improved rumble suppression is essential if you are to
enjoy fully the range possible with new extended -bass speaker systems. Selfpowered, finished in durable hand -tooled leather. the new "121" DYNAURAL
ondml
't offers every refinement possible at this state of the art.
220-A
Power Amplifier
120 -A
Douglas F. Reilly
Concord, Mass.
Equalizer
Preamplifier
210 -B DYNAURAL Amplifier
SIR:
Early issues of HIGH FIDELITY struck a
nice balance between technical and popular
articles. Of late, the technical side seems to
have been relegated to a minor position.
Every hi fi enthusiast will sooner or later
become interested in this aspect, and possibly wish to try making changes in his
equipment, such as the equalization of his
outmoded preamplifier.
To me, "Tested in the Home" is the most
interesting department of your publication.
However, its value would be greatly increased by the addition of circuit diagrams.
Dr. Walter H. Frolich
East Ely, Nevada
SIR:
May I request the hospitality of your
columns to sound off on a few gripes:
r. Those miserable little pin plugs used
by practically everybody connected with
high fidelity! Why in the name of common
sense hasn't somebody figured out some-
thing more efficient? I suppose it is necessary that the blasted little beggars fit so
tightly, but you can't get a decent grip on
them to pull them out unless you use a pair
of pliers and twist them back and forth to
pry them out of the jack. In my experience
at least, several times, in this process, the
base has broken loose from the pin, neces-
Continued on page 22
214 -A Remote Control Amplifier
From earliest days of high fidelity. H. H. SCOTT amplifiers have consistently set design and performance standards. Rated "first choice" by
C. G. Burke in the "Saturday Review Home Book." they have been
commended as finest on the market by experts such as Harold Weiler.
author of "High Fidelity Simplified ". In I95I, the John H. Potts Memorial
Medal of the Audio Engineering Society was awarded to H. H. Scott for
important contributions to audio science. One of the world's leading manufacturers of laboratory- standard sound measuring and analyzing instruments. H. H. SCOTT. Inc. received the 1949 "Electrical Manufacturing"
Award for outstanding instrument design.
The patented DYNAURAL Noise Suppressor is unique. So are many
fundamental features sometimes difficult to rate in specifications. But
these contribute to that essential difference separating the superb front
other units. Listener- designed loudness compensation, lowest beat -tone
intermodulation, 5- channel tone controls. the self-balancing phase inverter
whirls automatically balances output tubes (standard on all H. H. SCOTT
amplifiers for 6 years)
these are but a few of the reasons for the preeminence of H. H. SCOTT amplifiers.
-
FREE
BOOKLET HF1 -54
PACKAGED ENG /HEER/NG"
385 PUTNAM AVE.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
CAMBRIDGE 39, MASS.
2
www.americanradiohistory.com
READERS' FORUM
Continued from page 21
sitating another soldering operation on a
new pin. It certainly would appear that
some simple expedient could have been devised to provide a bit of leverage, such as
perhaps a metal cross -piece to grab hold of.
But whatever it is, certainly there must be
an easier way.
I
2. The confounded shielded cable!
understand the shielding is necessary in
order to ground out unwanted signals. But,
unless
again, there must be a better way
what you are after is the ruining of normally
The operations one
gentle dispositions.
has to go through to separate the inner wire
from the shielding! After a half-hour of
trying, breaking the loose mesh of the
shielding and starting over again, you give
up in disgust and resort to the makeshift
expedient of fastening some copper strands
to the shielding and soldering the copper
strands, instead of the shielding wire, to the
pin plug. There just must be an easier way.
3.
The whole miserable soldering business! Can't the high brass in the high fidelity racket get it through their heads that
every hi -fi enthusiast is not necessarily an
electronics expert, nor yet a mechanic? Is
there something indecent about, say, a
bookkeeper or a haberdashery clerk yes
wanting his music faitheven a musician
fully reproduced? There are millions of
people, otherwise of sound mind, who do
not have even the rudiments of a machine
shop, to whom the mere driving of a nail
is a major project and a soldering job something to be undertaken only by the mechanically initiate. It should not be too difficult
to devise a pin plug (if hi -fi insists on using
the little beasts) that could be simply prepared for use by a layman.
4. The catalogs! Sample entry:
"High stability temperature compensated
oscillator for drift -free operation without
Inputs:
All- triode RF section.
AFC.
Crystal phono; TV; tape recorder playback
Controls: Input selector; tuning; power
volume; AFC on -off. Output: Cathodefollower to minimize hum pick-up and
high frequency attenuation in cable to
amplifier."
So far as the layman is concerned it might
If these blasted
as well be in Sanskrit.
catalogs must be written in 4-D lingo, is
it too much to ask that there be appended a
glossary explaining in lay terms the meaning
of the esoteric language. A "flat response'.
sounds to me like something I'd never want
coming out of my sound equipment, but obviously the various companies are falling
over each other to provide bigger and better
flat responses.
There must be a vast army of potential
hi -fi purchasers who have been frightened
away from high fidelity by the rarefied atFor every Joe College there
mosphere.
are a hundred Joe Blows. The lack of technical training is no barrier to the enjoyment
of high- fidelity sound reproduction. Let
the hi -fi manufacturers produce equipment
that is simple in operation; let the catalogs
couch their sales talk in lay terms. In
short, let hi -fi come out of its cloistered
halls and beam its appeal to the masses,
-
-
The pleasure you derive from the
magnificent fidelity of an Altec home
music system is equaled only by the pride
that comes with knowing you possess
the finest. Altec fidelity is truly the
highest fidelity assuring you
unsurpassed performance.
DUPLEX LOUDSPEAKER
Visit your Altec dealer soon and plan
now to install in your home an Altec home
music system for a lifetime of
listening pleasure. Altec home music
equipment is well worth waiting for
because Altec fidelity is highest
fidelity without compromise.
A SOUND
REPUTATION
SECOND
TO NONE
9356 SANTA MONICA BLVD., BEVERLY HILLS. CALIF.
161 SIXTH AVENUE. NEW YORK 13, N.Y.
ALTE C®
-
Continued on page 24
22
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
Listen...
AND YOU'LL HEAR SOMETHING
WONDERFUL!
Remember? But who can forget? Half skeptical, you raised the shell to your ear. Then, in
that magic moment between ignorance and
bliss, you entered another world.
Down through the ages, the mystery of
sound has held a challenging fascination.
Although perfection of sound reproduction
may be unattainable, a few men have chosen
to ignore that assumption, and to do everything possible to achieve perfection.
Newcomb Custom Home Music Amplifiers
are the result of that kind of effort. Custom
not mass produced of the most expensive
materials, by the most advanced techniques
and the most painstaking methods, Newcomb
Amplifiers are as nearly perfect as today's electronic engineering can make them.
Whether you are considering your first hi -fi
system or improving your present one, let your
own ears judge the superiority of Newcomb
Amplifiers. Compare the quality of Newcomb
with that of other amplifiers...then, for
another happy surprise, compare the prices.
-
Listen...
-
SOUND
I
FADERSIIIP SINCE 1937
N E W C O M B
HI-FI AMPLIFIERS
THE HEART OF YOUR CUSTOM MUSIC SYSTEM
Playbacks for Schools Commercial Sound Systems
Mobile and Permanent Public Address Systems
Hi -Fi Amplifiers
C
II
AND YOU'LL HEAR SOMETHING WONDERFUL
Designed for the future! Newcomb's 3D-12 Stereophonic Amplifier
is the first low -cost unit for true stereophonic reproduction...puts
Hollywood's 3- dimensional sound into your home. May also be used
with standard program material for enhanced quality. Write for
complete prospectus.
... and you'll hear something wonderful! Choose the Classic 25 Amplifier for superb
listening pleasure... for beauty you never dreamed possible... for the utmost installation
ease with the exclusive "Adjusts- Panel." which extends control shafts for mounting ... for
the convenience of remote control up to 100 feet ... for permanent low distortion with the
01953
exclusive "Audi- Balance."
Listen
Write Dept. W, NEWCOMB AUDIO PRODUCTS CO., 6824 Lexington Ave.. Hollywood 38, Calif., for literature and name of your
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, I954
nearest Newcomb
distributor.
23
HERE'S THE
/ncuu
The
NEWEST
FM
/A M Ti#ie,i
ideal mate to the modern, full -control amplifier.
READERS' FORUM
Continued from page 22
and my guess is that you will see such a rush
to the hi -fi banners as will surprise everybody.
David Kahn
Silver Spring, Md.
J11í:
I have been enjoying your efforts for some
time, particularly the RECORDS IN REVIEW section of your magazine, and I can
see that it would be a formidable task to
compile a complete discography of one composer. The addition of this discography
'Mozart] is welcome indeed, but at the rate
you have been going, it will be about seventy
years before you get to someone who will
satisfy us Moderns. Certainly, it would be
too much to ask for a complete discography
on Schönbérg, but I would gladly settle for
Bartok or Hindemith.
Charles D. Keilin
Washington, D. C.
The password is "patience."
Model
RJ
-42
- -
Only two controls are used with the RJ -42 FM /AM Tuner
one for
tuning, the other for switching. The latter has four positions: OFF
AM
FM with AFC
FM without AFC. Duplicating none of the
controls of the audio amplifier, this new tuner is particularly suited
to use in custom installations. A feature of convenience for such installations is a pre -settable output -level control, at the rear of the chassis,
to adjust tuner output to amplifier input requirements.
The FM section of the RJ -42 gives you
New, all -triode RF section, for extremely low noise level.
Higher sensitivity- 3 microvolts for 20 db. quieting
desirable in fringe areas and noisy urban locations.
and, of course, the standard Browning features: true Armstrong
circuit, selectable AFC, compensation for drift -free operation, and
sensitive tuning eye for fast, precise tuning. Audio response, flat ±
1/2 db. from 20 to 20,000 cycles, satisfies the most critical high- fidelity
listener.
In the AM section, covering 540 to 1650 kilocycles
Superhet circuit with triple -tuned if-s and separate AVC
detector to minimize distortion.
Sensitivity
to 2 microvolts with audio output flat
within 3 db. from 20 to 5500 cycles, down 6 db. at 6800
cycles.
Effective 10- kilocycle whistle filter that does not affect
AM fidelity.
-
-
-
-1
For remote installations, a cathode -follower output stage is provided
to feed any high -fidelity amplifier, at low impedance, from either the
FM or the AM section. This minimizes hum difficulty and high- frequency
loss through cable capacitance.
With all these advantages, the
For FM reception only -the Browning
RJ -42 Tuner is only 141/2 x 111/2
Model RV -31 Tuner
with the
same exceptional FM circuitry as the
x 7 inches.
Model R1 -42. Brochure on request.
For detailed specifications, write
us for Bulletin HF -4.
Laboratories, Inc.
Winchester, Mass.
24
-
Ed.
Sm:
Recently I took at face value the offers
of two manufacturers of hi -fi equipment, to
"write to our technical service department
for advice"
with very disheartening results. I already own products made by these
people, and I am pleased with them. To the
"technical service departments," I should
have appeared as a potential customer still,
since hi -fi spreads through friends and relatives like a contagion. Now note with
what alacrity and imagination these people
attempted to keep me in their respective
stables as a satisfied customer:
Case One: I wrote to a prominent maker
of loudspeakers and associated equipment
-
(from whom I have purchased, from time to
time, 3 small hi-fi speakers, a hi -fi coaxial,
a speaker cabinet, an output transformer,
etc.). I stated that I had built a 3 -way
speaker system, following detailed plans in
HIGH FIDELITY, to which I referred specifically. I was not positive I had figured the
ohmage of my level controls correctly, in
view of certain instructions found in their
data sheets for the controls, and would they
please check my reasoning and my values? I
enclosed a diagram of the pertinent Volume
Control portions of the network, stating
that the reactors, etc., were standard and
in accordance with the HIGH FIDELITY article, anyway. I mentioned what speakers I
was using, including one of theirs, with the
impedance of each.
This manufacturer replied, after several
weeks delay, to the effect that I had not
given him any information, but if I'd care
to peruse the enclosed circulars on multiple speaker systems, I could find out how to
build a fine system by their blueprint,
using parts manufactured wholly by them,
which would be the ne plus ultra, etc., etc.
Enclosed was an array of printed circulars
describing altogether different, expensive,
prefabricated equipment with which I was
already familiar.
Care Two: I wrote to the maker of a pickup cartridge, whose most expensive product
Continued on page 26
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
OThe industry's biggest, heaviest and finest magnet, 10'/,
pounds of Alnico V metal, providing the highest possible fidelity and efficiency.
Center pole piece,
©
alloy of low-
a
:
.¡.'
F
r v'
*
special
carbon dynamo
steel; makes the fullest use of
the power of the magnet.
a
.
áE
-*
. .
Phasing plug-indispensa
©
ble for improving high- frequency
4
'
..
.
«
-
response.
O
quency
The pressure -type high -fretweeter is mounted coaxially through the woofer pole
piece.
10- element acoustic lens of
non -resonant plastic material.
Enables the speaker to transmit
the highs with a 90° angle of
coverage in all planes.
Plasticized dust screens -far
O
more protective and
efficient
than felt or similar materials.
3" voice coil mounted
Oaluminum
for high heat dissiThe
is
on
pation and better handling of
more power. Unaffected by temperature or humidity.
OHigh- strength,
Ar-
".
..
:! '
aluminum frame (basket), with the rigidity necessary to hold the
extra -heavy magnet.
cast
OThe double -rolled edge is
treated with Geon vinyl plastic
for smoothest frequency response
with minimum distortion. "Fatigue" crocks are completelyelim
inated, and the double edge allows increased cone travel.
-
i
*.
,4M
+'
v
F
',
,
*1
l.
¡.
..
e
7F
41(..
Yrr
Cut-away view,
Stromberg -Carlson
RF -475 Coaxial Speaker.
~
f
learn the inside story of...
Winat
coaxial speaker
1
If you were a highly skilled combination of toolmaker, machinist and jeweler,
you could build yourself no finer coaxial speaker than this 15 -inch masterpiece.
Built to jewel -like tolerances, it is, at the same time, so rugged that
extreme overload conditions and even mishandling are all in the day's work.
Do see it and hear it, at any Stromberg- Carlson Hi -Fi dealer's. Until you do,
here's an audiophile's eye view of the features which make it superb.
Complete specifications -in bulletin SED 3.40 -will be sent on request.
4
1222 CLIFFORD AVE.
SOUND DIVISION
ROCHESTER 21, NEW YORK
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
25
www.americanradiohistory.com
READERS' FORUM
Continued from page 24
The genuine attainment that comes with the
triumphant blending of electronic design
and engineering craftsmanship is yours with
the Tru -Sonic Model 206AX 15" Coaxial
Speaker. Tru -Sonic reproductions of the masters will satisfy you as a connoisseur of fine
music. Designed for the discriminating ear,
Tru -Sonic features the improved Alnico V
material in a heavy magnetic structure, limiting voice coils to the impressed audio signal.
Dual voice coils manage high and low frequencies with utmost reproductive faithfulness.
delights me, stating that I was interested
in exact record equalization, and therefore
would appreciate information on variable
resistance loading for his fine cartridge,
to produce treble roll -offs as specified for
various records in HIGH FIDELITY. I stated
that I was trying to perfect my own preamplifier- equalizer, already operating, and
that if they had such information on file,
as I felt sure they had, it would save me
considerable time and trouble. What do
you think his answer (after a delay of three
weeks) turned out to be? That I was a fool
to be thinking of exact de- emphasis, nobody could tell the difference in listening
tests anyway, and why didn't I buy one of
the fine preamplifiers available on the market,
since nobody could hope to build one that
would work as well!
I submit that these two cases represent a
pretty horrible business attitude toward the
hi -fi consumer, the manufacturers' bread
and often a man who, if suffiand butter
ciently wound up, will spend any amount of
money on the quest for perfection. What I
received from the so- called "technical service departments" was worse than no help at
-
all, since each delayed my projects by several
weeks, and both incurred my ill will by refusing the simple answers I requested, and
not too delicately implying that I am a
moron.
Harry L. Wynn
Derry, Pa.
NOTE ALSO:
712
lb. Alnico Magnet
Curved magnetic structure
Heavy die -cast aluminum frame
Low frequency Cone Resonance -35 cps
Frequency response 30 to 18,000 cps
Also
Model 101 FR, 102 FR, 112 FR.
*Full Range '12 "- 15 " Speaker diameters
And other fine models available
Write for complete literature
on these and other products
SIR:
I find your department "Dialing Your
Disks" most valuable. However, reference
to the list will disclose that the Pickering
132 E compensator is somewhat out of
date. Can you do something about shaking
up the manufacturer to revise the compensator to present needs? The NAB, London,
Orthophonic and Bartok curves are very
difficult to approximate with the 132 E.
Perhaps a two -stage job with separate bass
turnover and treble attenuation would do
the trick.
Also, I would like to see "The Music of
Brahms on Microgroove'.
Dick Grace
Portsmouth, Va.
LIST PRICE:
206AX 15" Coaxial
$166.00
16 Ohm
$179.00
500 Ohm
10IFR 15'
$78.00
$86.00
16 Ohm
500 Ohm
MODEL 206AX
M O D
E
L
1
0
1
F R
STEPHENS
7iTJ
SZ0717
The Pioneer Name in Hi- Fidelity
Reproducing Equipment
STEPHENS MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
26
8538 WARNER DRIVE
CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA
Queried on the contents of Mr. Grace's
letter, Walter O. Stanton, president of
Pickering & Co., described it as "constructive criticism" but cagily betrayed
no other reaction. As to "Brahms on
Microgroove," we too have our hopes.
-
Ed.
SIR:
Best wishes for a long life for your excellent new magazine and its wonderful recordings department. It has been invaluable
to me in adding to my classical LPs.
I have been scaning your columns in vain
for some mention that a manufacturer has
seen fit to honor Charles Wakefield Cadman
with an LP recording of any of his more
important works, such as his Pennsylvania
Symphony, Aurora Borealis tone poem for
piano and orchestra, Dark Dancers of the
Mardi Gras for piano and orchestra or A
Continued on page 28
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
An ideal "hi -fi" equipment cabinet for the space
and budget conscious audiophile is Angle
Genesee's new chairside model. Tastefully
designed, it is first and foremost a proud piece
of furniture worthy of the finest setting.
Traditional mahogany or contemporary blonde
oak
for record player, tuner, pre -amp and
amplifier. Sliding door conveniently exposes the
record player
door lifts off for easy cleaning.
-
...
And if you want to make a good speaker
sound better, choose the new Angle Genesee
corner enclosure. Adjustable baffles permit easy
matching to your speaker system. Also in mahogany
or blonde oak. Write us for the name of the
dealer nearest you
get the full details now.
-
-
Home -monic distortion is a wife's eye -view
of unsightly hi -fi equipment
"hard -to-clean- around"
bare wires, glowing tubes, naked speakers.
Cure: A -G cabinets.
...
Makers of quality console
equipment cabinets and speaker
enclosures for any combination of equipment
panels may be easily replaced as
sound system is revised and expanded.
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
107
Norris Drive
Rochester
10,
New York
27
;rrby>ryy.
the M
Model UR -312 Available in Cherry
Mahogany, Blond Mahogany,
or Limed Oak.
User Net: S 64.50
Blond and Limed Oak -10% extra
READERS' FORUM
Continued from page 26
Mad Empress
Remembers,
a
tone poem for
violoncello and orchestra.
I have heard all or part of these numbers
several years ago, with the composer himself
picking out the highlights on the piano for
me, but I know of no modern recordings
.
lof them]
It seems to
.
.
me many far inferior works
to
boost American composers. Why should
one of our greatest be overlooked merely
because some persons can think of him in
no other connection than "At Dawning" or
"Land of the Sky Blue Water ? ". Although
too late now to do him any good personally,
such recognition would help to justify the
hundreds of pot -boilers he turned out in
order to make a living, and have time for
his real work.
Bill D. Shepler
Grand Rapids, Mich.
are being recorded in the current effort
LOOKat
the styling ; .
LISTENto
SIR:
.
the reproduction
the Provincial
Model UR -310.
In Maple
or Fruitwood.
User Net: $ 64.50
by
UNIVERSITY
"looking" with good listening! Each University
reflects the traditions
of the old masters of fine furniture. All genuine woods -hand rubbed!
Designed to flatter the decor with stylings that smartly blend with any
existing interior.
Now
you can have
good
MUSICORNER design is authentic in every detail, and
University Musicorner gives you wide angle coverage, clarity and brilliance
with its full front radiation. High power handling ability and distortion
control, with an internal and extended horn. And, boosted low frequency
response with high efficiency, from its unique integral bass reflex system.
the Traditional
Model UR -311.
In Cherry or
Cordovan Mahogany.
User Net:
S
64.50
THE HEART OF THE
Model 6201, 12" Coaxial speaker system. A TRUE
coaxial dual range system, with woofer, and driver
type tweeter, built -in crossover network, and "balance"
45.00
control. Finest to be had! User Net:
;
exclusive University Diffusicone -12 speaker is
acclaimed by experts everywhere! Here, In the economy
of one speaker you get dual -horn loading, radial projection, and diffraction -to give unsurpassed fidelity,
S
27.00
Model 6200, 12" extended range speaker. Gives highly
efficient full -bodied response throughout the operating
spectrum. User Net:
FREE
21.00
BOOKLET!
describing these
in
wonderful end
greater detail.
28
S
munication purposes.
Most music listeners do not write letters.
If they did, many FM Stations would not
now be shut down. Maybe just this once
we can get them to write one letter to the
FCC, Washington D. C., telling them to
leave the FM Band alone. The FCC almost
killed FM once by making a frequency
change. Anything that happens now will
be a death blow to FM.
Richard V. Steffen
Milwaukee, Wis.
SIR:
Mr. John W. Campbell's suggestion for
using direct sound producing piezoelectric
crystals will, I think, find precedent in a
couple of Patents in the U. S. Patent Office.
I examined the applications relating to two
such crystal translators in 1937 or thereabouts. These speakers were developed, I
think, by the Bell Telephone Laboratories.
It is probable that the Bell Laboratory Patent
Department can supply Mr. Campbell with
the numbers of these patents so that he can
then purchase them from the Patent Office
for twenty -five cents each.
Henry Heyman
Los Alamos, New Mexico
The
range, and uniform sound distribution. User Net:
' I think it is about time that you and your
fine magazine alert all music lovers to what
is going on with FM broadcasting. Knowing
what a strong FM advocate you have always been, I'm sure you will do all you
can. Most music lovers know the advantages
FM offers as a broadcast medium.
Many broadcasters have closed their FM
stations in the last few years, to a point
where they now number a little over goo.
I am not very alarmed over this, because
most of the stations that have shut down
had been doing duplicate programming.
I am concerned over the FM broadcaster
who had the intelligence to do something
with his station. As you probably know,
pressure groups in Washington are now
trying to get the FCC to cut the FM band
in half. They want these channels for com-
SIR:
I
wonder if, through your very special
readers, I could locate two old numbers I
80 SOUTH KENSICO AVENUE
WHITE PLAINS, N. Y.
Continued on page
37
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
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ENG INFER /NG PRODUCTS DEPARTMENT,
of AMERICA
CAMDEN. N.J.
Name
Address
City
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
Zone
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MODEL
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at 3%
12 watts
at 1%
20 watts
at .3%
20 watts
at 2%
20 watts
at .5%
INPUTS
Four
CONTROLS
Four
TUBES
Six
Six
Six
Six
Seven
Six
Seven
Eleven
Six
Six
)all triode)
Three
Dual
Six
Eleven
WRITE FOR CATALOG NO. 101
FREQUENCY
RESPONSE
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±
% db
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±
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db
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FOR COMPLETE DETAILS
Sound Systems, Inc.
Columbus 7, Ohio
Export Office: 401 Broadway, N. Y. 13, N.
A Subsidiary of Thompson Products
Y.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
READERS' FORUM
ITtltlt111tt11IIIITIIIIIIIIIIT1i1111111111
Continued from page 28
New!
have been searching for through the regular
music channels.
t. The old French folk dance, song and
music so very popular during the reign of
King Louis the XIII and titled: "Saint-Jean
des Choux."
2.
The music to the tune called "Lenore"
PROFESSIONAL
AUDIO
from Burger's ballad, an old European
melody.
Thank you very much and meanwhile continued good success always.
Chet L. Swital
Beverly Hills, Calif.
EQUIPMENT AT
LOW
COST!
SIR:
In regard to the article in High Fidelity
Magazine of Sept. -Oct., '53 "Turntables Aweigh!" by Mr. Deane, I am the proud
"keeper of the flame," so to speak, of the
"God Almighty Horn" he spoke of. This
equipment and other similar types are on
my circuit and I can vouch for his statement
as to its authenticity regarding loudness, if
I may use the word as such. The instrument
is composed of three woo watt amplifier
channels feeding banks of voice range
drivers around the island structure of the
ship. These units in use can produce an
ear -deafening sound pattern on the flight
deck of the carrier, amounting to ¡05 db.
The basic idea, to override aircraft noise on
the flight deck during operations. To say
that the "God Almighty Horn" has saved
many lives is an understatement. It is quite
necessary that the crew topside be given
"the spoken word" in the event of a casualty
to an aircraft that is approaching the ship
for a landing.
Definitely, the circuit isn't high fidelity,
unless you could think of it in a sense of
fidelity for loudness of speech but fidelity
here doesn't seem to fit. Also it isn't recommended that they, the horn, be used in the
home. The light bill alone would be quite
startling, let alone installation charges.
All in all, the work in regard to amplifiers
aboard ship is interesting, and we aboard the
Leyte are looking forward to a sound system
as described by Mr. Deane. As of yet, we
are
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Man, redo my subscription to your crazy
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tie on for a three year drag. Now that
I'm gone with you, don't goof and leave me
holding it! Keep with that mad "Tested in
the Home" deal, as it's positively the most.
Don't forget about us peons who must
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tags they throw on this stuff are the end!
Sad man, sad! Got to bug out now . . .
Dig Ya,
Regis W. Ruppert
Only $29.95
ISHER
Leyte (CVS -32)
Do you think you can crusade for records
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record and not know it.
C. IV. Alexander
MODEL 50-F
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ISHER
without.
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Independent switches for
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45 EAST 47th STREET
Pittsburgh, Penna.
N. Y.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIllIIIIIIIIIIII111111111
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
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the
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AS THE
EDITOR
ONCE upon a time the undersigned editor had a nice
job in a New York office. He worked from nine
to five with an hour for lunch. He enjoyed the
company of friends and spent many a quiet evening listen-
ing to music and puttering with audio equipment. He
had the usual number of bosses, in common with every
other person who works in a big organization. Occasionally he dreamed of being his own boss.
Just about three years ago he became quite thoroughly
convinced that there were a lot of people around who,
like himself, enjoyed listening to music and liked to
putter with high fidelity equipment. It would be fun
to share knowledge, and in those days sources of factual
information were few and far between. He thought about
publishing something on the subject. What? A book?
An annual? There was a great deal of discussion and
of advice -hunting and, when it all ended, there was a
quarterly magazine called HIGH FIDELITY
and what
turned out to be a very, very full -time job in a Berkshire
Hills town called Great Barrington.
With the help of a most capable Girl Friday, this foolhardy editor managed to get the magazine out, and even
insisted bravely that it was a lot of fun. Which it was
when he had time to think about it! But long -playing
records were sweeping ahead. So was interest in high
fidelity equipment. With four issues a year, he couldn't
keep up. He searched for additional staff. If he could
find a really capable helper on the editorial side, well, he
had to find him. He knew whom he wanted, but it seemed
unlikely that a brand new magazine could attract a well established editor. It did, though, and in September 1952
John Conly undertook to share the load
and in that
publication
same month we went to a bi- monthly
schedule.
Things have been going fine, thank you; circulation is up,
and, though we've added more and
advertising is up
more people to the staff, work is also up.
Recently we thought it was time to take stock of ourselves, so we sent out a questionnaire to a cross -section
of our readers. They answered with unusual enthusiasm.
We asked what they liked and what they disliked; we
made a mistake ( ?) and asked what they wanted more of.
They wanted, almost unanimously, more of HIGH FIDELITY. More of it and more often.
Did I say that I thought I might someday be my own
boss? I should have stuck to the office job! As near as we
can figure it, we now have approximately 37,000 bosses.
And when they say, "More 9f-ten!" something has to
give
the something being, as you might guess, us.
-
-
...
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JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
SEES IT
The staff conference table has been littered with overflowing ash -trays and thoroughly be-doodled scratch pads
for weeks. Now it is clean and clear. The decision has
been reached: beginning with the issue of March 1954,
HIGH FIDEUTY will be published on a monthly schedule.
Frankly, that decision has not been easy to make. There
are many, many factors. Advertisers will not rush to double
their schedules. Subscribers cannot be expected to pay
$12 a year (although many have said they would!). The
staff will need additions. Our printer, whose craftsmanship
makes us proud of the appearance of the Magazine,
must face a double load but maintain quality. Our beleagued circulation department must double its capacity.
And so forth. Nevertheless, we have made the decision;
we can but hope that it is the right one. The single-copy
price of the Magazine will be reduced to fifty cents. Subscription rates will be $6 for one year, $10 for two years,
and $13.50 for three years. Outside the United States, its
possessions, and Canada, there will be an additional
charge of $1 per year to cover foreign postage. These
rates will become effective March 1, 1954, and subscriptions will be accepted at present rates until that time.
Further, all present subscription expiration dates will be
honored.
We don't think we need reassure present readers of
HIGH FIDELITY that the monthly version will maintain
the high standards established by the bi- monthly. In
most respects it will be better. For a while, at least, we
hope to hold the number of pages down to somewhere
between zoo and 120
not that we won't keenly miss
your letters making hilarious comparisons with the Chicago telephone directory, and distaff- reports on husbands
lost for five days in our 5o,000 -word record -section.
We will also be able to bring such timely features as
record reviews and reports on new audio equipment
more nearly up to date, putting a little less strain on
your patience and loyalty.
If you have no objection to receiving a confidence,
we almost made the single-copy sixty cents. The fifty cent price is almost hazardously low, since small- circulation, select -readership magazines like HIGH FIDELITY
cannot lose money on circulation and charge it against
advertising, as the giant periodicals do. However, we
owe it to our advertisers to reach new readers, and we
think the half-dollar price may help us do so.
That is all. A great many of you have asked for this.
We hope, when we give it to you, you will like it.
-
-
CHARLES FOWLER
33
By ERICH LEINSDORF
WILL
WE
RUN
OUT
OF
MUSIC
TO
RECORD?
The conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic, himself a recording artist of
note, answers a question asked ever more often as the LP deluge continues.
IN
RECENT MONTHS I have read a good deal about
According to one
a shortage of recording repertory.
among
some record
writer, at least, there is lively alarm
companies over the prospect that they may run out of
music to record. The impression is given that the time
is coming, and not too far off, when all known music will
have been put on disks. To the innocent layman, noting
the monthly thickening of the long- playing record catalogs, this may seem credible, and perhaps a little frightenTo the professional musician, with a somewhat
ing.
clearer idea of the amount of music written in the past
eight centuries, it is less credible. But the problem has
frightening aspects for us, too.
Before getting into an argument, I always like to get
definitions and terminology straightened out. I think
there is a shortage of repertory only if the term repertory is used synonymously with "best seller." In my
dictionary, the two terms have different meanings.
If I were asked in an academic discussion how many
different works an operatic association should have in
its repertory, I would count all the scores which, as a
musician, I consider worth performing. I would thus arrive at a figure of 90 or too.
However, if I were summoned by an anxious board of
directors, who were in financial straits and wanted their
ideas clarified as to how many works could be put in the
repertory without running the association into bankruptcy,
my answer would be closer to 25.
It is precisely the same when recording repertory is
the subject. What is worth recording? The word "worth"
is the key. Worth financially, or worth musically?
There are a number of works to which both definitions
of worth demonstrably apply but what has happened to
them? A single recent month saw the issuance of four
new versions of Beethoven's "Eroica" symphony, bringing
the available total to i g! (I am the more keenly aware
of this because my orchestra and I made one of the four
new ones.) Granted that Sir Thomas Beecham, Wilhelm
Furtwängler and Hermann Scherchen are all splendid interpreters, and that the critics were remarkably kind
-
34
to me, too, is such repetition necessary, or even wise?
Does it not help mislead the public into thinking that
the worthwhile repertory has been exhausted, that lesser known works are not worth investigating? (I am conscious, of course, of the somewhat broader repertory offered
by the small record companies, which print from imported European tapes, but their distribution systems
reach only a small group of initiates. At any rate, their
problem and that of the large companies differ only
in degree. The large company fears lest it run out of late
Mozart symphonies. The small company is afraid it may
run out of early Mozart symphonies. As conductor of
a leading American orchestra, I am best acquainted and
concerned with the practices of the major companies.)
What are the hazards in the way of "putting across"
an unknown work?
Just for the sake of argument, take the Strauss opera
Frau ohne Schatten. It is unrecorded (at least as of September 1953) and as yet unperformed in the United States.
Since it is unperformed here, it is unlikely, not to say
out of the question, that a major recording organization
in the United States will record it. Domestic recordings
are to a very large extent sequences to public performances;
for that reason the repertory complaint of record companies
should be a precise duplication of a similar problem in
the field of actual concert and opera organizations.
Lo, and behold, so it is.
Quite unlike the theatre audiences and the book -reading public, patrons of musical organizations have indicated over several decades, and beyond doubt, that they
prefer the masterworks of the so- called standard repertory
(the "best- sellers ") to unknown works, especially by contemporary composers. The prevailing mood of our listeners (Europeans even more so than Americans) is to rehear what they already know. How often one is exposed
to the modest phrase: "I really am not an expert, but I
know what I like." To this should be added: "And I
like what I know."
The pressure to perform. more of the new and unknown
repertory is relatively weak; it comes from interested
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
parties; in politics we would call them lobbies. In contrast,
the pressure not to indulge strongly in the new and unknown comes to performing organizations in the loudest
and clearest possible tones. Cool receptions after performances are only the legitimate reactions of audience's
dislike. Then, however, come the letters of protest; and
the threats to cancel subscriptions. And, when moneyraising- campaigns begin, all those who don't wish to
contribute (for whatever reason) make out that it is because there has been too much unknown music.
If new music normally met the same reception as new
books or new plays, there would be no occasion to complain about repertory problems. To investigate the causes
of this curious difference of response to known and to
unknown music might be a fascinating study. However,
this is not the place for it. The results we know. In an
age when every organization in the musical field seeks
wider popularity, it is natural that the favorite works are
given as many hearings (and recordings) as the traffic will
bear, and sometimes more. Audiences have widened,
there can be no doubt about that. But, as the audiences
widen, the range of music is being narrowed.
To put it bluntly: more and more people are listening to less and less music.
I find that often the objections of sponsors are not
limited to the new and unknown, but extend even to the
lesser known classics. For example, when we go on tour
with orchestras, it is customary to submit to the various
local sponsoring committees a choice of at least two different programs, thus avoiding possible duplications and
trying to meet general wishes in repertory matters. I
once sent out two programs in one of which there was a
Schubert symphony, while the other had a Schumann
symphony as alternate major work. From one city, and
an allegedly rather musical one, came a morose inquiry:
"With so much beautiful music available, can Mr. Leinsdorf do no better than to give us the choice between Schubert and Schumann ?"
In such cases I just try to convince myself that committees are not always representative of their audiences.
The major recording companies have followed the concert standards of popularity and acceptance. This is understandable, because the principle of business is to ascertain what the public wants and then to make it available.
This brings up the somewhat delicate question: how
much business can music stand? If the future should suddenly darken for musical organizations and record companies, it may be simply deserved punishment for a grave
error of judgment: confusing the "spread of good music"
with the "selling of a commodity."
A good many people believe firmly that we need governmental subsidies for musical organizations. Thus they
expect to eliminate all elements of commercialism and
shift the controls of music associations from the box office to the music library.
I submit that government support would change nothing for the better and some things surely for worse. Whatever government
city, state or Federal
might give the
money would be representative of the same spirit that
dwells in the citizens' breast. For one thing, we have no
right to assume that government would necessarily be any
more generous than private individuals have been. I am
afraid that the advocates of government support assume
wrongly
that any U. S. Government grant will become
an exact replica of a European subsidy. All our other
institutions are different. By the same token, any conceivable subsidy would be entirely our own brand and, ipso
facto, it would surely displease the current advocates of
the whole idea.
There are other hazards in government support, too
I would dearly enjoy having a gentleman from Albany
come to me and tell me that we have as yet no player in
our orchestra to represent Ulster County, and that such a
grave omission would have to be corrected at once!
Greater leeway to indulge in experiments, to enlarge
rather than narrow the repertory, increased freedom for
artistic leadership with less emphasis on the commercial
end
these objectives are always to be sought
but
through avenues other than government support.
Music has always been composed and performed for
audiences.
(There have been brief interludes of extreme
schools which considered art only for art's sake; with
those we need not reckon here.) Public is and always
has been an essential element. With the enormous social
changes in the Western world, the complexion of the
music "public" has changed a good deal. Along with this
change, the entire production -end of music has become
ever so much more expensive. When we consider these
two broad developments, neither of which has anything
essentially musical about it, but both of which are rather
social changes, we can see that practically all conditions
for music and its presentation have changed. It has been
said often enough that the type of patron who wanted
to see or hear some work and would pay almost any amount
for that pleasure, is gone for good. Concert and opera
are no longer run for any small élite. There is still a good
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Four Eroica's in a single month help give people the impression that the worthwhile repertory is being exhausted.
ii
i:I
1
\6I III
BEETHOVEN
SteNUo`ï
-Hum: %..
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
35
www.americanradiohistory.com
deal of society and of social doings, but without the former accompaniment of financial largess. Musical organizations which want to survive must find wide popular
support. How wide?
The measurements of this "width" are the most important figures we would want to get. If we make it too
wide, we'll be vulgarizing ourselves. If we don't make it
wide enough, we'll go broke.
It has become a rather generally accepted method
(though I still consider it highly questionable) to engage
as soloists or for some special concerts of orchestras such
artists whose fames and fortunes have been made in some
real mass medium, such as movies or radio. These people
"different
and often do draw
are supposed to draw
group" of audience. As immediate box -office cures, they
seem to have a place. Any long -term hope that their
glamorous presence will have contributed to making many
new "converts" to fine serious music, is vain and foolish.
But the administrative and box office experts in our field
are worried; how to get people away from their homes
has become one of the prize quiz questions of the decade.
-
-a
SIX months ago a prominent French music agent
told me that the private car and the trend to suburban
living are the two great enemies of theatre and concert.
He thinks that all people who move away from the heart
of the city are thereby eliminated as regular patrons.
They will turn up for something special, but no longer
will they subscribe and commit themselves to attend an
entire series of concerts.
The trend of our civilization is surely away from the
cities. This goes hand in hand with the growing self sufficiency of the home with its radio, TV and gramophone.
Record companies fill about the same position today
that music publishing houses did in the nineteenth century. Then the people who had heard a Chopin ballad or a
Freischutz performance or a Mendelssohn symphony would
buy the music at the store; to recapture the delight of the
evening when the favored work had been heard and enjoyed. Today their modern counterparts go and purchase
the records. Most of these purchasers have a long way to
go until their shelves are full of the "standard repertory."
But unless their curiosity increases, we can easily see the
shadow ahead.
If and when a new or unknown work is recorded there
seems to be no room for competition. Some time ago
one of our soloists (with the Rochester Philharmonic)
was to record a work by Hindemith; details were being
settled, the recording to follow on the morrow of the
concert performance and everything seemed in the best
shape. Then, one month before the planned recording
session, the work appeared in another firm's catalog, imported from Europe. The soloist brought the recording
to my house one night and he fairly gloated over the
prospect of how much better we would do the work;
(it was not a good recording, indeed.) I was glum and
had a distinct feeling that we wouldn't do the recording
at all. I forgot what the exact excuse of the recording
company was for cancelling the session; but the real reason
they did not believe that the market would
take two versions of the same Hindemith work within so
short a time. This may be true commercially. But musically it is much more necessary to get different versions of
important modern works than to add another Pathétique.
was simple:
WHAT normal relations should be between live
performances and recordings, can best be observed in the
field of the Broadway musical comedy. As soon as favorable reviews have affirmed the commercial success of a
show, the original cast goes before the recording microphones and an album is issued in a hurry; many of the
people who like the show get the records to re -live the
pleasure of their visit. Other companies (since only one
can secure the services of the original cast) take some of
the best music numbers and let one of their best -selling
vocalists give his own imprint of style and personality
to the selections.
It is true that the popular field has more leeway for the
arranger and the performer and that different versions are
sometimes very much apart; essentially though, our argument stands, that the new repertory in the popular field is
issued on a highly competitive basis while in the "serious"
field any record company endeavoring to issue a modern
work assumes (by default) a monopolistic position.
Are there any significant improvements that can be
made; and can the cause of all music be served in any way
by putting our heads together?
There is a very familiar argument which anyone in the
musical world has heard many times: "There is a new
piece; one hearing is not enough for me; I would have to
hear it again." This widespread feeling about new music
plays right into the hands of the record companies. They
can turn the tables (no pun intended) and instead of
following actual performances they can lead the way and
let the actual concert performance follow.
The case of Maggie Teyte proved that recordings can
"make" a name for an artist; so why not for a work as well?
Such musical leadership by the record companies could
start rather modestly and shrewdly. As it is now, the pairing of several compositions on one record or in one album
is designed to secure maximum sales for some and minimum sales for others. Why must the first Beethoven
symphony take up the spare side, left after the Ninth
has been recorded? Would anybody refuse to buy the
record if a suite by Bartok were to make up the last side?
Or, to speak of the opposite system: is it terribly clever to
issue on one LP record the Black Maskers suite by
Sessions, the Third Symphony by Roy Harris and the Festival Overture by W. Schuman?
The next, and more ambitious, step would be the recording of works as yet unperformed. Works should be
chosen by agreement with orchestra conductors. It might
be best if several orchestras would plan to perform the
same new works, especially during the trial period of
such a new idea as this; let us specifically assume that
24 orchestras agree to perform a total of 16 new works
during the coming season. (Each orchestra will do an
Continued on page rr4
average
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
36
www.americanradiohistory.com
by CHARLES FOWLER
Three years ago, fidelity -semantics were simple: either a set was hi or it
was lo. Now commercialism has created borderline cases. Novices ask
"How do I know if it's hi -fi ?" Herewith, a harassed editor tries to answer.
NOT LONG AGO, we were avidly discussing with a
group of audiophiles the problem of defining "high fidelity," when a voice in the background was heard to mutter
softly, "I wish someone would explain, calmly, how sound
gets reproduced. Then maybe I could understand what
'high' and 'fidelity' mean."
We have been thinking about that ever since. The more
we think about it, the more we feel that the voice in the
background was that of wisdom. Maybe we have all
been worrying too much about the what, not enough
about the why and how. If we understand the why and
how, the what may well become obvious.
We are, of course, now about to undertake an obviously
ludricous task: to explain sound reproduction in a single
and relatively short article. Most writers take off six
months and produce a book, which normally carries an
apologetic preface about how inadequately the subject
matter has been covered because the publisher only allowed the author 700 pages. Nevertheless .. .
First, please hold your hand out in front of you, at
arm's length, palm outstretched and vertical. Now wave it
back and forth. Increase the speed until you complete
t,000 cycles per second, a cycle being from extreme left,
to right, and back to left (or vice versa). If you can do
this, you (a) will be an immediate and overwhelming
success on the "Toast of the Town" television program,
(b) will have produced a whistling sound, and (c) will
have demonstrated that sound is air in motion. It is
not your hand which produces the sound, but its effect
on the air. As your hand moves, air particles are compressed
in front of it and rarified behind it. As your hand moves in
the other direction, of course, the situation is reversed,
so that on each side of your hand the air is alternately
compressed and rarified.
Since sound travels through the air at about 1,13o feet
per second, it would be but a fraction of a second before
the air waves, created by the motion of your hand, would
impinge on your eardrums, making them vibrate and
relay the message to your brain, "Hey, there's a noise
outside."
At this point, an eavesdropper at the brain control
center might overhear a conversation along these lines:
Brain to right ear: Roger. What's your station' number?
Ear to brain: Station 2,874.
Brain to body: That's about a thousand cycles, couple
of octaves above middle C.
Brain to left ear: You're coming in weak and out of
sync, just a bit behind the right ear.
Brain to neck muscles: We're picking up the noise out
of sync. Twist head to right a bit
hold it! Good!
Perfect synchronization. Sound must be coming from a
source twenty feet to starboard. (This bit of the conversation shows how we determine the location of a sound,
and helps explain binaural or stereophonic listening.)
In the process of getting up your hand -waving speed to
the t,000 -cycle mark, you may well have observed a couple
of other sound phenomena. For one thing, to exercise your
muscles you might have picked up a piece of stiff cardboard or plywood, say about to by zo inches. If, with
this in your hand, you waved your arm 20 cycles per
second, you might have heard a low thrumming noise.
That's about as low- pitched a sound as a human can hear,
and lower than any created by musical instruments except
in the case of a few huge organs which have pipes which
produce 16 -cycle "sound"
and we put the word in
quotation marks on purpose because it's more feel than
sound.
As your arm- waving proficiency increased, you probably noticed something else: at some point, you could
wave your hand 200 times per second, thereby producing
a sound of lowish pitch, just below middle C on the piano
(256 cycles per second). Later, you could do 400 waves
and the sound produced was exactly one octave higher
than when you were not so adept and could only wave
zoo cycles per second.
Since waving your hand t,000 times a second is guaranteed to get you on television, there is little doubt that you
...
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-
The "station" number is our assumption of what the brain control center
might call one of the cable of nerve fibers
some 4,000 of them
which
run from the inner ear to the brain. According to Olson in "Musical Engineering," these nerve fibers are frequency sensitive and spread out along membrane of the inner ear. We determine frequency or pitch according to which
nerve is excited by the sound. To complete the story of the nerve fibers: each
of the 4,000 is enclosed in a sheath, like an insulated wire, and all 4,000 are
bundled together into cable just over one millimeter in diameter!
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, t954
37
www.americanradiohistory.com
stopped your exercises at this point and never went on to
hear the high squeal of io,000 waves, or cycles, per second,
nor to discover that somewhere between l S,000 and 20,000
cycles you hadn't heard anything. You would have, so
to speak, run out of hearing, since humans can't hear much
and the figure gets a lot lower
above 18,000 cycles or so
as we grow older.
This may seem to be a lot of hand -waving over a small
matter, but it is essential to convey certain basic concepts.
First, sound is, essentially, air in motion; specifically,
rapidly- moving variations in air pressure. Second, the
frequency of the air waves determines their pitch. Third,
doubling the frequency increases the pitch one octave.
Fourth, the range of human hearing is from 20 to 18,000
cycles, at its best. In this connection, a fifth point: even
Nature, who assembled those 4,000 nerve fibers into a
one-millimeter cable, cannot do it exactly the same every
time. Therefore, human hearing varies considerably from
one person to another. Sixth, as we grow older, our hearing abilities change. Seventh, the palm of your hand
was not big enough to produce sound below certain
frequencies; you couldn't stir up enough air and had to
add that piece of cardboard.
Now, with these basic concepts in mind, we can move
over into the electronic field and see what happens to
sound when it gets involved with microphones, recording
equipment, pickups, preamplifiers, amplifiers, and loudall the paraphenalia of sound recording and
speakers
reproduction.
Whenever sound and electricity are to be combined,
there are almost invariably four links in the chain. They
might be called: pick -up, control, amplification, and transduction.' Some instrument picks up the sound, an electronic device controls and regulates it, another amplifies
it to whatever degree is necessary, and a final device
a loudspeaker, a recording pickup, the recording head of
a tape recorder, or what have you, completes the chain.
The fine microphone in a recording studio, or the
very simple one in a telephone mouthpiece performs identical functions. The sound waves make them vibrate and,
like the human eardrum, these vibrations are converted
into tiny variations of electrical current. The phonograph
pickup performs the same way: the wiggles, or modulations, in the grooves vibrate the needle or stylus; the
pickup cartridge may be said to be the eardrum of the
phonograph system.
The next step is to build up the tiny electrical currents
coming from the pickup or microphone to a
point where they can be conveniently controlled (in any number of different ways, of
which the most familiar and simplest is volume
control). Then these electrical currents are
amplified to a considerably higher level, so
that they can be fed into a transducer.
In disk recording, the final link is a phonograph pickup (of special design) operated
in reverse. That is to say, the electrical currents are fed to a pickup and the currents
-
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-
2We use this term a little loosely; technically it is normally
used with changing electrical energy into mechanical mo-
tion, or vice versa.
make the stylus vibrate, which in turn cuts grooves on a
master disk. In tape or wire recording, the magnetic
recording head parallels, in its function, the pickup.
In the reproducing chain, the last link is either a pair
of headphones (rare indeed, nowadays!) or one or more
loudspeakers. In the case of loudspeakers, the electrical
currents "vibrate" the cone of the speaker, thus creating
sound.
If you want to let your fancy fly away for a moment,
and go back to that hand -waving stunt we discussed
earlier, you can imagine yourself wearing a pair of headphones. Your eardrums pick up the sound, your brain
controls or directs it, your muscles amplify it, and your
by dishand acts as a loudspeaker cone, producing
sound.
turbing the air
Before we go on to the home music reproducing system, let's digress and keep this chain in tact. In the
broadcasting studio, sound is picked up by a microphone
(or from a record or from tape) and impressed upon a radio
wave, either by the frequency modulation (FM) method
or by the amplitude modulation (AM) method. The
broadcast transmitter acts as an electronic loudspeaker.
Greatly diminished in strength, the radio waves are picked
up by your FM or AM tuner, strengthened somewhat, and
leaving the audio part
the radio part of them removed
to be fed to an amplifier and converted, by a loudspeaker,
into audible sound.
Now, let's keep all this in mind but move into a field
of more immediate interest: sound reproduction in the
home. For the sake of clarity, we should here substitute
"sound source" for "pick -up" as nomenclature for the
first link in the sound reproduction chain. With that
substitution, we can repeat the chain: sound source, control, amplification, and transduction. Regardless of how
simple or elaborate the system, these four links are basic
and must appear.
In the simplest table model radio, two knobs represent
the chain: the tuning knob selects the sound source
(broadcast station) and the volume control knob represents
the control link. On the chassis is the amplifier link,
and tucked away somewhere is the transducer: the loudspeaker. From this two -dial radio set to the hi -fi bug's
3o -knob dream- come -true is simply a matter of flexibility.
The variation of control over the sound being reproduced
is almost infinite.
And therefore, this is the point at which this article
can become complex. Just how complex is well illustrated
by almost any mail order catalogue from a
radio supply house: hundreds of pieces of
equipment, hundreds of tiny variations from
one piece to the next. Yet we can run right
through that catalogue and associate each
piece of equipment with one or more of the
four links. Some of the equipment may
put all four links into one package; rather
rarely, a piece of equipment may represent
only part of a link.
Since most writings on sound reproduction
start with the sound source and end up with
the loudspeaker; let's be different and start
www.americanradiohistory.com
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SOUND SOURCE
AMPLIFIER
SPEAKER
*-14
CONTROL AND
TV TUNER
TAPE
POWER SECTIONS
MIKE
with the speaker. Way back in the beginning, we mentioned your waving your hand with a piece of cardboard in
it. Let's remember that phenomenon. You had no difficulty producing a t,000 -cycle sound with the palm of
your hand, but you needed the cardboard for low frequencies.
The same concept holds for loudspeakers. A small
cone will do for middle and high frequencies, but a big
cone is needed for low frequencies. (There are some
we admit hastily lest someone jump
qualifications here
get
us
and
well
to them in a minute.) The probon
lem is made more complicated by the design of a loudspeaker. The typical speaker comprises a magnet, a coil
of wire (voice coil) so wound that it can move back
and forth over the magnet but without touching it, and a
cone or diaphragm attached to the voice coil. The objective is to get the cone to move back and forth, driving forth
air waves, precisely as directed by the sound source.
So, for good bass reproduction, we need a big cone
and to drive the cone adequately, we need a big voice
coil. This is exactly the opposite of what we need for best
reproduction of high frequencies, which call for small
cones or diaphragms with light voice coils (so that the
total mass is small and can be moved back and forth the
necessary to,000 to 20,000 times a second).
Thus the twain shall ne'er meet, and thus, in the home
of the badly bitten hi -fi bug, we find two, three, four
and even more speakers, each assigned that band of
frequencies in the audible spectrum wherein it operates
most effectively.
Nevertheless, one speaker alone can cover a remarkably
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wide portion of the sound spectrum
provided it is designed and produced with care. And careful design and
manufacture cost money; you cannot expect to get good
sound reproduction from a speaker sold at bargain basement prices. You can expect, almost without exception,
that the more you pay, the better the quality and hence,
the better the sound.
You can also expect that, quality being the same, two
speakers will give better results than one.
Two -speaker arrangements fall into one of two classes:
either two separate speakers, one a 12, 15, or even 8
inch woofer for the low frequencies, and the other a
small -cone or diaphragm- and -horn tweeter to carry the
high frequencies or, the second class, two speakers mounted
together, coaxially.
,Which is best is primarily a matter of personal preference, secondarily of pocketbook. Some people like to have
the sound appear to come from a single, point source; coaxials are for them. Others prefer a broad- source effect;
separated woofer and tweeter is then the recommendation. Your pocketbook comes into the picture because, if
you buy a coaxial type, you buy the whole thing at once.
If you choose a separate woofer and tweeter arrangement,
you can buy first the woofer, using it as an all- purpose
speaker until the budget has recovered, and then adding
a tweeter for an extra touch of brilliance.
When we said, a little flat -footedly, that big cones
were needed for good reproduction of low frequencies, we
protected ourself with a parenthetical qualification and
that was necessitated by considerations for enclosures.
Time was when there were one or
Continued on page too
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
z
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39
www.americanradiohistory.com
ofnnM&tkvwk
THE MUSICAL idol of Boston, for a score of years following the Civil
War, was not a man but a monster. It was a gigantic pipe organ, one
of the biggest ever built, made to order by Walcker, in Germany, for the
old Boston Music Hall Association. It weighed 40 tons. Its carved black
walnut topknot towered 6o feet high. Its 5474 pipes including 120 32 -foot
were fed air by water -powered bellows.
pedal pipes, many of pure tin
"Its largest windpipes," wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes in the November,
1863 Atlantic Monthly, "are 32 feet in length, and a man can crawl through
them." Its frequency -range, audiophiles of the day noted, was from 32
cycles per second to 32,000 (!). Its popularity-range was, roughly, 20 years.
the Boston Symphony
By 1884, the Hub City had a new musical idol
Orchestra. There wasn't, literally, room for both, at least not on the Music Hall stage. Battle was joined between adherents of the organ and the
Orchestra, and, in 1884, the organ was "expelled," as one sad admirer put
it, from the Hall. A man named Grover bought it for $5,000 (it had cost
$6o,000l and put it in storage. At his death, it was auctioned off to a real
gone organ -lover, a wealthy builder named Edward F. Searles. He took
it to his home in Methuen, Massachusetts, and there built, just for it, a
great marble chapel, 65 feet high, 4o to 7o feet wide, 10o feet long, with
decor as ornate as that of the organ itself. After Searles' death in 192o,
a Methuen citizens' committee took over the organ's care. It has twice
been rebuilt and re- tuned. The committee has organized occasional concerts, but few people can get to Methuen, or fit into the memorial chapel.
Among the organists who played on it was E. Power Biggs, a high -fidelity
enthusiast with a keen grasp of what modern recording can deliver. After
once hearing the valiant old monster's wonderful thunderous tones, he
was sold on the idea of getting them on disks. A pair of Columbia Records
sound men, after an exploratory mission to Methuen, echoed his glee.
The resulting disk (featuring Biggs at the console, of course) should go
on sale at about the time this is printed. Biggs, who has heard the tapes
on his own Altec Soo system, says it's a hair- raiser.
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Above, a
tortured Titan sup-
ports a cluster of three great
pedal pipes.
Below,
organist
E. Power Biggs enthusiastically
taps out some thunder for the
edification of Columbia Records
sound
roux
At
engineers Adjutor The -
and
Harold Chapman.
their right are interior
and exterior pipe-panoramas.
www.americanradiohistory.com
Greater lore had
no man,
at least for a pipe organ, than the
F. Searles. The Great Boston Music Hall Organ,
in the construction of which Franz Liszt had been a consultant.
late Edward
was his
to buy
it
thuen,
.
prize acquisition.
While awaiting the right moment
out of storage, he built for it this marble shrine, at Me-
o
miles from Boston.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, I954
Compare grand piano
for
size.
41
www.americanradiohistory.com
the Nation's Capital gets good music and ..
WGMS
.
MAKES MONEY
by James G. Deane
ONE DAY recently a European diplomat, about to
leave Washington after a tour of duty in the U. S., paused
long enough to write a letter to WGMS one of the few
radio stations in the country which is making a profit on
good music. "I feel I must tell you," wrote the diplomat,
"how very much I have enjoyed the excellent radio programs in the United States and especially the broadcasts
by your station." And he went on to compliment the
station as an example of "the high level of culture" achieved
in America.
Compliments, to WGMS, are nothing new. Its management has been getting them now for almost seven years,
and from many persons far removed from the refinements
of diplomacy.
WGMS's stock -in -trade is good music. Seven days a
week the station's listeners are fed a diet of music from Bach
to Copland
but no "pops." The station's audience, once
an insignificant handful, vies respectably with those of
the reality still seems each day to come as a pleasant
the Capital's four major network radio stations and on
Saturday mornings tops them all. The audience extends
outward to Baltimore, where the complete day's program is
rebroadcast: to Delaware and even as far as Connecticut.
To the appreciative diplomat, it seemed only logical
that America's capital should have a good music station.
To many of the Capital's permanent residents, however,
rediscovery.
WGMS actually didn't start as a good music station.
It began as a sort of protest against ordinary broadcasting. Washington radio, no exception to the American standard, is dominated by crooners, soap -sellers and hillbillies,
and seven years ago the domination was practically complete. WGMS's backers, headed by a well -to -do businessman named Morris Rodman, were somewhat interested
in good music but mainly wanted to "lift the intellectual
level" a bit.
took to
then under the name WQQW
WGMS
the air on January 7, 1947, with much ambition but little
cash. Its management announced a policy of no more than
four commercials per hour and no commercial longer than
one minute, but the problem soon turned out to be getting any commercials at all. WQQW was supposed to
mean "wonderful quality, quality wonderful," but it quickly appeared that quality wasn't enough. In six months
WQQW was virtually bankrupt.
As it has since turned out, this was the best kind of
luck. One of the stockholders summoned to an emergency
meeting, a New Yorker by the name of M. Robert Rogers,
happened to be out of a job. Rogers, an ex- magazine editor,
who had been on the original staff of Life and later had
President Robert Rogers, Board Chairman Morris Rodman and
Vice-President Irwin Geiger check WGMS's area coverage.
Longhair (figuratively) disk jockey Stan Hamilton conducts an
afternoon classical variety program, ad libbing his commentary.
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PAUL SCHMICK
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PAUL SCHMUCK
-
day, but then he would add that the program was conedited the short-lived Click, was taking a holiday after
working during the war for the OSS. Rodman asked him
tinuing on FM. And the kicker followed: "If you don't
have FM, you have only half a radio." Around Washingto consider trying to pull WQQW out of the red. Rogers,
after some investigation, agreed.
ton the phrase achieved a currency comparable with
Rogers then pulled a classic coup d'etat. One Monday
LS /MFT.
morning, at the hour of the regular breakfasttime symWhat happened, of course, was that WQQW listeners
bought uncounted FM sets. "I'm sure," Rogers says,
phony, the station took a drastic and unannounced step.
In place of the scheduled Bach, listeners' loudspeakers
"that the reason this became one of the first successful FM
suddenly blared forth popular dance
stations is that we were able to use
tunes of the day.
the argument that AM went off the
Reaction was as violent as if someair at sunset practically to blackjack
one had come out in favor of sin.
people into buying FM."
was
sudThe station's switchboard
Rogers, 40, does not identify himself as a musician. In dealing with
denly jammed with protests. The calls
Next morning the
businessmen, he has found it a wise
kept coming.
policy to be merely a businessman.
switch was repeated, this time with
His own musical background, howthe announcement that it was a test.
Which, the announcer asked, do you
ever, is considerable. Besides youthful
which
want
sessions on the piano bench
popular music or symphony?
he now recalls only in private
his
The answers left no doubt. Professors,
major at Harvard was musical compobusinessmen, housewives, school children, even a taxi driver all made themsition, a training which endowed him
with a master's degree and produced a
selves quite plain. No one asked for
sarabande which was dusted off not
pops.
ANKERS
In to days the experiment inspired
long ago for performance at a NaCritic Paul Hume, recipient of a famous
5,000 letters and telegrams representtional Symphony children's concert.
letter /rom Truma u, does his weekly stint.
ing a protest vote of more than r r,000.
Rogers himself is a frequent concerthad
dwindled to
goer
as frequent, at least, as his
Advertising, which
job permits.
$t,000 a month, quickly jumped to eight times that.
Under Rogers' guidance, while the good music station
And the station's future was decided.
has been building financial prosperity for itself it has
Rogers' first step after the test was to revamp the proalso been playing an increasingly impressive role in the
grams. The next was to put the station then broadon at night.
city's musical growth.
casting daytimes only
WGMS (it acquired its present call letters, which stand
The station so far was only on AM, and the logical
for "Washington's Good Music Station," by an exchange
course might well have been simply to extend this. It
with a Midwest weather station three years ago) naturally
would have required a new transmitter, however, because
puts its basic reliance on recordings. A staff of three,
the existing one would have interfered with other nightheaded by Pierson Underwood, works constantly at sorttime stations. The station couldn't afford it, so it added
ing through record titles and checking playing-times in
FM instead.
Then Rogers resorted to a bit of highbrow hucksterism.
order to fill up 9o-odd hours with recorded music each
week. Underwood, one of the five present stockholders,
The station concentrated its best programs in the evening
is also one of the several featured classical disk jockeys,
hours. At sunset, the announcer would catch the AM lishaving his own weekly program devoted to his specialty
tener up short by announcing the end of the broadcast
--
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Live music: backstage at Library of Congress, Budapest Quartet
members chat with WGMS announcer and Library staffman.
PAUL SCHMICK
Less glamorous but equally welcome to Capital's music lovers are
concerts played by catholic University quartet. another regular.
PAUL SCHM ICK
www.americanradiohistory.com
-
broadcasting these concerts five years ago, a boon to local
early composers like Rameau and Lully. Another is
residents because most performances are to turn -away
Music Critic Paul Hume, whose comments in the Washingcrowds (some are not public at all), and also to distant
ton Post about a certain young soprano's singing once
listeners who hear them over the Continental FM Network.
drew a famous blast from the White House.
The concerts are broadcast in full, and great care is taken
The station makes a special effort to keep abreast of
its
standby,
to keep the sound clean and well balanced. To quartet new recordings. Old 78 rpm's, originally
lovers these broadcasts alone are worth the price of a radio
now are almost never called upon, and some record manuset. In fact, to many a devotee, they have made a good
free
LP releases fresh off the
facturers ship in new
tape recorder a near-necessity.
presses. WGMS played the radio preAlso regular features on the station
miere of the Toscanini-Beethoven Ninth
are concert series by faculty members
album, beating even NBC, and prompt
at American and Catholic Universities
performances of such issues as the Viboth located in Washington. These
enna State Opera's Fledermaus have sent
are also chiefly chamber works. And
listeners scurrying to record dealers.
this winter another important series
One of the latter, an emigré Englishon Sunday nights at the National Galman named John Learmont who owns
has been tempted away
lery of Art
shops in nearby Alexandria, Va., and
from an FM competitor. This series,
fashionable Georgetown, sponsors
superintended by one of the late Serge
himself for a Sunday afternoon halfKoussevitzky's first Tanglewood conhour on which he plays bits of the
ducting pupils, Richard Bales, somealso
latest releases. Learmont's taste
times includes orchestral programs in
runs to the early composers, but his
addition to piano, violin and song
programs are as likely to feature
recitals. These also are SRO affairs.
Strauss, Hindemith or an acoustical
From the public service standpoint
disk by Emory Cook.
PAUL SCUM ICK
Sates -manager Cavalier and executive
nothing in WGMS's operating schedLearmont also gives a Sunday comassistant Terry Rogers grin for photo.
ule has been more significant than its
mentary on the week's National Symclose working relationship with the
phony concerts, for which he is proSymphony
Orchestra. This relationship starts
Incidentally,
he
ad
libs
his
record
shows
National
gram annotator.
of all the orchestra's children's
with
broadcasting
the
completely and usually arrives at the last possible moment,
far
too many Washington schools
concerts. Although
so it's not uncommon for an announced Ave Maria to
are woefully underequipped with radios, many more
turn out to be Khachaturian's Sabre Dance or something
youngsters are able by this means to hear the concerts than
equally startling. But Learmont apologizes easily and goes
the few who can be crammed into an auditorium. WGMS
right on. At least he knows when a mistake has been
has performed this service for six winters. Rather more
made, which has not invariably been true with some of
spectacular, if no more significant, is a broadcast event
WGMS's less erudite personnel.
each January, when the station turns over an entire SunThe station also lists a daily noontime show on which
day to raising money to pay for a couple of these concerts.
Mme. Germaine Chambreau, who is connected with the
similar
songs
by
Edith
Piaf
and
Celebrities and ordinary people take turns manning a
plays
French Embassy,
series
battery of phones, and musicians volunteer performances
afternoon
show
-music
compatriots, and a Saturday
in return for listeners' pledges. The election -headquarters
conducted by Robert L. Green, a local theater enthusiast.
atmosphere is apparently contagious, for last year the
And 6 -foot, 4 -inch Arthur Stanley (Stan) Hamilton II, a
take was enough for two $2,000 children's concerts and
staff announcer, has a weekday afternoon hour called
another one for "tiny tots" to boot.
Good Music Cafe which offers assorted fare ranging from
Jack Benny, not normally a WGMS personality, helped
a serial "soapless soap opera" (opera or operetta with
spur the 1953 one-day campaign along by autographing a
Hamilton commentary) to elaborate blurbs about somebunch of toy violins to be given away. Another feature
thing called the "George Washington Hospital Medical
no
of
the day was a pickup of Conductor Howard Mitchell and
has
been
writing)
there
far
(at
the
present
So
Plan."
his
symphony players rehearsing at Constitution Hall. The
enthusiast.
Hamilton
is
a
Benny
Goodman
jazz, though
station
expects to go over the top on its fourth such
story.
part
of
the
WGMS
Records, however, are only
of
goodwill venture this winter, including another concert
The good music station also carries an impressive list
for tiny tots.
live concerts. Many of these belong to one of the choicest
Occasional adult symphony concerts are broadcast, on
musical series given anywhere. These are the chamber
Manager Rogers' theory that the public relations value to
concerts at the Library of Congress, some 30 of which
the orchestra is greater than any immediate ticket sales that
are given annually. Many feature the Budapest Quartet
might be lost thereby. And the station goes out of its way
playing the set of Stradivari instruments given to the
to give frequent publicity to both the orchestra's concerts
the same
nation by Mrs. Gertrude Clarke Whittall
and its annual fund campaigns. All this certainly doesn't
in
complete
Budapesters
their
by
the
used
instruments
hurt WGMS, but it doesn't hurt the symphony, either.
Francescatti
recorded Beethoven cycle. Serkin, Casadesus,
An interesting offshoot of the library Continued on page 122
began
and other notables also appear frequently. WGMS
- -
-
-
-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
44
www.americanradiohistory.com
Does Tubby the Tuba tire you? Woody
Woodpecker wear you down? Don't despair.
If you introduce your child to good music
the right way . . .
-?:kEroiouEN
By
tie§Ns at UX.
ELEANOR
parents whose children have normal record-playing habits must at one time or another heartily wish
that children's records had never been invented. Although
it may be their fondest hope that their offspring will learn
to love classical music at an early age, a nagging doubt
as to whether "Never Smile at a Crocodile" is the ideal
means to this end is bound to invade parental minds (especially after the twenty -third daily hearing). Even those
children's records which aim to interest the tots in the
symphony orchestra and its components begin to pall
eventually after constant repetition. The adventures of the
Playful Piccolo, while enthralling to the short -pants set,
may in time drive papa to the verge of mayhem.
A factor which complicates this problem is the arrangement, so commonly adopted, of providing the children
with a record player of their own, of much inferior quality
to the machine enjoyed by the adults. This makes the
saccharine tones of the ever -present narrator even harder
on adult nerves. H. S. Rummel's article on Junior-Fi
(HIGH FIDELITY, September, 1953) suggests a solution to
that problem. In many cases, however, the adult -fi rig is
already hogging a disproportionate share of the family
budget, and the only player available for the small fry is
the discarded low-fi box. In that case, the sounds from the
nursery record -player must continue to rend the air for a
while longer. And even with more faithful reproduction,
I'm inclined to think, the enforced hearing of the juvenile
repertoire day in and day out would try parental patience
beyond the call of duty.
For the older child, of course, there are simplified versions of beloved classics. But even these are somewhat
perturbing to the parent who knows and loves
the original
almost like cutting the family
dog in half because he is too big to fit in the
doghouse. So the big question is, how early
can a child begin to enjoy the "straight stuff"
with no watering down or chopping off? At
risk of alienating all the manufacturers of
children's records, I advance the theory that
children can be weaned, musically, at a surprisingly early age, with a bit of imagination
and a lot of time and effort on the part of the
parents.
ALL
-
EDWARDS
Whether you decide to try my suggestions or not will
depend upon your attitude toward martyrdom. If you prefer
a passive martyrdom you will confine your efforts toward
juvenile music appreciation to the purchase, now and then,
of a relatively good children's record. This involves no
outlay of energy on your part other than the steeling of
nerves while the records are being played. If, however,
your auditory nerves are already frayed to the point of
breaking, you may prefer the shorter but more active
martyrdom outlined below.
It is family music -listening which has all but silenced
the little table -model record player on which children's
records used to be played at our house. This sounds easy
enough, but what it really involves on parents' parts is
the job of combination disk jockey, narrator and quizmaster. You play selected music on your own hi -fi rig,
and instead of just hoping they'll learn to like it through
sheer exposure, you use all your ingenuity to induce your
family to listen actively and to enjoy doing so.
At the early stages it is well to take a hint from the
children's records themselves. They usually have a narrator telling a story with a bit of music to illustrate it.
But why, necessarily, a "canned" narrator? You probably have, among your own cherished records, several
selections of program music. These will do admirably for
a starter. The next time you are called upon to provide
a story for your two- year -old, try putting on one of these
selections and telling a little story to go with it. You
will be surprised at how much he will enjoy listening for
clues in the music. Be prepared to do it again and again,
and to be constantly bombarded with "What's happening
now, Daddy ?" In fact, there may be times
when you will wish you had left the field to
the kiddies' records, after all. But comfort
will come from the realization that the music
they
and you
are hearing is the real
McCoy, unadulterated, and properly reproduced.
Just a few of the selections which can take
this treatment are:
Rossini, William Tell Overture.
Grieg, Peer Gynt Suites.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
-
-
Continued on page r 18
45
www.americanradiohistory.com
22 One &G 7
By JAMES
HINTON, JR.
Cool Licks at the U. N.
The minutes of the United Nations, in solemn committee met, have taken what amounts to official cognizance of bop.
Now this is a subject I hesitate to bring up, so soon after
the violent hassle caused in the Readers' Forum columns
by Mr. Morris Brownstein's all -out denunciation of what
"stinking
he pleased to call "jazz" (pardon, please:
recordings of it, musicians
jazz ") in all its manifestations
who play it, degenerates who listen to it, companies that
unleash its plague on the public, and particularly magazines that so much as mention the loathly name of this
cancer that "like a filthy disease slowly eats its way into
the brain."
Still, a story is a story, and even Mr. Brownstein, the
plumed knight of Borodin, may be cheered to know that
he has sympathizers in so august an organization; God
knows he seems to have few enough among the readers
of HIGH FIDELITY. Even those who care neither for bop,
Brownstein, nor Borodin may find some comfort in consideration of the linguistic problems raised in an international assembly by the sudden intrusion of a special
sub -species of English.
It all began when Selwyn Lloyd, British member of the
United Nations General Assembly's Political and Security
Committee, wearied by the repetitive nature of comments
by the Soviet Union representative, Andrei A. Vishinsky,
on the problems of Korea, lapsed into a jargon far removed from the customary language of diplomacy.
"If I may use the terminology of bebop," enunciated
Mr. Lloyd in cultivated accents, "I am tempted to say
of those speeches, 'dig that broken record.' " The interpreters at their microphones started, hesitated, and hazarded
renderings into language comprehensible to their earphone- wearing listeners. Three of them, either too startled
by the excursion of a British diplomat into the jargon of
bopsters or so thoroughly hep themselves that they felt
no need to find an equivalent word, took the easy way
out of the "bebop" dilemma. In French, Spanish, and
-
(yes) Russian "bebop" came out as "bebop." Quite likely
delegates wearing those phones thought that the man at
the microphone had just hiccoughed. But the Chinese
translator, presumably a more mannerly upholder of musical views not dissimilar to Mr. Brownstein's, came up with
a translation of "bebop" that could be retranslated into
standard English as "vulgar music."
The phrase "dig that broken record" could hardly be
passed off in similar fashion, so every one of the translators
took a crack at it. In French it came out as the equivalent
of "Look up that old record for me," in Russian as "Find
that broken record." Every cat will recognize that neither
translation adds up to the same thing as the original; but,
then, "dig" has a very complex and special set of significances, not easily translatable into non -bop English at all,
and certainly not by synonym.
Used as an imperative, "dig" is particularly tough to
explain. "Understand ? "; no. "Observe? "; no, not exactly.
The closest you can come is to say that "dig" as used by
Mr. Lloyd means the same thing "get" does in "Get that
hat." If you don't use "get" that way the chances are
that you don't dig "dig." Now "dig," used as I just used
it, means "comprehend the significance of," with the added
connotation in a sentence like "I don't dig Bach" of a lack
of sympathy for the undug predicate. See? Dig "dig" now?
If Mr. Lloyd had wanted to make himself and his
figure of speech unequivocally clear to, say, the Iranian
delegate, he should have said: "May I call the attention
of my fellow delegates to the fact that the speech just
completed by the delegate from the Soviet Union, with
whose sentiments you must sense my lack of complete
sympathy, bears a remarkable resemblance in both content
and mode of delivery to speeches he has made on previous
occasions, and in this resemblance reminds me of the
sounds that emit from a phonograph playing a recording
whose surface is marred in such a way as to cause the
needle to retrace its path over and over again through one
particular groove, thus repeating one particular phrase
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
46
www.americanradiohistory.com
-a
over and over again
phenomenon with which you
must all be familiar." Who says that records
if not
bebop have no international significance?
All of which
well, not all; just the Chinese translation
of "bebop" brings to mind the story brought back by
Arthur Berger, lace of the New York Herald Tribune but
now composing and teaching at Brandeis University, of
the California juke box that played Schönberg's Pierrot
Lunaire. "The kids love it," said the man behind the
counter, "They say it sounds like Chinese music." Maybe that will give some insight into the Chinese equation
of "bebop" equals "vulgar music." Or maybe not. In
any case, Mr. Brownstein had better extend his Bach Borodin axis to include Schönberg if he wants to have a
friend left, even in the Orient.
Since bebop is vulgar to Chinese and vulgar to Mr.
Brownstein, who professes a love of serious music, and
since Schönberg is a serious composer whose music
sounds Chinese to young Californians, a slick logician
could probably add a few more statements and prove that
Mr. Brownstein is Chinese, Chinese music twelve -tone,
or Bach a California bopster. Anybody who cares is welcome to try at my expense; as for me, I'm going to crawl
back into my cool little pad and try to sleep the whole
-
- -
thing off.
What's the Pitch?
The International Standards Organization met in conference
in London during the fall just past and agreed on a uniform
standard of pitch based on a vibration rate of 440 cycles
per second for the note A on the treble staff
the A
above middle C, that is, on the piano keyboard. It may
seem odd that the question of pitch came up for consideration at all, since most of the nations of the world
already followed, at least nominally, the standard set. It
did, though, and the ISO decision was accompanied by
a stern resolution that all musical instruments should be
manufactured so that they "are capable of being tuned
in accordance with the standard frequency of 440."
Pitch, apparently, is still, as it always has been, one of
those troublesome matters that everyone has ideas about
but that nobody seems able to do anything about
like
weather and chicken -pox, love and migraine headaches.
Conferences of scientists and musicians and statesmen
may meet, discuss, weigh, and render decisions; but when
they have finished, the problem is no more solved than if
they had never known it was there.
Theoretically, or ideally, pitch should be the same as
frequency of vibration, and physicists would be very
happy, no doubt, if it were. You can define frequency
exactly, and restrictively, as "the number of vibrations
per second described by a sounding body"
that is, by
the string struck by the hammer of a piano or the air column
vibrating in an organ pipe. And in general the numerical
value of frequency will be the same as that of pitch
but
not always, for pitch is what the ear hears, and it has
been shown that the position on the scale to which the
hearing human animal assigns a given musical sound is
not necessarily the position indicated by its frequency,
-
-
-
-
for such factors as amplitude and tone- quality modify
the sensation and color the judgement.
This may not seem very important, and, practically
speaking, it isn't very important over the short haul,
since nothing can be done about it. But the subjectivity
of pitch does illustrate one point, and a cardinal one, that
has to do with the eternal problem of setting and maintaining standard values: Hearing is psychological as well
as purely physical, as every hi-fi knows, and changes in
pitch values down the years have more to do with human
ears than with scientific considerations. In short: High
sounds are exciting, and the constant trend has been to
push vibration rates up and up and up.
As early as the first half of the seventeenth century the
French priest Mersenne was experimenting with the causes
of pitch sensation and the accurate determination of pitch.
In 1648, he found that the lowest church pitch in use assigned a value of 373.7 cps. to the A that is now officially
vibrating at 44o, and that the secular, or chamber, pitch
was 402.9
roughly equal to pitches between F and G
and G and A flat below the present standard A.
In the time of Bach, pitch standards were undergoing a
transition, for the improved new French woodwinds were
being made to lower pitches than had been used in making German organs. As a result, the instrumental parts
to a good many of Bach's church works show a built-in
correction for the discrepancy, with the organ and string
parts (the former by necessity, the latter by habit) scored
in a key lower than the wind parts. So you get, say, organ,
string, and vocal parts in C and wind parts in D, with the
exact keys used being determined by the particular organ
for which the work was composed. Since organs of the
period were not ordinarily built to equal temperament, the
need to compose in practicable keys complicated both
Bach's problem and the problem of figuring out, ex port
facto, just what pitch values he had in mind for which
compositions.
The pitch problem is easier with Handel, who was born
in the same year as Bach, since he spent most of his creative
life in England and left to posterity a tuning fork he had
used during those years. This fork gives off an A of 422
vps -plus, and since it is known that Mozart's piano was
tuned to an A of 421.6 vps, the usual assumption is that
composers in the eighteenth century thought of their
music as being performed at an A value of between 415
and 43o vps.
-
-
WITH the nineteenth century
and the end of the Age
of Reason, if that has anything to do with the case pitch
-
began to rise. In 1813 the London Philharmonic was using
an official A of 423.7 vps. Then it bounced up to 452.5,
relented to 433 in 1826, and zoomed up again to 455 within
the next twenty years. In this country, concert pitch reached
even higher
461.6 vps.
The main reason behind this tendency to push pitches
up to the sky seems to have been the same one that impels
some people to turn the treble up when they play records:
The higher it is, the more
Continued on page 128
-
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
47
www.americanradiohistory.com
-Harpsichordist aynov)g the,
su/SBLE INUNITERS
The author of thi :vignette, well -known to
Scarlatti and Bach enthusiasts, hadn't
bought a disk since he started making them.
Recently he
de cid ed to go
shopping
..
by
FERNANDO VALENTI
.
IT
WAS quite recently that I walked into one of New
York's largest and most famous record stores for the
first time. Of course, I knew the establishment by reputation but, not having been a frequenter of such places
since the early days of World War II, my visit there was
something of an adventure. I say "adventure" because it
appears that the record selling business has changed
much since I was a collector years ago. It was quite an
experience for me to see it anew.
I remember buying records in a cozy little shop with
thick, luxurious, wall -to -wall carpeting and sound -proofed
listening booths with everything but hot and cold running
water, where one could dawdle for hours and not even
buy a needle. This statement dates me and, in connection with buying records, identifies me as practically prehistoric. The game is not usually played that way any
more. The little shops have been replaced by huge record
emporiums with hundreds of people scrounging among
thousands of records on dozens of shelves! The very character of record -collecting has changed radically from an
easy -going, leisurely hobby to a strenuous and hectic
profession. Frantic store clerks serving a turnover of
buyers and sellers that can only be compared to an ant
colony; I I -year -old children arguing at the top of their
voices over the comparative merits of two recordings
of the St. Matthew Pauion; elderly ladies with hearing
aids testing the capacity of formidable loudspeakers;
bells ringing, lights flashing, and three or four cash registers punctuating the enthusiasm every two minutes!
An uninitiated or, let us say, lapsed record lover can
feel 90 years old in such an atmosphere!
I suppose that I am so used to being on the "other
side" of records and recording problems that there is a
reason for me to feel a little strange in such a place. I
have to admit that after a half -hour in this particular store
I felt like a complete misfit.
For example, I saw a gentleman (who otherwise looked
like a perfectly normal person who loved his wife and was
kind to dumb animals) holding one of my Scarlatti records
by means of a forceps -like gadget, lined with heavy cloth
and operated by his thumb and forefinger. I watched him
for two or three minutes as he held the record in mid -air
and cruelly scrutinized it under several different lights.
I estimated that the chances of his recognizing me if I
spoke to him were relatively small, so, at the risk of precipitating a rather tense situation, I walked over to him
and asked him what he was doing. He regarded me for
a moment as if I were a recently arrived resident of one
of the volcanic craters of the moon and, speaking rather
curtly, informed me that he was "looking for bubbles."
I frankly saw no reason to prolong a conversation that had
started on those lines and I smiled vapidly and turned
away.
Also, among hundreds of people milling about the
counters, I spotted a very intense looking young lady with
a flexible ruler measuring a phonograph record at its
radius and jotting down whatever statistics she had gleaned
into a little black pad. I decided not to question her
about this, firstly, because I had no desire to interrupt
her researches, and secondly, because I did not want to
run the risk of her telling me that she was toasting marshmallows or something.
Deeper in the turmoil I saw a young fellow of about
college age sitting on the floor surrounded with a dozen
or so albums of some operatic recording or other. All
he seemed to be doing was taking a record out of one of
the albums and placing it in another, an activity which
I persuaded myself must be quite harmless or the store
attendants, whose name is legion, would have taken some
measure to make him desist.
I must repeat that the reason I have never seen such
carryings-on before is that I have not been in a major
record store more than once or twice since the advent of
LP's and 45's. This may seem odd behavior, from a
performer rather well represented in the catalogs of the
recording industry, and perhaps I had better explain
not that my explanation won't sound a little odd, itself.
The fact is, I have no record player. To put it more vigorously, I do not and never have listened to one of my own
records in my own house! This laughable situation does
not exist because of any squeamishness on my part nor is
it due to any high -flown artistic idiosyncrasy, although I
do think that listening to one's own records too often
can be painful in the extreme and is a practice very much
akin to sitting in a corner and telling yourself jokes.
I did, about a year ago, have a small unit which gave
me great pleasure and led me to begin accumulating
Continued on page 112
LP's. Unfortunately, my many
-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
48
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
k'ecordsmn
Reviewed
by
PAUL AFFELDER
RAY ERICSON
C. G. BURKE
ALFRED FRANKENSTEIN
ROY H. HOOPES, JR.
J. F. INDCOX
DAVID RANDOLPH
JOHN M. CONLY
JAMES HINTON, JR.
ROBERT KOTLOWITZ
JOHN S. WILSON
Classical Music, Listed by Composer
49
The Best of Jazz
7o
Collections and Miscellany
66
The Spoken Word
71
Dialing Your Disks
68
Building Your Record Library
74
The Music Between
68
Mozart on Microgroove, Part V
76
Editor's note: Effective December r, Columbia
Records raised the price of their standard classical 12 -inch Lp's from $5.45 to $5.95. At
printing time, no other manufacturer had followed suit, but some may have done so in the
interval. Accordingly, record- prices listed in
this section may or may not still be in effect.
CLASSICAL
ADAM
Giselle
L'Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera,
Paris; Richard Blareau, cond.
LONDON
LL
869. 12 -in.
$5.95.
At a ripe 113, Giselle is the oldest repertoire
ballet with anything like a continuous tradition of performance (La Fille Mal Gardée
is 5o years older, but its original form is
even more of a mystery); and its title role
is the ultimate achievement for ballerinas,
just as Norma is the ultimate role for
sopranos, Otello for tenors, or Boris
Godunoff for basses. The music, very
1840, harmonically uncomplicated, and
rhythmically naive, is easy to pass off as
worthless. I do not think it is. Once you
make the proper assumptions about it, it
seems
and is
not only graceful and
charming, but very good theatre into the
bargain. This recording presents the score
essentially as danced, in a performance that
is balletically aware if not always as tidy as
it might be. I have not heard the rival issue,
in which Robert Irving conducts the Covent
Garden orchestra for RCA Victor, but in
the theatre I have liked Mr. Irving's Giselle
enough so that I would want to compare
before buying.
J. H., Jr.
-
-
ALBENIZ
Iberia (trans. Arbos)
tGranados: Goyescas
-
Intermezzo
-
La Vida Bréve Interlude and
Danza
tTurina: La Procesion del Rocio
Walla:
London Symphony Orchestra; Gaston Poulet, cond.
MGM E 3073. 12 -in. $4.85.
Principal interest here attaches to the record's main offering, the suite of five excerpts from Albeniz' Iberia, originally written for piano and superbly orchestrated by
the late Enrique Fernandez Arbos. Poulet
does a fine, straightforward job with all the
music, and the recording has a spaciousness
of sound not to be found in a recent Urania
release of the Albeniz suite conducted by
George Sebastian, otherwise reproduced with
comparable fidelity. The latter, however,
has a much more vital, Spanish -colored approach to the score. The individual, then,
will have to choose between a more desirable interpretation of this work, which is
alone on a disk that costs Sr. to more, and
the present one, which contains three additional selections. I still prefer Sebastian. P. A.
D'ALBERT
Tiefland
Margarita Kenney (s), Marta; Helene
Vopenka (s), Pepa; Elfriede Hofstetter (s),
Rosalia; Elfriede Riegler (ms), Nuri; Anni
Berger (ms), Antonia; Waldemar Kmentt
(t), Pedro; Kurt Equiluz (t), Nando; Otto
Wiener (b), Sebastiano; Harold Buchsbaum (b), Moruccio; Leo Heppe (bs),
Tommaso. Vienna Philharmonia [sic] Orchestra and Chorus of Vienna Staatsoper;
F. Charles Adler, cond.
SPA 40/42. Three 12 -in. $17.85.
Today Tiefland is more interesting as a type,
as a manifestation of a movement now
history, than as an independent, living work
of creative imagination. The fact that it
has been recorded at all is a curious anachro-
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, T954
nism. Yet this very circumstance gives these
records documentary significance, or at least
curiosity value.
The last years of the nineteenth century
and first decades of the twentieth produced
all over Europe a flood of operas hopefully
designed to recapture the formula of success that had made Cavalleria Rusticana and
Pagliacci repertory staples almost overnight.
The gods and goddesses, kings, queens,
and nobles who had populated opera stages
since Monteverdi gave ground before a
crowd of peasants, villagers, and ragpickers
drawn from the literature of post -Zola
naturalism, and acting out a drama of lust
and blood drawn directly from the pages of
a sensational newspaper story.
They declaimed their emotions in everyday language
set to music aimed at passionate utterance
rather than beauty of line or grandeur of
sonority. It was shocking, and successful.
Composers of all kinds bent their personal
styles to the creation of operas out of similar
naturalistic materials. Yet the verismo movement is represented now by the great
originals
Cavalleria and Pagliacci, by its
influence on Puccini, and by such contemporary throwbacks as The Consul. The list
of verist operas is long, but nobody born
in the past 25 years could possibly have
heard more than a handful, even with the
most assiduous seeking. Who, for instance
can claim to have heard Spinelli's A Basso
Porto? Yet Bruno Walter refers to it as
being superior to both Cavalleria and
-
Pagliacci.
Tiefland, which still has some currency on
the Continent, is commonly labelled the
best of the German verist operas, but is
really specifically German only in its libretto.
Eugen d'Albert led a rather untidy life.
Born in Glasgow, he studied first with his
father (who had been a piano pupil of Kalkbrenner and a composition pupil of Samuel
Wesley before taking to the dance and be-
49
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RECORDS
toire may find that a work like this sheds
light on the problems of musical theatre in
general. D'Albert was certainly no fool, and
near -misses such as his are often more intriguing than the routine productions of
in
Prelude for Lute
Courante from Suite for 'Cello No 3 in C
Major (trans. Segovia)
Sarabande and Bourrée from Suite for
BACH
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, in D Minor
(arr. by
Transcriptions For Piano
Kempff):
-
-
Kenney, Waldemar Kmentt,
all have good voices
and Otto Wiener
and use them with intelligence and dramatic
force, and F. Charles Adler conducts with
control and spirit. The engineering is close to on the voices, but quite clean, lifelike,
J. H., Jr.
and prevailingly well balanced.
Margherita
BACH
Chaconne from Partita for Violin No
D Minor (trans. Segovia)
coming a ballet master) and then attended
what is now the Royal College on Music,
later studying with Liszt and becoming a
peripatetic piano virtuoso, acquiring and
disposing of some seven wives before dying
in Latvia in 1932. Insofar as he could be
said to have a nationality he was German,
by choice; his music, however, is eclectic.
He composed Tiefland in time for it to
have its premiere in 1903, basing it on (or
rather setting it to a translation of) a drama
by one Angel Guimera. The story, briefly,
concerns a young shepherd named Pedro
who lives by a glacier in the Pyrenees, a
girl named Marta who lives in the lowland
(hence the title), and a village landlord
named Sebastiano. Sebastiano picks Pedro
as a suitable husband for Marta, the point of
the arrangement being that Marta is to continue her previous function as whore to
Sebastianó s animal lust. Pedro and Marta
deviate from plan by falling in love, and
Pedro, simple mountain boy that he is,
strangles the villain and bears his bride off
to a new life in the uplands.
As such plays go, Tiefland is really a
pretty good one. As an opera text it poses
the difficulty of too many words. The result
is a score in which the dialogue is mostly
and very well set, too, from the
set
standpoint of natural rhythms and inflecin a kind of through- composed,
tions
quasi- melodic parlando, with the orchestra
used as a vehicle for sustained sub -vocal
melodic flow and violent, ejaculatory comment except when an occasional long speech
You
takes on the character of an aria.
could say the same of Tosca, too, but Puccini had more interesting musical ideas and
was a more adroit theatrical craftsman.
Eclectic though he was, d'Albert made
negligible use of local color in the form of
musical Spanishisms; the opera could as
easily be set in Switzerland. But some of
in style more Vienthe mood painting
nese- romantic than anything else, is someperhaps most notably
times very effective
in differentiating between the clean mountain life and the evil of the tiefland village.
It would be rash and misleading to recommend Tiefland without reservation as either
good music or a neglected theatre masterpiece. Nevertheless, those whose appetite
for opera is healthy and whose budgets
permit them to explore byways of the reper.
-
-
work.
After listening to this record, it occurred
to the reviewer that, at no point had he been
aware of any shortcomings in the performance or recording. In other words, both
were such as to allow the music to come
through in all its beauty. What greater
praise could be given to a performance?
A special nod should be made in the direction of the bass soloist, for the artistry displayed in his handling of the very difficult
florid passages. One is grateful, also, for
such authentic touches as the inclusion of
the oboe d'amore and the viola da gamba,
which, besides being musicologically accurate, add to the sensuous beauty of the
D. R.
music.
great masters.
The SPA performance is always competent
and often somewhat more. The principals
Wilhelm Kempff the romantic approach
helped Schumann more than it did Bach.
be so dry, are warm and moving, in this
2
Lute No. r in E Minor
Fugue from Sonata for Violin No. r in G
Minor (trans. Segovia)
Andrés Segovia, guitar.
Preludes and Fugues in A Minor, A Major
and C Major
Carl Weinrich, organ.
MGM E 3015. 12-in.
$4.85.
From the somewhat antiquated sound of the
recording, and from the splicing gaps in the
Chaconne, I judge that all these works were
dubbed from the old Musicraft 78 rpm disks.
Perhaps this is the best the engineers could
do under the circumstances, but it is a pity,
for both Segovia and Weinrich give some
Hearing the
fine interpretations here.
Chaconne on the guitar is a novel and most
rewarding experience; there are, in fact,
times when I think it sounds better on this
instrument than on the violin. There is
some erroneous information in the notes
and on the labels, some of which has been
P. A.
corrected above.
BACH
Cantata No. 76 ( "Die Himmel Erzahlen
Die Ehre Gottes")
Magda Laszlo, soprano; Hilde Roessel
Majdan, contralto; Petre Munteanu, tenor;
Richard Standen, bass; Akademiechor Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera; Hermann
Scherchen, cond.
WESTMINSTER WI. 5201. 12 -in. $5.95.
At the risk of sounding somewhat heretical,
this reviewer must confess that, in the course
of listening to many Bach cantatas, he occasionally finds some that leave him less
or
than enthusiastic. Not that he's jaded
doesn't like Bach. But, speaking realistically,
isn't it inevitable that of the 25o cantatas
that Bach composed, some of them must
have been slightly routine and uninspired,
even though technically competent?
Then, along comes a cantata such as this
one, which, for sheer beauty, expressiveness
and exhilaration, recalls to a reviewer the
excitement he felt when he first discovered
Beethoven's "Eroica" and the Brahms First
Symphony! From beginning to end, the
work is a gem, whether it be the joyous
opening section for the four soloists, chorus
and orchestra combined, the very moving
contralto solo, or the virtuosic bass solo.
Even the recitatives, which can frequently
-
Organ preludes Nun komm' der Heiden
Heiland, Befehl du deine Wege, In dulci
jubilo, and Nun freut euch, liebe Christen
g'mein; Jesu, joy of man's desiring; Sleepers
awake!; Siciliano from Flute Sonata No. 2, in
E Flat.
Wilhelm Kempff, piano.
LONDON LL 791. I2 -in.
12, 25
min. $5.95.
Mr. Kempff s romanticized Bach lures the
with some melting pianism and repels
the mind with some gaudy dynamics and
oddities of transcription. His conception of
the Fantasy, dull at the outset and haunting
in its final measures, lacks over -all coherence,
but then so do other recorded versions of
this problematic work. The fugue is another
matter, and Mr. Kempff paces it well from
start to finish. In the transcriptions the
gauge of his mild excesses is the Siciliano,
which for him is a melancholy song, beautiful in effect. Dinu Lipatti, playing the same
arrangement for Columbia, keeps the work
quite properly a dance, however grave in
spirit. The piano tone has some of the
ear
woodenness which sometimes afflicts LonR. E.
don.
BACH
Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor ("Great")
(Bach -Liszt)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major
(Bach-Busoni)
Prelude and Fugue in D Major (BachBusoni)
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BachSandor)
Prelude and Fugue in A Minor (BachLiszt)
Gyorgy Sandor, piano.
COLUMBIA ML 4684.
I2 -in. $5.95.
of five of Bach's
most popular organ compositions. It must
be stated immediately that, to this reviewer's mind, Mr. Sandor's transcription of
the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
is a distinct improvement over the one by
Taussig, which has enjoyed such a vogue
with pianists. It is cleaner, and without
the massive doublings that made Taussig's
These are transcriptions
so turgid.
The performances are all musicianly and
technically secure. In the wonderful Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, the
pianist's phrasing presents the fugue subject in what is, to me, a new light. Its
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
50
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RECORDS
validity, however, is not in the least diminished by its novelty, and I, personally, welcome the new perspective into which the
theme has been placed.
The recording was obviously made in a
large place, so that the piano seems to be in
the acoustical setting of a concert hall. D. R.
BACH
Saint Matthew Passion
Karl Erb, tenor (Evangelist); Willem Ravelli,
bass (Christ); Jo Vincent, sop; Ilona Durigo,
alto; Luis van Tulder, tenor; Herman Schey,
bass; the Amsterdam Toonkunstchoir and
the Boys' Choir "Zanglust ".
The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam; Willem Mengelberg, cond.
COLUMBIA SL -179. Three t2 -in.
BACH
Saint Matthew Passion
Erich Majkut, tenor (Evangelist); Harald
Buchsbaum, bass (Jesus); Kurt Equiluz,
(Judas); Norbert Balatsch (Pilate);
Dutoit, sop. Maria Nussbaumer,
Akademie Kammerchor; Vienna
Orchestra; Ferdinand Grossmann,
Vox PL 8283. Three 12 -in.
Laurence
alto.
Chamber
cond.
BACH
Saint Matthew Passion
Magda Laszlo, sop.; Hildegarde RoesselMajdan, contr.; Petre Munteanu, tenor;
Richard Standen, bass; Hugues Cuenod,
tenor (Evangelist); Heinz Rehfuss, bass
(Jesus); Eberhard Wachter, bass (Judas and
Pilate).
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Hermann
Scherchen, cond.
WESTMINSTER WAL 401. Four 12 -in.
BACH
Choruses from the Saint Matthew Passion
Orchestra and Chorus of the Danish State
Radio, Mogens Wöldike, cond.
HAYDN SOCIETY
HSL
2070.
12 -in.
$5.95.
In view of the excellence of each of these
three performances, (each in its own way)
and in view of the myriad subtle differences
in details, one can only "boil down" the
impressions gained through several days of
listening, to a report on the salient features
of
each reading.
A more detailed compari-
son would require grotesquely more space
than is available.
The Columbia sec is an actual performance recorded in the Concertgebouw on
tape, long before that medium came into
on Palm Sunday of 1939!
general use
-
Naturally, it is not claimed for it that it
will compete with the latest in ultra-highfidelity recordings, but it is amazing to
note how remarkable the recording is, considering when it was made. In fact, I think
it is safe to say that to those for whom the
musical characteristics of this interpretation
are most appealing, the reproduction will be
found to be more than adequate.
Mengelberg's can be said to be the most
"romantic" interpretation of the three.
Both the chorus and the orchestra are large,
and the recording captures the acoustics of
the concert hall. This is a very leisurely
performance, with a feeling of "massiveness." Moreover, the many sudden retards
and accelerandos, as well as the late 19th
century manner of articulation in the violin
solos, all make for what I have termed a
"romantic" reading. It should be stated
that an occasional chorale or solo aria has
been omitted from the Columbia version.
Tempo -wise, Grossmann's interpretation
falls for the most part between the generally
slow, expansive pace of Mengelberg, and
the faster, almost streamlined speed of
Scherchen. In fact, an interesting insight
into the approaches of the three men can
be had by playing just the opening chorus
in the three versions, one after another. In
view of the tremendous difference between
the exceedingly slow tempo of Mengelberg and the equally fast pace of Scherchen,
it takes an effort to realize that they are
playing the same music!
Aside from matters of tempo alone, Gross mann's reading seems to stress the dramatic
aspects of the work.
Scherchen, on the
other hand, seems to emphasize the purely
musical values.
Grossmann's forces give
the impression of being somewhat larger
than those employed by Scherchen, though
nowhere near the size of Mengelberg's.
Scherchen's reading makes the work a
more intimate experience. Moreover, thanks
to the recording, the parts emerge very
clearly etched, and in the greatest detail.
Grossmann's Evangelist, in the person of
the tenor, Erich Majkut, has a naturally
bigger and more dramatic voice than does
Hugues Cuenod, who sings the same role
in the Scherchen version. This again, serves
to emphasize the more dramatic feeling of
the Vox version, and the more intimate,
personal approach of the Westminster
reading.
The other Westminster soloists, likewise,
seem to sing in "chamber style," as opposed to the fuller, more dramatic approach
of the Vox soloists.
A similar difference shows up in the treatment of the choruses, in which Grossmann
paints in broader, more vigorous strokes,
while Scherchen obtains a marvelous clarity
of line and texture.
Here let me say that all the above corn ments are meant to be (to the greatest extent possible) an objective report on the
differences among the three versions, rather
than a statement of preference. The ultimate choice in something as tremendous
and variegated as this work, must be left up
to the individual listener. Moreover, since
these descriptions are an attempt to single
out the broad aspects of each conductor's
approach, it goes without saying that there
must be exceptions to the generalizations.
In other words, my purpose has not been to
imply that Scherchen lacks drama, or that
Grossmann lacks musical finesse. In fact,
there are places where each version seems to
outdo the other, in the other one's outstanding characteristics!
All three sets contain both German and
English texts, but only the Columbia and
Westminster albums contain descriptive and
historical notes, with Westminster's being
the more extensive.
These issues are events of first importance
in the world of recordings.
The Haydn Society disk presents the
choruses alone, done in a straightforward
and satisfactory manner.
D. R.
BACH
Suite for Unaccompanied 'Cello No.
G Major
Suite for Unaccompanied 'Cello No.
C
1
in
3
in
The brilliant young Italian 'cellist, Antonio
Janigro, gives further evidence of his interpretive versatility and artistic taste in
setting forth these marvelously inventive
suites. He strikes a perfect balance between
subtle details of phrasing and maintenance
of a basic dance rhythm in each movement.
Stylistically, this disk is worthy of favorable
comparison with the old Casals recordings
for RCA Victor: in most instances Janigro
appears to follow the older master's pattern
of bowing and phrasing. As is usual with
Janigro records, the reproduction is impressively faithful.
P. A.
BARTOK
Concerto for Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra; Herbert von Kara jan, cond.
ANGEL ANG 35003. t2 -in. $4.95 (factory
sealed, $5.95)
This remarkably varied and inventive work,
one of the finest creations of a great modern
master, here receives by far its most distinguished presentation on disks.
Von
Karajan takes time to let the music speak
with clarity and conviction, yet the tempo
is never allowed to drag.
From the Phil harmonia Orchestra he draws some highly
polished playing, which has been superlatively reproduced on the equally highly
polished and absolutely noiseless Angel
surfaces.
P. A.
BARTOK
Eight Pieces from
Rorem.
Mikrokosmos
-
See
BEETHOVEN
Concerto for Piano No.
3,
in C Minor,
Op. 37
Rudolf
Serkin; Philadelphia Orchestra,
Eugene Ormandy, cond.
COLUMBIA ML 4738. 12 -in. 34 min. $5.95.
Disappointing in its orchestral splendor disturbed by the hard glitter of the piano. With
volume up, the former is striking and the
latter trying; with volume down, the former
evaporates while the latter becomes acceptable.
A beautiful largo; elsewhere
athletic playing that does not seem quite at
ease, a defect possibly caused by placement
for the recording.
C. G. B.
BEETHOVEN
12
Minuets, G
r
39;
Ronanza Cantabile
Major
Antonio Janigro, 'cello.
WESTMINSTER WL 5217.
12-in.
$5.95.
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
Antonio Janigro:
worthy of Casals
- and
Bach interpretations
impressive sound.
5
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1
k tlltl)
i
Frankenland State Symphony Orchestra,
Erich Kloss, cond. (with Helmut Schultes,
piano, in the Romanza).
LYRICHORD LL 45. 12 -in. 27, 5 min. $5.95.
Those of us whose files must contain everything of Beethoven recorded will accept
the unique edition of the early mechanical
minuets and the earlier and more interesting
Romanza in spite of graceless playing and a
sound whose brittle brilliance fatigues.
C. G. B.
BEETHOVEN
Three Sonatas for Piano and Violoncello:
No. 3, in A, Op. 69; No. 4, in G Op. roe,
No. i; No. 5, in D, Op. roe, No. 2
Artur Schnabel, Pierre Fournier.
RCA VICTOR LCT 1124. 12 -in.
20 min. $5.72.
In the last three years 16 versions of the
" Eroica' have been considered here, five in
recent months. Two others exist and it is
hoped that they will not invade these
premises.
Still, there is no doubt that the average
quality of the recordings has gone up. The
two new ones noticed today are equipped
with better sound than the majority of their
predecessors, although neither has sound as
thorough or as impressive as the best disks
made today, or as the best of the recorded
"Eroicá s." Both are echoic, not deleteriously for Prof. von Karajan, but with a
diffusive arrival in the Furtwängler. In both
some choirs lose rank when the full orchestra
plays, but it must be noted that the Vienna
horns, so essential to a right trio and a right
23, 15,
Not impossibly the most valuable works
ever written for this instrumental combination, on one skillfully re- recorded disk.
The sound is more vital than usually in
transfers from 78 rpm's, and in no way
derisory, albeit the top of the piano is a little
fogged and the huge cello tone occasionally
woody.
No need to fear that this pianist has been
eclipsed by his colleague at the cello. We
have a collaboration on equal terms, and an
essay in musical imagination liberated, in the
last two Sonatas, from ordinary considerations of well -mannered playing. Sonata
No. 3, a true sonata, is played as other
good musicians would play it and have recorded it, with deference to its unity and
euphony; but the latter works, personal
statements whose simple ideas are violently
metamorphosed by grotesque difficulties inherent in the untied interrogations of Beethoven's later years, are re- created by Schnabel- Fournier with a bold acquiescence in
their whims that makes mere euphony seem
rather contemptible. Much of the playing
is rough, the interjections brusque and the
dynamics extreme; and the extended exaltation of pure lyricism in relief has a flagrancy
of raw romanticism that would hardly be
bearable without its context. But Beethoven
was consummately absorbed in inner contemplation of God, man and nature: fundamental immensities which he did not try
to diminish or refine. The stunning crudities of the Fourth and Fifth Sonatas have not
been refined here, and that is what gives the
C. G. B.
disk its preeminent values.
BEETHOVEN
Sonata No. 21, in G "Waldstein," Op. 53
Annie Fischer.
SUPRAPHON LPM 62.
io -in. 20 min.
Breathless, overstrong in the right hand,
tonally competent but miniature, this
"Waldstein" is not an important addition
C. G. B.
to the versions available.
BEETHOVEN
3, in E Flat, "Eroica,"
(two versions)
Symphony No.
Op. 55
Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, cond.
ANGEL 35000. 12 -in. 49 min. $5.95.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilhelm
Furtwängler, cond.
URANIA 7095. 12 -in. 51 min. $5.95.
MERCURY 50022.
12 -in.
35
min. $5.95.
It is good to welcome back to records the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which reached
its highest eminence of sensitive work under Mark Twain 's son -in -law, Ossip Gabrilowitsch. Mr. Paul Paray, one of the least
destructible conductors of an age which
destroys everything but conductors, a
Frenchman of more musical universality,
less specific Frenchness, than the role we
force upon French musicians, gives us here
a Seventh of strong assertion and ironclad
rhythm, a Teutonic paean to substantial
motion. Projected by the boldness of Mercury's modern sound, the Symphony has a
thrust of concussive forcefulness. For full
effect the record must be played loud, and
the exigencies of social existence will prevent that effect for most of us. The drums
are notably forward in the finale and the
trumpets in the trio, but they are hardly
alien to the basic concept of relentless, burly
vitality. Details are not missing in the
tumult, and the strong bass is exceptionally
clean. The whole has no more subtlety
than the surf when the ocean is violent,
but it has the same kind of conviction.
C. G. B.
BEETHOVEN
String Trio No. r, in E Flat, Op. 3
Jean Pougnet (vn), Frederick Riddle (va),
Anthony Pini (vo).
WESTMINSTER WL 5226.
12 -in.
43 min.
$5.95.
Wilhelm Furtwangler: his new Beethoven
has bold horns and novel tempos.
T bird
coda to the finale, are admirably prominent
here where most dare not be. Both conductors are inclined to unusual deliberation,
which can often reinforce majesty but more
obviously in these "Eroicai' lets escape
much of its youth and defiance. In addition,
Prof. Furtwängler has individualized the
terminal movements with a few retards and
accelerations, whose hurt is momentary and
not profound, but needless. In the competition of the recorded editions the Karajan
is entitled to perhaps the fifth or sixth place,
and the Furtwängler finds to or more ahead
The Angel presentation deserves
of it.
praise, for its hardy, dignified envelope discouraging to dust and warpage by use of an
inner jacket attached to a wooden rod which
acts as gate post and backbone. C. G. B.
-
BEETHOVEN
in C Minor, Op. 67
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugen Jochum, cond.
Eric LC 3002. 12 -in. 34 min. $5.95.
Symphony No.
5,
An imposing performance of broad dogmatism allied to penetrating refinement, quite
unacceptable in a recording which projects
an odd and obtrusive deep bass out from
C. G. B.
the rest of the orchestra.
BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 7, in A, Op. 92
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Paul Paray,
cond.
With this record the musicians complete an
edition of the four String Trios of Beethoven,
and they have also done the Serenade, Op. 8,
for the same instruments. A former version
of Op. 3, by the Pasquier Trio for Allegro,
has been withdrawn, and this new Westminster now occupies the field alone. It
will not soon be displaced. The playing has
a deft facility that seems to advance by its
own momentum, weaving in soft tones the
ruminative contentment of the music as if
greater emphasis would be preposterous.
Pretty convincing in itself; but supported
by the sound in which Westminster has
the best for three stringed
wrapped it
instruments that these ears have ever heard
its appeal becomes imfrom a record
perative. These strings are crisp, vibrant
silk, aided by just enough reverberation to
let their vibrance hang sweetly; and exact,
C. G. B.
all in balance, nearly tangible.
-
-
BELLINI
I Puritani
Maria Callas (s), Elvira; Aurora Cattelani
(ms), Queen Henrietta; Giuseppe di Stefano
(t), Lord Arthur Talbot; Angelo Mercuriali
(t), Sir Bruno Robertson; Rolando Panerai
(b), Sir Richard Forth; Nicola Rossi Lemeni (bs), Sir George Walton; Carlo
Forti (bs), Lord Walter Walton. Orchestra
and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala, Milan;
Tullio Serafin, cond.
ANGEL 3502 c. Three 12 -in. $17.85 (sealed),
$14.85 (thrift pack).
(*Angel thrift pack includes records only,
unboxed, no notes, no libretto.)
Vincenzo Bellini was a relatively unprolific
composer, and he died while still in his 30's,
yet his name has come down to us as the
very symbol of bel canto. I Puritani was his
the date of its premiere is
last opera
and is, some
1835, the year of his death
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think, the peak of his achievement. Yet it
has never been a fixture in the repertoire
and has not been given at the Metropolitan
since the season of 1908 -09. The reason is
simple: It is too difficult to cast. The soprano part is designed for a dramatic coloratura capable of picking off high Fs and
dealing all evening long with coloratura as
complex as any in Lucia di Lammermoor,
and the tenor part lies in wincingly high
tessitura, with the tops of phrases calling
for C, D flat, D, E flat. The main baritone
and bass parts are not so extreme in range,
but they do call for a tremendous amount of
breath to sustain the long, long cantilena
phrases. Just recently has there been a revival of Bellini operas, and of correspondingly tough Rossini operas, in Italy. This is
largely because of the availability of Maria
Callas.
The music of I Puritani has not the grave
stateliness of Norma nor the rustic charm of
La Sonnambula, but is just as lovely and
which is to
just as unmistakably Bellini
say that the point is always melodic. For all
that they were first, foremost, and always
vocal composers, both Donizetti and Rossini show signs (great are the virtues of
hindsight) of moving towards the more
vigorous dramatic expression of Verdi.
Bellini does not use his orchestra with anything like the skill of Rossini, and his music
seldom equals the best pages of Donizetti
in theatrical vigor. But, as Verdi said, whatever Bellinï s technical shortcomings may
have been he had gifts that no conservatory
could have imparted. He simply did not
think in terms of instrumental sonorities or
vertical complexities of any kind, but he
did have an unsurpassed genius for writing
genius that won him the
linear melodies
admiration of men so disparate in taste as
Wagner and Chopin.
There is no analyzing Bellinï s music. In
fact, there isn't much to analyze. The tunes
are obviously simple; the harmony is decidedly uncomplex. Anybody with a little
conservatory training might have written it.
But only Bellini did. No explanation need
be attempted. He was a genius. Take it on
faith and be grateful.
The story of I Puritani is basically simple.
Cromwell is in power in England. Elvira,
niece of Sir George Walton, a Roundhead,
loves and is loved by Lord Arthur Talbot, a
Cavalier; she is also loved by Sir Richard
Forth, another Roundhead. Just as Arthur
and Elvira are (after complications) about
to be married, Arthur gallops away as rescuIt
ing escort to the disguised Queen.
looks suspiciously like an elopement, and
Forth encourages this idea in typical baritone fashion. Elvira goes mad, and the rest
of the opera is occupied with unravelling
the misunderstanding and restoring Elvira's
mental balance.
As everyone knows, madness in an opera
means lots of coloratura, so Elvira has most
of the evening to herself, with the tenor, the
baritone, the bass, the comprimarios, and
the chorus standing around to comment,
deprecate, and give her a chance to catch
much as in La Sonnambula,
her breath
but with villagers replaced by military men
and martial atmosphere.
superbly conducted
The performance
by Tullio Serafin and played by the Scala
orchestra, has a great deal of vocal wallop,
especially from Miss Callas, whose ability
to color tones expressively while in the
-
-a
-
-
middle of a cadenza that would lie completely beyond the powers of almost any
other modern singer is enough to leave the
hearer gasping. Maybe some day I will be
able to write about Miss Callas without
uttering exclamations of wonder, but not
yet. Sure, she sings in detectable registers;
sure, her middle voice is sometimes cloudy.
But she combines such a fine dramatic gift
with such a beautiful voice that she would
be
and is
impressive even when she is
not exhibiting her really fabulous coloratura
technique. I would rather hear her than any
singer I can think of; God doesn't put
animals like that on earth very often.
In the virtuoso music of Arturo, Giuseppe
di Stefano sometimes seems uneasy, but the
lack of ease is stylistic rather than vocal, and
he gets through the stratospheric tessitura
without losing beauty of tone. When he
has something like the opening of Vieni fra
queste braccie to wrap his voice around he
is at his very best. To be sure, he is no
Bonci for elegance; nor is Rolando Panerai
another Battistini nor Nicola Rossi -Lemeni
another Lablache for smoothness of vocal
emission or seamless beauty of line. But all
of the voices are good, all of the singing
honest and dramatically right, and the performance as a whole is permeated by the
aristocratic intelligence of Mr. Serafin 's
supple, alert conducting. Sound: excellent,
with plenty of space.
J. H., Jr.
-
-
BERLIOZ
Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Willem
Van Otterloo, cond.
EPIC LC 3005. 12 -in. 49 min. $5.95.
There is a kinship in their music making, albeit this work of Blow's, even if
heartfelt, is a little contrived. But neither
the sorrow of the one nor the merriness of
the other (the Purcell works are all in light
vein) come across effectively in the selfconsciously "period" performance of this
well- meaning New York antiquarian group.
It's precious, and not very enjoyable. The
reproduction is first -rate.
J. M. C.
at 36).
BRAHMS
Hungarian Dances Nos. t,
and to
See Dvorak.
-
2, 3, 5, 6, 7
tBRAHMS
Lieder (see Strauss)
BRAHMS
Quintet No. 2 jor Strings, G Major, Op. [Is
Quartet No. 3 for Piano and Strings, C
Minor, Op. 6o
Sextet No. t for Strings, B Major, Op. 18
(Schumann:
Quintet for Piano and
Strings, Op. 44
Dame Myra Hess (pf); Pablo Casals (vo);
Madeline Foley (vo); Milton Katims (va);
Alexander Schneider (vn); Isaac Stern (vn);
Joseph Szigeti (vn); Milton Thomas (va);
Paul Tortelier (vo).
COLUMBIA SL 182. Three 12 -in. $17 (approx).
No doubt these records will be available
singly soon. However, for people with the
necessary cash available, this doesn't matter,
for here is a collection safe to buy as such,
the first Columbia Casals Festival album
about which this could be said, though the
No. Mozart from Perpignan was close to
it. (This comes from Prades, 1952.) Most
fu.nlldable competition to any of the recorded works collected here faces the Schumann Quintet, which has attracted imposing
talent. However, the overside in this case
happens to be the sole LP rendition of the
Brahms String Quintet, Op.
t, in one of
the nicest performances of anything ever
recorded, making the disk a fairly safe buy.
There will be objections, as usual, that
the performers in these works have been
so impressed with the solemnity of the occasion (the second Casals festival) that it
has infected their playing, making it dull. I
think this comment marks the unseasoned
critic. The hallmark of these performances,
of warmly intimate music, is relaxation and
mutual enjoyment. The same atmosphere
can be felt in the old recordings of the Busch
chamber players at work on the Brandenburg
Concerti or the Handel Concerti Grossi.
They appreciated playing together. And
what they put on records, in consequence,
is something more than a "concert" deIt embodies a deeper depth and
livery.
pleasure, exactly what the phonograph was
invented to bring into the home. Why
fight it?
J. M. C.
1
Were the sonic ingredients of Epic's Fan tastique more sensibly equated, this would
certainly be the finest version of the work
currently available. Musically, it surpasses
both the cautious Ormandy and robust Van
Beinum performances, by reason of Van
Otterloó s extremely keen and perceptive
moulding of each movement, and his
ability to weld them into a powerful and
eerie whole.
But where the previous versions were
suffused with excellent, and in the case of
Columbia, superb sound, Epic's engineers
have produced a strangely unbalanced recording, which overemphasises both the
top and the bottom, both of which are sensational, but exposes the middle as unbearably hollow. This surely can't be all that
"Radial" implies, and since the defect is
noticeable in other recordings on this label,
one hopes it will be rectified on future
issues.
J. F. I.
BLOW, JOHN
Mr. Henry Purcell
¡Purcell: Songs and Instrumental Selec-
Ode on the Death of
tions
Soloists, Ensemble of The New York Pro
Musica Antiqua.
ESOTERIC ES 519. 12 -in. $5.95.
It would be pleasant (since this reviewer
is a confirmed Purcell- lover) to report that
this is exactly what it ought to be, but
it isn't. Blow was Purcell's teacher, also his
predecessor and successor as organist at
Westminster Abbey (Purcell, like many
another treasurable genius, died too young,
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
x x
BRAHMS
Two Rhapsodies, op. 79; Six Piano Pieces,
Op. ii8; Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119
Walter Gieseking, piano.
ANGEL 35027.
12 -in.
12,
20, 13 min.
$4.95 or $5.95.
Eight Piano Pieces,
sies, Op.
i'6
Op. 76; Seven
Fanta-
53
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IZf( ()KI)ti
servative in style, is far more than
a novelty.
well -constructed, lightly scored,
highly melodic work, one that makes very
pleasant listening, especially when interpreted with the unsurpassed Segovia artistry.
The shorter pieces on the reverse side, all
featured in the guitarist's recitals, are also
attractive, and are done with taste. Reproduction throughout is good.
P. A.
Walter Gieseking, piano.
12 -in.
ANGEL 35028.
or $5.95.
22, 20 min.
495
It
These were the first Angel piano recordings
I heard, and they provided almost unadulterated pleasure, from handling the ingenious
double slip -cover arrangement to listening to
every note of Mr. Gieseking's Brahms. Some
of the best piano literature is here sympathetically treated by one of the finest pianists
alive in a mechanically superb recording.
Even if there are small flaws in the playing, if
some details of interpretation seem better
treated by other pianists (e. g., Guimoar
Novaes, in the B Minor Capriccio, op. 76,
No. 2), these records supercede others of
their kind. Mr. Gieseking threads his way
through the closely interlocked themes and
cross- rhythms with a clear eye, falling victim
neither to ponderosity nor sentimentality.
Consider the artful pedaling in Op. 116,
No. 5; the soft purling runs in Op. 118,
No. 5; the perfect control of short transitions
between dramatic and quiet sections; the
constant progress of the music however
slow or subdued; the subtle pointing up of
phrase elisions. Op. 117, missing from this
grouping, is played by Mr. Gieseking on a
previously issued Columbia recording. R. E.
BRAHMS
Rinaldo: Cantata for Tenor Solo, Male
Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 50
Joachim Kerol, tenor; The New Paris Symphony Association Chorus, Pasdeloup Orchestra; Rene Leibowitz, cond.
Vox PL Mo. 12 -in. 36:35 min. $5.95.
Biographies of Brahms usually contain
references to this composition, but this is
the first time that it becomes anything
more than just a name in the glossaries.
Performances being almost unheard of, and
recordings being (until now) nonexistent,
Vox has done a great service by committing
it to disks.
Since it was composed when Brahms was
still in his 30's, and at a time when he had
just immersed himself in a study of Wagner's
Tristan and Isolde, the work gives us a valuable insight into the composer's development. We are struck, first, by the "operatic"
touches in the writing; second, by the
cleanliness and directness of the orchestration as opposed to the thickness of Brahms'
later style; and finally, by the occasional
melodic similarities to Wagner and Schubert.
The solo tenor role is an extremely taxing
one, in its length as well as in its range.
While he seems equal to its dramatic demands, Mr. Kerol unfortunately becomes
forced and strained in the higher registers.
Performance and recording are otherwise
D. R.
good.
BRAHMS
Waltzes, Op.
39
-
see Schumann.
Op. 3r
David Lloyd, tenor. James Stagliano, horn.
Strings, members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra. Richard Burgin, conductor.
Folk Songs of the British Isles
David Lloyd, tenor. Marguerite Willauer,
soprano. Wolfgang Schanzer, piano.
BOSTON e -2o5. 12 -in. 41 min. $5.95.
a
CHARPENTIER
Te Deum, Marche de Triomphe, Air de
Trompette, Ténèbres, Oculi Omnium.
Eduard van Beinum: London's dynamic
Hollander displays a flair for Bruckner.
For all that was, and is, wonderful in Britten's Serenade, it is still necessary to go back
to the superb performance of the work by
Pears and the composer, once available on
English Decca, but now deleted. No amount
of vocal ability, and Lloyd has that in plenty,
can offset an apparent lack of understanding
or temperament for the work, and it is this
insufficiency that hinders his performance
from becoming completely satisfying. In
Far
other words, good, but uninspired.
better are his folk songs, sung with conviction and flavor. Sensitive work from Burgin
and his men, and the Stagliano horn is
beyond reproach. The recording is hardly
spectacular, and a closer -to- the -mike placement of the soloist in the Serenade might
J. F. I.
have helped.
BRUCKNER
-
Symphony No. 7 in E Major
tFranck: Psyché Symphonic Poem
Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam;
Eduard van Beinum, cond.
LONDON LL 852/853. Two 12 -in. $11.90.
The redoubtable Eduard van Beinum has
conducted a wide variety of music on disks,
but this, to the best of my knowledge, is
his first encounter with Bruckner before the
recording microphones. If this interpretation is any criterion, he should have gone to
work on behalf of the Austrian master long
ago. Not all Bruckner is easy to take; he
often sounds overblown or long- winded, and
far too many conductors treat him with a
heavy, pompous hand. Not so van Beinum.
His approach is full of inner warmth, and
he manages to convey admirably the religious spirit that guided the composer. Yet
he keeps things moving. All in all, this is
one of the most convincing performances of
this symphony I have heard, either on disks
or in the concert hall.
A welcome arrival, too, is Franck's beautiful, richly melodic symphonic poem, Psyché.
The only previous LP version of this work,
conducted by Eugen Jochum, was rather unsympathetic, whereas this new reading is
entirely in the vein. London has provided
rich- sounding, wide -range reproduction. P.A
BRITTEN
Serenade for tenor solo, born and strings,
is
CASTELNUOVO- TEDESCO
Guitar Concerto
(Pieces by Villa- Lobos, Torroba, Turina and Ponce
Andrés Segovia, guitar. New London Orchestra; Alec Sherman, cond., in the Concerto.
COLUMBIA ML 4732. I2 -In. $5.95.
Written in 1939 expressly for Segovia, Mario
Castelnuovo- Tedescó s Concerto, though con-
Claudine Collart, Ist sop.; Jean Archimbaud,
2nd. sop.; Yvonne Melchior, alto; Pierre
Gianotti, tenor; Louis Noguera, bass.
The Chamber Orchestra of the Concerts
Pasdeloup. The Chorale of the Jeunesses
Musicales de France. Louis- Martini, cond.
THE HAYDN SOCIETY HSL 2065. 12 -in. $5.95
It should
be specified immediately that this
Charpentier is not the composer of Louise,
but rather, a compatriot who antedated his
more familiar namesake by two-and -a half
centuries. He was born in 1634. And what
a vital figure this Marc- Antoine Charpentier turns out to be! His Te Deum is music in
the grand manner
for full chorus, soloists,
orchestra and organ.
Moreover, the orchestra, especially in the introduction, features trumpets and drums in a way that
anticipates some of the more brilliant passages in the works of Bach and Handel.
The performances are no mere museum
recreations, but are full -bodied and ringing
with life. It is all the more regrettable,
therefore, that the first extended tenor solo,
despite the lovely tone with which it is invested, is sung so excruciatingly and consistently flat!
The reverse side of the record contains
several shorter works by the same composer, two of which, the Ténèbres and
Oculi Omnium, are thoughtful choral pieces
of great beauty. To my mind, these are of
more lasting musical value than are the fanfare- passages of the Te Deum.
The recording captures the spaciousness
of the acoustics in a manner that is quite
appropriate to the music. There is, however,
some tape hiss.
D. R.
-
-
CHAUSSON
Poème
See Ravel.
CHOPIN
Mazurkas; Polonaise- Fantaisie in A
Flat, Op. 6r; Andante Spianata and
Grande Polonaise, Op. 22
Artur Rubinstein, piano.
51
RCA VICTOR LM 6ío9.
12, 14 min. $17.16.
Three
12 -in.
126,
One of the notable 78 -rpm recordings was
that of the complete Chopin mazurkas
made by Artur Rubinstein for RCA Victor.
The pianist has now repeated this labor of
love for an LP album under the same auspices, and the results are just as memorable.
A few sample comparisons indicate no great
change in Mr. Rubinstein's interpretations
over the years. The fire, aristocracy, and
passion are still there, perhaps a shade
mellowed by more thoughtful tempos. The
mazurkas are fortunately recorded in order,
making it easy to locate them. Because
each work turns up some striking musical
idea and every third or fourth one is a miniature masterpiece, it is even possible to enjoy
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
54
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KECOKUti
all two hours of them in one sitting (a procedure not recommended, however). The
sound of the piano is clean, bright, and intimate, but more expansiveness or resonance
would have made it even better.
The
Polonaise- Fantaisie, a moody work of intense
feeling, and the Andante spianato and Grande
Polonaise, an earlier salon work of charm and
brilliance, add stature to the album in Mr.
Rubinstein's extraordinary performances.
Other pianists will go on recording the
mazurkas
with good reason, for they are
such highly subjective, personal creations
but this album will provide the measuring
rod by which to judge the success of their
efforts.
R. E.
-
-
CHOPIN
Waltzes
Guiomar Novaes, piano.
Vox PL 8170. 12 -in. 49 min. $5.95.
This recording is significant primarily from
a politico- social point of view; it is evidence of the influence of the United States
in the contemporary cultural life of Germany.
Both works, are, of course, among the most
successful of modern American scores. One
wishes one could recommend Herr Rothei s
interpretation of them, but his performances
do not measure up to those available in
other recordings of the same compositions.
Technically, the reproduction is rather good,
occasionally a little edgy.
A. F.
DONIZETTI
DEBUSSY
Estampes (Pagodes, Soirée dans Grenade,
Jardins sous la pluie); Suite Bergamasque (Prélude, Minuet, Clair de
Lune, Passepied); Rêverie; Two Arabesques; La plus que lente; La Fille aux
cheveux de lin
Menahem Pressler, piano.
MGM E 3054. 12-in. 3 , 17, 4, 7, 4, 3, 34.85.
Dolores Wilson (s) Lucia; Ebe Ticozzi
(ms), Alisa; Gianni Poggi (t), Edgardo;
Guglielmo Fazzini (t), Normanno; Mario
Carlin (t), Bucklaw; Anselmo Colzani (b),
Ashton; Silvio Maionica (bs), Raimondo.
Orchestra and chorus of the "Opera di
Milano;" Franco Capuana, cond.
URANIA URLP 232. Three 12-in. $17.85.
1
CHOPIN
Sonata No. 3, in B Minor, Op. 58 Barcarolle in F Sharp, Op. 6o; Nocturne in D
Flat, Op. 7o, No. 2; Mazurka in C Sharp
Minor, Op. 5o, No 3
Dinu Lipatti, piano.
;;
COLUMBIA ML 4721.
12 -in.
25, 8, 6,
5
min.
$5.95.
Dinu Lipatti's legacy of recordings must be
near its end, and each of Columbia's reissues is received with pleasure mixed with
apprehension that this one will be the last.
Lipatti's performances are not necessarily the
best, but in a valuable way they are unique.
Guiomar Novaes and the late William
Kapell bring as much musical sensitivity
and intuition and more depth to their recordings of the B Minor Sonata, in disks
that are also much superior in terms of
sonic values. But the quality of "sweetness" attributed by Nadia Boulanger to
Lipatti is very special to his playing. How
to define this in specific musical terms is not
easy. Lipatti is always the lyricist, with a
gentle, singing touch. For all the light and
shade in his playing he keeps the music
skimming along lightly and easily; there
are no melodramatic pauses, tragic contemplations of the turn of a phrase, or
heart- rending climaxes.
It is for these
reasons that his version of the Barcarolle is
one of the best I know. The work, deceptively big in format, invites but cannot
support grand -scale treatment. It does not
sound hollow or pretentious as Lipatti
wings his way through it.
Again for the above reasons, his disk of
Chopin Waltzes, played with mercurial
gayety, holds the edge in my affections over
Miss Novaes' new disk. They are the least
interesting of the Polish composer's best known works, and Miss Novaes' seriously
poetic sentiments, beautiful as they are,
seem a little wasted. Miss Novaes' art,
however, has the benefit of full, rich reproduction from Vox, and she includes, where
Lipatti does not, the admirable posthumous
Waltz in E.
R. E.
In the kind of strange reshuffling that MGM
seems addicted to, Mr. Pressler's Debussy
performances on a to -inch disk have been
transferred to a 12 -inch, with the Suite
Bergamasque and La fille aux cheveux de lin
added. The new interpretations are as fine
as the others, the reproduction as satisfactory, with much less surface noise on the
newer release.
(Incidentally, the record
liner isn't sure whether la fille has flaxen
hair or flaxen horses.)
R. E.
DOHNANYI
Ruralia Hungarica
tPaganini: Caprice No.
13 in B Flat
Major; Caprice No. 20 in D Major; La
Companella (arr. Kreisler)
Alfredo Campoli, violin; George Malcolm,
piano.
LONDON
LS
793. to -in. $495.
Dohnanyi's Ruralia Hungarica was written
originally as a suite of five pieces for pianoforte solo, using elements of Hungarian
folksong as thematic material. Later the
composer selected three of these movements
and set them for violin and piano. It is in
this form that we hear them on this record.
Mr. Campoli's playing of the Ruralia
Hungarica and the Paganini, on the reverse
side, is brilliant and sure, without the excesses that so often accompany display
pieces. The violin tone is warm, with a very
satisfying balance between piano and violin.
Worth special mention is how pleasantly the
violin reproduces here. Absent are harsh
unnatural highs which creep into many
LPs.
R. L.
of Radio
Maria Callas (s), Lucia; Anna Maria Canali
(ms), Alisa; Giuseppe di Stefano (t), Edgardo; Gino Sarri (t), Normanno; Valiano
Natali (t), Bucklaw; Tito Gobbi (b), Ashton; Raffaele Arie (bs), Raimondo. Orchestra and chorus of the Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino; Tullio Serafin, cond.
ANGEL 3502 C. Two 12 -in. $11.90 (thrift
pack: $9.90
unboxed, unsealed, includes
no notes, no libretto.)
-
The arrival of two full versions of Lucia di
Lammermoor calls for an equal number of
aphorisms: "It never rains but it pours"
and "The best things often come in the
smallest packages." For the bounty is undeniable, and it is difficult to see why anyone would prefer either the Urania or the
older Cetra to the brand -new Angel, which
is much better performed than the one and
much better engineered than the other
and cheaper in either of its two forms.
The role Donizetti wrote around Scott's
hapless Lucy Ashton was a meaty one to
begin with, and through additions and interpolations has become a favorite showpiece
for sopranos capable of difficult acrobatics.
The story of Lucy, who, pursued by what
the libretto refers to as an "impetuous bull,"
falls reciprocally in love with her rescuer but
is kept from marrying him by. her feuding
baritone brother; who, forced into a politically advantageous marriage, precipitates
what is known even in politest society as a
sextet, then succumbs to folle de coloratura,
knifes her groom, sings scales for fifteen
minutes, and knifes herself; who, slashed,
dead, and entombed, is lamented in two
lengthy tenor arias and made the excuse
for a suicide attended by bass and chorus
is too well known to bear retelling.
In fact, these recordings, after 120 years
of Lucy, ought to be cause for unalloyed delight. They would be, too, except for pangs
of sympathy aroused by the plight of
Dolores Wilson. Here a young American
goes to Italy, works hard under the tutelage
of the revered Toti dal Monte (herself a
Lucia of note until failing high tones caused
her to metamorphose into a Butterfly), is
rewarded by a Metropolitan contract, and
has this recording released as a foretaste of
her homecoming debut in the same opera
only to find her réclame muffied and herself
outclassed
not to say imposed on
by
-
-
-
COPLAND
Appalachian Spring
fPiston: The Incredible Flutist
Symphony Orchestra
Arthur Rother, cond.
Lucia di Lammermoor (two versions)
Maria Callas.
Lucia, like Gilda in Rigoletto, is one of
those roles that, originally normal in their
requirements, have come to be regarded as
the property of coloraturas. By this is
meant (at least now) light sopranos whose
lack of power has led them to develop compensatory technical adroitness at the top.
And in coloratura terms
for she is one
such
Miss Wilson is an honest if not an
especially inspired, practitioner. Her voice
is fresh, clear in focus, agile, and generally
true to pitch; her style is informed, and her
diction (at least for a non -Latin) good
-
Berlin;
URANIA URLP 7092. 12 -in. 20, 20 min. $5.95.
Andrés Segovia: artistry in a concerto
composed for him by Castelnuovo- Tedesco.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
-
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55
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I:I
(
()Itl)ti
enough to merit comment. Too, she has
an E fiat (if the engineers have not been
twiddling with the gain control) of formidable velocity; hers is no penny- whistle voice.
Miss Callas, though, can accomplish
everything in the way of coloratura briland then
liances that Miss Wilson can
and her voice is of far greater
some
weight and coloristic variety. These assets
she uses toward creating a vocal character,
and the acrobatics seem, as they should,
simply musical externalizations of emotion.
Her vocalism is not immaculate. Sometimes
the middle voice is veiled or bottled- sounding. Some intonations are not quite just.
But such a voice it is! And such a consummate vocal actress controls it! And what a
That I have never
fabulous technique!
heard anything remotely like it may be
passed off as the ignorance of youth. But
I have never heard anyone tell of anything
remotely like it, either, and there are some
oldsters around yet.
Good as Lina Pagliughi is on the Cetra
set, she sings Lucia in standard coloratura
terms and is better by the breadth of experience, technique, communicativeness and
general know -how than Miss Wilson. But
Miss Callas is, to all intents and purposes,
a dramatic soprano with sufficient technique
to outsing any coloratura going and a
sense of drama that would be exceptional
in any singer in any age.
If Miss Callas furnishes the excitement,
Tullio Serafin holds the whole performance
together with the authority born of more
than half a century in the world's great opera
houses and urges it on with the spirited
pulse of a musical instinct that refuses to
grow old, always enabling, always encouraging, never failing to fit details into
the broad framework of a flowing, cantilena
performance.
On the extra- soprano level, Angel has
the edge over its competition only less surely.
Giuseppe di Stefano, in fine voice and on
his best artistic behavior, is more satisfying
by the depth of the velvet on his tones than
Gianni Poggi (Urania), who is bright and
clear but has a tendency to scoopy, sheep like noises, or Giovanni Malipiero, wooden
of voice but a truer artist than either; and
Tito Gobbï s big- scale, somewhat roughhewn but intelligent singing betters that of
either of the other Ashtons. Only Raffaele
Aries rather coreless tone detracts from the
which includes, inciAngel second line
dentally, Gino Sarri, the Urania Otello, in
the secondary (or tertiary) role of Normanno.
He is O. K., in case anybody wonders; a
fellow has to eat, and even in these days of
LP people don't set up shop and record
-
-
-
Otello every week.
In view of the fact that Angel has produced on two disks an opera previously
contained on three, it is fair to point out
that while all of the availables are opera house complete (first scene, last act is never,
never done) Angel takes a very few discreet
tucks, but nobody who doesn't know the
score almost by heart will be likely to note
them. In any case, Miss Callas at $9.90,
or $11.90, or twice that, is no less exciting
than she would be at $17.85
Technical honors are about equal. Both
Urania and Angel sets offer sound that is
livelier and more faithful than the Cetra,
which itself is not half bad. Actually, I
prefer the Urania balances as being more
natural in some places (Angel puts your ear
mighty close to that harp, for example),
but the fidelity of both is high as the sky,
cyclagewise, and the surfaces are good
the Angel to the point of absolute perfection. I have never really believed what they
say about craftsmanship standards at the
Hayes factory. Now I do.
J. H., Jr.
-
DUBOIS
The Seven Last Words
The celebrated acoustics of Boston's Symphony Hall, the two ranks of 32 -foot pipes
of its new Aeolian- Skinner organ and a
tremendous amount of engineering know how add up to a super -recording that will
particularly delight bass -response fans. It
is indeed an exciting experience to "feel"
the 16 -32 cycle sound, rather than actually
hear it.
Reginald Foort, the "Michael
Cheshire" of previous Cook organ records,
again shows his complete mastery of the
instrument in his sympathetic, well registered
support of the soloists, whose work is always effective, and in the case of Mac Morgan, quite outstanding. Perhaps equally
impressive is the masterful balance among
all concerned, chorus, soloists and organ,
throughout the entire work.
J. F. L
DUKAS
La Péri
Songs
Le manoir de Rosemonde; La Vague et la Cloche;
L'Invitation au Voyage; Serenade Florentine;
La Vie Antérieure; Chanson Triste; Testament;
Lamento; Phidylé; Soupir; Extase; Elégie.
Gérard Souzay (b); Jacqueline Bonneau,
Pelléas et Mélisande
-
LONDON LL -813.
12 -in.
$5.95.
Two more songs and this disk might have
been labelled "Complete Songs of Henri
Duparc," for he composed only 14 in all.
Yet who does not know at least Extase or
L'Invitation au Voyage? The reason is clear:
Duparc wrote fine songs. And here they
are, sung by Gerard Souzay with control
and exquisite sensitivity, supported by accompaniments equally gracious and musical,
and reproduced to the last nuance by London's engineers. Top drawer, if you care at
all for French music, the French language,
French style, or simply fine singing. J. H., Jr.
DVORAK
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in
A
Minor, Op. 53
tGliere: Romance for Violin and Orches-
tra,
Op. 3
David Oistrakh, violin. State Orchestra of
the U.S.S.R. Kiril Kondrashin, cond.
VANGUARD VRS -6016. 12 -in. 22, 15 min.
$5.95.
Suite,
L'Orchestra de L'Association des Concerts
Colonne; George Sebastian, cond.
URANIA URLP 7097. 12 -in. $5.95
La Péri
DUPARC
piano.
Boston Chorale and soloists. Willis Page,
cond. Reginald Foort, organ.
SOUNDS OF OUR TIMES 1094. 12 -in. 42 min.
85.95
tFauré:
Op. 8o
upon which of the musical works interests
P. A.
you most.
--
tD'Indy: Istar Symphonic Variations
tD'Indy: Fervaal Prelude to Act I
Westminster Symphony Orchestra; Anatole
Fistoulari, cond.
MGM E 3062. 12 -in. $4.85.
Here is some attractive late romantic French
music. The gem of the lot is Faures delicate suite from his incidental music to
Pelléas et Mélirande
the first music to be
Dukas'
written for Maeterlinck's play.
"danced poem," La Péri, has a decided
oriental cast. D'Indy's Istar variations depict, within the framework of musical form,
the story of the maiden who entered the
land of the dead to rescue her lost lover,
and who was obliged to shed a piece of her
clothing at each of the seven portals, until
she stood naked before the god of death.
The music presents a set of variations in
reverse, beginning with the most complicated and ending with the simple, unadorned
theme. The same composer's opera, Fervaal,
-
bears a strong kinship to Wagner's Parsifal,
and one can find a great deal of Wagnerianism in the Prelude recorded here.
From the standpoint both of the music
contained thereon and its performance, I
fine much prefer Sebastian s readings
drawn account of the Pellas suite and a fairly
animated one of La Péri. Fistoulari tends to
drag the tempi in the latter work, in which
there is also a bad tape splice. The reproduction is about equal in quality on both
disks, so that a choice will depend largely
-a
This behind -the -Iron -Curtain production is
not so much a contribution to our knowledge of Dvorak as it is a dazzling performance of violin virtuosity. David Oistrakh
brings into sharp focus his complete mastery
of violin technique. His reading is decisive
Display passage -work is exeand bold.
cuted effortlessly, yet this reviewer feels
that Mr. Oistrakh is almost too much in
command, not only of the State Orchestra
of the U.S.S.R., conductor Kondrashin, but
also of the composer. In the presence of so
much display one is distracted from any
soaring contemplation.
Tapes received from Russia have been
getting better of late, but still not up to
the standard we take for granted. This one
is quite passable, with solo violin to the
I find the orchestra
fore and brilliant.
sound generally good, but with some muddiR. L.
ness in the louder passages.
DVORAK
Quartet in A flat Major,
Op. ro5
Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74
tKodaly: Serenade in F Major, Op. t2
Barchet Quartet.
VOX PL 757o. 12 -in.
Classic String Trio.
CLASSIC CE 1033.
36:55 min.
12 -in.
$5.95.
$5.95
On these two disks, three chamber works
make their initial appearance on LP, and
since none of these is heard very often in
This applies
concert, each is welcome.
particularly to the Quartet, which is Dvorak's
last chamber composition. This melodious
score imparts to the listener a marvelous
feeling of well- being, while its slow movement finds the composer experimenting with
a few harmonies that he did not dare use in
his earlier works. Adding to the attractive-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
56
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RECORDS
ness of the disk is the excellent playing and
spirited interpretation of the Barchet Quartet
and the bright, properly resonant reproduction by the Vox engineers.
Because of the combination for which
they were written
two violins and viola
the Terzetto and the Kodaly Serenade will
have less appeal. Both composers have
managed to get a great deal out of this unusual instrumental setup, and have turned
out some interesting music especially the
folk -like finale of the Serenade
but neither
the playing, which is occasionally edgy and
-
-
--
out of tune, nor the recording, which is
sometimes strident and cramped in sound,
add to the music's attractiveness.
P. A.
DVORAK
Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 7o
Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans
Schmidt -Isserstedt, cond.
LONDON LL 778. 12 -in. $5.95.
5 in E Minor,
the New World ")
Symphony No.
phon from Czechoslovakia, he has lost none
of his touch, though with age (he is 7o) his
tempi have tightened. He brings out rhythmic trimming that other conductors have
missed; the symphony really dances, as it
should. The reproduction isn't really bad,
just undistinguished.
J. M. C.
FALLA
El Retablo de Maese Pedro (two versions)
Ilona Steingruber (s), The Boy; Waldemar
Kmentt (t), Master Peter; Otto Wiener (b),
Don Quixote. Vienna Philharmonia [sic]
Orchestra; F. Charles Leitner, cond.
SPA 43.
12 -in.
$5.95.
Blanca Maria Seoane
Navarro (t), Master
(bs), Don Quixote.
des Champs -Elysées;
(s), The Boy; Francisco
Peter; Chano Gonzalo
Orchestre du Theatre
Ernesto Halffter, cond.
Op. 95 ( "From
Hague Philharmonic Orchestra; Antal Dora ti, cond.
EPIC Lc 3oot. 12 -in. $5.95.
Slavonic Dances Nos. r, 2, 3 and 16
tBrahms: Hungarian Dances Nos. s,
3, 5,
6,7 and
2,
so
Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans
Schmidt- Isserstedt, cond.
LONDON
LI.
779-
12 -in.
$5.95 -
Schmidt-Isserstedt seems to have a way with
Dvorak; his warm, broad and thoroughly
idiomatic treatment of the sometimes
brooding, yet immensely appealing Second
Symphony, plus London's full-bodied reproduction, make this by far the preferred
version of the work. He also does a highly
creditable job with the Slavonic Dances,
though, for some reason, takes the Brahms
Hungarian Dances much too literally, without sufficient retards, rubato and general
schmalz.
Dorati's is the twelfth LP recording of
the New World, and his sane, well- balanced
reading, greatly aided by Epic's wide -range
"radial sound," makes this one of the most
desirable of the dozen. Other versions worth
comparing with it include those by Kubelik
(Mercury), Pflüger (Urania), Ormandy (Columbia) and Szell (Columbia). There have
been complaints about Epic's "uncontrollable" bass.
Here it seems no serious
problem.
P. A.
DVORAK
Symphony No. 8 in G Major, op. 88
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaclav Talich, cond.
SUPRAPHON LPV 44. 12 -in. (Price not given)
Dvorak's No. 8 is really the one we more
commonly know as No. 4, though actually
8 seems the proper numeration. Many of
us think it his best symphony, and it is
odd that it has not been recorded more
often. As of now, it has four good performances on LP, none of them reproduced more than just adequately
though
the Bruno Walter for Columbia was, in its
day, considered pretty terrific.
If there is a dean of Dvorak conductors,
Vaclav Talich probably is it. His old 78
rpm version of the G Major symphony is
still famous. To judge by the new Supra-
-
Regina! Foort: he and Emory Cook give
Dubois' oratorio fine aural excitement.
El Amor Brujo
Inés de Rivadeneira (c) and Madrid Symphony; Pedro de Freitas Branco, cond.
WESTMINSTER WL 5238. t2 -111. $5.95.
Manuel de Falla had many more strings to
his bow than anyone could guess from acquaintance with only the two or three best
known of his compositions. El Retablo de
Maese Pedro (that is, Master Peter's Puppet
Show) is one of those singular minor works
minor in a quantitative sense
much
easier to delight in than to categorize. For
lack of a better term, it can be called an
opera; but it is an opera only in a very special
sense. As originally conceived, all the action
was taken by puppets, with the singers
standing to one side and participating only
vocally. Since then, all manner of comprommises have been attempted
singing actors
for human roles and puppets for puppet
roles; singers for singing roles and dancers
for puppet roles, and so on.
The plot is taken almost literally from an
episode in Cervantes' Don Quixote. The
knight, resting at an inn, has been invited
to attend a puppet show put on by one
Master Peter.
This show, narrated by
Master Peter's boy assistant, has to do with
the lovely Princess Melisendra, rescued from
Moorish captivity by the brave knight Don
Gayferos. At the crucial moment when
the princess and her rescuers are about to
be overtaken by their infidel pursuers, Don
Quixote, who has become so absorbed in
the play that he can no longer distinguish
between puppet life and real life, draws his
sword and intervenes, hacking the bad
puppets to bits; then he delivers a rousing
-
-
-
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
address on the glories of knight -errantry in
the service of fair Dulcinea, and departs,
leaving Master Peter standing ruefully
among the debris of his troupe. Pretense or
reality, the knight has fulfilled his chivalric
vows. Falls s music for this is economical
in means and completely captivating in its
ingenuity. At least part of the charm comes
from the fact that his wit is never either harsh
or condescending, and in his blending of
fantasy with reality he never loses a sense
of character
or Master Peter's professional aplomb, of the Boy's serious recounting of the puppet plot, or of the mad
old knight's purity of ideals. The result is
both funny and touching
not unlike in
feel to Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. The
scoring makes unusual use of wind, percussion, and harpsichord sonorities to create a texture that is at once transparent and
flecked with color. Some of the nicest music
comes in the instrumental sections that accompany the puppet scenes, where there is
a blending of Spanish, archaic, and oriental
usages into a piquantly personal idiom.
Of the two new, competitive versions, my
preference is for the Westminster, but not
by a very wide margin. It has the additional
advantage of being all on one side, with the
reverse given over to a performance of El
Amor Brujo that, while it may not be the
richest symphonic or vocal presentation on
records is certainly competent, presumably
authentically Iberian, and very well reproduced. Both of the Maese Pedro performances
are well played, the Westminster conducted
with slightly more subtlety and slightly less
vigor than the SPA. Both the SPA tenor
and soprano have better voices, judged
purely as voices, than their opposite numbers, but the Westminster singers have better diction and a surer feeling for the music,
and the really eloquent bass voice of Chano
Gonzalo makes him much the better of the
two Don Quixotes. Both recordings are
excellently engineered
the Westminster
with more spaciousness and sense of actual
performance; the SPA closer -to, with a
higher volume level, and razor -sharp definition.
J. H., Jr.
-
-
-
-
FALLA
Interlude and Danza
Bréve
beniz.
FAURE
Pelléas et Melisande
See Dukas.
-
-
See Al-
Suite, Op. 8o
-
FAURE
Requiem
Les Chanteurs de Saint -Eustache and orchestra, Andre Cluytens, cond.
Martha
Angelici, soprano; Louis Noguera, baritone;
Maurice Duruflé, organ.
ANGEL 35019. I2 -in. 4o min. $4.95 or
$5.95.
In Angel's initial set of releases are two
French choral masterpieces, the Fauré
Requiem and the Schmitt Psalm 47.
Although Faures work has a good deal of
currency in American churches (it is relatively easy to perform), it is not always
accorded here the critical respect it receives
in France. One writer has attributed this
to the fact that "the nobility of [Fauré'sl
unadorned, self -dependent style is not discerned beneath the seductive exterior of
the music."
As Nadia Boulanger has
pointed out, in Fauré's Requiem "no dis-
57
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
quiet or agitation disturbs its profound
meditation, no doubt tarnishes its unassailable faith, its quiet confidence, its tender
and peaceful expectation." A final tribute
claims that it is difficult to find any music,
since the great composers of the Roman
Church and the chorales of Bach, as externally grave and simple, with such internal
interest us in the duller works by resorting
to splashy effects, neither does he cheapen
the more rewarding ones, leaving them in
the dignity of their own musical stature.
Paul Hume's comments are an attraction of
R. E.
the series.
stress and fire.
For a long time the only LP recording of
this work was Columbia's repressing of an
old 78 -rpm album, interpretatively moving
Psyché
-
FRANCK
ner.
Symphonic Poem
-
See Bruck-
GABRIELI
but mechanically poor. Now of a sudden
there are three more versions. Unfortunately, I have not heard either the new one
on Capitol, sung by the Roger Wagner
Chorale, or the older one on Oceanic, conducted by René Leibowitz. The Angel
version will be hard to improve on, but it
The recording-- medoes have flaws.
sounds as if it
chanically a brilliant one
had been made in a large church, for the
heavy echo suggests a vast, impressive nave.
So far, so good. But the echo plays some
havoc with the balance of sound in the instrumental ensemble, and the occasional
lack of clarity in a work so exquisitely orchestrated is disappointing. For some reason,
perhaps the arrangement of the microphones,
the choir escapes this clouding.
Some of Mr. Cluyten's tempos will seem
inordinately slow. Let the carpers hear the
performance out, for the severe lentos and
adagios make their point in a sustained
spirit of devotion. The result is an act of
worship rather than a concert performance.
It should be added that the singers and instrumentalists are first -rate, with Miss Angelici's pure -voiced Pie Jesu a notable conR. E.
tribution.
Two Canzonefor Double String Orchestra
The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Karl
Munchinger, cond.
FRANCAIX
Quintette a Vent
tNielsen: Kvintet, Opus 43
New Art Wind Quintet.
Fine, sensitive performances of works that
The
are certainly off the beaten path.
-
CLASSIC EDITIONS CE 2001.
I2 -in.
$5.95.
The Francaix is in the witty modern tradition of classicism with wrong notes, the
Nielsen in the academic tradition of classicism with most of the notes in the right
places. Both works are pleasant, but neither
is exceptionally impressive. The recording
A. F.
is adequate.
tTelemann: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in G Major
Heinz Kirchner, viola.
Willem Van Otterloo: from Epic comes
the best pair of Peer Gynts on disks.
The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra;
Munchinger, cond.
LONDON LS -686. to -in. $4.95-
Gabrieli works, besides demonstrating the
antiphonal effects that were used in the early
17th century, also fall gratefully on the ears.
The Telemann Concerto is a satisfying
composition by a man who enjoyed much
greater popularity in his own day than did
his contemporary, Bach. The soloist plays
with musical finesse and with a warm,
D. R.
round tone.
Fantasia in C;
Six Pièces, Op. 16 -21:
Grande pièce symphonique; Prélude,
Fugue, et Variation; Pastorale; Prière;
Final
Clarence Watters, organ.
CLASSIC CE 1014. Two 12 -in. 12, 27, 8, 9,
12, lo min. $11.90.
However one looks at it, Clarence Watters'
recording of the complete organ works of
César Franck is an impressive and valuable
achievement. The Six Pièces, in the second
album of the series to come my way, has
considerably more musical interest than the
Trois Pièces. The Prière has an absorbing
share of harmonic coloration and interplay
of voices; the large- scale, three- movement
Grand pièce symphonique has an especially
attractive middle section, and its Finale is
quite stunning in impact. The meticulousness of the recording is reflected in the
stylistic perfection of the registration, the
precision of the playing and the clarity of
the engineering. If Mr. Watters fails to
-
GRANADOS
Goyescas
FRANCK
Karl
Intermezzo
-
See Albeniz.
GLIERE
Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op.
See Dvorak.
GRIEG
Peer Gynt Suites Nos.
r
3
-
and 2
Hague Philharmonic Orchestra. Willem
Van Otterloo, cond. Erna Spoorenberg,
soprano.
EPIC LC 3007. 12 -in. 31 min. $5.95.
One of the very best of Epic's releases,
thanks to more uniformity in its sound,
throughout the cycles, and the well -managed,
sensitive reading by Van Otterloo. The
conductor's work is a model of phrasing,
careful shading and attention to detail that
brings the whole composition into full
flower, in a performance that is unmatched
on records today. Excellent orchestral work
by the Hague players, and for once we are
given the vocal portion of Solveig's song,
more generally assigned to the violin, which,
as sung by Erna Spoorenberg is the poig-
nant highlight of the recording. As with
all Epic issues, the liner notes are highly
J. F. I.
informative.
HANDEL
The Twelve Concerti Grossi, Op. 6
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Lehmann, cond.
DECCA DX 126. Four r2 -in. 13, 13, 17, 12,
19, 19, 17, 21, 17, 18, 19, 15 min. $23.40.
The only other complete edition is Columbia's pioneering set, old and rough, by the
Busch Chamber Players. It may be assumed
that London will issue Nos. 11 and 12 to
complete the first to already issued in Boyd
Ned performances. In addition, there are
a few disks devoted each to two or three of
the Concertos. Of these, Nos. 5 and 6,
played by Felix Weingartner on Columbia
ML 4676, reveal a natural poetry not found
in any other playing of any.
As an exposition of the concerto grosso
as such, the Lehmann records have an obvious advantage over all competitors. The
distribution of weight between concertino
and ripieno, between the group of soloists
and the full body of strings, is adjusted to
illustrate the interplay and opposition of
the two defining sections without a possibility of their being confounded. The repeats are taken, and the part of the harpsichord is exemplary in its discretion.
Without exception, the Concertos are
played more slowly than we customarily
hear those that we ever do hear. This
heightens stateliness and gives relief to the
quicker movements, but injects into many
sections a gravity that does not seem inherent. The Boyd Ned performances have
a much greater variety of tempo, and are
inclined to play fast where others do not,
often without audible advantage. Still this
speed, and the omission of repeats, has
enabled London to put the Ned versions in
consecutive pairs of to -inch records, a convenience impossible to both Decca and
Columbia, which have been compelled to
spread several concertos sectionally in
order to obviate waste of surface.
Sonically, Decca has more clarity and is
more incisive than the first six of the Neel
edition, but the four later Londons have an
appealing bloom which gives them first
consideration. In the three extensive series,
the spell evoked by Weingartner from his
pair is only intermittently recaptured.
Greatest satisfaction can be obtained from
an eclectic selection: 1, 2, 3, 4, I0, I I and
12 by Lehmann on Decca DL 9692-3; 5
and 6 by Weingartner on Columbia ML
4676; and 7, 8, 9 and to by Ned on London
LS 543 and 585. No. to is the single duplication.
Where the convenience of unity is not to
be disregarded, a preference for Decca is
C. G. B.
imposed.
HANDEL
The Royal Fireworks Music
1Schubert: Symphony No. 8, in B Minor,
"Unfinished"
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Fritz Lehmann, cond.
DECCA DL 9696. 12 -in. 26, 27 min. $5.85.
Although the London record of the Beinum
performance is not at hand for comparison,
the other versions of the Fireworks seem to
be in the Harty arrangement. The present
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
58
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RECORDS
disk does not designate who made the reduction from Handel's original congeries
of wind instruments to the proportions of
the conventional contemporary orchestra.
But the work is complete, with the Overture
for the first time on LP in its entirety, scored
along the Harty lines and cleverly interpreted in a recording adequate for the dance
movements but too light for the grand
pomposo of the Overture.
Apparently the "Unfinished" cannot be
injured by any honest treatment.
The
Leinsdorf record, admired here recently for
its agony of conflict, holds the fastest performance on disks, and Prof. Lehmann's
presents the slowest. One should be bad if
the other is good, but the plasticity of Schubert's song permits the difference without
demerit to either. It is as a long, despairing
song that Prof. Lehmann offers it, with
resignation in place of resentment at its
hopelessness. It is very beautiful in a rather
distant recording chary of detail and dramatics, appropriate to surrender and heartbreak. That the writer prefers the Leinsdorf
way is not relevant: music-lovers who can
afford both will not fail to learn much about
conducting, and more about Schubert, in
indulging an extravagance.
C. G. B.
HAYDN
Symphony No. 92, in G, "Oxford"
tMozart: Symphony No. 40, in G Minor,
KV
550
London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips,
cond.
LONDON LL 780. 12 -in. 25, 25 min. $5.95.
Both are afflicted by a beautifully contrived
lyricism extolling line and balance in deprecation of dramatic accent. The vertical
realization is exceptional in a lovely and
molded clarity which cannot compensate
for a lax lateral progression. In the Haydn
the ejaculatory middle section of the slow
movement is here no more than a placid
continuation of an established tranquillity,
and the imperious fever of the G Minor has
been soothed by an expert but unwanted
therapy.
Nevertheless, both minuets with
their wonderful trios are superbly expressed,
and reproduction throughout is superior,
particularly in the exploitation of counterC. G. B.
point.
-
HONEGGER
Concertino for Piano and Orchestra
See Ravel.
HONEGGER
Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin
Ravel.
See
The fact that The Merry Widow is supposed
to take place in Paris has always (well for a
long time) struck me as hilariously cockeyed.
All the business about Pontevedrinian ambassadors to France, restaurants called Maxim's, and characters called Saint - Brioche is
just part of the shrubbery in operetta fairyland. As soon as the music starts, Vienna
becomes Vienna.
In this recording The
Merry Widow is home at last, and keeping
the most delightful company. It would
be a dismal day when Vienna were to be
given a monopoly on performances to the
operettas of Franz Lehar, Strauss, J., et al.;
but in buying records there is no reason for
taking second -best when the best can be
had.
The Angel performance, virtually
complete, including spoken lines, is all that
could be dreamed. Who could hope for
Vilja to be sung by a voice more beautiful
than that of Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, to
choose but one example? It may have
happened, but I don't believe it
and at
this point would refuse to believe it even if
confronted with the evidence. And style.
The music isn't played or sung, really. It
just happens, bubbling up and flowing
along in a sparkling stream. If you won't
take that for a review, oh all right. No
operetta recording known to man (this one)
comes close to matching the Angel Lustige
Witwe except the superlative London
Fledermaus.
Emmy Loose is wonderful.
Nicolai Gedda is wonderful. Erich Kunz is
wonderful. Otto Ackerman is wonderful.
Everybody is wonderful. The engineering
is in 4 time and is wonderful too; Danilti s
snoring is the most wonderful high -fidelity
snoring on records. The whole wide world
is a wonderful place.
Happy New Year!
J. H., Jr.
-
KODALY
Serenade in F Major,
Dvorak.
LEONCAVALLO
Pagliacci (excerpts)
-
D'INDY
-
to Act
I
-
Symphonic Variations
Istar
Dukas.
-
-
See
See Wirén.
LEHAR
Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow)
Elisabeth Schwartzkopf (s), Hanna; Emmy
Loose (s), Valencienne; Nicolai Gedda (t),
Camille; Erich Kunz (b), Danilo; Otakar
Kraus (b), Cascada; Anton Niessner (b),
Mirko; Josef Schmidinger (bs), Saint Brioche. Philharmonia Orchestra and chorus; Otto Ackerman, cond.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
12
-
See
See Mascagni.
Edith Farnadi, piano.
9, to, 6 min.
See Dukas.
Op.
LISZT
Hungarian Rhapsodies, Vol. 2; Nos. 9, in
E Flat (Carneval de Pestb); No. so, in
E (Preludio); No. is, in A Minor; No.
12, in CSharp Minor; No. r3, in A Minor;
No, 14, in F Minor; No, 15, in A Minor
(Rakoczy March).
WESTMINSTER WL 5231_
D'INDY
Fervaal Prelude
LARSSON
Pastoral Suite
-
-
Two 12 -in. $11.90 (sealed),
$9.90 (thrift pack).*
( *Angel thrift pack includes records only,
unboxed, no notes, no libretto.)
ANGEL 3501 B.
12 -in.
IO, 6, 5, 7,
$5.95.
LISZT
Mephisto Waltz No. r; Liebestraum No. 3;
Gnomenreigen; Hungarian Rhapsody No
r2; Valse Oubliée No. i; Les Jeux d'eau
el la Villa d'Este; Valse- Impromptu;
La Prédication
Hungarian Rhapsody
St. Francois d'Assise:
aux Oiseaux;
No. 6.
Alexander Brailowsky, piano.
RCA VICTOR LM 1772. 12 -in, 11, 4, 3, Io,
3, 7, 6, 8, 7 mins. $5.72.
LISZT
Mephisto Waltz No. r; Funérailles
tMendelssohn: Prelude and Fugue in E
Minor, Op. 35, No. r; Auf Flügeln des
Gesanges (arr. Ltstz); Rondo Capriccioso
in E, Op. 14; Scherzo in E Minor, Op. r6,
No. a.
Julius Katchen, piano.
LONDON LL 824.
6 min. $5.95
12 -in.
10, 11, 8, 4, 2,
LISZT
Sonetto del Petrarca No. ra3; Au Lac de
Wallenstadt; Valse Oubliée No. r; Nos.
4 and 7 of Soirées de Vienne.
Andor Foldes, piano.
DECCA DL4071. to -in. 6, 2, 3, 5,5 min. $2.50.
The latest batch of records wholly or partially concerned with Liszt's piano music is
distinguished by Miss Farnadi's recording of
seven Hungarian rhapsodies. The pianist,
Hungarian herself, is temperamentally ideally
suited to the music at hand, and her technique is big enough to allow her free rein.
She does not hammer in the bravura passages, which are set off with much delicate
passage -work; the constant little rubatos and
wayward rhythms do not get out of hand
but lend a quicksilver quality to the playing.
The rhapsodies, themselves, deserve such
elegant treatment, for they are full of bold
harmonies, fascinating imitation -cembalom
effects, and unhackneyed ideas. Miss Farnadi's beautiful cone could not have been
more auspiciously recorded.
This is, in
fact, one of the outstanding piano disks I
have heard, and there is no reason to believe that Vol. I of the rhapsodies is not
as good.
Mr. Brailowsky's contribution, generous
in playing time, offers many items well
played, but a better performance of each
work (except the Valse- impromptu, which
I have not heard before on records) is available elsewhere. An experienced artist in
the Liszt repertoire, the pianist no longer
has the agility to storm through it, although
the grand manner itself is occasionally evident.
His tone has grown unrelievedly
steely, and is, unfortunately, reproduced
with the utmost fidelity in one of Victor's
most brilliant engineering jobs. A disk for
Mr. Brailowsky's admirers only.
Young Mr. Katchen turns in mature professional jobs on the Mephisto Waltz and the
Funfrailles, technically secure and emotionally wide -ranging. Liszt's tempestuous
moods are neatly supplemented on the
other side of the disk by some sensible,
light- hearted Mendelssohn, discriminatingly played. On Wings of Song has the intimacy and resilience of a sung version, and
the Scherzo is notable for the rapid, clean
finger work.
The recording has a first rate, generally mellow sound.
Except for the Valse Oubliée, Mr. Folds'
Liszt selection is off the beaten track, and
the entire group avoids Lisztian bombast
and fustian. Hand in hand with the pianist's
intelligent, thoughtful playing goes a solid,
if rather unblandishing, piano tone. Adequately engineered, the record is in its
modest way quite pleasant.
R. E.
LISZT
Les Preludes
-
See Scriabin.
LISZT
A Symphony to
Dane's "Divine Comedy"
(two versions)
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and
women's chorus; Alfred Wallenstein, cond.
DECCA DL 9670. 12 -in. $5.85.
Vienna Philharmonia Orchestra and Vienna
59
RECORDS
State Opera Chorus; F. Charles Adler, cond.
SPA 44. r2 -in. $5.95
In 1855, Franz Liszt completed his Dante
really a two -movement symphonic poem dealing musically with the
"Hell" and "Purgatory" sections of Danté s
"Divine Comedy." To at least one listener,
the result is a noisy, bombastic first movement and a dragging, uninteresting second,
with a final Magnificat for women's voices
tacked on the end. Others may find more
rewarding material in this long work, especially in Wallenstein's penetrating reading.
It was Liszt's intention that the final chorus
be sung by boys, and the unnamed women's
chorus who sings it on the brightly recorded
Decca disk manages to maintain a certain
purity of tone quality not unlike that produced by boy choristers. The SPA recording is also good, though Wallenstein seems
to put a little more drama into the music
P. A.
than does Adler.
Symphony,
MASCAGNI
Cavalleria Rusticana (excerpts)
Prelude and Siciliana; Regina Coeli; Voi to
sapete; Intermezzo; Viva it vino; Addio alla
madre.
Giulietta Simionata (ms), Santuzza; Lillian
Pellegrino (ms), Mamma Lucia; Achille
Braschi (t), Turiddu. Orchestra and chorus
of Radio Italiana, Turin; Arturo Basile, cond.
tLeoncavallo:
Pagliacci (excerpts)
Prologue. Act I: Stridono lasso; Decidi it mio
Act II: from No!
destin; Vesti la giubba.
Pagliaccio non son to end.
Carla Gavazzi (s), Nedda; Carlo Bergonzi
(t), Canio; Salvatore di Tommaso (t),
Peppe; Carlo Tagliabue (b), Tonio; Marcello
Rossi (b), Silvio. Orchestra and chorus of
Radio Italiana (no city given); Alfredo
Simonetto, cond.
CETRA A 50144. 12 -in. $5.95.
This record is another link in the chain of
evidence that Capitol has little idea of how
to use its new title to the rich treasury of
Cetra operas. The points are three. One:
There is small value in dishing up highlights
from versions such as these two, which
derive any continuing market value they
may have from the over -all idiomatic quality
of the performances and not from occasional
brilliances. Second: The excerpting itself
has been capriciously and carelessly done;
note, as an example, the wrenchingly anti musical failure to end the prelude to Cavalleria Rusticana which just stops after the last
breach of taste
note of the Siciliana
egregious even in these days of everyman a -tape-editor. Third: If such a disk is to be
released anyway, the jacket notes and labels
should be at least minimally correct and informative. Examples: You have to deduce
for yourself which role is taken by which
listed singer; no singers at all are listed
for such roles as Mamma Lucia and Peppe,
although they sing on schedule; and
Fernanda Cadoni, who in the full -length
Cavalkria sings Lola, is credited with
Voi lo sapete, while Giulietta Simionato, who
is actually the Santuzza, does not get listed
at all, on either jacket or label. It takes far
too much space to go on setting such matters right in a magazine whose purpose is to
evaluate records, not to correct the blunders
of their vendors; let the buyer beware of
Cetra highlights. One thing is sure: if I
were Mr. Capitol and had laid out a million
-a
6o
bucks for American' rights to the Cetra
catalog, I would see to it that someone
competent was assigned to cope with the
apparendy overwhelming problem of copying down casts correctly
let alone the
problem of making sensible use of the
J. H., Jr.
catalog itself.
-
MASSENET
Werther
Suzanne Juyol (s), Charlotte; Agnes Leger
(s), Sophie; Charles Richard (t), Werther;
Camille Roquetty (t), Schmidt; Roger
Bourdin (b), Albert; Michel Roux (b), The
Bailiff; Marcel Depraz (bs), Johann. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra- Comique,
Paris; George Sebastian, cond.
URANIA URLP 233. Three 12 -in. $17.85.
The metabolic processes of operatic repertoire are strange and mysterious. No one
has ever been able to explain satisfactorily
why some works are apparently inexhaustible successes while others of at least equal
intrinsic merit go begging. Jules Massenet,
for instance, ranks well up on any list of
nineteenth- century opera composers, yet of
his twenty -odd productions only Manon
survives in health. Otherwise the man who
was important enough to draw the malicious
epithet ' Mam'zelle Wagner" is pretty much
a dead issue, in spite of the fact that many
who know the scores consider Manors not
his most impressive work.
Such, however, are the vagaries of this LP
works
age that Thais and, now, Werther
of any sure status only in France can be
heard on records. The fact is that Werther
is quite a good opera, but one that, like all
operas outside the magic circle of box -office
infallibility, needs a good performance.
The keys here are style and sentiment style
that is French and sentiment that is honest.
In the new Urania recording Wernher gets
both in sufficient, if not overflowing,
measure.
Part of the fallibility of Werther is that
not much happens. The story, fashioned
out of Goethe's The Sorrows of Werther, is
perhaps a prime example of romantic literary celebration of the man of feeling.
Briefly, a nice bailiff's daughter named
Charlotte spends her time cutting bread
and butter for her multitudinous and
motherless brothers and sisters. She is engaged to one Albert, who brings his poet
friend Werther around to call. Werther and
Charlotte fall in love with each other, but
Charlotte feels duty-bound to marry Albert.
She does. Werther still loves her; she still
loves him. Werther borrows Albert's pistols, writes a farewell note, goes home and
shoots himself. And, as Thackeray summed
up the situation in his satire on Goethe's
book:
Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well- conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.
Not ideal material for a libretto, you might
think; yet half a dozen composers had already worked it over before Massenet's opera
had its premiere in 1892. Not much action.
No scenes of violence. But in the scenes of
family life, the quiet despair of the two
lovers who must not love, the staunch manliness of Albert, and the human warmth of
the Bailiff there are opportunitiés for music.
And Massenet composed it without, to
--
-
my mind, overstepping the boundary between sentiment and saccharinity. Well
performed, IVerther is a modest, touching
opera.
Charlotte is not one of the most rewarding of soprano (or, as it is frequently cast,
mezzo-soprano) roles. The tenor has most
of the best music to sing, and she, poor
girl, is left with her unfailing domesticity.
whose main beat in Paris
Suzanne Juyol
makes the most of her big
is Wagnerian
moments, and she is consistent in charac-
--
terization and appealing elsewhere. Charles
Richard, without having a voice of exceptional beauty, sings tastefully and with high
intelligence throughout. Roger Bourdin,
beginning to sound past his prime, is distinguished stylistically as Albert, and Michel
Roux is only less good as the Bailiff. The
except
less extensive roles are well taken
Sophie, in which Agnes Leger exhibits one
of those acid, fox -terrier -shrill voices peculiar to Paris. George Sebastian conducts
a reasonably paced, well coordinated performance. The whole may not be the
best Werther ever, but it is idiomatic and
very reputable.
J. H., Jr.
-
MENDELSSOHN
Prelude and Fugue in E Minor; Auj
Flügeln des Gesanges Rondo Capriccioso in E, Scherzo in E Minor-See
Liszt.
MENDELSSOHN
No. r
Quartet in E Flat Major, Op.
Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. t
Curtis String Quartet.
r;
WESTMINSTER WL 5220.
12 -in.
$5.95.
--
Here are two of the brightest, most melodic
the E
quartets in the entire literature
and both
flat is famous for its Canzonetta
are performed on this superbly recorded
disk with warmth and freshness. Performance -wise, this is the best of the Curtis
P. A.
foursome's new series.
MILHAUD
Piano Concerto No. t
-
See Ravel.
MOZART
Soprano Arias
Batti, batti; Vedrai carino:
Don Giovanni:
Non mi dir. Idomeneo: Zeffiretti lusinghieri.
Le Nozze di Figaro: Non so pia; Voi the sapete; Deh vieni, non tardar; Dove sono; Porgi
amor.
Elisabeth Schwartzkopf (s). Philharmonia
Orchestra; John Pritchard, cond.
35021.
$4.95 (thrift).*
ANGEL
12 -in.
$5.95
(sealed),
('Angel thrift pack includes record only,
unboxed, no notes, no text.)
This is a recording whose very real distinction should not fade. The materials, aside
from the melting Idomeneo aria, are all
familiar, and all are otherwise available on
records in performances that range from fair
to excellent. But what Elisabeth Schwartz kopf achieves in the way of sustained lovely
singing is almost incredible. The voice
itself is beautiful, with a beauty quite enNeither
describable in Italianate terms.
"lyric" nor "dramatic," it is of moderate
size but absolutely clear focus infinitely
varied in color and intensity, but always
transparent; not notably warm, but capable
of passion; produced with the control and
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
ease of a fine instrumentalist. This Miss
Schwartzkopf places without reservation or
affectation at the service of music and
character, never failing in intelligence or
aristocratic taste. It may be theoretically
impossible for one singer to convince the
listener consecutively as Zerlina, Donna
Anna (not to mention Donna Elvira, which
is Miss Schwartzkopfs opera -house role in
Don Giovanni), Cherubino, the Countess Almaviva, and Susanna; but to hear is to believe.
The Philharmonia players sustain
their fine reputation, and John Pritchard
lives up to grapevine reports that he is one
of the most musical of young British conductors.
The sound, medium close and
naturally balanced, is excellent; the surfaces
are superlative.
J. H., Jr.
MOZART
Symphony No. 34, in C, KV 338
Symphony No. 3$, in D, "Prague," KV 504
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Kubelik, cond.
MERCURY 50015. 12 -in. 19, 24 min. $5.95
Mr. Kubelik disappoints in this pair of
minuteless symphonies riotous in their
finales. No fault with his conduct of those
finales, but the preceding movements imply
more point, contrast and decision than
they are allocated. It is curious to note how
inadequate his obviously careful phrasing
seems; probably he was wary of romanticizing the music. The sound has the detailed
thoroughness we expect from the Mercury
"Olympians," especially in the "Prague,"
and the tuttis are good in both, with rather
harsh violins in No. 34.
C. G. B.
MOZART
Symphony No. 40, in G Minor,
See Haydn.
NIELSEN
Kvintet, Op. 43
-
K
550
-
See Francaix.
OFFENBACH
Orpheus in the Underworld (excerpts)
Claudine Collart (s), Eurydice; Claude Devos
(t), Orpheus; Michel Roux (b), Jupiter;
and others. Lamoureux Orchestra and Raymond Saint-Paul Chorus; Jules Gressier,
cond.
Vox (PATHE)
PL
21.200. I2 -in. 41.45 mins.
$5.95.
Those who feel better for having some
Offenbach bouncing around the house, yet
are not sufficiently dedicated to covet full length versions of this operetta, have a
choice of abbreviated Orphie aux Enfer versions between this new Vox -Pathé issue
conducted by Jules Gressier and the Renaissance coupling that offers excerpts from
Orphie on one side and from La Belle Mine
on the other, both conducted briskly by
René Leibowitz. It comes down to this:
There is more Orphie on Vox, more Offenbach all told on Renaissance. There is little
to choose between the performances of
Orphée. You get the same Eurydice, and a
very volatile one, in either case.
Mr.
Leibowitz takes a slightly more breakneck
pace than does Mr. Gressier; both get good
results, ensemble honors to Mr. Gressier.
Sound: good from both. Renaissance has
clarity and edge; Vox the same, with fuller
tonal values. Renaissance is banded and
annotated by number; Vox is uninterrupted.
No libretto with either; synopses with both.
A standoff. Both are delightful. J. H., Jr.
Tosca by Angel: Best operatic recording?
There are seven complete LP versions of
Puccini's Tosca, and at least five of them
have some substantial merits. Yet whatever the pro's and con's may be concerning the other six, the new Angel issue
ranks at the very top of the list.
The assessment of a recorded opera is
such a complex and subjective business
that it would be rash to state categorically
that this is the best job anyone has yet
done of capturing a performance on
disks; nonetheless, it may very well be
just that. To be perfectly frank, this
Tosca seemed so superlatively good on
first hearing that the only prudent course
was to set the records aside for a few
days, then go back and make a systematic
comparative study of the best of the other
versions before attempting to write a
review. After three complete hearings
and side -by -side, groove -by- groove comparisons it seems even more exciting
than it did at first.
Ultimately, the defining excellence can
be traced to Victor de Sabata, whose
reputation as an opera conductor is
fabulous but who has not done opera in
this country nor made previous opera recordings. It is true that the performing
elements he had to work with here are
magnificent, but his is the master hand
that shapes all into a white -hot theatrical
experience. You can hear good Cavaradossis on records, and good Toscas, but
no performance conducted even remotely
as well as this one.
Toua is no conductor's picnic, but
most solve the difficulties by keeping
the sonorities broad, the tempos moving
along, and the singers within reasonable
limits of expressive freedom, relying on
Puccini's flair for the dramatic to carry
the day. Not Mr. De Sabata. He gives
the score attention as close as that he
would give Falstaff. In all its performances, how seldom can Tosca have been
ordered with such meticulous precision
in sonorous balances, such attention to
the smallest melodic nuances, such clear
over -all realization of rhythmic structure,
and yet with such fire and vitality. Not
one thirty -second note is taken for
granted. Nothing is left to chance. Yet
it is not the kind of symphonic performance that overrides or straitjackets the
singers, for all is planned with regard
for the total effect, and all the firmness of
control has its end in dramatic utterance.
Some performances are called revelatory.
This one really is.
With Maria Callas' Lucia coloratura
still ringing in the mind's ear it was
difficult to imagine her a Tosca, but the
difficulty of imagining turned out to
have nothing to do with the facts. She
is magnificent. Her Tosca is of the dark,
smoldering, tempestuous kind
like
Maria Caniglia's or Renata Tebaldi's,
only surer of voice than the one and more
passionately communicative than the
other. Not always is her tone clear;
even the affectionate banter with Mario
in the first act seems boding because of
the peculiar smoky quality her middle
voice sometimes takes on when used at
less than full power. But she always convinces, always communicates. No one
woman has a right to be so gifted.
Giuseppe di Stefano's voice may not
be as plush as Gigli's once was, but it is
nonetheless very beautiful, and his Cavaradossi under Mr. De Sabata is electrifyingly better than any he has sung here.
Never has there been doubt of his potentialities, but how wonderful it is to hear
such fine material canalized
and at the
same time liberated
by a firm musical
discipline. And as for Tito Gobbi, no
-
- -
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
"Ultimately, the defining excellence
can be traced to Victor de Sabata."
longer is it possible to complain of the
quality of recorded Scarpias. His is big voiced and commanding, a brutal Scarpia
rather than an insinuating one, but
capable of suavity when the need arises;
sadistic but a nobleman. All of the minor
singers are good, especially in diction,
although some would prefer a darker
voice than Melchiorre Luisé s for the
Sacristan, and the Scala orchestra responds unfailingly to Mr. De Sabata's
beat. The recorded sound is very, very
good
close but not too close for comfort, cleanly defined yet spacious in
climaxes, and with something very close
to real opera -house perspective. The
whole effect is pretty tremendous. J.H., Jr.
-
Maria Callas (s), Tosca; Alvaro Cordova
(boy alto), Shepherd; Giuseppe di Stefano
(t), Cavaradossi; Angelo Mercuriali (t),
Spoletta; Tito Gobbi (b), Scarpia; Franco
Calabrese (bs), Angelotti; Melchiorre
Luise (buffo), Sacristan; Dario Caselli
(bi), Sciarrone and Jailer. Orchestra
and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala, Milan;
Victor de Sabata, cond.
ANGEL 3508 B.
Two 12 -in. $11.90
(sealed), $9.90 (thrift pack)*.
*(Angel thrift pack includes records only,
unboxed, no notes, no libretto.)
61
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
PEPUSCH
Sonata ix F
-
See Telemann.
PISTON
The Incredible Flutist
-
See Copland.
PUCCINI
La Bohème (excerpts)
Act I: Che gelida manina; Si, mi chiamano
Mimi; 0 soave fanciulla. Act II: Quando
m'en vo. Act III: D'onde lieta usci; Addio,
dolce svegliare. Act IV: 0, Mimi tu piu;
Vecchia zimarra; Sono andati?; finale.
Rosanna Carteri (s), Mimi; Elvira Ramella
(s), Musetta; Ferruccio Tagliavini (t),
Rodolfo; Giuseppe Taddei (b), Marcello;
Pier Luigi Latinucci (b), Schaunard; Cesare
Siepi (bs), Colline. Orchestra of Radio Italiana, Turin; Gabriele Santini, cond.
CETRA A 5043. 12 -in. $5.95
This by odds one of the most worthwhile of
the spate of operatic highlights on single
disks now being released by Cetra. The
complete Cetra La Bohème never got its due
share of attention, to my way of thinking
partly because of justifiable enthusiasm
for Renata Tebaldï s Mimi for London,
partly because of the less justifiable idea
that since Toscanini is Toscanini bis recording must therefore be better. Nevertheless, Rosanna Carteri is an absolutely
first -class Mimi herself, and the Cetra performance has in its favor good singing and
honest theatricality. Rodolfo is one of
Ferruccio Tagliavini's very best roles (especially in the last act), and he is on his
artistic P's and Q's most of the time here,
and Marcellos and Collines don't come
much better than Giuseppe Taddei (admitted: he is no spring chicken) and Cesare Siepi.
What I had forgotten was the spirit of Elvira Ramella's Musetta and the good conducting of Gabriele Santini (libelled "Gabriella," in Capitol's charmingly addled
way, on the jacket, I hope he sues). Highly
J. H., Jr.
recommended.
-
-
PURCELL
Songs and Instrumental Works
-
See Blow
PURCELL
Trio Sonatas Nos. r, 2 4, 7, 8, 9
Giorgio Ciompi and Werner Torkanowsky,
violins; George Koutzen, cello; Herman
Chessid, harpsichord.
PERIOD SPL 572. 24, 22 min. $5.95.
This is designated Vol. 2 of 1o. Vol. 1
was not received, but, despite the implied
slight, there can be no reaction but delight
over this. Until now, only a miserably
inept French version of the Trio Sonatas
of Purcell has been available to LP collectors. They are graceful but virile writings,
encompassing vivid feeling with a wonderful economy of means. Since they are unfamiliar to most record- listeners, it may not
be amiss to suggest that they probably will
appeal to anyone who likes the instrumental
music of Vivaldi or the poetry of Donne.
Luckily they are international in format.
Purcell in writing them borrowed heavily
from contemporary Franco -Italian techniques, which he then overrode with his
own irrepressible eloquence. The group
which plays them here comprises an Israeli, an Italian and two Americans. Still,
the performance is easily equal to the last
good effort on 78 rpm disks, that which appeared in the Columbia English Music
Series, Vol. r., by all- British performers.
The recording is very good. No one will
be unhappy with this.
J. M. C.
RACHMANINOFF
Sonata for 'Cello and Piano in G Minor,
op. 19
Joseph Schuster, 'cello; Leonard Pennario,
piano.
CAPITOL P 8248.
-
RAVEL
Bolera; La Valse; Alborado del Gracioso;
Pavane for a Dead Princess
Orchestre Radio -Symphonique de Paris.
Reni Liebowitz, cond.
Vox
PL
8150.
Ferras: a virile performance
of a very memorable Honegger sonata.
62
12 -in.
59.26 min.
LONDON
LL
795.
$5.95
12 -in.
Both of these enchanting works were originally written for piano, and both were later
given imaginative orchestral dress by the
composer. There is a certain archaic classicism in the light, charming suite, Le Tombeau de Couperin (The Tomb of Couperin),
and a most effective blend of etherealism
and rhythmic verve in the Valses Nobles et
Sentimentales. The latter, a string of seven
waltzes and an Epilogue, may be considered
as a direct ancestor of the somewhat more
dramatic choreographic poem, La Valse,
which Ravel composed several years later.
(George Balanchine has run them together
for his ballet, La Valse.) Ansermet has a
way with this kind of music, and aside from
a rather conservative tempo in the Rigaudon
of Le Tombeau de Couperin, turns in a performance of shimmering beauty, realistically revealed in London's crystal -clear recording.
P. A.
L'Heure Espagnole
RAMEAU
Gavotte; Le rappel des oiseaux; Les sauvages; Les niais de sologne
See Scar-
latti.
Ansermet, cond.
RAVEL
$5.70.
The late Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote some
gloriously rich music which has found a
wide audience in recent decades.
This
sonata, however, probably never will. It
does boast a certain warm melodic line,
particularly in the second movement, but
the listener's interest is not sustained
throughout the four movements of this
relatively long composition. Schuster and
Pennario do their best to bring the music
to life, but their efforts are in vain. The
recorded sound is highly satisfactory, if not
quite as startlingly realistic as some I have
heard from Capitol.
P. A.
$5.95.
Liebowitz, who has dallied with such diverse
composers as Offenbach and Webern, settles
down for an hour, less 34 seconds, with
Ravel, with results that are less than sensational. It is something of an achievement to
make the Bolero unexciting, but this he
does by adopting an incredibly slow pace,
slower even than the one used by Ravel
himself, in his recording with the Lamoureux
Orchestra some 20 -odd years ago. The remaining works are all subject to certain
personal whimsicalities, resulting in oddly
angular and rough performances.
Whatever the deficiencies musically,
soundwise the recording is nothing short of
sensational
and is easily the finest disk,
on this count, to come from Vox. The impact of the percussion is almost terrifying
in its reality, and is matched by the penetrating brasses and the cool woodwinds, all
adding up to an overall sound of imposing
depth and substance.
J. F. I.
...
Christian
12 -in.
RAVEL
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Ernest
Denise Duval (s), Concepcion; Jean Giraudeau (t), Gonzalve; Rend Herent (t), Jean
Vieuille (b), Ramiro; Charles Clavensy
(bs), Don Inigo Gomez. Orchestra of the
Paris Opéra- Comique; André Cluytens, cond.
ANGEL 35018.
12 -in.
$5.95 ($4.95 thrift
pack).
There must be a limit somewhere to the
number of competitive LP versions of
L'Heure Espagnole. It is a lovely opera, a
charming opera, a delightful opera, but the
reviewer's nightmare in which there is a
new issue of it in every mailbag is just before becoming too real to be funny. And to
think that last spring there was reason to
fret because the spicy little opus was being
neglected!
Now there are three
in chronometric
order, so to speak, Vox, London, and now
Angel. At least (or, depending on the point
of view, at worst) all are good. The London
has the advantage of extremely clean deliniation of Ernest Ansermet's unsurpassable orchestral performance, the disadvantage of
Suzanne Danco's somewhat too ladylike
Concepcion. The Vox Concepcion, Janine
Linda, is better, the rest of the cast at least
as good, the orchestral performance quite
brilliant in its own right but not quite so
sharply reproduced.
Now for the latest entry in the Catalan
Clock Sweepstakes. André Cluytens' reading of the score is just about on a par with
Rene Leibowitz' for Vox, and the orchestral
playing is not perceptibly either better or
less good. Neither accomplishes the tour
de force of Mr. Ansermet; neither has the
Suisse Romande players to conduct, either.
The Angel cast is, all told, better than either
of the others, and Denise Duval is a really
delightful Concepcion
bright, tidy about
her singing, and with a lot of what I take for
Gallic zip. Add to that the opinion that
Jean Vieuille is better than the other Ramiros,
and that Charles Clavensy and Jean Giraudeau
and Rene Herent are also good, it comes out
that Angel version makes better theatre
sense than the other two, that the London is
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
superior instrumentally (a very important
point in this opera), and that the Vox is
very good as well, without topping one on
the one hand or the other on the other.
All three are well engineered, pretty much
the same way. Pretty damn close to a three way tie. I don't have to choose, so why
stick my neck out? The Angel has a new,
and better, libretto translation; the Vox has
no libretto at all; you can get the Angel
Does any of that help?
factory- sealed.
J. H., Jr.
RAVEL
Piano Concerto in D Major, for the Left
Hand
Piano Concerto in G Major
Jacqueline Blancard, piano. Orchestre de
la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet, cond.
LONDON LI. 797.
12 -in.
20, 22 min. $5.95.
This record seems to supercede in the London catalogue a previous coupling of the
two concertos, that for the left hand played
by the above artists, and that in G played by
Nicole Henriot under the direction of
Charles Munch. The Ravel concertos are
well served on disks by such eminent French
pianists as Robert Casadesus, Monique Haas,
and, in a new, as yet unheard Angel recording, Marguerite Long. Miss Blancard belongs in this august company as a performer,
and since she has the collaboration of the
best Ravel conductor now functioning, this
recording is strongly recommended. London has also serviced Mr. Ansermet and his
colleagues with the same kind of perfection
it has on other releases. However, for those
who might conceivably want the Concerto
in G and not that in D (an inferior work in
spite of the diabolical cleverness of the
writing for the soloist), the Concerto in G
is more interestingly coupled by Miss Haas
with the Stravinsky Capriccio and by Miss
R. E.
Long with the Fauré Ballade.
RAVEL
Tzigane
fChausson: Poème
t Honegger: Sonata for Unaccompanied
Violin
Christian Ferras, violin. Orchestre National
de Belgique; George Sebastian, cond.
LONDON LI. 762. 12 -in. 8, 15, to mins. $5.95.
M. Ferras is an excellent violinist and does
very well by the two standard -repertoire
pieces on this record. He does equally well
by the Honegger, which may very well be
the best sonata for unaccompanied violin
composed since the death of Bach. It is
very much in the Bach tradition, and is
most impressive for its rhythmic strength
and its contrapuntal toughness. It is also
very much the best of the several works of
Honegger in the current record releases.
The reproduction is up to London's admirable
A. F.
current standard.
RAVEL
Tzigane
fChausson: Poème
Elizabeth Lockhart, violin. London Symphony Orchestra; Anatole Fistoulari, cond.
8, 15 min.
f Honegger:
Concertino for Piano
Orchestra
Milhaud: Piano Concerto
No. r
and
Fabienne Jacquinot, piano. Philharmonia
8,
Orchestra; Anatole Fistoulari, cond.
14 min.
MGM E 3041. 12 -in. $4.85.
Miss Lockhart is a rather erratic violinist,
and MGM's recording engineers have not
flattered her. If anyone needs an LP of the
Ravel Tzigane or the Chausson Poème, the
Ferras recording (London) is preferable.
Mlle. Jacquinot, however, is an excellent
pianist and her work is reasonably well reflected on this disk. The Honegger is a
very early piece dating from the days of arch
simplicity and jazz finales. The Milhaud is a
witty, vital, and intensely concentrated
affair. In view of the record label, one is
justified in observing that, in a small way,
it's colossal. Listen before buying. A. F.
Julius Katchen: he and the engineers
negotiate a tightrope for Ned Rorem.
tRameau: Gavotte; Le rappel des oiseaux;
Les sauvages Les niais de sologne
REGER
Variations and Fugue on a Merry Theme
by Jam A. Hiller, Op. zoo
Robert Casadesus, piano.
Vienna Philharmonia Orchestra; F. Charles
Adler, cond.
SPA 51. 12 -in. $5.95.
Keyboard works of the Baroque period
unarguably sound best when played on the
harpsichord, but in the proper hands they
can give almost as much pleasure as piano
pieces. With his icily precise technique,
crystalline tone, and cultivated style, Mr.
Casadesus unfolds these worthy Scarlatti and
Rameau pieces with formal grace and glitter.
People who actually prefer these aurally
ravishing performances to more authentic
versions, but are disturbed by intellectual
doubts, can take comfort in the fact that
Ralph Vaughan Williams has expressed
enormous scorn of the unpleasantly noisy
harpsichord. Note that Longo No. 465 is
inaccurately listed on the recording and
jacket as 463.
R. E.
Considering his voluminous output, Max
Reger has been poorly represented on records. This is not altogether to the discredit of the manufacturers, however, since
much of his music is ponderous and involved. His orchestral variations are, however, interesting listening, because of their
harmonic inventiveness, and this particular
set, recorded for the first time anywhere, is
probably worth investigating. Adler and
the orchestra do a workmanlike job, and
P. A.
the reproduction is first -rate.
ROREM
Sonata No 2
f ßartok: Eight Pieces from Mikrokosmos
Julius Katchen, piano.
LONDON LL 759. 12 -in. t6, t6 mins. $5.95
Of all the records assigned to this reviewer
for the present issue of HIGH FIDELITY,
this is the one that calls forth the highest
degree of enthusiasm. Ned Rorem is a
young American composer strongly influenced by Poulenc and Satie. His sonata
is in a subtle, deceptively simple idiom
which cannot brook the slightest flaw in
taste on the part of the interpreter or the
slightest fault in the recording. Both Katchen and London's engineers negotiate the
tight-rope magnificently, and they have done
equally well by the excerpts from Mikrosmos. The Bartok selections are all from the
sixth volume of that huge compendium of
piano pieces, including the Free Variations,
the study in minor seconds and major
sevenths, the Ostinato, the March, and four
of the Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm. All
these rank among Bartok's finest short
works for the piano, but the study in
seconds and sevenths is especially important,
and Katchen's recording of its colorful
A. F.
pianistic resonances is superb.
-
SCARLATTI, ALESSANDRO
Sonata in F See Telemann.
SCARLATTI, DOMENICO
Six Sonatas: Longo 23, in E, 395, in A;
Orr, in D; 387, in G; 449, in B Minor;
465, in D.
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
COLUMBIA ML 4695.
12 -in.
t8,
17
min.
$5.95.
SCHUBERT
Der Häusliche Krieg
Ilona Steingruber (s), Elisabeth Roon (s),
Laurence Dutoit (s), Walter Anton (t),
Rudolf Kreuzberger (bne), Walter Berry
(bs); Akademie Chamber Choir, Vienna, and
Symphony Orchestra, Ferdinand Grossmann,
cond.
Vox PI. 816o. 12 -in. 53 min. $5.95.
Schubert persistently composed operas in
the hope that one would make a fortune. In
1823 he composed three, of which the oneact singspiel here recorded has attracted some
languid posthumous interest. The tale is
an oddity, the Lysistrata plot transferred to
the Crusades. The music is an engaging
imitation of Carl Maria von Weber, Figaro
and The Magic Flute, an imitation everywhere inscribed with the inimitable melodic
signature of Franz Peter Schubert. It was
written without conviction and so it is
heard: it has not the dramatic fervor and
savoir-faire of the best works of Schubert's
modest and indestructible contemporary,
Daniel Francois Espirit Auber; but it is
pastime through which one can listen without worrying about failure to be moved. A
serene succession of rather dispassionate
moods offers the musical variety necessary
to keep the music interesting, without
burdening it with significance.
No one can claim enough familiarity with
this highly- listenable nonentity to assert
dogmatically the values of its first recorded
performance. The singers are more than
competent, Miss Roon delightful in a high
romanze and Mr. Anton bold and sure; and
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RECORDS
the light orchestration is whipped along with
enjoyable and untiring spirit. Sound is
both clear and substantial, without pretensions to brilliance or difficulty in reproduction beyond some extraneous background
noise near the beginning of the first side.
As a whole The Domestic War, in its first
edition, earns most of the smaller commendatory adjectives.
Vox here joins a
few other companies in stating the duration
in minutes, but has failed to supply a
printed text.
C. G. B.
-
SCHUBERT
Quintet for Piano and Strings, in A,
"Trout," Op. 114
Adrian Aeschbacher (p), Rudolph Koeckert
(v), Oskar Riedl (va), Josef Merz (vo),
Franz Ortner (bs),
DECCA DL 9707. 12 -in.
36 min. $5.85.
The first "Trout" to appear after the early
LP swarm is a good one, as were most of
its predecessors. Deliberate and analytical,
with a warmth of phrase unsupported by
warmth of tone, with excellent sound at
low volume, especially in the piano, the new
edition is worth consideration on those
merits, but it is doubtful that music -lovers
with either the Westminster, Columbia or
London version will find in the Decca cause
enough for duplication.
C. G. B.
SCHUBERT
-
Symphony No. 8, in B Minor, "Unfinished"
See Handel.
SCHUMANN
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.
54
Wilhelm Kempff, piano. London Symphony
Orchestra; Josef Krips, cond.
LONDON LL 781. 12 -in. $5.95.
This is the eighth LP version of this popular
concerto, but one of the best. Both Kempff
and Krips take a warm, romantic approach
to the music, yet do not oversentimentalize.
The recorded sound is also warm and round.
Other versions worth comparing with this
one are those by Novaes (Vox) and Rubinstein (RCA Victor).
P. A.
SCHUMANN
Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26
tBrahms: Waltzes, Op. 39
Robert Weisz, piano.
LONDON
LL
798.
12 -in.
SCHUMANN
Fraueliebe und Leben, Op. 42
Kirsten Flagstad: Song Recital
SCHUMANN
Quintet for Piano and Strings,
-See Brahms.
-
See
Op. 44
New York Philharmonic- Symphony
chestra; Dimitri Mitropoulos, cond.
COLUMBIA ML 4731. 12 -in. $5.45.
Or-
The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54
tLiszt: Les Préludes
Boston Symphony Orchestra; Pierre Mon teux, cond.
RCA VICTOR
LM
1775. 12 -in. $5.72.
Despite an obvious affection for the music
of Scriabin on the part of both Mitropoulos
and Monteux, these two mystical tone
poems, with their endless repetition of the
same chord combinations, make wearisome
listening. Of the two, The Poem of Ecstasy
is the less tedious. Comparison of the two
disks at hand shows that Monteux treats the
music more gently and with greater variety
of effect. Columbia's reproduction, on the
other hand, is far superior to RCA Victor's
rather shrill, distorted sound, particularly
evident in the tenth LP recording of Les
Préludes, where the brass and percussion
sounds are garbled. My vote favors neither
of these disks; it is for the recently released
Capitol recording
first -rate in sound and
interpretation
by Manuel Rosenthal and
the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra, which
couples The Poem of Ecstasy with Loeffler's
warm, romantic A Pagan Poem.
P. A.
--
SIBELIUS
12 -in.
London Symphony Orchestra;
Collins, cond.
LONDON LL 822.
Papillons, op. 2
Davidsbiindler Tänze, Op. 6
Joerg Demus, piano.
12 -in.
Anthony
85.95.
STRAUSS
Brentano Lieder
An die Nacht; Ich Wollt* ein Sträusslein binden;
Satisle, liebe Myrte; Amor; Lied der Frauen;
Als mir dein Lied erklang.
Wir wandelten; Vorüber; Mein wundes Herz
verlangt; Der Tod das ist die kühle Nacht;
Lerchengesang; Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer; An ein Aeolsharfe; Wiegenlied.
Erna Berger (s); Michael Raucheisen, piano.
DECCA DL 9666. 12 -in. 35.85
Erna Berger has in the last five years assumed what amounts to a benevolent
monopoly in this country over the six settings of poems by Clemens Brentano that
make up the Opus 68 of Richard Strauss.
The songs are among his finest and these
performances certainly worth hearing, more
than once. Miss Berger's sure command is
as evident in the Brahms songs that fill the
opposite side, although she has been in
smoother voice. There is undeniably a certain monotony in listening to so many
lieder sung by a voice essentially adapted to
coloratura operations; for all her taste Miss
Berger does not project much that lies beneath the emotional surfaces of songs that
are dark in mood. Nonetheless, she is always an artist as far as she goes, and a very
charming one, and Michael Raucheisens
accompaniments are among the finest to be
heard on records. Engineering: faithful,
not flattering; voice sometimes recessive in
balances, which may well have been the
way things were. There is a bad wow in
J. H., Jr.
one Brahms band.
TCHAIKOVSKY
Aurora's Wedding: Ballet Suite
Humoresque, Op. 10 (trans. Stokowski)
Solitude, Op. 76 (trans Stokowski)
Leopold Stokowski's Symphony Orchestra;
Leopold Stokowski, cond.
RCA VICTOR LM 1774. 12 40. $5.72.
New Orthophonic Sound and all, this does
fill a place in the catalog, since the wedding
divertissements from The Sleeping Beauty have
been recorded per se only in an incomplete,
routinely played version conducted by Warwick Braithwaite. This recording, lush in
sound and freely symphonic in feeling, is
worth hearing. If you want to know how a
real ballet conductor feels about Tchaikovand, like it or not, some of his best
sky
listen to the
music is in his dance scores
old Constant Lambert reading of excerpts
from The Sleeping Beauty on Columbia
ML 4136; that is a real theatre performance,
on the best level, but, I fear, not for audioJ. H., Jr.
philes.
29, 14 min.
$5.95.
Mr. Weisz, a Hungarian pianist still in his
early 20'5, was a pupil of Lipatti. Four
years ago he won the Geneva contest for
performers and has very sensibly continued
his studies before embarking on a full -time
concert career. His playing here is clean
and unaffected, often lovely in tone and
phrasing. As yet, it has little personality.
and it remains a mystery why London should
lavish their superior engineering know -how
on
on a talent showing "great promise
the verge of being fulfilled," to quote their
own record liner.
Mr. Demus is 25 but a lot more mature
This expansive and exciting symphony has
been superbly interpreted by Collins, who
applies the tonal brush with broad, sweeping strokes. Since he has a fine orchestra
at his disposal, and since the reproduction is
full and rich, his reading may be considered
one of the two best on disks, challenged
only by the late Serge Koussevitzky's
imaginative and justly celebrated performance for RCA Victor. The latter, of course,
has less impressive sound, but other assets.
Hear both.
P. A.
tBrahms: Leider
SCRIABIN
The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54
The Poem of Fire, Op. 6o
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
21, 20 min. 35.95
SCHUMANN
WESTMINSTER WL 5232.
musically.
He could learn some things
about the Papillons from Guiomar Novaes'
recording for Vox; he wants in some of the
humor and sparkle that Adrian Aeschbacher
brings to his Davidsbündlertänze performance
on Decca. But he still has a lot of pertinent
ideas about these scores, and he presents
them with the utmost pianistic skill. Given
the benefit of Westminster's best engineering, this is a worthy addition to the Demus
recorded repertoire.
R. E.
-
...
Erna Berger: Strauss and Brahms songs,
sung with more taste than intellectuality.
-
TCHAIKOVSKY
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
64
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RECORDS
Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite
Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy,
cond.
COLUMBIA ML 4729.
12 -in.
21, 18 min.
$5.45.
Tchaikovsky's best known works, the big,
florid symphonies, are suited ideally to the
reverberant acoustics of Philadelphia's Academy of Music and the sympathetic interpretations of Eugene Ormandy. But the intricate and delicate detail of music like the
Nutcracker Suite would be submerged in the
typical Tchaikovsky- Ormandy recording
which makes the sound actually found on
this record all the more surprising. Although
the spaciousness is retained, triangles, cymbals, and celesta are clear and intimate, a
revealing example of what engineers can do
when they really want to. The Nutcracker
tape printed through in spots, though; at the
beginning of danse russe Trepate the effect is
startling. This is a minor flaw
the overall
performance and recording is such that
your old 78 -rpm album of Rodzinski and
the New York Philharmonic can be retired.
I don't know how it will affect other
children, but this record holds the rapt attention of at least one four -year -old who is
left cold by Peter and the IVolf.
R. F. A.
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TELEMANN
-
Concerto for Viola
See Gabrieli.
and Orcb. in D Major
TELEMANN
Sonata in C Minor; Sonata in E Minor
tPepusch: Sonata in F
tScarlatti, Alessandro: Sonata in F
Edith Weiss Mann, harpsichord; Lois
Wann, oboe; Alfred Mann, recorder; Albert
Mell, violin.
12 -in.
WESTMINSTER WL 5214.
8 min. $5.95.
10,
9, 5,
This recording is issued as a memorial to
Edith Weiss Mann, who was a "pioneer in
the widespread movement which now has
brought to a vast audience the music of the
Baroque period played in authentic performances." She founded many ensembles
between the time of her earliest activities in
Hamburg in 1926 and her death in the
United States in 1951, and she herself took
part in countless performances as a continuo
player, developing this revived keyboard
skill to a conspicuous degree. The recording was made under adverse circumstances,
and there are fluctuations in the quality of
the sound from one work to another. The
recording is, nevertheless, good and serves
its dedicatory purpose well. The substantial
Telemann works are advantageously set off
by two gayer works. Pepusch's jolly sonata
reminds one that he also arranged the
original score for The Beggar's Opera. R. E.
TURINA
La Procesion del Rocio
-
See Albeniz.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Five Tudor Portraits
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. William
Steinberg, cond. Nell Rankin, mezzo -soprano. Robert B. Anderson, bass -baritone.
Mendelssohn Choir.
CAPITOL P 8218. 12 -in. 37 min. $5.72.
The problems involved in the recording of
an actual performance have been solved
with credit to all concerned in this first re-
cording of Vaughan Williams' impressive
suite, which dares from 1936. The verses,
slightly expurgated, are the work of England's first Poet Laureate, John Skelton
(146o -1529) and even in this present form
retain a certain medieval roughness of expression. The composer's interest in this
medium is well known, and again he amazes
with the variety and virility of his musical
settings, the interesting rhythmic impulses
and metrical values of his writing, and the
involved voice patterns he uses. Whether
for soloist or chorus, in either a form of
singspiel or cantata, the ideas are always
provocative, the end result arresting.
Steinberg provides a subtle, nicely proportioned reading of the score, and extracts notable performances from both soloists and choir. Only in one spot is audible
audience noise apparent. The recording is
somewhat on the lean side as to sound. J. F. I.
VERDI
Aida (excerpts)
Act I: Celeste Aida; Ritorna vincitor. Act II:
Gloria all' Egitto, march, and ballet; Quest
assisa to end. Act III: O Patria mia; Fuggiam
gli ardori. Act IV: scene
2.
Caterina Mancini (s), Aida; Giulietta Simionato (ms), Amneris; Mario Filippeschi (t),
Radames; Rolando Panerai (b), Amonasro;
Giulio Neri (bs) Ramfis; Antonio Masseria
(bs) King. Orchestra and chorus of Radio
Italiana (no city given); Vittorio Gui, cond.
CETRA A 50142.
I2 -in.
$5.95
One of the least intelligent excerptings available, and of a good full-length recording.
How, for instance, you can present an Amneris -less disk as "highlights from Aida"
escapes me. Singing and playing: good and
punchy. Engineering: generally good, some
blasting in the mike. Absence of text
or
even identification of cast
on jacket is
continuing annoyance of this series. Worth
the price, I suppose, but no bargain. J. H., Jr.
-
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WAGNER
Overture (Paris Version);
Flying Dutchman Overture; Ride of the
Valkyries
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Hans
Knappertsbusch, cond.
Tannhäuser
LONDON LL 800.
12 -in.
21, I
I, 6 min. $5.95.
This is a stupendous mass of mass which
will please everyone who loves opulent
As a Wagnerian, Prof.
brazen sound.
Knappertsbusch is plainly a great conductor
of Palestrina. Where the sonorous magnificence of the record is effective is where
the music is chorale: where it ain't we
have the Wagner of burlesque
lady wrestlers as Valkyries, heaving on Clydesdales
and percherons; winds of two- miles -perhour in the Dutchman's hurricane; and
wrestlers again, in drugget draperies, as
graces and naiads in the Venusberg.
Still,
the sound is splendid.
C. G. B.
-
-
WEBER
Piano Concerto No. r, in C, Op. sr
Piano Concerto No. 2, in E Flat, Op. 32
Friedrich Wührer, piano. Pro Musica Symphony of Vienna, Hans Swarowsky cond.
Vox PL 8140. 12 -in. 22, 23 min. $5.95.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY, 1954
With one version of Weber's First Piano
Concerto already in its catalog, Vox now
issues another, coupled with the Second
Concerto in its LP debut. The search for a
wider repertoire for LP consumption has its
rewards, for these two works have more
than musicological interest.
Written in
1810 and 1812, the concertos frequently
start out with musical ideas cast in the
Mozart or Beethoven mold, but soon take
novel turns, as often naive and experimental
as they are delightful and fresh. Innovations in pianistic devices and orchestration
made their first appearance in these scores,
even if they make little impact on the listener now.
But no extra knowledge is
needed to enjoy the irresistible finales of
both works and the frequently lovely slow
movement of the E Flat concerto. Mr.
Wührer is almost too robust a pianist for the
decorative music, but his playing is always
musicianly and sympathetic. The sound is
full, resonant, and well balanced. One of
the most beguiling of recent recordings. R.E.
WIREN
Serenade for Strings
tLarsson: Pastoral Suite
Stockholm Radio Orchestra; Stig Westerberg, cond.
LONDON LS 714. to -in. 12, 12 min. $4.95.
Dag Wirén and Lars -Erik Larsson are young
Swedish composers whose acquaintance is
well worth making through this delightful,
finely -made recording. Both pieces are light,
charming, and tuneful, the Wirén in a style
rather like that of Shostakovitch, the Larsson
in the tradition of Sibelius. The recorded
sound is properly light and crisp.
A. F.
WAGNER
Götterdämmerung (excerpts)
Siegfried's funeral music and immolation
scene. Margaret Harshaw (s). Philadelphia
Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy, cond.
Tristan and Isolde (excerpts)
Liebesnacht and Liebestod.
Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy,
cond.
COLUMBIA ML 4742.
12 -in.
$5.45.
If any orchestra in the world can summon up
a firmer, glossier body of sound than the
Philadelphia Orchestra, somebody has been
hiding a real twenty -four karat phenomenon.
And if that kind of super-lush tone doesn't
suit every kind of music, it works fine for
Wagner. These performances are musically
solid and wonderfully rich in texture
so
rich in fact that in the Götterdämmerung
. Margaret Harshaw, who sings splendidly,
sometimes seems about to be masked out,
but never quite is. I still prefer the HMV
-
via -RCA version with Flatstad and Furtwangler as a performance, but that is a
matter of taste rather than an attempt at
categorization. This is very good indeed.
Snap -up buyers might note that the Tristan
and Isolde excerpts here are played in concert (i.e., purely orchestral) form
without Miss Harshaw but with the Philadelphia
players on top of their game. Engineering
puts the listener right in the orchestra, but
definition is clear when it should be. Surfaces on my copy popped occasionally.
J. H., Jr.
-
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I(I(.OKI)5
WAGNER
Der Fliegende Holländer
sort of second national anthem. Here it
given in Arné s original bright 18th century orchestration, with Peter Pears sounding off in a real roast -beef voice. The reproduction is nothing special (it was taped
at an actual performance), but quite adequate, and the rendition is really exciting
to anyone but a confirmed Anglophobe.
The other Arne and the Purcell songs are
lovely and dignified. On the overside, the
variations on Sellenger's Round are more
clever than compelling, but they constitute
a pleasant modernistic bouquet from six
leading Empire composers to their new
queen.
J. M. C.
a
is
Annalies Kupper (s), Senta; Sieglinde Wagner (ms), Mary; Wolfgang Windgassen (t),
Erik; Ernst Häflinger (t), Steersman; Josef
Metternich (b), The Dutchman; Josef
Greindl (bs), Daland. RIAS Orchestra and
Chorus; Ferenc Fricsay, cond.
DECCA DX -124. Three 12 -in. $17.55.
This is quite a good performance, but not
good enough to supplant the competitive
Mercury version. The main point at issue
has to do with the title role. Josef Metternich is a good, intelligent, forthright singer,
but his voice does not seem right for this
part. It is a bright, clear, voice, almost
insofar as Italian terms can be applied to
lyric baritone. It just
German singers
does not make quite the proper effect, no
matter how intelligently it is used. This
casting seems inexplicable, unless it happened that some one thought it might be
nice to get more contrast between the Dutchman and Daland in a radio performance
in which case the better move might have
been to cast the main role first and then get a
really black voice for Daland. Josef Greindl
sounds quite well here but never makes the
old man seem very interesting; but, when
you get down to brass tacks, he isn't very
Their opposite numbers on
interesting.
Hans Hotter and Georg Hann
Mercury
are far superior. As Senta, Annalies Kupper
often sounds quite lovely, if, also, a bit on
the light side, and sings with good dramatic
sense; Wolfgang Widgassen is excellent as
Erik. The minor roles are well cast. Ferenc
Fricsay conducts with vehemence, conviction, and good control, but Clemens Krauss
is even better and has more of the proper
materials to work with. The Decca sounds
a little more brilliant; otherwise, the engineering is pretty nearly a stand -off. J. H., Jr.
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-a
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COLLECTIONS AND
MISCELLANY
ARNE
Ode in Honour of Great Britain ( "Rule,
Britannia"); Now All the Air Shall Ring.
PURCELL
Oh Lord, Grant the Queen a Long Life.
BRITTEN, WALTON, OLDHAM, TIP PETT, SEARLE, BERKELEY
Variations on an Elizabethan Theme (Sellenger's Round)
Peter Pears (t); Arda Mandikian (s); Gladys
Whited (s); Alfred Deller (counter -tenor);
Norman Lumsden (bs); Aldeburgh Festival
Orchestra and Chorus. Benjamin Britten
and Imogen Holst, cond.
LONDON LL808. 12 -in. $5.95.
One of the most successful finales in all
theatrico- musical history happened in 1740
in London. It terminated a musical masque
by Dr. Thomas Arne, entitled Alfred, which
dealt with the well -known cake -burning
monarch of the same name. The last musical
number was a four -verse song, for tenor,
chorus and orchestra, called "Rule, Brit tania," which promptly became, and stayed,
66
The late Kathleen Ferrier: in premature
farewell, sombre Bach and Handel arias.
BACH AND HANDEL ARIAS
Bach Arias: Qui sedes ad dextram patris, misere
nobis from the B Minor Mass; Grief for sins
rends the guilty heart within (St. Matthew
Passion); All is fulfilled, and hope to fainting
souls extended. (St. John Passion); Agnus Dei,
qui tolls peccata mundi, misere nobis. (Mass in
B Minor).
Handel Arias: Return, O God of hosts. (Samson); 0 thou that telles: good tidings to Zion.
(Messiah); Father of Heaven. (Judas Mac cabaeus); He was despised and rejected of
men. (Messiah).
Kathleen Ferrier, contralto; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult, cond.
LONDON
LL
688.
12 -in.
$5.95.
This is the last record made by Miss Ferrier,
whose death in October of 1953 at the age
of only 41, deprived us of one of the finest
artists of our time. Since most of the arias
recorded are slow and sombre, the disk
might almost be viewed as a memorial
concert to the artist whose voice it perpetuates. In such guise, it becomes a moving experience to listen to the recording.
But the record is equally moving to hear
as a purely musical experience, even without the emotional coloration imparted to it
It serves to
by Miss Ferrier's passing.
D. R,
heighten our sense of loss.
CLASSICAL
MUSIC
FOR
PEOPLE
WHO HATE CLASSICAL MUSIC
Excerpts from: Beethoven: Symphony No. 5;
Schubert: "Unfinished" Symphony; Verdi:
Triumphal March from Aida; Tchaikovsky;
Piano Concerto No. r; Strauss: Rosenkavalier
Waltzes; Dvorak: "New World'. Symphony;
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty; Chopin:
Les Sylphides; Mascagni: Intermezzo from
Cavalleria Rusticana; Rachmaninoff: Prelude
in C Sharp Minor.
RCA VICTOR
LM
12 -in.
1752.
$5.72.
Boston Pops Orch., Arthur Fiedler, cond.
(Taking RCA Victor at their word, the editors assigned this disk for review to a self professed hater of classical music.)
To this amateur reviewer, this release is
simply a classic corroboration of a long-time
belief that "the stuff is not for me." Here
and there I found charming, melodious
passages
passages which made me want
to hum. But always I was, as I have ever
been, unpleasantly conscious of the loudness
which seems so frequently a part of symphonic performances. Only so many decibels came through the speaker to which I
listened for; fortunately, of that the listener
is still in control.
But controlled as the
volume may be, my very active imagination
cannot help but conjure up the often earblasting quality which is part of the performance as it is in real life. Of course, one
cannot truly hate classical music unless one
has been exposed to it, which makes the
Victor title a misnomer. Having suffered
prolonged and repeated exposure, a true
hater of classical music must needs be
familiar with nearly every excerpt served up
on this platter. And, as it happens, here
RCA Victor has shrewdly assembled on a
single disk a splendid sampling of my pet
hates. A more apt title for this 12 -inch LP
would be "Classical Tidbits for People Who
Have Started to Like Classical Music."
In fairness, one must admire the artistry of
the Boston Pops under Mr. Fiedler. A
seasoned classical -music hater can recognize
an exceptional performance
not that he
enjoys it any more than a bad one. On
second thought, this disk might actually
get somewhere if it were aimed at novices
people who think they dislike classical music.
sorry, no soap.
As for a hardened hater
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KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD:
CITAL
-
C. E.
SONG RE-
Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42.
Schubert: An die Musik; Ganymed. Brahms:
Von ewiger Liebe;
0 wüss
ich doch den Weg
zurück. Strauss: Ich liebe Dich; Ruhe, meine
Seele. Rogers: At Parting. Speaks: Morning.
McArthur: We Have Turned Again Home.
Charles: When I Have Sung My Songs. Kirsten
Flagstad (s). Edwin McArthur, piano.
RCA VICTOR LM 1738. s2 -in. $5.95.
Since half of this disk is given over to
Frauenliebe und Leben, its value is solider
than that of most such vocal miscellanies.
All four of the available versions of the cycle
are more than just worthwhile; none is
Assuming a tolerance for
the ultimate.
Lotte Lehmann's personal vagaries, her interpretation is by far the most interesting
of all, and she has the immense advantage of
Bruno Walter's collaboration at the piano;
but the engineering is not for golden ears.
Kathleen Ferrier's voice was certainly one
of the loveliest preserved by modern engineering, but Elisabeth Höngen is a maturely musical and intellectual interpreter
where the late English singer was simply
sincere and serious of purpose; both are well
accompanied. The newest entry is standard
which is to say that
post -war Flagstad
her voice is still lovely at its best but thin
and pushed at the tops of phrases and that
-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
interpretatively her performance is authoritative without achieving much emotional
communication. As always, her tonal accomplishment is decreased in value by Edwin
McArthur's bland, over -solicitous accompaniments. You pays your money and you
takes your choice. Mme. Flagstad sounds
better in the mixed list on the reverse, but
even the sheathing of her glorious voice
cannot make the shoddy American songs
she sings worthy of Red Seal status. J. H., Jr.
MASTERPIECES OF MUSIC BEFORE
1750
Record 1: Gregorian Chant to the r 6th Century.
Record z: The 16th Century and the r7th
Century. Record 3: The r7th Century and
the 18th Century.
Danish Soloists and Ensembles, Mogens
Wöldike, Director.
Finn Videro, Aksel
Schiotz, Else Brems, Niels Brincker, Schola
Gregoriana of Copenhagen, Copenhagen
Boys' and Mens' Choir, the Madrigal Choir
of the Danish State Radio, Chamber Orchestra and Chorus of the Danish State
Radio.
HAYDN SOCIETY HSL -B. Three 12 -In.
The Haydn Society has conceived the idea of
recording, on three LP disks, every one of
the 5o pieces of music that are included as
examples in the book "Masterpieces of
Music Before 1750," written by Carl Parrish and John F. Ohl, and published by
W. W. Norton and Co.
It is impossible to overestimate the value
of these records in combination with the
book, not only for schools and colleges,
but also for the individual music lover who
is interested in delving into music between
the early Middle Ages and the time of Bach.
Whether viewed as a series of musical
performances for which scores and detailed
notes are provided in book form, or, whether
the records are looked upon as making audible the examples given in the book, the
set is of inestimable value.
One could cavil over small points in the
recording, such as the fact that a piece written for the virginals is played on the harpsichord, the "flutter" over the opening of the
Rameau example, or a bad soprano entrance
in the chorus from Handel's "Solomon."
But against these faults there could be
mentioned the beautifully expressive quality
of most of the solo singing, the fine sense of
style in the singing of the motets by Lassus,
Palestrina and Byrd, and the sweetness of
the boys' voices in the choir. These details however are less important than the
general excellence of the idea itself.
Let us hope that this set will encourage
both this and other record companies to
venture further into the field of educational
records at an adult level. Certainly, this is a
magnificent achievement!
D. R.
ZINKA MILANOV:
ARIAS AND
SCENES
Verdi: Ritorna vincitor! and O patria mia,
from Aida. Madre, pietosa Vergine; Le Vergine
degli angeli; and Pace, pace, from La Forza del
Destino. Tacea la notte and D'amor sul' ali
rosee, from I! Trovatore. Ponchielli: Suicidio!,
from La Gioconda.
Zinka Milanov (s); Lubomir Vichegonov
(bs). RCA Victor Orchestra and Robert
Reginald Foort, organ.
Shaw Chorale; Renato Cellini, cond.
RCA VICTOR LM1795. 12-in. $5.95.
Even making generous allowance for the
fact that individual reaction to singers is
in large measure subjective and unpredictable, there can scarcely be much argument
that Zinka Milanov's voice is at its best
one of the most beautiful to be captured
within the grooves of today's nearly lifelike
reproduction. She is also a serious artist
who, at least along her chosen Verdiverismo axis, makes her points both powerfully and in terms of style that is always
legitimate and often really distinguished.
Before the war, at the Metropolitan, she
tended to be erratic, not often at her best
throughout a whole performance. When
she returned after the beginning of what is
called the Bing régime, she was still an uneven singer; her voice seemed less lovely in
actuality than in memory, and she seemed to
have grown chary of using it freely, although
still a relatively young woman. Since then,
however, and for whatever obscure psychological or physical reasons, she has improved
steadily, so that by the end of last season
she was delivering consistently good performances as never before.
This recording finds her in superb voice
almost all the time and dealing with materials that are almost wholly congenial.
The excerpts from La Forza del Destino
in which the Robert Shaw Chorale sounds
superbly eccelsiastical and Lubomir Vichegonov contributes a thoroughly professhe sings just
sional Padre Guardiano
as magnificently as she did in her best performances last season. If nothing else were
included, this would very nearly be worth
at least to Forza
the price of the record
lovers. The Aida arias, the Suicidio!, and
the D'Amor tut ali rosee, too, in their differing ways, are just as impressive. The first
of the II Trovatore arias is different from that
minus an Inez in
on the complete set
the cabaletta, generally better sung, but
flawed by a pushed and quickly abandoned
A at the end (the only such tone on the
record). The Voi lo tapete has a Mamma
Lucia (Margaret Roggero, no doubt) but
sounds like either a different take than the
one used in the complete set or an altered
engineering of the same one; better, in either
typical Victor
case. Sound is rich and ripe
opera recording. If you want a disk to represent Milanov, this is the best there is. J. H., Jr.
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OLD ENGLISH AND FRENCH MUSIC
Westminster Light Orchestra. Leslie Bridgewater, cond.
WESTMINSTER WI. 4007. 12 in. 45 min. $5.95.
Bridgewater has contributed several notable
recordings of light music to the Westminster
catalog. but none exceed in elegance or
polish this splendid recital of courtly music
by French and English composers of the 17th
and 18th centuries. Couperin and Leclair rub.
shoulders with Boyce and Purcell in a distillation of the musical splendors of those
periods, carefully re- created under the cunning hand of the conductor.
Westminster has invested the recording
with some of its most brilliantly clear sound,
the harpsichord sound, in particular, being
J. F. I.
quite ravishing.
THE ORGAN AT SYMPHONY HALL,
VOLS. I & II
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
COOK SOUNDS OF OUR TIMES 1054 & 1055.
Two to -in. 23 min. each. $4.00 each.
1. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor;
Bist du bei mir. Boëllmann: Gothic Minuet,
and Prayer to Our Lady, from Suite Gothique.
Vol.
Dubois:
Vol. 2.
Toccata.
Handel:
Arrival of
of
the Queen
(13th movement)
Air, and Coro, from the Water Music; Arioso.
Sheba;
Allegro
maestoso
Reubke: Finale from the 94th Psalm.
These recordings are strictly for high -fidelity
fans. That performances on an organ so
large and complex should emerge in recording so weighty and yet so accurately
balanced is a miracle of engineering. Different registers seem to come from different
places; extreme highs and lows are captured
without distortion, and the sense of being
present in Symphony Hall is almost uncomfortably realistic. Beyond the sensational aural experience the recordings are
pretty grim. Mr. Foort takes all kinds of
liberties and uses soupy registrations in the
mistaken notion that they are necessary to
make Bach and Handel palatable. Boëllmann, Dubois, and Reubke suffer less from
these vagaries. The company apparently
feels defensive about this non -classical approach, asserting on the record liner that,
after all, Bach was "no fogey" but a "fighting man of virility (zo children)." Nothing
could be less virile than Mr. Foori s swooning performances. Also, one of the Handel
works is inaccurately labeled
the Allegro
maestoso from the Water Music is confused
with the Hornpipe.
R. E.
-
RECORDER MUSIC OF SIX
TURIES (Vol. I)
CEN-
Works by; Reuenthal; Machault; Landini;
Des Pres; Suzato; Praetorius; Willaert;
Bassano; Lasso; Byrd; Morley; Diomede,
and Gibbons.
The Recorder Consort of the Musicians'
Workshop. Recorders: Lalloue Davenport, Robert Dorough, Erich Katz, Bernard
Krainis. Percussion; Herbert Kellman.
CLASSIC EDITIONS CE 1o18.
12 -in.
35.95.
For specialized tastes, this record should be
of great appeal. The music is delightful, the
performances are expert and the recording
is fine. There is a nice amount of "air"
around the players, yet not so much as to
obscure the clarity of the individual lines.
Even within the rather limited tonal
palette of the recorder as an instrument, it
is surprising to note the range of expression
covered by the works on this disk. From
the naive 13th and 14th century anonymous
dances, with improvised percussion parts,
it is quite a far cry to the sophisticated
works of Byrd, Morley and Gibbons.
If, as the anonymous jacket notes declare,
we are now going through a period of increased interest in the recorder, then this
record should serve as a model for those
who are taking up the instrument. D. R.
A
RIMSKY -KORSAKOFF PROGRAM
-
- -
Piano Concerto in C Sharp Minor; May Night
Overture; Mlada
Cortege des Nobles;
Snegourotchka
Dance of the Birds and Whitsunday Festival; Le Coq d'Or
Bridal Pro-
-
Glinka: Kamarinskaya (arch. Rim sky-Korsakoff).
cession.
67
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
Dialing Your Disks
Practically all record -makers boost their
disks' treble -volume, to mask surface noise,
and weaken the bass, to conserve groove space. Some amplifiers have equalization
controls, to neutralize the widely varied deviations practiced by different companies
(see below). Some records follow the NAB
curve, wherein all bass is weakened below
Soo cycles and treble -boost amounts to 16
db at to,000 cycles. Others use the AES
curve, on which bass -droop starts at 400
cycles and treble -boost only goes to 12 db.
Some combine the two, like RCA Victor,
which uses NAB bass and AES treble. In
such cases, where a one -knob equalizer cannot adjust, it should be set according to
BASS, and treble added or subtracted by the
tone -controls. It is useful to note that RCA
Victor, Columbia and London all use (or
come close to) the NAB bass -turnover point,
Soo cycles. However, Victor's treble boost
is only 12 instead of 16 db, and London's is a
mere t 1.5, so treble must be added to offset
overcorrection. Even a two -knob equalizer,
with separate bass and treble settings, usually needs help from the tone-controls.
Remember, the ear is boss. For listeners
the
without equalizers, the formula is:
higher the bass -turnover, the higher the bass
tone -control should be set. Asterisks (below) mean record -maker lists instructions
on jacket.
LABEL
BASS
TREBLE
Atlantic'
NAB
NAB
NAB
Ortho4
16 dba
American Recording
Bartok
Blue Note Jazz
Caedmon
Canyon
Capitol
Capital -Cetra
Cetra -Soria
Columbia
Cook Laboratories'
Decca
EMS*
Elektra
Esoteric
Haydn Society
London
Lyrichord, news
Mercury*
M -G -M
Oceanic
Philharmonia
Soc.
Polymusic'
RCA Victor
Remington
Tempo
Urania'', most
Urania*, some
Bach Guild
Vanguard
Vox'
-
Westminster, old
Westminster, new
6292
AES
6292
AES
AES
AES
AES
It dbr
AES
AES
AES
COL
COL
NAB
COL
NAB
NAB
AES
6292
AES
16 db3
AES
NAB
COL
COL
AES
NAB
NAB
AES
LON+
16 dba
AES
AES
NAB
AES
NAB
Ortho',
NAB
NAB
COL
NAB
Ortho4
NAB
Ortho4
NAB
AES
AES
COL
COL
NAB',
COL
NAB
NAB
NAB,'
6292
AES
NAB
COL
AES
(Binaural records produced by this label are recorded to NAB standards, on the outside band.
On the inside band. NAB is used for low frequencies. but the treble is recorded flat, without pre
emphasis.
"NAB position on equaliser is close match.
3NAB position on equalizer is close match.
'Use LON position on equalizer, or AES with slight
treble cut.
&Some older records of this label were recorded to
COL curve. others to AES.
'Very close to NAB on lows.
?Very close to AES on highs; boost treble slightly.
Unless jacket indicates AES.
'
Philharmonia Orchestra of London. London Symphony Orchestra. Anatole Fistoulari, George Weldon and Walter Süsskind, conds. Fabienne Jacquinot, piano.
MGM
E
3045. 12 -in. $4.85.
A pleasingly colorful and varied collection
of Rimsky- Korsakoff music, most of it not
heard too frequently in the concert hall.
One or two of the works here also appear in
identical recordings on other MGM disks,
but this generally well-played and admirably
recorded mélange is likely to have the
widest appeal.
P. A.
SONGS OF ENGLAND
Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano.
Ernest Lush,
piano.
LONDON LL 8o6.
12 -in.
38 min. $5.95.
Sixteen songs of the same genre are more
than most singers would attempt in concert, though no such qualms exist where
records are concerned. It is to Miss Vyvyan's
credit, though, that she manages, by innate
musicianship and sound vocal equipment,
to make this a fragrant bouquet of English
Songs. Her voice has considerable charm, is
even throughout the scale, and, with the
possible exception of the opening phrases
of Arné s "0 Ravishing Delight" is always
well controlled. Inevitably, in programs of
this kind, there is some uneveness in musical
values, but her work in Michaels Head's
lovely "Foxgloves," Vaughan Williams' tragic
"The New Ghost," and particularly in the
ineptly named "A Melancholy Song" of Antony Hopkins, is a real joy. Excellent accompaniments from Ernest Lush at the
piano, and exemplary, well -balanced sound
from London's engineers.
J. F. I.
RICHARD TUCKER: ARIAS
Verdi: De' miei bollenti spiriti, from La Tra:data; Ma se m'è forza perderti, from Un Ballo
in Maschera. Donizetti: Una furtiva lagrima,
from L'Elisir d' Amore. Meyerbeer: O ParaGounod: Salut!
dise, from L'Africana.
Puccini: Che gelida
demeure, from Faust.
marina, from La Bohème. Bizet: La fleur
Pon que vous m'avez jetée, from Carmen.
chielli: Cielo e mar, from La Gioconda.
Richard Tucker (t). Metropolitan Opera
Orchestra; Fausto Cleva and Emil Cooper,
cond.
COLUMBIA ML 4750. 12 -in. $5.45.
One recent evening at the Metropolitan a
distinguished opera impressario said to a
distinguished critic, speaking of Richard
Tucker's performance: "Caruso never sang
that well." The tribute may have been
overstated. In any case, it might have
carried more weight had the impressario
ever heard Caruso sing. But you get the idea;
to tell the truth, the Tucker voice is an exceedingly fine one. This recording presents
it in good condition and sounding quite
sort of junior -sized tenore
characteristic
robusto, resonant, even in scale, with a peculiar way of hinting in portamentos that
an Italian phrase may be going to turn into
a cantonal melisma. Since I do not possess
the earlier Tucker LP aria miscellany (Columbia ML- 4248), it is not possible here to
make a breakdown of possible duplications
-a
or variants. Certainly all of these performances are not brand new, for Emil Cooper
has been among the missing for some few
years now, but the sound is clear and bright
throughout. The repertoire covered is broad
enough to strain the stylistic resources of
almost any singer, but Mr. Tucker is too
reliable a performer ever to be inept. He
does, however, meet many problems of
style by the simple expedient of singing
everything in the way that suits his voice
rather than by placing his voice and musicianship entirely at the service of the music.
This approach yields a high assay of fine
tone but little that could fairly be called
distinguished interpretation or real drama.
In general, the Italian arias are better than
the French, the forceful better than the
floatingly lyric
although all are capably
dealt with
yet, surprisingly (at least to
me) the performance of the excerpt from
Andrea Chfnier, fine though the sound is,
lacks tension and impact.
J. H., Jr.
--
VOODOO
-
Authentic Music of Haiti
Haiti Danse Orchestra and Chorus; Emy de
Pradines, cond.
Drums; I Man Man Man; Choucoune; Quartier Morin; Erzulie; Dodo Titit Maman; Ras bodail Rhythm; Loa Azaou; Panamam Tombé;
Mréli, Mrélf, Mandé.
REMINGTON R- 199 -15 r. r2 -in. $2.99.
The title of this disk is a misnomer; only
about half of the music on it has any connection with Voodoo religious ritual. Even
where it has, however, the appeal is indeas in the initial band of
pendent of it
drum rhythms, a match for any hi -fi showoff disk. The other selections are of usual
folk variety
love- songs, ballads, dance songs. The chorus consists of 12 girls,
who sing in weird, sweet harmonies. The
orchestral instruments are drums, gourds,
bamboo horns, four -note flutes and a guitar.
Emy de Pradines, daughter of a well -known
Haitian poet (Candiau), is an authority on
Haitian folk music and, quite obviously,
an A -1 recording director. This is some of
the best sound ever put forth by Remington.
Furthermore, some of these tunes (try Chou coune, band 2) are extraordinarily pretty
J. M. C.
and captivating.
-
THE MUSIC BETWEEN
MUSIC FOR FAITH AND INNER
CALM
The Melachrino Strings
RCA VICTOR
LPM 1004.
12 -in.
$4.19.
A Perfect Day; I'll Walk Beside You: Goin'
Home; In a Monastery Garden; Chanson de
Matin; Love's Old Sweet Song; Song of
Paradise; Whispering Hope; Abide With Me;
Bless This Home.
Melachrino s cascading strings provide the
most sumptuous sound of the month here.
They pour their mellifluous ointment on
some of the hoariest chestnuts around, but
the approach is sweetly innocent and the
mood frankly nostalgic and sentimental.
Listening to this record, you may not acquire the faith promised on the record envelope, but you will surely find a sur-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
68
www.americanradiohistory.com
RFCC)Rl)s
prising amount of instrumental coloring
and, looking to higher things, a total effect
of rather beguiling sincerity. We can't
imagine, as a matter of fact, smoother,
soberer performances of these old tunes.
CONTINENTAL HIT PARADE NO. 9
LONDON LB 815.
to -in. $3.95.
Wenn Du Fortgehst Von Mir; Es Wird Ja
Alles Wieder Gut; Wie Schon Hat Dich Die
Liebe Gemacht; Illusionen; Alle Wie Wir
Hier Gebacken Hatten Schon Mal Einem
Zacken: Noch Bist Du Klein; Kleine Jod.
lerin Vom Tegernsee; Die Sanger Vom
Gesangversein.
The Continental Hit Parade is evidently extremely popular; this is the ninth
in the series. The impression I have of the
latest is that it's a sort of Bavarian jam session interspersed, every now and then, with
one of those melancholy fox -trots that Berliners love so dearly. As I said, this is only
an impression. The jam session, to try to
clear the matter up. is tooted, literally, and
sung by Will Glahe and his orchestra.
Possibly, Mr. Glahe will make you think
of a Teutonic Spike Jones, but Mr. Jones,
I am sure, never dreamed of the real, honest to- goodness laughter that Mr. Glahe offers
here on one song, at what I'm not sure. In
addition, Kleine Jodlerin Vom Tegernsee, if it
was Kleine Jodlerin Vom Tegernsee, shows off
about the clearest, most energetic yodelling
I have heard on records. The Berlin foxif you're still with me
trots
are sung
by Lys Assia, and nicely, too. I had some
trouble unsnarling the information on the
record -band, but, in any case, the sound
was first -rate and the surfaces clean, even
though I'm not sure just what was coming
off them.
-
-
MUSIC UNDER THE STARS: Popular
Orchestral Favorites
URANIA URLP 7096.
I2 -in. $5.95
Chabrier: Espana, Berlin Philharmonic,
Arthur Rother; Grieg: Norwegian Dancer,
Nos. 2 and 3, Symphony Orchestra, Radio
Leipzig, Gerhard Wiesenheutter; Strauss:
Fledermaus Overture, Vienna Philharmonic,
Karl Boehm; Stravinsky: The Firebird:
Infernal Dance, Symphony Orchestra,
Radio Leipzig, Earnest Borsamsky; Saint Saens: Danse Macabre, German Symphony
Orchestra, Leopold Ludwig; Gliere: The
Red Poppy: Waltz, Symphony Orchestra,
Radio Berlin, Hans Gahlenbeck; Liszt:
Hungarian Rhapsody No. t, Symphony
Orchestra, Radio Leipzig, Gerhard Pflueger; Kabalevsky: Comedian's Gallop, Symphony Orchestra, Radio Berlin, Arthur
Rother.
The highspot of this grab -bag of favorites
is the Vienna Philharmonic's performance of
the Fledermaus Overture under Karl Boehm.
It sparkles, soundwise and rhythmically,
and one only wishes that the Metropolitan's
orchestra would put as much into it as the
Viennese do. The seven other selections
vary in quality from the Radio Leipzig Orchestra's careful and heavily- contrasted approach to Grieg's second and third Norwegian Dances to the Radio Berlin Orchestra's nervous, shrill job on Kabalevsky's
Comedian's Gallop. In between lies a certain
measure of competence and not too much
imagination. Technically, the record offers
nothing startling; the sound of the orchestras here is inferior to the high quality of
most American groups on records. The
Radio Berlin Orchestra, by the way, sounds
as though it were sight- reading its way
through Glieré s Red Poppy Waltz.
SELECTIONS FROM LE CHANTEUR
DE MEXICO
Sung by Luis Mariano
RCA VICTOR
LPM 3158. 10 -in. $3.15.
Quand on est Deux Amis; I! est Coin de
France; Acapulco; Mexico; Rossignol; Paris
d'en Haut; La Tequila; Maitechu.
As far as theatrical long -runs are concerned,
Le Chanteur de Mexico seems to be France's
answer to South Pacific. It is, we are told,
Paris' favorite musical show, and tickets
have been at a premium ever since it opened.
There the competition, if there ever was
one, stops.
For this operetta, the plot
of which, perhaps fortunately, is not recounted on the record envelope, is saturated with an uninspired, tired score that
practically grinds the listener into oblivion.
For a comparison, go back fifteen years or
so to some of the tunes dreamed up for the
early Dorothy Lamour island -pictures. So
what do we have left? Luis Mariano, to be
exact, occasionally backed by an old fashioned sounding operetta chorus. Mr.
Mariano has a small voice with a wide range.
It's a flexible voice, and often, in its middle
register, sounds nice. But when Mr. Mariano
reaches for those top notes, it flattens out,
takes on three edges, and worse, doesn't
let go. The songs, by the way, are all in
French, and you won't be able to remember
any of them.
BALLET BONAMPAK: Luis Sandi
BRAZILIAN SONGS
RCA VICTOR
LM
1737.
12 -in.
sings charming arrangements of 13 Brazilian
songs on the other side of this record. Of
the group, I particularly like O'Kinimba
(Earth), a sturdy folk -tune that will remind
you strongly of one of the songs of the
Auvergne, and Querer bem nao f pecado (It
is not a sin to be in love), a saucy bit that
states its case in no uncertain terms. Sound
and surfaces on both sides are excellent
and Miss Gloria's voice comes through at
times with extraordinary clarity.
ROMANCE
Frank Parker and Marion Marlowe
Orchestra under the direction of Percy
Faith and Archie Bleyer.
COLUMBIA CL 626.
to -in. $3.00.
Romance; An Old- Fashioned Picture: The
Man I Love; I've Told Every Little Star;
One Night of Love: Blue Moon; The Melba
Waltz: Make Believe.
Two of Arthur Godfrey's remaining friends,
one old one and one possible acquaintance, join together on this record to offer
eight of the most popular songs of the past
25 years or so. Frank Parker, Marion Marlowe, Archie Bleyer and Percy Faith are all
professionals, in the best sense of the word,
and their work here is smooth, clear, and
on -pitch all the way through. Six of the
eight songs are arranged as duets. Mr.
Parker takes a neat, well-executed solo
flight on Blue Moon, with, however, the aid
of an echo chamber. Miss Marlowe, who
never pushes a song too far, provides an
unaffected performance of The Man I Love
that proves, possibly, that sopranos needn't
be afraid of what has always been considered
the province of throaty- voiced contraltos.
The total effect here is pleasing in the extreme, and if the record doesn't shake you
up in anyway, it offers another reward,
namely relaxation.
$5.72.
National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico;
Suite Gloria,
conductor, Luis Sandi.
Soprano with Anthony Chanaka at the
piano.
Side 1: Ballet Bonampak.
Side 2: Brazilian Songs.
As a ballet, Bonampak deals mainly with the
rituals practiced by an 18th- century Mexican city to bring it strength and assurance
in battle. The score that Luis Sandi has corn-
posed for this nationalistic work, like the
story, is formal, episodic and undramatic.
Its rhythms are often convulsive, its melodies
some of them taken from Mexican
folk -tunes
always simple and sad, but the
score's main interest, it seems to me, comes
from the steady use of percussion instruments for color. Drum -beats and the occasional flash of a maracas, however, are not
quite enough to satisfy, and after a while
one begins to hope for a substance and
shape to the score that never turns up.
Mr. Sandi has composed earnestly and
seriously here, but I couldn't escape the
feeling that the variations he has built
around the little tunes that fill the ballet
are undernourished and, in the end, monotonous. The National Symphony Orchestra
of Mexico, which sounded chamber-sized
to me, gets through Mr. Sandi's rhythmical
intricacies nicely enough, though, under
the direction of the composer.
Smite Gloria, a fresh -voiced soprano,
- -
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
PERCY FAITH PLAYS CONTINENTAL MUSIC
COLUMBIA CL 525.
1.2
-in. $4.85.
Mademoiselle De Paree; Symphony; Vola,
Colomba!; (Florin, Fiorella); Suddenly;
Petite Bolera; La Ronde; Many Times: If
You Said Goodbye; April in Portugal; Under
the Bridges of Paris; Sympatico.
PERCY FAITH PLAYS ROMANTIC
MUSIC
COLUMBIA CL 526.
12 -in.
$4.85.
Carousel Waltz; Easy to Love; One Night of
Love; When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love;
Caress; Beautiful Love; While We're Young;
I'll Take Romance; Invitation; The Girl
That I Marry; Valse Huguette; If I Loved
You.
To his credit, Percy Faith gets right to the
point of the 12 continental tunes: he concentrates on melody from beginning to
end. Even more, his arrangements, except
for an occasional giddy display of upsurging violins, steadily show taste and intelligence
not too lush and certainly never
simple- minded. This new recording contains five waltzes, including the delightfully
nostalgic Under The Bridges of Paris, and together they evoke for the listener the attractive bitter -sweet atmosphere of the French
street cafe in late afternoon: The "fox -hots,
too, are a pleasure to hear, and,,incidenntally,
-
69
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
can be danced to with no trouble. Mr. Faith's
fox -trot has a strong, steady beat; it rarely
However, the two rhumbas,
gets tricky.
(Florin, Fiorella) and April in Portugal, and
Petite Bolero seem to indicate that the con-
ductor would much rather do battle with
Latin rhythms than let them have their way;
here, they are thought out a little too carefully and the result is a sort of musclebound
In general, though, it's
overstylization.
difficult to think of a more successful record
of its kind than this. Both sound and surfaces are fine.
The shift from "Continental Tunes," to
"Romantic Music," although the distinction seems mostly a question of semantics,
results in a record of mixed quality. The
trouble,
are
a
in general, is arrangements that
little too overbearing and earnest.
Everything is too slow.
The swirling
Carousel Waltz still swirls but without much
logic, or indeed, romance. Easy to Love
If 1 Loved You are backed by a wordless
woman's chorus that is used, as the record envelope explains, to "add a new texture of
sound" to the music. New texture or not,
and
the ladies sound creepy. Caress, Mr. Faith's
own lovely, simple waltz, and I'll Take
Romance probably get the most tasteful
performances of all. The sound is resonant
and full, but here and there, particularly on
One Night of Love, my record was badly grooved. In short, mixed blessings here
and certainly not up to the high standards
set by the conductor- composer himself.
ROBERT KOTLOWITZ
THE BEST OF JAZZ
THE SOUND OF THE
FINEGAN ORCHESTRA
VICTOR LPM 1009.
Iz -in.
37
SAUTER min.
$4.19.
Nina Never Knew; Love Is a Simple Thing;
Time to Dream; Tweedle Dam and Tweedle
Dee; Yankee Doodletown; The Honey Jump;
Now That I'm in Love; Stop Beatin' 'Round
the Mulberry Bush; Child's Play; Horse Play.
The wonderful cascade of sounds which the
Sauter- Finegan Orchestra unveiled on its
first LP, New Directions in Music (Victor
LPM 3115) is back again on this twelve -inch
disk but with a difference.
Where once
the gamut of peeps and grunts, of penny
whistle and tuba and triangle and recorder
and xylophone and tambourine and wounded
French horn were a means to an end
the
apt interpretation of a piece of music, the
too often they appear
creation of a mood
on this LP as the end itself. This is partly
caused by a good deal of vocalizing on
several of the numbers
the singing's the
thing and the instruments have to fit in
where they can find room. But even on such
cleared instrumental space as Child's Play
and Horse Play (originally issued together
on EP as The Extended Play Suite), there is a
feeling of sound coloration wandering aimlessly around with no support.
The remark above about the singing needs
qualifying. Three of the numbers are sung
by Joe Mooney, a gentleman of no great
voice but excellent taste in phrasing. He
adds to the glory of S -F. The rather routine
vocal groups that keep turning up, however,
do not.
-
-
-
Shavians of 1938-39
Mark Sullivan, erstwhile chronicler of our times, once said that
"to write adequately about jazz would be to write the history of
much of the generation." He was speaking primarily of the generation which grew to questionable maturity in the speakeasies of the
1920's. However, Mr. Sullivan's observation also applies to the
anxious generation which stomped away its precious youth under
the bandstands of the 1930's. The history of that generation is
inseparably linked with the phenomenon of the big swing band.
While the question of whether the big bands of that period
really played jazz will be debated for some time, there can be little
and it apdoubt that whatever they were playing was exciting
parently still is. Two of them, Benny Goodman's and Glenn
Miller's, have already been revived on disks with considerable sucArtie Shaw's
cess, and next month Victor will disinter another
from the musty files of recorded NBC radio broadcasts.
Historians who wish to write the history of the generation which
marched off to war to the tune of Begin the Beguine and similar
ditties will find the story of Artie Shaw and his band a rewarding
one. They were relatively unknown when Shaw signed a contract
to make Bluebird records for RCA Victor in 1938. The first number
they recorded was a rollicking version of Rudolph Friml's Indian
Love Call, with Tony Pastor squawking the lyrics. For the other
side Shaw chose, over the protests of the recording manager, Begin
the Beguine, which at the time was one of Cole Porter's least- played
tunes. When the record was released all the unpredictable forces
which make a piece of music a "hit" converged on Begin the Beguine
and Artie Shaw was a national celebrity. Less than two years later,
after Shaw had chased Dame Success right to the top of her glittering ladder, he got fed up and in the middle of an engagement
at the Hotel Pennsylvania, he climbed back down the ladder and
went off to Mexico to see if he could make sense out of the crazy
world he had seen from up there. The New York Times, from its
own Olympian heights, remarked: "Any commentary that might
occur to us would be lost in the Shakespearean sweep of Mr. Shaw's
exodus; the kind of spectacularly irreverent farewell to his work
and former associates that even the timidest soul must occasionally
dream of; a beautifully incautious burning of all his bridges behind
him." Mr. Shaw was obviously a confused young man. But then
so were most young men of his generation.
Although Shaw later returned to (and left) the band business
several times after his 1940 flight, he never succeeded in putting
together a big band which played with the sharpness of his 1938
outfit. He did, however, make several records with a sextet he
chose to call the Gramercy Five, a combo -size group made up of
Shaw's clarinet, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums and a harpsichord.
Shaw was at his best in this setting and it is to be lamented that
the new Shaw records do not include any numbers by the old sextet.
The new album, which consists of two 12-in. records, is all big
-
-
70
-
band fare made from radio broadcasts in the Cafe Rouge of the
Hotel Pennsylvania and the Blue Room of the Hotel Lincoln.
Those of you who spent any evenings there in the winter of 1938.39
and possess a distinctive manner of clapping your hands, may
even identify yourself among the audience. The records possess
all the advantages and disadvantages of live recordings, a subject which was discussed at greater length in an earlier issue of
HIGH FIDELITY (March -April 1953). Technical excellence is usually
sacrificed in a live recording but the resulting music is invariably
crisper than its studio -recorded counterpart.
These records are no exception.
However, on first playing I
must confess that they were disappointing. Perhaps it was because the Shaw band, at times, sounded more like the Glenn Miller Tommy Dorsey school than I liked to remember; perhaps it was
because too many vocals were included (seven to be exact: four
by Tony Pastor and three by Helen Forrest); or maybe it was because Shaw had no runaway numbers like Goodman's Sing Sing Sing
(the closest thing to it was his Chant, a production number spotlighting Shaw and drummer Buddy Rich.
Unfortunately, the
Chant on these records was cut off
or disenchanted you might
say
by the end of a broadcast and further weakened by the absence
of Rich, who had not yet joined the band at the time this broadcast was made).
However, the second time around my critical reserve was broken
down and I was once again back in the Cafe Rouge beating time
(with a less steady pace) to what was undoubtedly some of the
best big -band swing of the day. What Shaw's polished outfit could
do to "standards" is best recalled by listening to its treatment of
'such tunes as Sweet Sue, My Blue Heaven, At Sundown and to what I
will nominate as the best Stardust on records. Throughout the collection there are sparkling solos by Shaw, who, like Goodman,
rarely dissapoints when he steps forward to take a chorus, as well as
Georgie Auld and Tony Pastor on tenor, Georgie Arus on trombone, Bernie Privin on trumpet and Buddy Rich on drums.
Musically, the records offer a collection of big band swing from
an age that will probably not be surpassed in that peculiar medium
for some time. Historically, the records, like the Goodman and
Miller disks which preceded them, constitute a faithful preservation of one generation's favorite form of self -expression. From
either point of view, they cannot be ignored.
R. H. H., Jr.
-
-
Side t: Nightmare; Together; My Reverie; Sobbin' Blues; Jeepers
Creepers; In the Mood; Non -Stop Flight. Side z: Begin the Beguine;
The Old Stomping Ground; The Chant; Stardust; The Carioca. Side 3:
At Sundown; I'm Sorry For Myself; Maria, My Own; Diga Diga
Doo; Moonray; Everything Is Jumpin . Side 4: St. Louis Blues; I've
Got My Eye On You; My Blue Heaven; El Rancho Grande; Sweet
Sue; Man From Mars.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
One has a feeling that many of these selections resulted from a decision that Sauter Finegan ought to get more commercial. If
so, it's a self defeating move. Their commercial attempts remain much more esoteric than the routine commercial stuff that
really sells but so much less than they've
shown they can do. This disk, incidentally,
is marked, "Specially Recommended for
High Fidelity Fans." The sounds are great.
THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET
PRESTIGE PRLP 16o.
to -in.
27
min. $3.85.
Milt Jackson, vibraphone; John Lewis,
piano; Percy Heath, bass; Kenny Clarke,
drums.
The Queen's Fancy; Delauneÿs Dilemma;
Autumn in New York; But Not for Me; All
the Things You Are; La Ronde; Vendome;
Rose of the Rio Grande.
Those who have difficulty cottoning to that
jazz which has appropriated the term "modern" should not be put off by the name of
this group. This quartet is modern in the
sense of being interested in exploring the
ensemble and solo possibilities of their instruments but they are not slaves to the
"modern sound." They might be classified
as midway between the Gerry Mulligan
Quartet and the old Benny Goodman Quartet. Working from charming and imaginative arrangements by pianist John Lewis,
they come up with delightfully unhackneyed variations on themes that sometimes
have a tinge of the 18th Century about them.
Vibraphonist Milt Jackson carries the solo
load in exemplary fashion with the help
of a rhythm section which swings with
artful consistency.
HOWARD McGHEE, VOL.
BLUE NOTE 5024.
to-in.
z
26 min.
$3.92.
Howard McGhee, trumpet; Gigi Gryce, alto
saxophone and flute; Tal Farlow, guitar;
Horace Silver, piano; Percy Heath, bass;
Walter Bolden, drums.
farm; Good -bye; Futurity; Shabozz; Tranquility; Ittapnna.
a guitarist who plays with grace
and thought, is much in evidence .on this
disk, chording out solo passages here and
there and providing faultless backing for
Howard McGheé s solo trumpet on occasion (Good-bye is one such occasion).
Tal Farlow,
When Farlow isn't to the fore, , Horace
Silver's rhythmic and highly personal piano
flashes through or Gigi Gryce lures some
cool statements from a flute. Even McGhee,
an erratic soloist, rises to the occasion and
pursues some well developed musical ideas.
In fact, it is only when Gryce is wrestling
with his alto that this disk falls to the level
of routine.
SWINGIN' THE ORGAN WITH FATS
WALLER
VICTOR LPT 3040. to -in. 25 min. $3.15.
Mamacita; Swinga - Dilla Street; Don't Try Your
Jive on Me; I Repent; Come Down to Earth,
My Angel; Pantin' in the Panther Room; I
Believe in Miracles; Let's Get Away from It All.
When Fats Waller died eleven years ago, the
organ had not yet emerged as the jazz
standby that it is today. Back in those
days, Waller and Count Basie were practi-
cally the only jazz men who tried to coax
a well -turned beat out of an organ. Waller,
of course, was an invincible spirit who could
shine happily through feeble material, inept
accompaniment or an unwieldy instrument.
On these selections his accompaniment is
mostly good (and mostly provided by the
small group with which he did much of
his recording) but the fact that he is swinging on a pipe organ or singing some dreadful lyrics fails to interfere with the relaxed
and rhythmic and happy performance which
is the Waller hallmark. I Believe in Miracles,
Pantin' in the Panther Room, Let's Get Away
from It All and Swinga - Dilla Street are Grade
A Waller. The rest is just Waller, which is
still more than most of us deserve.
DOC EVANS DIXIELAND CONCERT
SOMA MG too.
12 -in.
40 min.
Doc Evans, cornet; Hal Runyon, trombone;
Loren Heiberg, clarinet; Tommy McGovern,
piano; Biddy Bastien, bass; Warren Thewis,
drums.
Under the Double Eagle; The Atlanta Blues:
When We Dance at the Mardi Gras; Struttin'
with Some Barbecue; Jazz Me Blues; St. Louis
Blues; Maryland, My Maryland; Muskrat
Ramble; My Bucket's Got a Hole in It: South
Rampart Street Parade.
For some years, Doc Evans has been as
consistently brilliant a cornet performer in
the classic jazz vein as one could ask for.
The verve and feeling of exactitude which is
always evident in Evans' work has been
communicated to the group with which he
gave this concert at the Walker Art Center
in Minneapolis last summer. Their playing
is spirited, clean and full of the gayety
which is the heart of dixieland. Clarinetist
Loren Heiberg in particular is a joy to hear,
either noodling in and out behind a soloist
or taking off on a warm -toned flight of his
own. The recording is a bit on the sharp
side.
-
GLENN MILLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Limited Edition
VICTOR LPT 6700.
Five
12 -in. LPs.
$24.95.
There can be little doubt that Glenn Miller
holds a unique position in the world of
popular music. A methodical, business -like
man in a field peopled to a great extent by
eccentrics, he led the last band to win the
worshipful devotion of America's adolescents before they turned their steaming
adoration to singers. At the height of his
success, he disappeared quite literally into
lost and never again heard of, on
thin air
a flight from London to Paris.
And now,
nine years after his death, this collection
(totalling 7o numbers) of recordings and
air checks made by Miller's band between
1939 and 1942 was not only offered at the
stiff fee of $24.95 a copy but found takers
at such a rate that for weeks on end it
headed Variety's listing of the best- selling
popular albums, outselling sets costing onefifth or one -sixth the price of the Miller
album. This is probably the first occasion
on which a limited edition of anything
became a best seller, since the terms seem
mutually exclusive. In this case, however,
the limit has been craftily set at roo,000
or the equivalent of an extremely
copies
good sales record for most LPs.
Miller came out of the jazz world but the
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JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
heritage he has left in this album shows
how far he eventually dissociated himself
from it. He can be heard playing on many
of the small jazz group recordings made in
the late Twenties and early Thirties and,
when arrangements were used, Miller usually
made them.
He was an arranger for the
bright, short -lived and jazz- minded Dorsey
Brother band, circa 1934. But when he got
around to organizing his own band, Miller
produced a sweet band, most easily identified
by the clarinet -led reed section it used on
ballads.
It was a stiff and business -like
band, well drilled and capable of grinding
out, with no unseemly display of emotion
or interest, an endless array of similar sounding ballads and killer- dillers. The attractive
points of the Miller band were the lush
tonal coloration of which it was capable at
times (as in Rhapsody in Blue) and some of
the moderate tempoed, rocking instrumentals (String of Pearls and Sleepy Town Train
are instances) which were as close as the
band came to a real jazz feeling. Aside from
Bobby Hackett; the band lacked soloists
of any distinction and the band's regular
singers
Ray Eberle, Marion Hutton and
Tex Beneke
scarcely raised the interest
level.
That a band with as limited a scope as
this one can command such continuing
loyalty and interest a decade after it went out
of existence is an unequaled phenomenon
in popular music. Those who chased love's
young dream to the accompaniment of
Miller's music may well find the numbers
included on these disks enough to fill their
well of nostalgia. For those who had other
things on their minds between 1939 and
1942, ennui is apt to ser in after about $5
worth of disk has been spun.
- -
JOHN S. WILSON
THE SPOKEN WORD
COLUMBIA LITERARY SERIES
Reading from their works:
Somerset
Maugham; Aldous Huxley; John Collier;
John Steinbeck; Katherine Anne Porter;
William Saroyan; Christopher Isherwood
Truman Capote; Edna Ferber; Edith, Sir
Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell.
;;
COLUMBIA
SL
19o.
Twelve
12 -in.
$loo.
The Columbia Literary Series is a superb
collection of records which Columbia Vice
President Goddard Lieberson nurtured and
groomed for three years and finally presented with a splendor appropriate to the
launching of a Manhattan debutante. If the
success of such an occasion is to be measured
by the accompanying publicity, then the
release of Columbia's Literary Series was
the high point of the Fall season.
Although there is always the danger that
publicity will cheapen a cultural endeavor
like the Columbia Series, in this case it has,
I believe, served a commendable purpose:
through it public attention has been focused on the rapid growth of recorded
literature.
For some time literature on
records has been developing sturdily as
one of the distinguishing features of the
High Fidelity Era. However, the moderate
tones of the spoken word have been nearly
drowned out by the deafening roar of music
71
www.americanradiohistory.com
IZE(.OI(l)S
But the release, in one grand swoop, of such
an array of literary talent reading their
own works quite naturally prompted a flood
of comment from literary and record critics
and corresponding interest among their
followers. Now there is general realization
that a new art -medium has emerged or,
more accurately, that an old one has been
reading aloud.
revived
The twelve Columbia records might best
be described as: "Eleven Authors Seriously
Engaged in Dramatic Readings from Their
and William Saroyan." True to his
Works
fashion, the literary maverick of Malibu
Beach has refused to go along with the
group, even so distinguished a one as
assembled by Mr. Lieberson. Whereas, 1I
of the authors dutifully visited Columbia's
studios in Los Angeles and New York to
have their voices recorded, with the result
that their recordings are excellent, Mr.
Saroyan stayed home and did his own taping,
with the expected results: a rackety recording punctuated from time to time by
the roar of the surf, a telephone buzzer or
an unexpected visitor; whereas, t t of the
authors selected from their works with some
sense of unity, Mr. Saroyan made a selection
remarkable for its disjointedness; whereas,
I
of the authors endeavored to read their
works with dramatic emphasis, in many
cases equalling anything I have heard by
Saroyan just
professional actors, Mr.
"talked," occasionally interrupting with such
remarks as: "Now this goes on too long ..."
doesn't mean anyor "That's all right
-
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Maugham reading "The Three Fat Women
of Antibes," and "Gigolo and Gigolette."
All in all, the series represents a high
point in intelligent entertainment. Properly
imagined, it's just as if a dozen outstanding
literary personalities dropped by
or rather,
were coaxed by with your one- hundreddollar bill
to spend an evening reading,
which would seem to many a better way to
while away the hours than watching Blue
Buttons, or whatever his name is.
Perhaps one dissenting comment should
be made. Granting that the series is a luxury item, it still doesn't seem quite cricket
for Columbia to make it so far out of reach
of the average man in the listening booth.
And despite its excellence, is the set worth
$too?
Avoiding the question of relative
-
-
among the best, just different.
To try to suggest which performer is the
best, out of so varied a collection, serves
little purpose other than to illustrate a
particular reviewer's taste and mood at a
particular time. Thus, Edward T. Canby,
in Harpers, nominates Edna Ferber's reading of "The Gay Dog" with the unreserved
statement that it "is one of the great storytelling events of our time;" Harrison Smith,
reviewing the series for the Saturday Review,
favors Maugham as "the master storyteller of all of them," and John Conly, who
reviews for the Atlantic Monthly (and also
does a few odd jobs around here) considered it a toss -up between Truman Capote
and Sir Osbert Sitwell. I will qualify my
nomination by saying that William Saroyan's
nonconformity most suited my mood on the
first playing, but that re- playings found me
shifting my choice from Christopher Isherwood's reading from "Prater Violet" to
Truman Capoté s superb telling of his
story, "Children on Their Birthdays," to
John Collier's three fancies, "De Mortuis,
"Mary" and "Back For Christmas."
There is, in short, something here for
every mood; on those dark and stormy
nights when the sub -world of the spirit is
especially active, John Steinbeck reading
"The Snake" and "Johnny Bear" and
Katherine Ann Porter reading "Flowering
Judas" make excellent companions; or for
those cold crisp evenings when cerebral
stimulation is tolerable, even after hours,
Aldous Huxley reading from his revised
introduction to "Brave New World" and
Sir Osbert Sitwell reading from his autobiography, "Left Hand, Right Hand" are
recommended; or if the urge is just to hear
a good story well told, there is Somerset
-
-
-
ELIOT, T. S.
Murder in the Cathedral
Robert Donat, John Warner, Douglas
Campbell, other members of the Old Vic
Company, Produced by Robert Helpmann.
ANGEL 35o5B. Two 12 -in. $12.50.
Murder in the Cathedral was T. S. Eliot's
first play. He wrote it in 1935, to be pre-
-
sented in Canterbury Cathedral, the actual
scene of the murder described in the play
-
thing."
All this is not to say that Mr. Saroyan's
contribution was disappointing; it was
involved the seeking out of meaning in
babble from disorganized minds. In some
part, latter -day experimental poets have
adapted this technique to their own purposes, evoking babble from organized minds
in the hope that it would
their own
prove meaningful. Sometimes it has. Cummings and the late Gertrude Stein probably
have been the most successful. The latter is
easier to take than Cummings, perhaps because she patently derived such enormous
amusement from her own work. Cummings
is more serious and more purposeful
and
extremely clever. Listen, for instance, while
he applies his purposely formless writing
to a piece of detailed eye -witness reporting,
the description (from Eimi) of a May Day
procession past Lenin's tomb in Red Square.
This is a really, gripping, nightmarishly explicit piece of imagery. The other selections
are mostly introspective and subtler in their
impact.
J. M. C.
Maverick at the mike. William Saroyan taping his voice for Columbia's Literary Series.
value, let us put an arbitrary value of $6 on
each record. That would make the price of
the set $72 and, although the black leather
attaché case which also comes with the set is
handsome, it could hardly be described as a
good buy at $28. Furthermore, not everyone
will want all the records, but he must take
them now just to get one. Consequently,
people to whom $too is still a month's rent
should perhaps borrow a set from their
more affluent friends, play it, decide which
of the records they want, then wait for
Columbia to release the records separately.
Of course, there is no indication yet that
they will do this, but it seems hardly likely
that the individual records will be held back
from their potentially huge audience. This
would be positively anti -intellectual
and
who wants to be accused of that these
R. H. H., Jr.
days?
-
CUMMINGS READING FROM
HIS OWN WORKS
Selections from Him; Eimi; Santa Claus;
5o Poems; One Times One; Xaipe.
E. E.
CAEDMON TC I017.
12-in. $495.
Edward Estlin Cummings, who has been
writing experimental poetry for 3o years,
usually signs himself e e cummings, the
abandonment of capitals and punctuation
having been one of his first moves in the
pursuit of semantic flexibility. It is well to
keep this in mind while hearing him read
aloud, for he consciously avoids conventional emphasis. It is also useful to remember that he is a product of the age of Freud
and the psychoanalysts, whose medical art
that of Archbishop Thomas I Becket, in
1170, by minions of Henry II. Eliot uses the
ancient Greek device of the speaking chorus,
which may or may not have been effective
on the stage, but certainly is on records.
So is his surprise -switch in the last act,
where the four murderers suddenly address
the loth century audience, to explain why
they murdered the saint. Most of the drama
earlier lies in the Archbishop's debate
against four Temptations in defense of his
decision to be a martyr (as can be seen, this
is no ordinary play). Donat is eloquent as
Thomas, and the Old Vic players are their
usual faultless selves. Angel's surfaces are
clean and the sound is clear and reverJ. M. C.
berant.
OSBERT SITWELL, READING FROM
HIS OWN WORKS
Selections from Wrack at Tidesend (12),
England Reclaimed (7), Miscellaneous
poems (5).
CAEDMON TC I013. 12 -in. $4.95
Sir Osbert Sitwell readily admits the possibility that he may be the most -traveled,
best- informed man of the age (at least in
the field of the arts). He has also been
one of the age's most indefatigable reporters, in prose and poetry, of its people's
ways and habits. Both Wrack at Tidesend
and England Reclaimed consist largely of
vignettes of folk he knew in his younger
faryears, at the seaside, in the country
mers, fishwives, fortune -tellers; rich and
poor; happy and tragic. His readings here
put one in mind of a sort of brisk, British
Spoon River, delivered in highly professional
style, but never without feeling. His last
selection, Fox Trot, is a hilarious account of
the marriage of two people he never did
Solomon and the Queen
happen to meet
of Sheba. Caedmon also is publisher of
-
-
Wrack at Tidesend in bookform
of
course.
-
complete,
J. M. C.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
72
www.americanradiohistory.com
RECORDS
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10 HORNS IN
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(4 WAGNER TUBAS)
6 TRUMPETS IN F, B FLAT,
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4 TENOR -BASS TROMBONES
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THE NEW SYMPHONY SOCIETY, PARIS
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FERRY GRUBER,
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MORRIS GESELL,
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bass
CYMBALS
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TRIANGLE
3 FOUR -PART MEN'S CHORUSES. EACH
8 Tenors I
8 Tenors
8 Basses
II
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Basses
GLOCKENSPIEL
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EIGHT -PART MIXED CHORUS
12
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12 Tenors
I2 Tenors
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12 Basses I
12 Basses
Altos I
XYLOPHONE
II
II
SEVERAL LARGE
The album is accompanied by a forty-eight page libretto in German and
English. The analytical notes are by
René Leibowitz who has been the most
active champion of the music of Schönberg in Europe. His books and essays
mark the beginning of a new diffusion
TAMTAM
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Schönberg.
3
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Complete catalog available on request.
I
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16 VIOLAS
16 VIOLONCELLOS
30 HUNTINGTON AVENUE, BOSTON 16, MASSACHUSETTS
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
www.americanradiohistory.com
(
12 DOUBLE -BASSES
IZ1 (
()KllS
building your record library
number five
JOHN S. WILSON SUGGESTS
TEN BASIC JAZZ LPs
-
-
Almost all jazz LPs
even those which might be considered
carry a mixed load of baggage. While most classical LPs
basic
may have one, two or possible .three selections per disk, the averthus
age jazz LP is burdened with eight to twelve selections
quadrupling the possible variants in quality or interest that the classical LP may undergo. This is by way of noting that there are mighty
few jazz LPs that are pure musical gold. The library of an LP jazz
collector is inevitably studded with recordings which survive
solely because they are inextricably attached to a disk which also
beneficiaries, as it were,
bears some pure and unalloyed gems
of gilt by association.
In view of this, I would not suggest that the LPs mentioned
below contain the finest jazz which has been put on record. Rather,
this is intended to be a selection of some of the very good work
of the most provocative figures in certain phases of jazz, a selection which may serve as an appetizer to further investigation.
One of the difficulties in selecting ten basic jazz LPs is that there
are a good many more than ten basic jazz performers available on
records. Fortunately, it is occasionally possible to kill two cats
which is one of the reasons why I would suggest,
with one disk
of the several Louis Armstrong LPs available, Volume 3 of The
LouisArmstrong Story, "Louis Armstrong with Earl Hines "(Columbia
This means passing over Volume 1 of this series, deML 4385).
voted to Armstrong's Hot Five, which contains some of the most
magnificent instances of small band jazz in the recorded repertory.
West End Blues, Weather
But Volume 3 has its share of classics
along with the added allure
Bird and Squeeze Me, to name a few
of two of the great creative talents of jazz working together in one
of their most fertile periods.
Armstrong, of course, is the jumping off point because, so
far as recorded jazz is concerned, he is one of the primary roots.
Roughly contemporary with Armstrong, but hoeing a slightly
different row, was Jelly Roll Morton whose contribution to full
weight on the flow of jazz has only begun to be appreciated in recent years. Morton as pianist, singer and propounder of a small
band jazz style was well represented on the pirated LPs which
flourished a couple of years ago. Since legal action removed them
from the market, there has been all too little vintage Jelly Roll
available on LP. One stirring sample, however, is Jelly Roll Morton
(Victor LPr 23), which provides a guide to Morton's small band
ways but is notably lacking in any suggestion of his enormous
talents as a blues singer.
The basic blues singer, incidentally, might well be mentioned
here. This, needless to say, would be Bessie Smith. As in the
case of Louis Armstrong, there is a happy wealth of material to
choose from, thanks to Columbia's four-volume Bessie Smith Story.
My choice for the present purpose would be Volume 3, "Bessie
Smith with Joe Smith and Fletcher Henderson's Hot Six" (Colu mbia ML 4809) because it includes Young Woman's Blues on which the two
Smiths, blues -singing Bessie and trumpet- playing Joe, create an
unusually moving and beautifully developed blues, because it
jaunty on Cake Walkshows Bessie in a variety of superb moods
ing Babies, relaxed on Baby Doll, raucous on There'll Be a Hot Time
and because, in addition, it affords an opporin Old Town Tonight
tunity to introduce another basic jazz figure, Fletcher Henderson.
Having opened the door to singers, it is impossible to close it
without inviting in Mildred Bailey. Miss Bailey added a lyric quality
to the jazz singer's traditionally rough approach, combining a
sweetness and purity of tone with a blues intonation in a manner
which has proved completely inimitable. On A Mildred Bailey
Serenade (Columbia cL 6094) she sings with her sure, clear charm in
the happy company of Red Norvo, Alec Wilder and Eddie Sauter.
-
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-
--
-
74
-
In the Twenties, when Armstrong, Morton and Bessie Smith
were making the records mentioned above, white jazz and Negro
jazz were still largely going their separate ways. Cornetist Bix
Beiderbecke is usually heralded as the leading white practitioner
of the period and, in view of his influence on other white musicians of that time, he probably was. On records, however, he was
often surrounded by plodding associates and frequently his main
aim as a performer seemed to be an effort to pierce their lethargy.
There are some good Beiderbecke records, to be sure (particularly
his piano pieces), but not enough on one LP to warrant inclusion
in a listing as basic as this. In preference to a Beiderbecke LP, I'd
suggest Red Nichols Classics, Volume 1 (Brunswick BL 58008), not
because Nichols played cornet in the same league with Beiderbecke
(he played in a different league which, on its own terms, produced
some very pleasant records), but because this disk is covered fore
to aft with Jack Teagarden, performing in his many roles as a
trombone soloist, ensemble musician and vocalist.
The clarinetist on most of these Nichols selections is Benny
Goodman who, when these records were made, was still some
years away from setting the world afire, a feat he eventually accomplished by successfully injecting legitimate jazz elements into
the popular dance band field. Some of the force that the Goodman
band generated is suggested by the collection of the band's air
checks in the two -disk set, Benny Goodman Jazz Concert, r 937-38,
No. 2 (Columbia SL 180). These recordings have the further merit of
containing excellent examples of the work of Goodman s original
trio and quartet, groups which created a large public for so- called
chamber jazz.
Before Goodman appeared on the scene, big band jazz was almost entirely in the hands of Negroes. A giant among these men
Duke Ellington, possessor of a unique and fantastiwas
and is
cally productive creative talent. His bands have occupied a special
niche in the jazz world for more than 25 years. Ellington's special
genius as composer and band leader achieved a particularly fine
flowering in 1940, and fortunately, eight choice selections from
that year make up This is Duke Ellington (Victor LPr 3017).
In Ellington's earlier days, big band jazz was inclined toward a
hell- for -leather approach. Jimmy Lunceford's band, which drew
attention in the early Thirties by playing more hellishly - for-leather
than anyone else, soon reversed its field to develop a style that was
hot, subtle and sophisticated. As in the case of Milat once
dred Bailey who effected much the same kind of change in the jazz
singer's art, the special quality of the Lunceford band has never
been successfully emulated. Some well defined instances of that
quality are included in Lunceford Special (Columbia ML 4804).
Count Basie's intensely rhythmic band holds a special place in
jazz progression. More than any other group, it brought the swing
era to a peak and at the same time carried within it the seeds of
the new jazz which was to develop in the middle Forties. Aside
from the band's significance, there was a wonderfully crisp, direct
quality in its work during its first flush of success. Basie's Best
(Brunswick BL 58019) is drawn from this period, a spirited mixture
of instrumentals, Basic's piano solos and some of Jimmie Rushing's
earnest blues shouting.
The new, emergent jazz which followed World War II got its
greatest boost from Woody Herman's eager, young and talented
band. Woody Herman at Carnegie Hall, r 946 (MGM B 3043) reproduces a substantial part of a concert given by the Herman
concert which forcefully demonband at Carnegie Hall in 1946
strated to a foot -stomping audience the directions that jazz would
take in the postwar years.
-
-
-
-
-a
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
..
It is not too soon to debunk hifooey, although the discriminating
record buyer will not be deceived by
the many boasts and false claims
which are being made as to the high
fidelity of records which have little or
no merit.
WHAT IS HI -FI?
AND WHAT IS HI-FOOEY?
When you hear a record made any
old way but with a frequency curve
printed on the jacket and extravagant claims made for it that is
only an old record,
IT IS NOT HI -FI
-
But, when you hear a record made
under the best studio conditions with
the music so properly balanced that
it is faithful to the performance in
the concert hall
THAT IS HI -FI
THAT IS WESTMINSTER
When you hear only the third harmonic of a piccolo which is somewhere in the range of 14,000 CPS,'
but without any body underneaththat is only the sound which dogs
enjoy, but
IT IS NOT HI -FI
But when you hear the piccolo as
an integral part of the orchestral
group with the high frequencies only
serving to make you recognize the
piccolo as a piccolo, and not as a
violin, or a trumpet or an oboe,
THAT IS HI -FI
THAT IS WESTMINSTER
When you hear castanets and triangles so loud that you can't hear the
music any more -that is only a sound
effect, but
IT IS NOT HI -FI
But, when you hear a triangle or a
castanet as a rhythmical accentuation of the music just as the composer
intended it, but not as if in a castanet
concerto,
THAT IS HI -FI
THAT IS WESTMINSTER
When it sounds good and balanced
and smooth as you expect music to
sound, then
THAT IS HI -FI
THAT IS WESTMINSTER
All the highs
and lows in the world don't neeesto faithful reproduction unless they
are balanced so as to give an accurate oral picture
saritg add up
of the music."
James Hinton,
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
Jr.
not hi-fooey
You can hear HI -FI only:
1. When the record is made under
the most careful musical and technical supervision that aims for musical
concert hall integrity.
If you play such a record on
equipment that does fullest justice to
everything which is on the record.
2.
We, at Westminster, have been
making real HI -FI records from the
very first record we made four years
ago. Westminster's quality of
HIGH FIDELITY
PL US NATURAL BALANCE
Westminster has established its reputation as a standard of quality
throughout the world. We do not have
to use tricks of sound to demonstrate
our quality. We have culled characteristic musical passages from our
regular catalog and combined them
into a HI -FI Test Record which is a
True Testing Record. Want to know
which records give you the 100% true
reproduction you want? Want to
know the capacity of specific HI -FI
equipment? Then the Westminster
Test Record is for you. The Westminster HI -FI record is the first and
only one of its kind. It uses no
sound effects and no special tricks,
but it draws only from the regular
repertory of the Westminster catalogue. Not extreme top and bottom
alone, Westminster's "NATURAL
BALANCE" allows you to hear
balanced reproduction. That's why
Irving Kolodin, editor of Saturday
Review's recording section, says " .
the recording adds lustre to Westminster's reputation for making music
rather than sound the focus of it's endeavor." We've developed a HI -FI
test record that is worthy of its name.
Eighteen bands of glorious music
portray definition in loud passages
without intermodulation. The separate bands include the sounds of
percussion, string, wood-winds and
brass groups as well as piano,
harpsichord and guitar . . . and
all in musical context. The test frequency signals in an audible range
from 40 to 15,000 CPS enable you to
establish the efficiency of your phonographic equipment, and the built -in
stroboscope on the label helps you
to test the accuracy of your turntable.
You know the quality of Westminster
recordings. You've seen Life Magazine choose no less than 6 Westminster Records for their HI -FI article:
GLIERE- Red Poppy
Ballet
WAL 210
RESP IGH I-Pines of Rome
HA
YDN- Military
WL 5167
Symphony
WL 5045
PRO KOFIEV-Lieut. Kije
W L 5091
RIMS K Y- KORSA KOV-Piano
Concerto
SC H
UBERT-Trout
WL 5068
Quintet
W L 5025
You've seen the Saturday Review
give Westminster the same kind of
prominence in their special Audio
Number, Oct. 1953.
You've read
about Westminster receiving 2 Audio
Engineering awards for 1953. Now,
test your equipment and get enjoyment, too, from the only true -to-life
sound of "NATURAL BALANCE"
with the only real HI -FI Test Rec.
the Westminster HI -FI
ord
Demonstration Record, specially
priced as a test record at $3.50.
Compare this value with other socalled test records at almost twice the
price. Ask your dealer for this record.
If he is out of stock, mail this coupon
to Westminster Recording Co. Just
fill in your name and address, and
very important.
the name and
address of your dealer. He will be
fully protected.
Westminster Recording Co., Inc.
275 7th Avenue, New York 1, N. Y.
Gentlemen:
Please rush me your HI -FI Demonstration Record.
check or
money order. (No C.O.D.'s)
in
NAME................................................................ ...............................
...
Dept. HF
I enclose $3.50
-
..................
ADDRESS
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STATE ................. ...............................
NAME
DEALER'S
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-
J
75
Rl;(.()RDS
Hui
FIDELITY DISCOGRAPHY NO
8
ozart on microgroove
By C. G. BURKE
Part
V:
Miscellaneous Orchestral; Chamber Music
MISCELLANEOUS ORCHESTRAL
(This section is one of convenience rather
than exactitude in cataloguing, for the Cassations, Divertimentos and Serenades, many
of which are emphatically orchestral, have
been relegated to a section of their own,
to establish a unity of nomenclature if not
necessarily of type.)
ADAGIO AND FUGUE IN C MINOR, KV S46
A version for string orchestra is discussed
with the quartet editions under "Chamber Music."
ADAGIOS AND FUGUES (AFTER BACH),
404a (r Edition of Part)
Mozart transcribed six fugues by Bach and
Friedemann Bach for strings, and wrote
adagio preludes for them. Two have been
recorded, and music -lovers will probably
find the fugues familiar, and the first adagio
excellent Mozart and piquant in such a
place. Good string tone and gracious sound.
-Janssen Sym. Orch., Los Angeles, Werner
Janssen, cond. Columbia ML 4406. 12 -in.
(with Schiinberg: Conc. for Qt. & Orch. after
Handel). 8, 6 min. $5.45.
CONTRA -DANCES, COUNTRY DANCES (KONTRETAENZE), GERMAN DANCES, LAENDLER, ETC.
Whatever difference once existed among the
types indicated by the titles above did not
long remain constant. To us, who dance to
a music less athletic and never see a German
dance in motion, the terms are interchangeable. Mozart wrote more than a hundred
such dances for orchestra, many late in his
life, small masterpieces astonishingly individual and imaginative. Like Haydn and
Beethoven, he lavished amusing orchestral
fancies on these exuberances, excesses
licensed by their rustic pretension; and when
it seemed good to him would rebuke the
bucolic cavorting by interludes of poised
and reticent grace.
The three disks below, with their forty seven performances of thirty -three Dances,
present all that are most familiar in this part
of Mozart's creation, and a few, not lesser,
but less frequently heard. The three conductors are in amusing disaccord on how
they should be played. Mr. Kloss's pertinacious sobriety is a wonderful example of
immunity to contagion, and provides an
impressive proof of the vitality of these little
pieces, not subdued by the censorship.
Mr. Litschauer's easy elasticity of posture is
in stimulating contrast, his stick assigning a
character to each of twenty dances, as if
he had taken the trouble to study them.
Mr. Leibowitz too is wholehearted in his
effort and resourceful in his manner, and
some of his KV 509 is stunning; but the
jazzed -up excitation of others, at first
startling, soon becomes a discomfort. In
the Kloss instance the engineering is serene
and satisfactory; for the Litschauer, wide range, brilliant, effective and occasionally
harsh, with the Leibowitz the most telling
of the three in spite of or because of
some brittleness in its dazzle.
-
-
-KV
605 complete, & 17 others from KV 534,
600, 602, 6o6 & 6o9. Vienna Nat. Op. Orch.,
Vanguard 426.
Franz Litschauer, cond.
12 -in. 34 min. $5.95 -KV 509 (6 dances). French Nat. Radio
Orch., René Leibowitz, cond. Esoteric 512.
r2 -in. (with Beethoven: 6 Ger. Dances; Schubert- IVebern: 6 Ger. Dances). r r min. $5.95
-KV 509, S71, 600 & 6o5 (2r Dances).
Frankenland Sym. Orch., Erich Kloss, cond.
Lyrichord 31. 12 -in. 48 min. $5.95.
FANTASY IN F MINOR, KV 6o8
(2
Editions)
We are not likely ever to have this in its
original form, which is for clock -organ. It
is most effective in the orchestration by
Tibor Serly, which is used in the recordings.
A massive and virile lament with a fugue of
Handelian vigor, it receives an energetic
statement from Mr. Autori and a sound of
authoritative clarity from the engineers,
who have been notably successful in preserving the integrity of the various choirs.
Mr. Fekete has not had such luck: his
broader projection is damaged by an emaciated sound wherein only the woodwinds
are distinct.
-New Sym.
Orch., London, Franco Autori,
Bartok 302. 12-in. (with Bartok:
Dance Suite.). to min. $5.95.
-Vienna Sym. Orch., Zoltan Fekete, cond.
Remington 199 -2. 12 -in. (with Schubert:
Sym. 1). 13 min. $2.49.
cond.
MARCHES
-
MINUETS
The heading serves only to introduce what
is really a footnote. A number of marches,
minuets, gavottes and other short things,
usually familiar, are appended to recordings
of longer works, and there is not enough
space to notice them here. In addition, Vox
had a disk containing a dozen minuets, and
Period one with four marches, that were not
76
obtainable for this examination and have
perhaps been withdrawn.
(Les) PETITS RIENS, KV 299b (1 Edition)
The ballet that Mozart wrote for use in
Paris is saturated with a perfumed wistful
charm deliberately contrived and maintained to satiety. No doubt that here he
composed down to what he considered an
inferior level of taste. The charm is undeniable although flagrantly flaunted: several hearings give the feeling of a surfeit of
marshmallows. It requires an austere orchestral analysis to stiffen its texture, and
this is too much to ask of Mr. Lund, the recording conductor, throughout fourteen
numbers. There is no evidence of imagination in this performance which for most of
its length is merely played; and the use of
a very small string body has given disproportionate authority to the wind instruments.
-Ton -Studio Orch., Stuttgart, Gustav Lund,
cond. Period 559. 12 -in. (with 6 Overtures).
21 min. $5.95-
CHAMBER MUSIC
(For instrumental groups containing at
least three players, but not enough to constitute what we would call an orchestra.
Certain works for such groups, but with
distinctive titles like Divertimento or
Serenade, have been listed under those
titles.)
ADAGIO AND FUGUE IN C MINOR, KV 546
(2 Editions)
The Adagio was written five years later than
the Fugue in its original statement for two
pianos. Mozart had been studying a great
predecessor, and the result is massive, masculine Bach. Its proportions are more completely exploited by a string orchestra than
by a string quartet. The recorded Karajan
performance has a stern domination that
the Grillers cannot match. Unluckily the
heavy substance of the Karajan sonics is
invidious to the clarity of the Karajan
direction.
The Grillers keep power subordinate to poise.
-Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert
von Karajan, cond. COLUMBIA ML 5437.
12 -in. (with Sym. 33 & Eine k N). 9 min.
$5.45-
-Griller Quartet.
LONDON
(with Dvorak: Qt. 6).
8
min.
LL
4.
12 -in.
$5.95.
QUINTET FOR CLARINET AND STRINGS, IN
A, KV 581 (6 Editions)
It is hardly necessary to expatiate on the
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LLA -15 $17.85 free libretto
Symphony No. 40 in G. Minor (K. 550)
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(Bach) (oll transcribed by Kempff) Wilhelm Kempff
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Thirty -three Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli
(Beethoven)
Julius
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L'Invitation au voyage.
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Gerard Souzoy (baritone) and Jacqueline Bonneau
(piano)
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Alfred Deller (counter tenor- Peter Pears (tenor)
Norman Lumsden (bass).
Duet for Two Sopranos
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R1-(.(
)Rllti
beauties of a celebrated masterpiece indisputably the summit of the clarinet literature and perhaps also the summit of the
Mozart chamber music. It has long been
a puzzle to analysts that certain chance shots
of the composer, certain works written for
combinations previously ignored and then
immediately
abandoned, could display
a
mastery so stunning in the single effort.
Such are this Clarinet Quintet, the Sinfonia
Concertante, KV 364, and the String Trio
He did not set
up rivals for these giants unique in their
respective forms; but he left in equal isolation a Clarinet Trio, a Horn Quintet and an
amiable music and respecOboe Quartet
table, but by no means grand Mozart.
The Clarinet Quintet is one of those
glories whose acknowledged stature nine
times in ten exacts telling performances
from experienced musicians. If we reproduce any one of the recorded versions, even
the oldest (Stradivari, Lyrichord), without
making comparison with any other, we shall
probably agree that that one is at least
satisfactory even if the sonics we hear from
the older ones are less pungent or more
shallow than we might like.
But if we do make comparisons we shall
not find the lesser versions satisfactory. The
wonderful glow of the best quite hides the
pale gleam of the others. This is said in
warning to budgeting discophiles, so that
they may avoid extinguishing their present
satisfaction or escape a new expenditure for
an obligato duplication. For the six recordings seem to fall neatly into two groups of
three, the lower being satisfactory and the
higher outstanding, neither in the same
way or to the same degree.
The disk of Mr. Goodman and his companions is the best of the satisfactories,
peculiarly appealing and sweet in subdued
tone and rounding phrase, a relative miniature at variance with many concepts, but
this malleable music is sympathetic to a
number of directions. Mr. Kell and the
Fine Arts are brilliant in a perfermance bent
more to concerto- style, and in tempo and
phrasing a more usual performance, although calling the distinctive assurance of
this clarinet "usual" may be taking a liberty.
There remain two interpretations of singular beauty, in the recordings most convincing sonically. The Westminster disk reveals the clarinet of Leopold Wlach at one
with the unblushing Viennese temperament
of that Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet whose
unfailing romanticism has produced many
records, not one of which has left anyone
cold yet. Hearers are hot with either admiration or rage, depending on the music
played and the hearers' prejudices. (It seems
to the present critic that in musical matters
Viennese style is not necessarily noxious
when compared with the styles of New
The
York, Paris, Milan and Boston.)
Wlach- Vienna version of the Clarinet Quintet, with its reluctance to quit a note until
the last lovely essence has been aspirated
and its evanescence lovingly lamented in
this melting inquiry seems as
advance
right as it is undeniably beautiful, and between this and the affectionate aristocratism
of the New Italian Quartet with Antoine de
Bavier, preference must be determined by
personal chemistry. No one denies that in
the mechanics of quartet- playing the Nuovo
Quartetto Italiano have no commensurate
rival, but it has been unfortunately true that
(Divertimento),
-
-
78
KV 563.
much of the music that they have chosen to
record has not proved tractable to their
expertise. But the infinite resilience of the
Clarinet Quintet can accept even the caressing strokes of this infinitely rehearsed
as
group without detriment and indeed
we soon perceive
can respond with no
diminution of feeling although the voices
never sacrifice their patrician modulation.
The even texture, the equipoise of instrufor Mr. de Bavier is just a member
ments
the exactitude of entrance and
of the club
the full length of utterance are all virtues
that have been remarked in this group before; but the judicious phrasing and fastidious intonation are this time in spiritual
alliance with their music. Here is one of the
best of all chamber -music records.
-Antoine de Bavier; New Italian Quartet.
LONDON LL 573. 12 -in. 35 min. $5.95.
-
-
- -
-Leopold Wlach; Vienna Konzerthaus
Quartet. WESTMINSTER. WL 51I2. 12 -in.
37 min. $5.95.
-Reginald Kell; Fine Arts Quartet DECCA
DL 9600. 12 -in. 3o min. $5.85.
-Benny Goodman; American Arts Quartet.
COLUMBIA ML 4483. 12 -in. 29 min. $5.45
-Augustin Duques; String Quartet. STRADIVARI 601. 12 -in. (with Horn Quintet). 27
min. $5.95-Sidney Forrest; Galimir Quartet. LYRICHORD Io. 12 -in. 32 min. $5.95.
QUINTET FOR HORN AND STRINGS, IN E
FLAT, KV 407 (4 Editions)
Tumbling from Mount Everest to Mount
Everett, we can take some offhand pleasure
in the stockier air so much nearer ordinary
levels. The Horn Quintet (employing two
violas and one violin), is built like a small
concerto and can be enjoyed like a divertimento. On the records the old Stradivari
sound is indistinct and the Concert Hall is
the clearest, with the Boston pretty good
and between. The Allegro was not heard.
Mr. Stagliano acquits himself best of the
acrobatics of his magnificent and difficult
instrument. Boston and Concert Hall are
close enough for the preferred overside to
dictate choice.
-James Stagliano; Quartet from the Boston
Symphony Orchestra. BOSTON 201. 12 -in.
(with Rust: Viola Sonata). 20 min. $5.95.
-Werner Speth; three from the Pascal
Quartet and Walter Gerhard, viola. CONCERT HALL CHS 1188. 12 -in. (with Quint.
KV 46). 17 min. $5.95.
-Ottavio deRosa; String Quartet. STRADI(with Clarinet Quintet).
12 -in.
VARI bol.
13 min. $5.95.
-(John Barrows; String Quartet. ALLEGRO
AL 62. 12 -in. (with Oboe Quartet). $5.95)
QUINTET FOR PIANO AND WIND INSTRUMENTS, IN E FLAT, KV 452 (2 Editions)
An engaging hybrid, fathered by the piano
concerto from the wind serenade, with an
expressive larghetto, played with something
less than ultimate eloquence on the only
record heard. The performance on this very
early Westminster is proficient and routine,
the sound clear, shallow and from time to
time overbold. The music deserves more.
-Roland Raupenstrauch (pf), Hans Kamesch (ob), Leopold Wlach (cl), Gottfried
Freiberg (hn), Karl Oehlberger (bn). WESTMINSTER WL 5007. 12 -in. (with Quint. KV
614). 20 min. $5.95.
(Yvette Grimaud and wind quartet. MER(with Serenade 3).
12 -in.
CURY 10031.
-
$4.85.)
QUINTETS FOR STRINGS
(The seven works for string quartet with a
second viola have been entered here according to the ascension of their Köchel
numbers, although some of those are deceptive. Learned research has entangled itself
in the ascription of dates to the Viola Quintets. However, they do not seem ever to
have been known by inalienable numbers:
in fact some have hardly been known at all.)
B FLAT, KV 46 (1 Edition)
KV 46 is a re- working of four of the seven
movements of the famous Serenade No. to
for 13 wind instruments, KV 361. The sometimes special wisdom of musicology has
distinguished itself here, declaring in one
instance that Mozart wrote the Quintet at
the age of 12, and in another that someone
else wrote it. Even Mozart could not have
accomplished the first, and the sublime
forgery perpetrated in the second should
certainly have led to an exhaustive effort to
uncover the unsung, equally great contemporary of Mozart.
The material and
moods of the Serenade are held, but there
is not much similarity of treatment in the
Quintet which proceeds as chamber music.
The Pascals give the kind of sturdy, becoming performance expected of them, in
which the musical elements are coalesced,
none extolled over another.
Untroublesome and pretty natural reproduction.
-Pascal Quartet, Walter Gerhard, second
12 -in.
viola. CONCERT HALL CHS 1188.
(with Horn Quintet). 23 min. $5.95.
-
Edition)
Reflection without discomfort and vivacity
without excitement keep the Italian outlook
of a little -known Quintet genial in playing
and recording of enjoyable relaxation. The
sunshine is too soft for problems.
-Pascal Quartet with Walter Gerhard.
12 -in.
(with
CONCERT HALL CHS 1185.
Quint. KV 515). 21 min. $5.95
B FLAT, KV 174 (1
C MINOR, KV 406 (2 Editions)
Here is the Twelfth Serenade (Wind Octet)
re- written for the dark emphasis of the
string quintet to solemnize its menace.
There is no hope in it; and as an exposition
of hopelessness the quintet's drab tints are
more appropriate than the motley of the
winds. This is not to say that the Quintet
is better, for the clear colors of the winds
add a sting to the gloom of the Serenade,
but the Quintet is intransigent everywhere
and thus formally more authoritative. The
Pascal performance is good and the Budapest
masterful. The two groups have competed
many times on records, and Budapest here
seem to have a greater advantage than anywhere else. They are more downright in the
anguished worry of the music, crisper in their
harshness, more unified in their more variable
susceptibility. The Pascals are not a subtle
quartet but the Budapesters are and the
Reproduction is not admirable
music is.
in either case, but one is worth the other:
Concert Hall on the harsh side with more
reverberation than we ought to hear, but
more vital than the old Columbia whose
treble does not tingle and the age of whose
bass is in the wood.
-
-Budapest Quartet with Milton Katims.
12 -in.
COLUMBIA MI. 4143.
KV S93). 20 min. $5.45.
(with Quint.
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HEIFETZ
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A glorious song recital. Milanov at her
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JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
79
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RECORDS
-Pascal Quartet with Walter Gerhard.
CONCERT HALL CHS 1186.
ra-in. (with
Quint. KV 516).
19
min. $5.95.
(2 Editions)
Mozart seldom seems prolix, but in KV 515
whose main streams are less interesting than
C, KV 515
its episodes, the hearer is aware of glib
music and unglib time. In the Budapest
version it is half a bore, for reasons unclear
until that version has been compared with
the Pascal. Then it is found that the Budapest recording is toneless, that the quartet
have no distinct individual lines, that the
lusterless main streams are not cheered by
any gleam in the episodes. This is a case of
sonic evisceration not commonplace, since
the general quality of sound is pleasant
enough: it is just that there is no definite
delineation of character in the union of the
four instruments. The Pascal record is not
disabled: it is a much newer registration
alive where the other is moribund, and prolixity is much less evident when every voice
/4e
el (Zest
tin
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-Pascal Quartet, Walter Gerhard. CONCERT HALL CHS 1185. 12 -in. (with Quint.
KV 574) 32 min. $5.95.
-Budapest Quartet, Milton Katims.
LuMBIA ML 4034.
recordings cover the complete range
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by JOHN PHILIP SOUSA
Fairest of the Fair, Manhattan Beach.
The Black Horse Troop, Daughters of
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IENKINS -NEFF Pieces of Eight; HANSON
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MORE His Honor;
Cheerio; FILL.
Our Director;
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of the Illini; SAGLEY National Emblem.
GOLDMAN
RIGE LOW
London.
In general, Budapest are most notable
in a penetrating intonation and a merciless,
final exactitude of these feverish phrases.
The dark color of Griller is atmospherically
effective. Amadeus have the richest harmonic glow. Pascal present an equality of
five protagonists which arouses a sense of
superior fulifilment, emotionally and instrumentally. Up to the rondo, this is the
Eastman Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Frederick Fennell, conductor.
MarDOWELL Second (Indian) Suite, Op. 18
Symphony Orchestra,
Howard Hanson, conductor.
J,, ,iman-Rochester
"&"
DEEMS TAYLOR
Through the Looking Gloss
Eastman -Rochester Symphony Orchestr.,
Howard Hanson, conductor.
preferred version.
.1
Y.LUOLYMPIAN
SERIES
N)
ß))uv'pRESENÇE
min. $5.45.
ably, to this G Minor work which is the
Viola Quintet, the manufacturers have assigned their executants best qualified to
stay at the level of the staves. The four
editions are estimable, if not equally, in
their statement of music with a torment
unparalleled in Mozart. There is some disagreement on the perplexing terminal rondo,
as there will always be, but the fundamental
outraged poignancy of the other three
movements and a half is eminently expressive in all.
Of course the records are not of equal
value. On Columbia and Concert Hall the
music has the advantage of a single side,
and while the long Columbia side does
deteriorate in sound toward the spindle, the
average of that record's sound equals, or
nearly, Concert Hall's, and these two disks
are sonically superior to the other two. The
vaulted Westminster reproduction, imposing
at first listening, and admittedly pleasingly
rotund at low voice. palls when loud. A
rumble -suppressor is a necessity with the
IMPORTANT NEW RELEASES
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The most revered household gods of
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But that despised finale was not put here
by a composer foolish or novice in dramatic
propriety. This is not Pollyanna attaching
with glucose a happy ending to Hamlet in
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Gertrude administering to all, in the nick,
a saving serum brought by Lassie, and King
whose death was shammed to
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RECORDS
-
test his son
and Hamlet the prince marries the parabolic daughter of King Zog and
The rondo can be
Queen Geraldine).
played, and usually is, to make this effect of
fruity fatuity. Since the bathos is fatal to
the preceding wonderful establishment of
unmitigated tragedy, the Budapest Quartet
and Mr. Katims transmute it into a fevered
ritual of desperate rejoicing, God's inscrutable ways being always the right ways.
Delicate and almost imperceptible increments of intensity produce this redemption,
which Pascal have not been able to manage,
and the choice goes to Budapest.
-Budapest Quartet with Milton Katims.
12 -in.
(with Quint.
COLUMBIA ML 4469.
KV 614). 29 min. $5.45.
-Pascal Quartet with Walter Gerhard.
r2 -in.
(with
CONCERT HALL CHS 1186.
Quint. KV 406). 32 min. $5.95.
-Amadeus Quartet with Cecil Aronowitz.
12 -in.
35 min.
WESTMINSTER WL 5o86.
$5.95
-Griller Quartet with Max Gilbert. LONDON LL 132.
D,
KV
12 -in.
$5.95.
593 (2 Editions)
Not much tribulation in this beautiful thing
obscured in repute by its tragic G Minor
forerunner. It is whimsical and here and
there inscrutable in episodes of surprising
exuberance or of chastened introspection.
Only two or three works in the form, whenever written, have as much worth as this;
and since both recordings are excellent, solvent Mozarteans have no excuse not to
possess one.
The verdict is to Echo. This abets the
Pascal Quartet and Mr. Gerhard with its
expansiveness, sweetening the sound and
caressing the ears in a way that the very
distinct but less mobile Columbia sound
has not done for the taut, sparkling performance of the Budapesters in a magisterial
exposition of susceptive, expert quartet playing. But we deal with end results, and
the pleasure from Pascal is rounder if less
epigrammatic. (It must be added that the
Columbia reproduction, of its more compressed type, is very good indeed.)
-Pascal Quartet with Walter Gerhard.
12 -in.
(with
CONCERT HALL CHS 1187.
Quint. KV 614). 27 min. $5.95
-Budapest Quartet with Milton Katims.
12 -in.
COLUMBIA ML 4143.
(with Quint.
KV 406). 24 min. $5.45.
614 (3 Editions)
Mozart in his dying months, trying again
in a hurry obdurate fortune, imitated again
Haydn and produced again a masterpiece in
this perfect combination of the oldish inventor and the youngish (as he had to stay)
conservative.
KV 614 is all wondrous
jocularity, and is not less than KV 516 which
is a perfection of horrendous misery. The
last Quintet, which KV 614 is, is a tavern piece, back -slapping, truculent and sentimental; and the aggressive heartiness of the
Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet carries the
day against the pursed lips of the Americanized Budapesters and the Gallic logic of
the Pascals. (The latter have the best sonics,
but the courageous raucousness of the early
Westminster well fits the asperities of the
E FLAT, KV
Viennese players.)
-Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet with Karl
Maria Titze. WESTMINSTER WL 5007. 12 -in.
(with Po.- lVVind Quint. KV 452). 23 min.
EE!
ON THIS AMAZING OFFER
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Hirsch'. Winterthur Symphony Orchestra; Walter Goehr, conductor.
HAYDN:
Isola oisabiteta (Overture).
Wintherthur Symphony Orchestra;
Walter
I
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MMS -7
MENDELSSOHN:
record
lands Philharmonic Orchestra; Otto
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for refund.
,;
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Plano Concerto No. 20 in D
Minor. Frank Pelleg, pianist; Musical
Masterpiece Symphony Orchestra; WalMOZART:
ter Goehr, conductor.
I In F Major
Winterthur Symphony Orchestra; WalBEETHOVEN: Symphony No.
.
ter Goehr. conductor.
BEETHOVEN: Two German Dances.
Win
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Symphony Orchestra; Paul Hupperts,
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"BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G.
Winterthur Symphony Orchestra; Wal-
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ter Goehr, conductor.
BACH: Brandenburg Concerte No. 5 in D.
Winterthur Symphony Orchestra; Walter Goehr, conductor.
LALO: Symphonie Espagnole. Ricardo Odnoposoff, violinist; Utrecht Symphony
Orchestra; Walter Goehr, conductor.
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony Ne. 4 in F
Minor. Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; Walter Goehr, conductor.
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. S in S -Flot
Major. Winterthur Symphony Orchestra; Fritz Busch. conductor.
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. S in C Minor.
Utrecht Symphony Orchestra; Paul
Hupperts. conductor.
/DUKAS:
The
Sorcerer's
Apprentice.
Utrecht Symphony Orchestra; Paul
MMS -27
Hupperts. conductor.
MOUSSORGSKY: Night on Bald Moan-
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; Walter Goehr, conductor.
tain.
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(
ORllS
-Pascal Quartet with Walter Gerhard.
CONCERT HALL CHS 1187.
12 -in.
(with
Quint. KV 593).
21
min.
$5.95.
-Budapest Quartet with Milton Katims.
12 -in.
COLUMBIA ML 4469.
KV 516). 24 min. $5.45.
(with Quint.
QUARTETS FOR FLUTE AND STRINGS
No. I, IN D,
KV 285 (2 Editions)
The best of the Flute Quartets, No.
is all
elation, infectious but tidy. The composer's
declared loathing for the flute is of course
not evident, and it is not without a renewal
of awe that we savor this champagne bottled
by a vintner determined to have its bubbles
heady no matter how much he disliked its
color. Mozart the composer was capable
of compromise, but not the craftsman.
Both recorded versions are commendable,
1
-
with some obvious advantage to Westminster for the crisper clarity of its sound.
Nevertheless, Oxford has made a satisfactory
engraving of a performance of greater
breeziness, directer course and
from the
flute
plumper tone. Westminster is less
confined and more varied: and for two movements the contest could be called a draw.
But the hot pace of the Oxford players in
the rondo, the cream of the work, is decidedly more telling than the comparative deliberation of their rivals, and wins preference.
-Julius Baker (fl), Harry Zarief (vn),
David Mankovitz (va), Ralph Oxman (vo).
OXFORD 101. 12 -in. (with FI. Qtr. ; & 4).
13 min. $5.95.
-Hans Recnicek, Anton Kamper, Erich
Weiss, Franz Kwarda. WESTMINSTER WL
5022. 12 -in. (with Oboe Qt. and Divertimento,
KA 229, No. 2). 13 min. $5.95
-
-
ULTRA
HIGH
F IDELITY
RECORDS
MENDELSSOHN
CONCERTO FOR 2 PIANOS AND
ORCHESTRA IN E MAJOR
CAPRICCIO BRILLIANT, Op. 22
No.
3, IN C, KA 171;
No. 4, IN A, KV 298
(I Edition)
Pleasant, frothy things which do not exercise the appeal of No. t, in concise and
spirited playing and easy reproduction despite the disk's good age. The second movement of No. 3 contains material used later
in the sixth movement of the tenth serenade, an uncommon practice for Mozart.
-Julius Baker, Harry Zarief, David Man kovitz, Ralph Oxman. OXFORD tot. 12 -in.
(with Fl. Qt. 1). 13, lo min. $5.95.
QUARTET FOR OBOE AND STRINGS, IN F,
KV 370 (4 Editions)
Music of tasteful frailty, with sterner implications in the adagio anticipatory of Schubert, performed with no considerable difference of concept or style on the three records
heard, none of which offers more than in-
timations of acoustic superiority. In noting
again the remarkable difference between
one oboe and another, we are not likely to
declare any unanimity of favor among the
incisiveness of Mr. Gomberg, the nice
linearity of Mr. Tabuteau and the plastic
The respective
accent of Mr. Kamesch.
dissimilar couplings may offer the preponderant argument for one disk or another.
In the writer's appraisal the distinction of
the Columbia strings prevailed
-Marcel Tabuteau (ob), Isaac Stern (vn),
William Primrose (va), Paul Tortelier (vo).
COLUMBIA ML 4566. 12 -in. (with Divertimento, KV 251). 14 min. 85.45.
-Harold Gomberg, Felix Galimir, Gabriel
DECCA DL
Banat, Alexander Kouguell.
Sonata;
12 -in.
(with Telemann:
9678.
Partita). 15 min. $5.85.
-Hans Kamesch, Anton Kamper, Erich
Weiss, Franz Kwarda. WESTMINSTER WL
5022. I2 -in. (with Fl. Qt. r & Divertimento,
KA 229, No. 2). 15 min. $5.95
-(Harold Gomberg and others. ALLEGRO
$5.95.)
62. 12 -in. (with Horn Quint.).
QUARTET FOR PIANO AND STRINGS
No. I, IN G MINOR, KV 478 (3 Editions)
Not many will refuse this great work
Orazio Frugoni and Eduard Mrazek,
pianos -Pro Musica Symphony, Vienna
Hans Swarowsky, conductor
PL 8350
acknowledgment of lofty leadership in its
form. It may be that that leadership has
warned off emulation, for few important
composers since Mozart have written for
this instrumental association, and only
Brahms tried it more than once. The music
is a revelation of the curious complexity of
civilized man, emphatically manly in the
first movement, with some of the dogmatism of Beethoven and an ominous mystery
of corollary utterance breathtaking in its
restraint. The andante is a contemplation
MENDELSSOHN
ST. PAUL ORATORIO
Soloists- Akademie Kammerchor -Pro
Musica Symphony, Vienna
Ferdinand Grossmann, conductor
PL 8362
is soothed by
philosophy, and the exceptionally subtle
rondo is an envoi of bravely sportive regret.
These feelings were not worn on the classic
Eighteenth Century sleeve: they become
manifest at the eighteenth or twentieth
of tragedy wherein distress
RAVEL'S BEST IN
HIGHEST FIDELITY!
A SCINTILLATING, DEFINITIVE
PERFORMANCE OF LISZT'S
2
BOLERO LA VALSE
ALBORADA DEL
RAPSODIE
GRACIOSO
PAVANE
ESPAGNOLE
FOR A DEAD PRINCESS
Orchestre Radio-Symphonique
de Paris
Rene Leibowitz, conductor
PL 8150
POPULAR CONCERTOS!
PIANO CONCERTO NO.
1
IN E FLAT MAJOR
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
IN A MAJOR
Orazio Frugoni, piano -Pro
Musica Symphony, Vienna
Hans Swi rowsky, conductor
PL 8390
VOX PRODUCTIONS, INC.
236 West 55th Street, New York 19, N. Y.
hearing.
Three phonographic versions in three
exact respect for the phonograph. This is
not a usual proportion, and in the Mozart
discography it is one of minimal precedent.
The basic quality of musical thought is the
same from each group, and the final superiority of one performance is less the result
of the players' domination of their hearers
than of their subjection to the music. That
is, the two excellent Columbia versions seem
in deft and intelligent control of the emotions they stipulate, while the London
players are in ostensible soft surrender to the
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
82
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LLCOKI)S
moods they evoke. That is of course not
true, but the ostentation is more important
than the fact. From Curzon -Amadeus we
have a supple extension of dynamics and
accent, and a warmth of tone, that corroborate and reinforce the romanticism of this
classic music, to an extent the others do
not attain. (And as an example of sympathetic, sensitive piano -playing -in- ensemble,
Mr. Curzon's work here is equal to any
praise.) The London sound aids the London players by some increase of warmth,
although the cool, analytic reproduction of
the New York Quartet is technically superior.
Befitting their sonics, the latter
group play with the most elegance and the
largest revelation of detail. Szell- Budapest
are the most robust and the sound accorded them
of much older vintage than
the others'
is good although lacking an
ultimate distinctness and accompanied by
--
numbers is the set of six Quartets dedicated
to Haydn, of which the first, in G, is solidly
established, for better or worse, as No. 14,
and the last, in C, is doggedly No. 19.
One is effectively anchored to these six
numbers; and the preceding Quartets have
KV
perforce received cavalier treatment:
136 -13S (only one of which is on records)
have been considered Divertimentos, and
the four Milanese Quartets have received
no numbers. The four works written after
the Haydn Quartets are Nos. 20.23, and
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, an incomplete
has
already appeared under
serenade,
Serenades. KV 546 seems properly placed
as Adagio and Fugue.)
FOUR MILANESE QUARTETS: No. I, IN A;
No. 2. IN B FLAT; No. I. IN C; No. 4.
faint rumble.
Curzon (pf); and Norbert Brainin
(vn), Peter Schidlof (va), and Martin Lovett
(vo) of the Amadeus Quartet. LONDON LL
679.
12 -in.
(with Pf. Qt. 2). 23 min.
IN E FLAT, KA 210.213 (I Edition)
Supposition and analysis ascribe these
works to 1773, in which case they would
be chronologically Nos. 8 -11, or II -14 if
the string divertimentos were included as
Quartets. But numbers to these would foul
the numeration of those following, and so
they have none.
Some musicologists have been wary in
attributing these delightful little essays to
Mozart, and Vox earns the applause of
music -lovers by demonstrating through aural
evidence who wrote them. They are lively,
declarative, tuneful and light, with little of
the elaborate structure of the string quartet
as Haydn and Mozart were to expand it.
They reject convention with a kind of petulant originality, and disengage charm without an effort from the listener. The recorded
a
-Clifford
URANIA
Records, Inc
$5.95.
-New York Quartet (Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Alexander Schneider, Milton Katims,
Frank Miller). COLUMBIA ML 4627. 12 -in.
(with Beethoven: Pf. Qt. after Find Quint.,
Op. 16). 24 min. $5.45
-George Szell; and Josef Roismann, Boris
Kroyt and Mischa Schneider of the Budapest
Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4080. 12 -in. (with
Pf Qt. 2). 21 min. $5.45.
No.
2, IN E FLAT, KV 493 (2 Editions)
Has much of the dash of the gallant piano
concertos written by Mozart in the 1780's,
with a dash too of profounder material.
Overshadowed by the admittedly greater
First Piano Quartet, the Second is second in
the literature only to that First, and deserves
more performances than it receives.
Fortunately the records maintain the high
quality of the recorded Firsts. Since a First
occupies the obverse of both editions of
the Second, and since the Curzon -Amadeus
First is a magnificent accomplishment in
chamber music, it is probably idle to discuss
the relative values of the two Seconds.
Still, duty compels the statement that SzellBudapest are more effective here in a ring-
ing candor than Curzon -Amadeus in a
shyer poetry. Not much, however; and the
Londoners are supplied with a notably better sound. Disk against disk, two works
against two, London has it, in the advantage
won by the first.
-George Szell and three from the Budapest
Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4080. 12 -in. (with
Pf. Qt. r) 22 min. $5.45.
-Clifford Curzon and three from the
Amadeus Quartet. LONDON LI. 679. 12 -in.
(with Pf Qt. r). 23 min. $5.95.
QUARTETS FOR STRINGS
(Mozart wrote 3o works for the sanctified
ensemble of two violins, viola and cello.
There has never been a complete chronological catalog ascribing sequential numbers
to the elements of this music, although
there have been many catalogs. For a long
time the numbers in the Peters Edition were
in favor, but in recent years a system has
slipped into use whose numeration for part
of the list has become fixed with custom.
This part now pretty generally identified by
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JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
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Over
500,000
performances are characterized by a vigorous drive contemptuous of refinement, in
untroubled reproduction that presents the
instruments with bold clarity. The Barchet
group is not especially notable for tonal
suavity, but they make a rousing diversion
of this music.
-Barchet Quartet.
It,
record
collectors
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9, 9, 9 min.
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PL
7480.
12-in.
85.95.
No. 6, IN B FLAT, KV
1S9
(1
Edition)
a little andante
The pattern is piquant:
grazioso elegy, a fiery and defiant allegro
and a flip rondo scoffing at both; the whole
not to be disdained. A knowing and deft
performance, but the violins when loud are
coarse, presumably an engineering fault in
a projection otherwise of expected merit.
-Griller Quartet. LONDON LS 656. Io -in.
(with Haydn: Qt. r8, Op. 3, No. 5). 12 min.
84.95
beauty.
The G Major Quartet is par excellence
abstract: its design is purely musical. If
it simulates emotions, or stimulates any,
hearers will not agree on what they are.
In plastic generalities, the four movements
may be characterized without enlightening
allegro vivace assai, sophisticated
much:
masculinity; menuetto, jocularity, then chided;
andante cantabile, tender femininity; molto
allegro, exhilaration
an especially vague
and puny imprint to receive from the gleaming vivacity of this fugal sonata- finale. But
who is to precise the indefinable?
The Calvet and recently announced Amadeus versions were not received. Recorded
distortion of the violins and a baleful background thumping eliminate the fastidious
playing of the Loewenguths from consideration. A rather violent accent and heated
intonation from the Roths paints the lily.
Remain two beautiful classic projections by
No. 8, IN F, KV 168 (r Edition)
Experimental and tentative, resourceful and
studious music occupied with dun and unattractive thematic material, KV 168 has no
immediate allure. Of the 19 recorded string
quartets, this one has the greatest disproportion between musicographical and musical
pleasure. Earnest performance and standard
recording.
-Griller Quartet. LONDON LL 658. la -in.
(with Qt. r7). 17 min. 85.95
No. I1, IN
E FLAT, KV 171
-
(/ Edition)
The record was not received for comparison.
The Loewenguth Quartet may be counted
on for an intelligent performance.
Vox PL 642o.
-(Loewenguth Quartet.
ta -in. (with Vn. Cont. 3). 85.95)
twin
are you one
of them?
Vox
No. 14, IN G, KV 387 (6 Editions)
This is the first of the six great works that
Mozart dedicated to Haydn, from whom he
had learned what a quartet should be. The
first was begun in 1782 and the last was
finished in 1785, and for no particular reason
those are the two most frequently performed.
With these six Quartets, Mozart, whose
genius habitually progressed in a serene
and steady development from a high point
to higher, takes a spectacular leap upward.
His previous Quartets have in common with
the Haydn six that they were written for the
same instruments, and no more. In dignity
of thought and complexity of evolution, in
the logic of part- distribution and cohesiveness of pattern, this music made the old
criterions derisory, for all their charm and
Ng
CANTERBURY
"SHOW-OFF" RECORD
CANTERBURY Presents the New True - Timbre Recording
Pipe Organ Music
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; Franck: Pièce Héroique;
Handel: Largo; Elmore: Suite In Rhythm
Performed By
Robert Elmore, Mus. Bac., A.R.C.O., F.R.A.M.
At the Console of the New Organ, Washington Memorial Chapel,
Valley Forge
This 33h r.p.m. Microgroove recording, on pure Vinylite, features:
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Widest Dynamic Range
Full Frequency Response
The magnificent performance of Mr. Elmore and the full -throated
splendor of the New Organ combine to make this the ideal recording
for "showing off" the capabilities of your sound system.
$5.50 ppd.
P
241 North Seventeenth Street
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a
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RECORDER AND
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
RECORDS
the identical Budapest Quartet, one circa
1950, the other of this very year, played
with little discernible difference from the
same mature concept, and engineered to
some advantage of smartness and detail
for the newer recording
less advantage
than might have been expected; not enough
to provoke replacement of the earlier edition. None of these disks has really first rate sound.
-Budapest Quartet (new). COLUMBIA ML
4726. 12 -in. (with Qt. 15). 26 min. $5.45.
-Budapest Quartet (old). COLUMBIA ML
436o. t2 -in. (with Qt. 13). 26 min. $5.45.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 10108. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 15). 26 min. $4.85.
-Loewenguth Quartet. ALLEGRO AL 26.
12 -in. (with Qt. 16). 23 min. $5.95.
-(Calvet Quartet. CAPITOL P 8106. I2 -in.
(with Qt. i8). $5.70.)
-(Amadeus Quartet. RCA VICTOR LHMV
1039. 12 -in. (with Haydn: Qt. 78, "Emperor"). $5.95)
-
World Premiere
TSCHAIKOWSKY ..
Quartet in E -flat minor, Op. 30
RENCH HORN MASTERPIECES
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8 -206
ARTHUR GRUMIAUX...
Playing the "Titian" Stradivarius. Bach- Chaconne
Mozart -Sonatas -K -301, K -304
NO. 15, IN D MINOR, KV 421 (5 Editions)
There is a stringent aloofness to the subversive gloom of the Fifteenth Quartet
which suggests that Mozart is badgering us,
that what we feel, he did not: he was only
involved in composing it. The late Beethoven quartets are Beethoven's personal history. This by Mozart is an essay on the
diversity of unhappiness, illustrated by
horror, fever, hysteria and savagery; and
teased by a few limpid moments of melting
condolence, the whole very beautiful, but
provokingly unprovided with any formula
for proper interpretation.
A curious feature of the five recorded
versions is that the participants originated
professionally in Vienna or Budapest. This
does not, however, assure a uniformity of
treatment prescribed by a mere zoo miles of
Danube. Only two of these performances
strongly resemble each other, those of Budapest í95o and Budapest 1953; which indeed
are so much alike that it is hard to choose
between them. Cool in both recordings, the
Budapesters are cooler, purer, in the later,
unless that is an illusion of the more finely
chiseled sound. To one pair of ears this
refusal of reinforcement to Mozart, a resistance to the temptation of underlining what
is clear enough, makes the two Budapest
performances the best, with the newer even
more restrained than its predecessor, and
recorded with a superior nicety, although
that can be apprehended only by the best
apparatus. The freer enterprise of the Roth
Quartet renders the sentiments of KV 421
somewhat gesticulatory in comparison, and
a relative opacity of sound dulls the intermediate effort of the Hungarian Quartet.
Roth, and Budapest twice, made their
records in an American environment, under
American influence to be crisp and taut.
The Hungarian Quartet played for England,
which tolerates more leisure. The Vienna
Konzerthaus Quartet played for Vienna,
where leisure is an article of faith. Their
long and discursive romanticization of the
D Minor Quartet evokes at once the censure that this is not Mozart, and it is certainly not Mozart as he is played here; but
their imperturbable, unstrait deliberation
emanates a special and unexpected, vexing
and rather tropical beauty. The achievement is immeasurably furthered by the
quality of the engineering, in a class apart
from the competitors here. Articulation,
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BINAURAL $5.95
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MONAURAL $4.00
In stock at your local
dealer. Write for com-
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JANUARY- FEBRUARY, z954
COOK LABORATORIES, INC., R -2, STAMFORD, CONN.
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RECORDS
-
exciting
NEWS
for every
balance, timbre, presence, distinctness
these have been ordered to give a suavity of
tonal actuality that the Budapesters' four
stradivaris have not been able to register.
-Budapest Quartet (new). COLUMBIA ML
4726. 12 -in. (with Qt. 4). 23 min. $5.45.
-Budapest Quartet (old). COLUMBIA ML
436o. 12 -in. (with Qt. 14). 23 min. $5.45.
-Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet.
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MINSTER WL 5X75.
12 -in.
WEST-
(with Qt. 19).
min. $5.95.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY Iolo8. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 14). 21 min. $4.85.
-Hungarian Quartet. RCA VICTOR LM
1076. 12 -in. (with Haydn: Qt. 61, "Lark ").
25 min. $5.72.
31
No. 16, IN E FLAT, KV 428 (4 Editions)
The Budapest version, although it was recorded at an earlier period than the others
of the Budapest series, has not only the
aristocratic logic of the customary Budapest
bowing, but a soft caress in the voices not
evident in the rather cramped tonal projection of Nos. 14 and X5. Audible arguments
for the other editions are not convincing:
the Roths are excellent, but have not this
refinement, not this sweetness; neither have
the Loewenguths in their clarity of decision
mottled by thuds in the recorded background. Amadeus are not especially convincing in playing of contrasted alternations
between comfort and strain, and the sound
of this group has been built up by room resonance to suggest an orchestra of strings
The
instead of four stringed instruments.
music is the nearest to Haydn of the six
quartets dedicated to Haydn, and it is hard
to attach a character to lovely stuff that will
not stay fixed in temper, and whose candor
is so complicated by subtleties.
-Budapest Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4727.
12 -in. (with Qt. 17). 24 min. $5.45.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 10109. 12 -in.
(with Qt. r7). 22 min. $4.85.
-Loewenguth Quartet. ALLEGRO AL 26.
12 -in. (with Qt. 14). 23 min. $5.95.
-Amadeus Quartet. WESTMINSTER WL
5099. 12 -in. (with Qt. 17). 27 min. $5.95.
-
No. 17,
IN B FLAT,
"HUNT,.
KV
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The Kroll record was not available, and the
Amadeus is the same kind of big vaulted
sonance that seemed unacceptable for No.
16. There is reasonable basis for selecting
any of the others, for every performance is
highly competent, and the singing B Flat
Quartet (called "Hunt" from some suggestion of horn -calls at the very beginning)
is not strewn with perplexities to bedevil
interpreters. The principal currents of the
four remaining essays do not diverge much:
they differ not in direction but in minor
aspects of flow. According to expectations
Budapest have a refined equanimity and
Roth some strength of feeling for gypsy
pulsation. Griller specialize in nuance and
Loewenguth avoid with Gallic disdain any
semblance of affectation. In pure euphony
of sound, Griller or the London engineers
or both must be accorded preference; but
Decca has a bolder and more detailed
delineation of the Loewenguths, and Columbia, a little attenuated in body, has the best
detail of all. The writer cheerfully agrees
that his ordination below is not founded on
immutable judgment but on a predilection
for the Budapest style, the Griller tone and
the frankness of the Decca presentation;
We will gladly mail you a copy
of the Schwann LP catalog . . .
ABSOLUTELY FREE on re-
quest.
We will be glad to supply information on any record of any
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When ordering, simply enclose
your check or money order to
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if you wish . . . we will ship
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86
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8.1{(:O1ZI)ti
which when weighed together brought a
perhaps temporary decision for style.
-Budapest Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4727.
12 -in. (with Qt. 16). 22 min. $5.45.
-Griller Quartet. LONDON LL 658. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 8). 25 min. $5.95.
-Loewenguth Quartet. DECCA DL 7517.
10 -in. 26 min. $3.85.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 10109. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 16). 22 min. $4.85.
-Amadeus Quartet.
5099.
WESTMINSTER
-(Kroll Quartet.
ALLEGRO AL 86.
-Roth
Quartet. MERCURY 1O11o.
12 -in.
(with Qt. 19). 26 min. $4.85.
-Budapest Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4728.
12 -in. (with Qt. 19). 27 min. $5.45
-Amadeus Quartet.
WESTMINSTER
WL
5092. 12 -in. (with Qt. 23). 33 min. $5.95.
-(Calvet Quartet. CAPITOL P 8106. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 14). 55.70.)
12 -in.
(with Qt. 19). $5.95)
No. 18, IN A, Kv 464 (4 Editions)
It is not probable that the discoloring adjective "Mozartean' has ever been applied
to this enigmatic music. Everyone mechanically says "Beethoven," hearing KV
464, composed 15 years before Beethoven
published a quartet; and we know that
Beethoven himself made a copy of the finale
for his own use. Unsettled in mien, ambiguous in flashing facets qualified by
shadowy innuendo, striking in a bold
chromaticism, the Eighteenth Quartet poses
a proposition for which no one solution
seems inevitably and entirely correct.
The three recorded solutions heard offer
imposing proof of independent calculation.
Isolating the essences, we find that Budapest
as usual confine their fervor within the
bounds of an elegant but unaffected restraint. To them good taste must be inviolate: an outcry must be incontrovertibly
dictated by the score. Roth permit greater
scope to episodes, employ a more pungent
accent, are less stringent in the control of
tempo. Amadeus expand a luxury of lyricism, do not dread outcry, and explore the
dynamic poles. They also, on this record,
issue a eupeptic mellowness of strings, in
part fabricated by an acoustical background
like that of the Amadeus disk of Quartets
16 and 17, overwhelming at fortes; but here,
where so much is at half-voice, there is a
seduction of consolidated, rather indefinite
sound.
The strange, angular minuet (played by
the Roths as the third, by the others as the
second, movement) shows how frightening
is the challenge to players' judgment and
how inexhaustible the music: for Budapest
bow a mournful mystery, Amadeus a demure
wistfulness and Roth a flippant defiance. All
are justified by the notes, and criticism must
admit perplexity.
All weighed, all qualities considered, the
scales tip to Roth, influenced by a more
eloquent, less recessive cello, in a work
No. 19, IN C, KV 465 (5 Editions)
The mystery and menace of some unusual
chromaticism in the introduction have acquired for this Quartet a rather portentous
celebrity as music of profound, recondite
significance. The nickname "Dissonant,"
derived from a few measures, has tinted
the whole work. Attentive study does not
promote enthusiasm for the acquired somber
reputation, but it does decidedly induce
large respect for a masterpiece of continuously resourceful invention.
Reputation will ordinarily affect performances. In two of four recorded versions
heard there was a strong impression of an
obstacle between music and listener
deterrent to spontaneity, as if there were an
obsession with values not apparent. With
the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet a wayward
and uninformative adjustment of tempos
suggests a discontent with the music as it
is written if it is to sound as its repute says
it must sound, and the unhearty precision
of the Budapest Quartet seems to declare
less an involvement in a spirited affair than
a caution that a taboo may be violated. In
playing their way, the Viennese make a
lovely sound, and in playing their after-all
better way, the Budapesters make a sound
not so good, but room-tone and recording
techniques are involved in this. The Roths
affiliate themselves with the work to be
done in a spirit devoid both of either
diffidence or uncalled -for sentiment. The
Guilets, with one fairly conspicuous fault,
ordain the Quartet in vigorous, extrospective
strokes as entertainment: they seem to
enjoy playing and they communicate their
pleasure. Their performance is unselfconscious and direct. It reminds us that chamber music was once a pastime of no formality.
It is in no sense great playing, but it sounds
right except for the fault mentioned, a
weakness of second violin and viola. This
is in measure compensated by very distinct
and pleasing sound, easily reproduced and
as real as, if less cordial than, that of Westminster's fussier interpretation.
-Guilet Quartet. CONCERT HALL CHs 130.
-a
1
(with Qt. 21). 25 min. $5.95.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 1011o. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 18). 27 min. $4.85.
-Budapest Quartet. COLUMBIA ML 4728.
12 -in. (with Qt. 18). 25 min. $5.45.
-Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet. WESTL2 -in.
MINSTER WL 5175.
(with Qt. 15).
28 min. $5.95.
-(Kroll Quartet. ALLEGRO AL 86. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 17). $5.95.)
12 -in.
`
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cr,Mtrarrt:SA iCZga:M%31':14135
HI -FI PLEASURE 4
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BACH -Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue,
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Fernando Valenti, harpsichord
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PALESTRINA- Missa "Iste Confessor" &
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The Welch Chorale, James Welch, dir. LL49
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CHOPIN -The Impromptus, Berceuse, Ba'ï+
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LL20
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where the cello's utterance conveys the
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No. 20, IN D, KV 499 (2 Editions)
Of Mozart's last four quartets, only No. 21
receives attention comparable to that accorded the six of the Haydn series. This
does not seem markedly rational, but we
can be thankful that the two recorded editions of No. 20 called "Hoffmeister"
after its dedication to the publisher so
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HIGH FIDELITY RECORDING!
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High Fidelity readers to o unique listening experience.
AN ORGAN RECITAL
BY THE LATE LYNNWOOD FARNAM
Recorded on organ rolls in 1930, a few months before
his death, the lost musical legacy of this famed organist
is here presented for the first time, in a wide -range
performance made in August of 1953 on the superb
Baroque organ of St. John's Church, Hartford, Conn.
Music of J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Karg- Elert, Sowerby,
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Registration and swell pedal changes
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RECORDS
The Griller Quartet: nuances a specialty.
-
are here to call attention to the
ingenious beauties of a creation extraordinary even from Mozart. No minuet is so
startlingly perverted as this one, and the
giddy finale means festivity or anguish
according to its playing.
or better both
There is no choice here between the records. Both are good expositions, but their
virtues are not the same. Clarity of tone
and phrase is notable from Stuyvesant, harmonic depth from Roth. The Stuyvesant
sound, not unpleasantly echoic, is also
concise, but Roth is richer and has more
definition in bass. There are no important
differences in the essential musical line.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 10133. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 21). 24 min. $4.85.
-Stuyvesant Quartet. PHILHARMONIA 105.
12 -in. (with Qt. 21). 25 min. $5.95.
named
-
-
No. 21, IN D, KV 575 (4 Editions)
When the flute of Frederick the Great was
silenced in the fullness of his years it was
succeeded by the cello of his nephew,
Frederick William II. The change was of
immediate benefit to the art of music and
a nearly mortal blow to Prussian martial
glory. The greatest composers and many
others hastened to dedicate music to the
monarch, Mozart, whose need for a generous
patron was greater than anyone's, among
them. His last three quartets were dedicated
to the king, and are sometimes called "Prussian." In these the cello part is advanced to
royal eminence.
Among the greater Mozart quartets No.
21, first of the "Prussians," is immediately
assimilable and lastingly memorable, perhaps more than any other, because of its
decided melodic impression and pervasive
good humor. It offers no spiritual problems
except to fanciful imaginations, and does
not suffer in playing of single -minded
voluptuousness.
Yet three of the four
disks put themselves out of court through
the commission of egregious and surprising faults.
Mr. Guilet gives a more bountiful license
to his violin than we tolerate in string quartets. The Roths have discovered a potential
of strong feeling, which is not very attractive when expressed in a piercing intonation. When the small sound of the Aeolian
version is fortified by the amplifier, we have
an implacable pedal point from a fifth instrument, hum. The verdict goes automatically to the benevolent, unstrained performance of the Stuyvesant Quartet, helped
by the pleasant soft resonance of the Bronx ville church in which it was recorded.
-Stuyvesant Quartet. PHILHARMONIA 105.
12 -in. (with Qt. 20). 23 min. $5.95.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 1o133. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 20). 20 min. $4.85.
-Guilet Quartet. CONCERT HALL CHs
113o. 12 -in. (with Qt. 19). 20 min. $5.95
-Aeolian Quartet. ALLEGRO ALG 3o36.
12 -in.
(with Qt. 23). 24 min. $5.95.
No. 22, IN B FLAT, KV 589 (I Edition)
The second "Prussian" Quartet is a waif in
the Mozart production, shunned in public
performance and shamed by restriction to
one LP. Few will say that the implied judgment is frivolous, for the music, smoothly
tailored to a familiar frame, is undistinguished in cut and uninteresting in texture.
Its imprint is shallow, and it is hard not to
believe that Mozart composed it more from
duty than affection.
The Roth Quartet
scrupulously make what they can of it,
and any disappointment we may feel is
not the fault of a neatly integrated and
gracious performance.
The recording as
such is like that of most of the Roth's
generally clear and well- defined
Mozart
without being notable; good in the bass,
with violins in need of a lively downward
push at the treble end of the compensator.
-Roth Quartet. MERCURY 10134. 12 -in.
(with Qt. 23). 20 min. $4.85.
-
No. 23, IN F, KV 590 (3 Editions)
Quite another thing from its immediate
predecessor, No. 23, the last Quartet, an
involved and novel legeriry that depends a
The Budapest: a firm, aristocratic logic.
lot on Haydn and does not sound like him.
The finale, a dissertation on rapid impudence as a principle of pleasure, is worth a
handful of quartets including some by Mozart; and as exponents of that impudence
the Amadeus Quartet make an informative
felicity of high comedy. The trouble is
that in the other movements the Roth
Quartet are more certain and have a sound
nearer standard, that of Amadeus having
the vaulted reinforcement noted in earlier
quartets, too rich for realism, and in conjunction with a treble emphasis perhaps
exaggerated, raucous when loud. Recording values are extremely unfavorable to the
Aeolian Quartet in the scrawniness of their
violins and the hum which gives an unwanted counterpoint to their bowing. So,
Roth.
-Roth
Quartet.
MERCURY 10134.
I2 -I11.
(with Qt. 22). 20 min. $4.85.
-Amadeus Quartet.
WESTMINSTER
WL
(with Qt. 18). 24 min. $5.95.
-Aeolian Quartet. ALLEGRO ALG 3036.
12 -in. (with Qt. 21). 21 min.
$5.95.
5092. I2 -in.
TRIO FOR PIANO, CLARINET AND VIOLA,
IN E FLAT, KV 498 (3 Editions)
The clarinet is the character- builder in this
unusual assembly, and the Trio has more
consistent substance than any of the standard Piano Trios (although several of the
latter have more memorable movements
than the Clarinet Trio). The work is at
heart tranquil and even meditative, for its
vigor is an element of musical contrast
rather than of temperamental impulse. Not
great Mozart, it is very good music, and has
received at least two good LP demonstrations, which balance their respective merits
to the great advantage of neither. The
Decca group have an unaffected poise, the
Lyrichord a straight clarity of statement,
not susceptible to comparative measurement; and while here the Decca way seems
more valuable, in sound the distinctness of
Lyrichord will be preferred to a Decca less
lively, although agreeable enough at low
volume.
-Erno
Balogh, Sidney Forrest, Carlton
Cooley. LYRICHORD 9. 12 -in. (with Brahms:
Clarinet Trio, Op. 114). 21 min. $5.95.
-Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Reginald Kell,
Lillian Fuchs. DECCA DL 9453. 12 -in. (with
Beethoven: Clarinet Trio, Op. 1i). 21 min.
$5.85-
-(Arnold- Brody -Lifshey Trio.
ío6.
12 -in.
OXFORD
(with Haydn: Sonata for Piano
and Flute). $5.95)
TRIOS FOR
CELLO
PIANO, VIOLIN AND VIOLON-
No. I, IN G, KV 496; No. 2, IN B FLAT,
KV 502; No. 3, IN E, KV 542; No. 4, IN C,
KV 548; No. 5, IN G, KV 564; No. 6, IN
B FLAT, KV 254.
The numbers are those of the Peters Edition,
and illustrate a Peters policy of making the
least the last. KV S42 has won esteem, especially for its andante, denied the others,
which are not masterpieces in the Mozart
gallery. The trios give to the piano a concerto -like leadership, and limit the strings
to a dutiful imitation, to harmonic garniture and to punctuation. The trios of Beethoven and Schubert, the late ones of
Haydn, find no premonition here.
There are some pleasant movements bethe finale of No. t,
sides those in No. 3
the first of No. 4, the first of No. 5 (in a
but the dominant
sweet, innocent way)
impression is of pale and rather effete artistry. We need a highly imaginative and
conscientious virtuoso to play the piano
here and to lead the strings to color the complexion and stimulate the reflexes. Walter
Gieseking would be a man for this, but
what we have on the records is too decidedly
less. Proficiency is not enough: we require
illumination. In the even, obedient pro.
cedure of the Period group there is little
variety of mobility or of stress, and the
mobility is that of inertia. There is no élan
at all and the phrases do not sing; the ornaments do not sparkle and some of us may
be bored. The clean, hard sound, modest in
reverberation, is not unattractive and exposes the docile performances faithfully.
-Agi Jambor, Victor Aitay, Janos Starker.
PERIOD 524. Three t2 -in. 18, 24, 19, 20,
14, 17 min. $17.85.
-(Boston Trio (Nos. 2 & 3 only). ALLEGRO
3014. 12 -in. $5.95.)
-
-
-
Next time:
the last installment of
Burke willing
Mozart. In April
Richard Strauss.
The Amadeus: big, almost orchestral sound.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
88
www.americanradiohistory.com
ENCLOSURES
PART
III:
FOR
LOUDSPEAKERS
f3,
Loudspeaker Loading
AT THE beginning of these articles, the qualities
affecting speaker mounting were, rightly or wrongly, summarised as follows:
(a) Response level.
(b) Efficiency (output versus input level).
(c) Quality of output (waveform).
(d) Transient response.
Coloration.
(f) Directional effects.
(e)
We have so far dealt with the first three items, a, b and c,
but in doing so we have mainly been concerned with low
frequencies, because any attempt to make up for deficient
output at low frequencies by excessive use of the tone
control in the amplifier tends to produce distortion. As
the middle register is always the easiest to handle in a
transducer, and as the power involved falls off rapidly at
high frequencies, there is no need to worry about distortion from overloading in these ranges.
Before proceeding to items d, e and f, there are some
aspects of the question of resonance which seem to require further clarification.
Bass Resonance and Negative Feedback
have -noticed that some amplifier designers tend to draw
the conclusion that the bass resonance of a loudspeaker
is no longer of any great importance because it is damped
by negative feedback. Such a conclusion is completely
fallacious; the resonance is certainly damped and may
be removed in toto, but the performance at frequencies
below the natural resonance still falls off. An actual
meaning my
experience will illustrate the point. We
decided recently that the
small speaker- making concern
resonance of a certain model would have to be lowered
from about 6o to 45 cycles in order to stand up to the
product of a competitor who appeared to have suddenly
awakened to the virtues of low resonance. A sample
was produced with freer suspension, so that we had two
speaker units which were identical apart from a difference
of 15 cycles in the resonant frequency. Tested on speech
and music, using a feedback amplifier with a high damping factor, the improvement from the lower resonance
was clearly evident to the practised ear. Even our accountant, who is more concerned with reducing our bank
overdraft than with lowering resonances, and only consents to join our acoustic frolics on special occasions,
had no difficulty in selecting the better speaker. Con dusion? A palliative is not a cure.
It is a simple business to prove the point from the
other side of the hi -fi fence. Loudspeakers which are massI
-
-
G. A. f31lIGGS
produced for use in commercial sets are tested for resonance and any which come out above or below the specified
limit are rejected. (To a maker of wide response units,
the rejection of a speaker because the resonance is too
low seems like refusing admission of a soul to heaven because the person had lived too blameless a life!) But set makers know what they are up to; they do not survive
by constantly falling off the economic bus. It is often
essential to limit the low -frequency output of a set to
match an unavoidable high-frequency cut. This is achieved
by using a speaker with a high resonance, say above
90 cycles, which also reduces the cost of smoothing at the
mains (commercial AC power) frequency (5o or 6o cycles)
and enables you and me to buy a set at a lower price. The
point is: a speaker which is almost silent with 6o cycle
hum will not reproduce 6o cycle music, and the use of
maximum negative feedback in the amplifier, with a
high damping factor (low output resistance) will not improve the low -frequency performance below the main
cone resonance.
I have just had a personal experience which confirms
this bass -cut business beyond any shadow of doubt. My
TV set cost about 7o pounds and is fitted with a 15 -in.
tube and a puny little 5 -in. speaker with a resonance
around 15o cycles. An excellent transmission from the
1953 Edinburgh Festival gave us a view of Solomon
playing the Beethoven Concerto No. 3 and then
unfortunately for my peace of mind
close -up of the man
with the sticks beating furiously on the tympani, but
not a sound of the drums came to my ears. Connecting a
bigger and better speaker system to the set would not
provide a solution because the bass would still be missing,
the circuit having been skimped to suit the 5 -in. speaker;
any attempt to get more than about 1 watt output produces
distortion. In fairness to the makers, it should be pointed
out that it is necessary to control the bass in a TV set,
where the loudspeaker is fairly close to valves and cathode
ray tube, in order to reduce the risk of microphony. (Warning: In some TV sets one side of the voice coil is connected
to the chassis, which may be "live" to the tune of the
mains voltage. Safety precautions should be taken before an external speaker is connected up.)
-a
-
Resonance in General
It has struck me that some readers might form the opinion that the question of resonance receives too much attention in these articles. Let me assure such readers that
resonance is the most vital characteristic of all voices,
musical instruments, microphones, pick -ups, tone -arms,
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, r954
89
www.americanradiohistory.com
studios and loudspeakers; any investigation into performance which ignored the location and extent of the
resonances would be bordering on the futile, if not the
fatuous. (Microphony is, of course, a form of resonance.)
Transients
am beginning to regret the nonchalance with which,
at the start of these articles, I listed and undertook to
elucidate the main qualities affecting loudspeaker loading.
Whereas I expected to dispose of some of them with
a couple of well -chosen' paragraphs, I find that a complete
article will not cover the many problems which lurk
under one heading.
It is hardly possible to tackle transients without a
definition; I have heard several good ones, such as: "The
fleeting view of a pretty girl passing an open doorway,"
or "The hotel guest who departs suddenly without paying his bill "; but for our purpose the following is as
good as any: A transient is an energy pulse where the
intensity changes over a wide range in a very short time.
In music, drums and cymbals introduce transient effects
probably more than
both starting and stopping
are
quite nicely illusany other instruments, and they
trated in Fig. 33.
I
-
-
Fig. 33. Oscillogram of
orchestral music from
record and amplifier.
The first peak is caused
gated surround by soft suspension always effects an improvement; removing the surround completely and using
a free -edge cone gives excellent transient response but
presents other difficulties. Other conditions, such as texture, weight and shape of cone, type of centring device,
etc., all play their part, but cannot be considered here.
The reader will now appreciate that the transient response of a moving coil loudspeaker is largely dependent
on good damping and free suspension. It can, however,
be shown that the performance is affected by the method
of mounting. The following tests were made with the
8 -in. and 12-in. units by now familiar to the reader; but
it should be pointed out that a high impedance source
was used (damping virtually nil); that the flux density
of the magnets was medium to good, and the cones had
In short, the condiordinary corrugated suspension.
to
expose
the
effect
of loading to a
tions are calculated
greater degree than would occur with modern high fidelity
equipment. The type of loading affects the transient response at low frequencies more than at medium or high
frequencies.
For these tests a DC voltage is applied to the voice
coil; this holds the coil off the central position. A sudden interruption in the circuit releases the voice coil,
and the EMF which is generated as the coil vibrates in the
magnetic field operates the oscillograph.
The illustrations in Figs. 34 and 35 are mainly intended
for purposes of comparison; the comments relating to each
trace will enable the reader to interpret its significance.
by drums, the second by
drums and cymbals;
C
A
D
note the steep wave
front in each case.
E
The most important requirements for good transient
response are high flux density in the magnet, and a high
damping factor (or low output impedance) from the
amplifier. The clarity and brilliance achieved by very
high flux density are synonymous with good transient
response, but it should not be forgotten that flux density
is related to the mass of the cone and coil; thus a ii -in.
unit requires much higher total flux than an 8 -in. speaker
for a similar transient performance; this is normally
provided by a larger magnet with a bigger centre pole.
It is easy to see that a passage like the one recorded in
Fig. 33 will lose life in reproduction where there is sluggishness in the cone and coil vibrations, which depend
on flux density for their activity.
There can be no dispute about the improvement in
reproduction which has resulted from the high damping
factor of negative feedback amplifiers. The damping
reduces ringing and hang -over in the speaker, so that
the cone can dispose of one transient shock before it is
called upon to handle another. It's all very simple really.
Another general condition which directly affects transient response is the cone suspension: as this is made
more flexible, the "ringing" is reduced and transients
are improved. For example, replacing a normal corru!By'wellchosen' I mean lifted from previous writings by experts.
F
G
Fig. 34. Transient tests with 8-in. unit.
Wall mounting (True infinite baffle). This shows a normal
exponential decay characteristic.
B) Totally enclosed cabinet 41/2 cu. ft. The decay characteristic
is again exponential, with rather more ringing than at A.
C) Reflex cabinet B with port so in. by 5 in. This shows that
the port was not well tuned to the unit. Nevertheless, the per formance on programme is superior to B as a result of the more
A)
rapid decay at the beginning of the trace.
D) 9 cu. ft. reflex loading. This shows a considerable improve-
ment on C.
E) Large flare with mouth 4 ft. square. The characteristics
here are very good.
F) Tapered pipe. The presence of harmonics is indicated but
the general effect is quite good.
G) Small H.R. cabinet. There is slight distortion of the waveform but the decay rate is extremely good.
A general comparison of the 12-in. results with those
of the 8 -in. speaker shows the enormous superiority in
the low-frequency characteristics of the larger unit. As
the total flux is 145,000 lines compared with less than
40,000 lines in the smaller speaker, this is not surprising.
It is also clear that reflex and tapered pipe loading
upset the exponential decay pattern associated with open
baffles, infinite baffles and exponential horns. On the other
hand, reflex and similar loading lowers the cone resonance
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE.
90
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g
A
.
n,..
_
-
G
Fig. 35. Transient tests with ra -in. unit.
A)
B)
lowering the source impedance to 18 ohms the damping
factor becomes 1 to 1'h, which is still only moderate.
Many negative feedback amplifiers have an output impedance as low as o.5 -ohm which gives a damping factor
of 24 to r with a 1a -ohm speaker much more effective in absorbing resonance than a factor of to i1/2.
As regards transients at higher frequencies, the for mant effects described later have some bearing on results;
at very high frequencies the main requirements are high
flux density with low mass and low viscosity in the vibrating medium. Transients at high frequencies are very
sharp and prominent; they usually receive more consideration than those at low frequencies as they are so often
mutilated by tone controls.
Wall mounting (True infinite baffle). No complaints here.
cu. ft. cabinet with no back. The results are very similar
41/2
This test does not expose the pronounced resonance associated with this open back cabinet because such resonance is not
reflected back through the voice coil (and is therefore not damped
by negative feedback).
C) Reflex B 41 Cu. ft. Port ro in. by 3 in. The rate of decay is
very good but is not exponential. This does not of necessity mar
to A.
the reproduction.
D) 9 cu. ft. reflex. As expected, this is rather better than C.
E and F) Large flare. These interesting curves should be considered together. At E, the rs -in. speaker was mounted straight
up to the throat of the horn, which was less than 7 -in. in diameter.
The result was that the action of the cone was impeded and distorted, as indicated by the trace.
At F the speaker was mounted on a thick baffle with an aperture
to suit the diameter of the cone, thus giving a reasonable throat
loading. The improvement is obvious.
G) 2 cu. ft. H.R. The air loading is rather inadequate for a
rz -in. speaker.
and improves the rate of decay, thus actually reducing
ringing. As regards the peculiar effect from horn loading
at Fig. 35/E, this shows that no obstruction can be tolerated immediately in front of the cone of a low- frequency
speaker; the baffle opening should be at least equal to the
piston diameter of the cone, with a forward clearance of
not less than one inch.
To illustrate the effect of damping by high flux density and low impedance source, the following diagram,
Fig. 36, has been taken from the Third Edition of Sound
Reproduction. The previous tests were made with a
7o -ohm source working into a 12-ohm voice coil. By
Coloration and Formants
The human voice and all musical instruments generate
a fixed band of characteristic frequencies known as a for mant, which enables us to recognize the voice or instru-ment regardless of the pitch or fundamental frequency
of the sound. An extremely interesting series of articles
by Alan Douglas on "The Electrical Synthesis of Musical
Tones" has appeared in Electronic Engineering. Fig. 37
has been taken 'from the July 1953 issue to illustrate the
resonance band which gives the typical tone colour to the
instruments in question.
The significance of the formant is so ably explained by
Mr. Douglas that I cannot do better than quote from
his article:
"It
-
common knowledge that the reproduction of
musical instruments through the average radio receiver is
mediocre; yet does the average listener find any difficulty
in identifying the various kinds of instruments being
is
played ?2
"The
formant
group
owes its origin to the con-
figuration and substance
of the resonating part of
the instrument. In multiple
tone producers like the
pipe organ, each pipe has
VIOLIN
OBOE
..^
CLARINET
TRUMPET
FRENCH
HORN
Fig. 37. Formant Frequencies.
FLUTE
COURTESY ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
AND ALAN DOUGLAS
Fig. 36. Illustrations to show the transient effect of increasing the
flux density and/or reducing the impedance source.
A) 8-in. unit 13,000 lines, open mounting, with damping factor
of r to rye. Compare with Fig. 34/A.
B) 12 -in. unit 17,000 lines, with damping factor of r to r1.
Note complete absence of ringing and compare with Fig. 35/A.
C) 8-in, unit 13,000 lines, in lagged pipe, 7o-ohm source.
D) The same as C but with 18-ohm source.
E) 8-in. unit r3,000 lines, in tapered pipe, 7o-ohm source.
F) The same as E but with r8-ohm source.
G) ro-in. unit r3,000 lines, in 5 cu. jt. enclosure, 7o-ohm source.
H) The same as G but with r8-ohm source.
2
a
ro
its own formant group. In the piano, formants do not really
occur, owing to the flatness of response of the resonator,
i.e., the soundboard, but the percussive tone is not successfully imitated (by electronic means).
This is primarily because of the decay envelope, and because the
harmonics do not die away at the same rate."
It will be observed that the formant groups usually
occur in the middle register, where the average radio set
performs at its best. It must also be conceded that the
limited frequency response of the average radio set does
'Yes!
When
it's
really
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
'low -fi'l
91
www.americanradiohistory.com
not deprive it of the power to reproduce the decay characteristics of piano tone. For these two main reasons the
radio set and gramophone record give us far more realistic
reproduction of musical instruments than the results obtained by electronic systems which attempt to imitate
them, and by failing deal a welcome blow to the development of synthetic musical instruments.
So far, so good. But what has all this to do with loudspeaker loading? The answer is that as formants have
such a strong influence on tone, care must be taken that
nothing is done in loudspeaker mounting which would
add such effects to the tone of reproduction. A loudspeaker
is required to reproduce the formants and wave envelope
of various sounds; it must not perform as a musical instrument on its own. This means that special care must be
taken to avoid cabinet resonances in the middle register.
It can be shown that small cabinets and badly shaped flares
suffer from these defects and therefore "colour" the tone
of reproduction.
A few simple illustrations will serve to prove the case.
The 8-in. unit described in Part I of these articles is again
brought into use, mounted or loaded in the manner described in Fig. 38.
.
Fig. 38. Arrangements used in open-air test for production of
formants by speaker mounting.
A) 8-in. unit on small baffle, 18 by 12 in.
B) Same unit in small open back cabinet 12 by ro by 5 in.
C) Same unit with straight -sided horn, length i r in., mouth 6 in.
square.
The microphone was placed behind the speaker at A
and B to provide a direct comparison between small
baffle and small cabinet; at C the effect of the horn was
registered by placing the mike in front of the open end.
The oscillograms of 1Fig. 39 show rather interesting results.
The level response at A between the bass resonance at
72 cycles and about 2,000 cycles is typical of open mounting. The dip at 2,000 to 3,000 cycles is probably due to
cancellation effects between cone and magnet face; the
peak around 4,000 cycles is due to resonance in the dia-
phragm.
At B, the effects of the small enclosure are clearly shown.
The bass resonance is down to 65 cycles and is more
pronounced, but the real formant region is between 25o
and 500 cycles, with peaks at the third and fifth harmonics.
The only benefit (of doubtful quality) is the increased
acoustic output below Soo cycles. This is one reason why
set-makers still use ordinary open -back cabinets, the main
reason apparently being that the speaker unit must be
put somewhere out of harm's way!
92
-,rr.rrrI
A
500
2
1K
Ei
c
Fig. 39.
All free field,
i
watt.
A) 8-in. unit on small baffle. Output from back of cone.
B) 8-in. unit in small cabinet. Output from back of cone.
Output from mouth.
C) 8-in. unit with straight -sided horn.
If we now examine curve C, we find an even larger peak
in the 25o to 500 cycle department, with a further rise
between Boo and 1600 cycles, due to the conical horn,
which would undoubtedly produce undesirable formant
tones in the reproduction of speech or music. It is true
that today nobody but an acoustic half -wit would indulge
in this form of loading, but in a world of rapidly changing
values it is sometimes comforting to have fresh evidence
that two and two still make four. We have already seen
in Fig. 17 /H (Sept. -Oct. 1953) that reasonable exponential horn loading does not produce such evil effects.
It should be stressed here that the resonances produced
by reflex loading of adequate capacity do not produce
formants which colour the reproduction because the frequencies are very low; any form of small reflex cabinet
for middle or high frequencies would be absurd.
Mr. Douglas stated that the formant group owes its
origin to the configuration and substance of the resonating
part of the instrument. The importance of avoiding resonating panels in loudspeaker structures is now so well
known that there is no need to labour the point here;
the risk of producing panel resonance is reduced as the
frequency goes up and as the size of panel is reduced.
Mr. Briggs fooled us. He did not conclude his TREATISE on Speaker Enclosures this issue as we announced
last issue. However, next issue's article on directional
effects will positively (we think) be Mr. Briggs' last in
his series on enclosures.
As Mr. Briggs told us when he was in the United States
during New York Audio Fair time, the trouble with loudspeakers is that when you think you finally have most of
the variables pinned down, someone writes you a letter
suggesting a dozen new lines of exploration. And even
if you could get speakers tied down, there would still be
rooms, enclosures, etc., etc. To which our comment was,
Ed.
"Well, would it be any fun, otherwise ?"
-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
These reports may not be quoted or reproduced, in part or in whole, in any form whatsoever, without written permission from the publisher
Bogen Tuner and Amplifier
(furnished by manufacturer): Tuner: FM -AM
tuner with minimum of controls. Sonsitivity: 5 microvolts required for 30 db quieting on FM; 5 microvolts produces rated
output on AM. Controls: two, one for tuning, other combines
on -off, selection between FM and AM bands, plus two auxiliary
inputs (such as tape, TV tuner, phonograph). Incorporates AFC
which may be cut out at will. Dimensions: 10 in. wide, 11% in.
deep, 7 in. high. Tubes: one 6Cß6, one 6Aß4, two 6BA6, one
6AL5, one 6BE6, one 6X4, one 12AT7. Price: $97.35.
Amplifier: a new wide range, full control amplifier. Power
output: 20 watts at 0.3% distortion; 30 watts peak. Frequency
response: 20 to 20,000 cycles t0.7 db. Output impedance: 8 or
16 ohms.
Tone control range: bass, +17 to -18 db at 40 cycles;
treble, +15 to -21 db at 15,000 cycles. Controls: input selector
combined with 7- position phono equalization; loudness contour
(see text); bass; treble; volume; on -off. Tubes: three 12AT7,
SPECIFICATIONS
one 12AU7, two 6L6G, one 5U4G. Dimensions: 15 in. wide,
9% in. deep, 8 in. high. Weight: 25 lb. Price: $99.00. Address:
David Bogen Co., Inc., 29 Ninth Avenue, New York 14, N. Y.
David Bogen manufactures a whole long line of equipment, from AM -only tuners to elaborate amplifiers, with
turntables on the side. When they announced their new
DB -zo amplifier, we asked them to send it to us for a "Tested
in the Home" report, along with whatever they considered
to be a matching tuner. They selected their R -6o4 tuner,
and this is the pair which we shall discuss here.
The advisability of matching components in this way is
well demonstrated by the possibility of making unwise
selections right from the Bogen line. For instance, if a
R -701 tuner had been selected, four of its five controls would
have been duplicated on the amplifier. The R -6o4 doesn't
even have a volume control.
Possibly we would have stripped the R -6o4 even further
and eliminated the extra two input channels provided on
Amplifierpreamp combination features loudness contour selector.
the tuner, though we must admit that we've heard many a
hi -fi enthusiast squawk because he didn't have enough
inputs on his selector switch!
With the realization that the large majority of these
tuners will be sold for use in metropolitan areas and not
in fringe areas, the tuner is designed for use with automatic frequency control in operation, and a tuning eye
is not provided. However, the AFC can be "defeated"
(as the Bogen instruction manual put it) by inserting a
shorted plug into a standard -type input jack on the back of
the chassis, or a wire and shorting switch can be attached
if in and out operation from the front of the panel is
desired. Sensitivity and quieting action of the tuner
are good.
Antenna connections permit several variations, including
a loop wire which helps reduce interference on AM. Separate AM and FM antennas may be used equally well.
The most unique feature on the amplifier is the loudness
if not all
contour control. Most
amplifiers which
we have seen have a single control which operates as a
loudness control, either at all times or when the loudness
feature is switched in (of course, some amplifiers do not
incorporate the loudness -control feature at all, using only
a straight volume control).
Bogen here uses a regular
volume control and in addition has a separate 5- position
knob which inserts a specified amount of loudness compensation. Theloudness contour control is calibrated in
steps of io db. If, for instance, the volume control is
adjusted for zero db ai i,000 cycles and then the loudness
control turned to its first position of cut, it will reduce
the output by to db.
-
This FM -AM tuner is designed to complement the amplifier above.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
-
93
www.americanradiohistory.com
To find out just what effect this control had, we set
up a quick test; used our Heath audio oscillator as a signal source, adjusted to give 0.02 volts into the "low
mag" input of the amplifier at 1,000 cycles. We measured
the output with the Heath AC voltmeter, with a loading
resistor instead of a speaker across the amplifier output.
Phono equalizer on amplifier was in AES position. We
adjusted the amplifier output, by means of the volume
control, to give us a reading of zero db at too, i,000 and
io,000 cycles. Here's what we found:
LOUDNESS CON-
TROL POSITION 100 CYCLES
o
1,000 CYCLES 10,000 CYCLES
o
-Io
o
o
-I1
-19
-30
-40
-10
Fisher Preamp-Equalizer
-131/2
-20
-912
-141/2
-24
-30
-16'1
-40
-3o
You can see from these figures that the calibration of
the loudness contour control is exact at I,000 cycles and
that its effect is to drop the bass and the treble less drastically than the mid -frequencies. Which is what a loudness control should do.
The amplifier has a combined input selector and phono
equalization switch, with seven equalization positions.
To see what these positions meant, we used the same test
arrangement as that described above. The loudness control
was set to have no effect, tone controls were put in the
positions marked "flat," and the volume control adjusted
to give a reading on the meter of zero db at i,000 cycles,
with the equalization switch in its LP position. Without
touching anything except the equalization control, here
are the readings we got at its various positions:
EQUALIZATION
POSITION
LP
AES
NAB
AM 78
EU 78
FFRR
100 CYCLES
+12
+13
+13
1,000 CYCLES
10,000 CYCLES
-19
-12
-18
o
o
o
+ 11
-2
-31
-2
+5
-3'1
+5
-2
-9
-4
+12
-2
POP
It should be noted that none of these figures is adjusted.
The output of the Heath oscillator, for instance, is exceptionally flat, but a full -fledged "laboratory report"
would give slightly different data.
It can be seen from the above that the range of equalization possible is wide indeed; it should be possible to
match almost any recording characteristic by proper selection of equalization position plus fine adjustment of the
tone controls. It should be noted, incidentally, that
the loudness control produces very noticeable changes in
frequency response; it can be used as a further adjustment
if necessary, as well as a control with which to balance
for room acoustics.
There are five input connections on this amplifier. Three
are for high level inputs such as radio 'tuners, and two
are low level, for low and high output magnetic cartridges.
When one looks at the price tag on this amplifier
$99.00
and compares that with features and performance,
C. F.
this is a very meritorious piece of equipment.
-
Here are two low-cost units that can considerably improve some
audio systems.
Left, preamp -equalizer; right, hi-Io filter.
-
-
(furnished by manufacturer): Model 50 -PR
preamplifier -equalizer is self -powered, requiring 5 watts at 117
volts AC; an AC switch and a switched power outlet are furnished on back of chassis. Size: 4 7/16 high by 5 3/8 wide by
5 inches deep. Controls: Two four -position switches for bass
turnover (AES, NARTB, LP, 800 cycles) and treble rolloff
(fiat, 8, 12 and 16 db down at 10,000 cycles). Gain: 40 db
(1 volt output with 10 millivolts input). Freq
y response:
*1 db from curves specified. Hum level: 60 db down from 10
millivolts input. Price: $19.95, including 6SC7 tube. Address:
Fisher Radio Corp., 41 East 47th Street, New York 17, N. Y.
SPECIFICATIONS
A glance at the specifications and then
the price tag on
this engaging little gadget might lead to some justifiable
doubt. Let it be dissipated; the 50 -PR does precisely what
is claimed for it. At least one specification is on the conservative side, that for sensitivity. It has plenty of gain
for the Fairchild cartridge we tried with it, and the noise
level was down far enough to be undetectable.
There must be a good many who have otherwise good
equipment with equalizers lacking in flexibility, or who
want to improve old- fashioned equipment by changing
to a magnetic cartridge and a good, low -cost preamp.
This is a natural for them. It even has a low- impedance
output circuit, so that a long cable to the amplifier or control unit can be used. Bravissimo, Mr. Fisher.
R. A.
-
Fisher Hi-Lo Filter
(furnished by manufacturer): an adjustable
high- and low -frequency, sharp cut-off filter system. Filter positions: low end, flat, 30, 70 and 120 cycles; high end, flat, 10,000,
6,000 and 3,000 cycles. Input: high impedance. Output: cathode follower type, leads up to 200 ft. permissable. Insertion loss:
zero *2 db. Hum level: 70 db below 1 volt output. Frequency
response: 20 to 20,000 cycles *0.5 db. Tubes: one 12AX7.
Size: 4 7/16 by 5 3/8 by 5 in. Price: $29.95. Address: Fisher
Radio Corp., 41 East 47th St., New York 17, N. Y.
SPECIFICATIONS
You might think this is a gadget, but it isn't. It's a well
worthwhile piece of equipment which can improve overall sound reproduction, particularly from poor sources.
As is well known, the better the high fidelity system, the
more it reveals "external" weaknesses such as rumble on
poor recordings, hum which broadcast station engineers
sometimes overlook, acoustic feedback, and so forth. The
lefthand lever on this Fisher unit helps out here.
At the other end of the frequency spectrum, there are
equally unwanted noises: the scratch of worn records, FM
and tape hiss, etc. This is reduced by the right -hand lever.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
94
www.americanradiohistory.com
At the low end, the cut -off rate is moderately sharp;
at the high end, it's very sharp. For example, when our
oscillator was adjusted to 5o cycles, the cut at filter positions
o, 3o, 7o and 120 cycles was o, 2, 6 and 13 db, respectively.
With the oscillator at 10,000 cycles, the cut at 20,000,
10,000, 6,000 and 3,000 cycles was o, 31/2, 18 and 34 db.
The Hi -Lo Filter should be inserted in the hi -fi system
after such units as FM tuner and preamp- equalizer and
ahead of the power amplifier. The audio level at the
point of insertion should be between 0.5 and 5.o volts.
Most power amplifiers are designed to operate from a
1.o -volt source which is correct also for the filter. While
the filter will operate satisfactorily with a heavy input, it
seems wiser to keep it down under 2 volts or so for maximum insurance against distortion.
Input and output plugs are standard; an AC on -off
switch and a pilot light are provided.
Theoretically, Fisher should not be able to sell any
of these films units. If your hi -fi system requires a Hi -Lo
Filter (because you just bought a new speaker enclosure
which shows up rumble in your player), your system
is not well balanced (you need a better player). And,
still theoretically, program sources should be so good
that they don't require filters, either. But human nature
being what it is, there are no doubt many rumbly players
in use, many worn and scratchy records, many hum -full
well, Fisher will probably
broadcast stations, and many
sell a lot of these units, and purchasers will be grateful
not only for the real help they give but for the low figure
C. F.
on the price tag: $29.95.
...
-
Martin Amplifier System
(furnished by manufacturer): Power amplitaking power from power
amplifier. Following data pertain to two units operated together.
Power output: 45 watts peak, 25 watts undistorted. Distar
tion (intermodulation): less than 0.5% at 22 watts, any corn 0.5 db 20 to
bination of frequencies. Frequency response:
0.5 db 10 to 100,000
30,000 cycles (power amplifier alone,
cycles up to 20 watts). Hum level: 80 db down on magnetic phono input, 90 db down on other inputs. Inputs: two
normal requiring 0.2 volts for full output and one for magnetic
:
8 and 16
cartridges requiring 0.002 volts. Output impel
ohms. Controls: input level control on power amplifier; on control amplifier: input selection (3 position), record equalization
(foreign, AES, and NAB positions), loudness, loudness in -out
switch, bass, treble, AC current on -off. Tubes: power amplifier,
one 12AY7, two 6J5, two KT66, one 5Ú4G, one 6X5GT, one
VR -150 (0D3); control amplifier, two 12AY7 and one 12AU7.
Dimensions: power amplifier, 1V,i by 101/2 by 8 in.; control
amplifier, 3,':¿ by 8% by 64 in. deep. Prices: model 352 -A
power amplifier, $198.50; model 352 -CA control amplifier, $93.50
Address: H. S. Martin 8s Co., 1916 Greenleaf St., Evanston, Ill.
SPECIFICATIONS
fier and preamp -control amplifier, latter
t
The letterhead of H. S. Martin & Co. says that they make
"scientific glassware and apparatus specialties," and it
shows up in this audio equipment. It is beautifully built
throughout, well designed and carefully engineered with
touches of extra care such as, on the power amplifier,
separate power supplies for driver and output stages and
for the first two stages.
As usual, it is hard to say much about a fine power
The preamp- equalizer- control unit of a new amplifier system.
amplifier. They are unexciting work horses and, in a way,
the better they are, the less there is to say. The 352 -A
falls into this class. Kept within its normal power rating
of 20 watts or so, it is notably clean and distortion -free.
It will handle double that power, but as usual, distortion
rises abruptly at the higher levels. Circuitry is of ultra linear design; feedback is heavy, damping factor high,
transient response fine.
The level control is handy, and so is the switch which
cuts power over to the normally-associated preamplifier.
Input and output connections might be called of laboratory
type; they were unusual (but very good) on the early production model which we worked with. We have suggested
that they be changed to more conventional connectors, to
facilitate installation. It's unfortunate perhaps that a little
bit of quality should be sacrificed for conventionality.
The preamplifier- control unit is also of sound design.
It incorporates an effective loudness control circuit which
can be switched in or out from the front panel. The bass
tone control is unusual: it provides flat and boost positions, but no cut. Treble operates normally, gives droop,
flat, and boost. There are three input channels, two for
normal inputs such as FM tuners and a third for magnetic
cartridges. The phono input channel has a separate level
control; this plus the master level control on the power
amplifier chassis permit precise balancing for optimum
advantage from the loudness control feature.
Both bass and treble controls are of the continuous type.
So, of course, is the volume control.
Power amplifier chassis has clean lines and conservative design.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY, 1954
95
www.americanradiohistory.com
Three positions of phonograph equalization are provided. One matches the AES curve, the second the NARTB
curve, and the third is labelled EURO. This has a low turnover characteristic and moderate treble de-emphasis.
Feedback is all around the preamp-control circuit. DC
is used on the filaments and, when the unit is used in conjunction with the power amplifier, it benefits from the
stability provided by the voltage regulator tube in that
unit's power supply circuit. Output is of cathode follower
design, so lead length between control unit and power amplifier is not critical in any way.
A tip of the hat to H. S. Martin & Co. for (in addition to fine equipment) some fine instruction sheets, including "notes for the technically minded."
Incidentally, there is a tape output connection on the
back of the preamp chassis. And one more note: extra
gain is available with the loudness control switched out
but don't do this when running at very loud levels; the
increase in volume is decidedly noticeable!
All in all, a very commendable pair of units, with the
emphasis on clean sound and stable operation; plenty of
running power, plenty of reserve power for emergen-
-
cies.
-
C. F.
Pilot FM -AM Tuner
to the right of center is the bass tone control which produces maximum boost or droop of 12 db at too cycles,
which is modest. Farther along
and 19 db at 20 cycles
is the tuning knob, and at the far right is an AFC on -off
switch. The function of this control has bien described
in this department previously.
On the rear of the chassis are the switch -controlled AC
outlets at the left. Separate inputs for FM and AM antennas are at the center; the built -in antennas can be
used if they are adequate for the location. Farther along
to the right is a group of three jacks for a phono input
plug. These are terminated with impedances of 47, 27
and 15 thousand ohms to match various cartridges
very good feature. The preamplifier can be switched out
of the circuit by means of a slide switch below the jack
group, and the low- impedance terminations are removed
at the same time, so that a crystal cartridge or another
high -level signal source can be plugged in here and controlled by the front -panel knobs.
Maximum gain of the tuner on the 15,000 ohm input is
t volt out for to millivolts in, which is inadequate for
direct drive from low-output cartridges unless used with
transformers. However, it is quite enough for other
standard magnetic cartridges. With the preamp switched
out the sensitivity for all the phono inputs is 150 millivolts
for r volt output. Gain of the auxiliary input channel is
the same.
The two jacks at the far right are audio and detector
outputs; they are the same except that the detector output is not affected by volume, bass and treble controls.
This is intended to feed a tape recorder. Both are low impedance outputs, so that shielded cables up to too ft.
long can be used. (Don't ask who wants to use a too -ft.
cable! However, long cables can be employed without
danger of hum pickup or high- frequency loss.)
The AM section of the tuner is wide -band enough to
handle audio signals up to 9,000 cycles, if you can find them
on AM (occasionally you do). A whistle filter would have
been helpful here. FM sensitivity and noise- suppression
performance is adequate for metropolitan locations and
rural homes up to 3o or 35 miles from high -power stations.
A booster can assist in this respect. An excellent instruction book is furnished.
All together, the AF -824 is a good buy for the money.
-
-a
(furnished by manufacturer): Model AF -824
preamplifier, and control unit, AC only, 50
tuner,
FM-AM
watts. Dimensions: 14 5/16 wide by 7% high by 8 3/16 inches
deep behind panel. FM sensitivity; 10 microvolts for 20 db
quieting; ratio detector linear for 190 kc; drift negligible with
AFC on, 20 kc without AFC after 30 seconds. Audio and
detector output impedance, 500 ohms. Distortion: 0.2% at 1
% db from 20 to
volt output, 1% at 3 volts output. Rs pp
1 -6U8,
20,000 cycles with tone controls fiat. Tubes: 2 -6BA6,
1- 12Ax7, 1.12AT7, 1- 12AÚ7, 1 -6x5.
1 -6AU6, 1 -6AL5, 1 -6AB4,
Radio Corp., Long
Price: $119.50 with tubes. Address: Pilot
Island City 1, New York.
SPECIFICATIONS
t
Considering the price tag, Pilot has done a fine job in
the AF -824. Although there are some omissions and a
few shortcomings, many features are included that can
be found nowhere else at the same price range.
There are a total of seven control knobs on the front
panel, an array more ostentatious than formidable. On
the left is the AC on -off and volume control (not a loudness control), and this switch furnishes power to two AC
outlets on the back of the chassis. The volume control
reduces disis dual- section; this helps prevent overload,
is the
Next
down.
noise
and
hum
tortion, and keeps
for
LP,
NARTB,
with
positions
switch
equalization selector
AES and FOREIGN; specifications state that equalizaI db of the standard curves,
tion is accurate within
and tests indicated that this is correct. The third knob
14 db
is the treble tone control, which gives a maximum
is
the
center
boost or droop at Io,000 cycles. At the
inputs.
selector switch, for AM, FM, phono and auxiliary
and treble
All positions are affected by volume, bass
on
the
tuner is
scale
AM
the
position
AM
controls. In the
is
illumiscale
FM
the
position
FM
the
lighted, and in
Just
positions.
other
in
the
light
nated. Pilot lamps
t
FM -AM tuner has phono preamp- section with variable equalization.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
96
www.americanradiohistory.com
...
Pfanstiehl. Pickup System
(furnished by manufacturer): Strain -sensitive
turnover pickup cartridge is constant- resistance, amplitude
type. Insignificant impedance variation with frequency. Requires special or modified preamplifier providing 50 volts DC
to cartridge. Output: 10 to 15 millivolts; noise level, 500 microvolts. Either or both styli can be obtained with diamond or
precious metal tips. The 3- PPRC -2 preamplifier is self- powered
and furnishes the polarizing voltage for the cartridge. Controls:
Volume, bass and treble controls are furnished for compensation; cathode- follower output. Tubas: 1 -6SH7, 1- 6SN7GT, 16X5GT. Prices: turnover cartridge with 2 precious-metal styli,
$12.35; with sapphire 78 stylus and diamond microgroove stylus,
$34.35; with 2 diamond styli, $56.35. Model 3PPRC -2 preampequalizer, $34.90, with tubes. Address: Pfanstiehl Chemical
Company, 104 Lake View Avenue, Waukegan, Ill.
SPECIFICATIONS
This is a combination for those who like to experiment
with the unconventional. The pickup is neither magnetic,
variable- reluctance, nor crystal; the signal is initiated by
a strain -sensitive coating on plastic, through which a DC
current passes. Vibrations of the stylus are transferred to
the coating and modulate the DC current.
Because the AC output of the cartridge depends on the
amplitude of record -groove vibrations, not velocity, a
different type of compensation is required than for conventional high -quality cartridges; this the 3PPRC -2 preamplifier furnishes, as well as the cartridge polarizing
current. One knob, at the left, controls bass compensation,
and the center knob treble compensation. At the right is
a volume control. Oddly enough, both bass and treble
in other
knobs work backward from the usual sense
words, clockwise rotation produces decreased bass or treble.
The volume control is set up conventionally.
It is possible to match just about any recording characteristic reasonably well by proper adjustment of the controls. With bass and treble knobs set as follows, output
3db from
from the pickup and preamplifier was within
30 to 12,000 cycles (using the Dubbings D -lot test record):
-
t
RECORDING
CURVE
LP
RCA
BASS
TREBLE
SETTING
SETTING
IO
7
5
4
7
7
NARTB
3'h
We have one criticism that may or may not be serious,
depending on circumstances. The 6sH7 tube used in the
preamplifier was quite microphonic and noisy, giving a
steady and (to us) annoying hiss. It was the same way
AES
6
experimentation
with three other 6s117 tubes we tried
is indicated here, to find a quiet tube.
Otherwise, the performance of the combination was
R. A.
pleasing. Bass response was extremely good.
-
-
Jensen Duette
(furnished by manufacturer): Small -size, twospeaker reproducer, using special 8 -in. woofer and multi -cell,
horn- loaded compression- driver tweeter. Impedance: 4 and 8
ohms. Power rating: 20 watts maximum. Size: 11 in. high by
23% in. wide by 10 in. deep. Shipping weight: 24 lbs. Price:
$69.50. Address: Jensen Manufacturing Co., 6601 South Laramie Avenue, Chicago 38, Ill.
SPECIFICATIONS
Two -way speaker: Good soundfor budgets and rooms of limited size.
-
Sound reproduction with this unit is as gratifying as its
and,
price to the shopper for economy -sized fidelity
far
-gone
The
latter
enthusiast.
often
some
cases,
the
in
has a yen for a second speaker, to use in another room, or
just another corner, or with his portable tape- recorder or
for binaural experimenting. In a more general vein, consider some of the possible uses in which the extra value
of this clever Jensen design is most apparent. With its
shelf-size dimensions and its simulated pigskin plastic
exterior, the Duette will fit well into almost any home decor.
The sound is excellent for its size. The bass response
is, of course, limited (the manufacturer recommends
boosting the bass by about 6 db per octave), but I had
to drive the unit to above normal listening levels before
the 8 -inch woofer began to have trouble with E. Power
Biggs' recording of the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
The treble is sharp and clean. A hint: because the unit
and the corner
is so'small, it fits nicely into a corner
position helps with low- frequency response.
It's good to see more and more manufacturers of hi -fi
equipment providing worthwhile components for the moderate-budget music listener who wants better sound. The
Duette fits this description well.
It is not unlikely that Jensen hopes with this to break
a marker currently
into record and radio retail shops
overrun with small, quasi -hi -fi portable phonographs.
What's needed now is for some other reputable hi -fi manufacturer to assemble a good companion package: an
amplifier and record -player in a single, table -model box,
for about $ioo.
W. B. S.
-
-
Strain-sensitive cartridge with cable for preamp connection.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
-
97
www.americanradiohistory.com
Dubbings Equalizer- Checker
SPECIFICATIONS
(furnished by manufacturer):
control or loudness control should not be induded in the
system. If you have one that can be switched out, be sure
to put the switch in the uncompensated or loudness OUT
position; if it cannot be switched out, turn it all the way
up (maximum loudness) and use the level set control,
usually on the back of the preamp -control chassis, to
obtain the proper level on the reference band.
R. A.
Complete equal-
izer- checking equipment consisting of two parts: the D -101
test record, containing reference 1,000 -cycle bands and four
sets of 12,000, 10,000, 8,000, 6,000, 4,000, 2,000, 1,000, 700,
400, 250, 100, 50, and 30 -cycle bands recorded according to
-
LP, RCA (Orthophonie), NARTB, and AES characteristics;
and the D -500 test level indicator, consisting of three low -voltage, low -current bulbs so calibrated as to light at 3 -db intervals when connected across the speaker leads of a sound system.
Clip leads furnished. Prices: D -101, $4.95; D- 500, $3.95. Address:
The Dubbings Company, Inc., 41 -10 45th Street, Long Island
City 4, N. Y.
Components Corp. Turntable
(furnished by manufacturer):
Professional
turntable, 3- speed, using an endless fabric belt driving a 25 -lb.
steel turntable direct from a 3 -step motor pulley. Constantspeed induction motor, designed for continuous duty, is double
shock- mounted. Turntable has nylon sleeve bearing and ball
thrust bearing. Pries: $74.50. Address: Components CorporaSPECIFICATIONS
tion, Denville, New Jersey.
-
Phono -equalizer can be checker/ with this
and a test
98
-
-
record.
With these items you can check your record-playing system for flat response with any of the four most -used recording characteristics, and make the proper adjustments
of tone controls if required, at little expense and in a short
time. Procedure is quite simple. First, the leads from
the 3 -bulb indicator are clipped to the speaker terminals.
Next, equalization controls are set for one of the curves
above, and the volume control is turned to minimum.
The reference band for the proper set of recorded test
frequencies is played, and the volume control adjusted
so that the center, or zero-level bulb just begins to glow
faintly. Then, as the record proceeds through the various test frequency bands, the middle bulb should glow
faintly on each. If the left -hand bulb goes out it indicates that the response of the system is down 3 db or more
at that frequency; if the right -hand bulb lights, the response is accentuated 3 db or more at that frequency.
For instance, bass and treble controls should be adjusted
to keep the left bulb lighted, the middle bulb glimmering,
and the right bulb unlighted during the entire frequency
run, or most of it; the best positions of the controls can
be noted, and these settings used as a beginning point
for adjustments when playing records cut according to
the curve under test. The system can be calibrated in the
same way for the other 3 curves.
Obviously, then, these units are valuable for three
purposes: checking the original accuracy of equalizer
controls, maintaining their accuracy (since component
values determining this accuracy may change with time),
and determining the proper initial settings of tone controls in systems having fixed equalizers. According to a
good vacuum -tube voltmeter we used in this test, the accuracy of the D -500 indicator itself is very good.
It should be noted that the instruction booklet gives
clear, concise directions that anyone can follow easily.
However, one point was overlooked that should not have
been. When making these tests a compensated volume
-
This is truly an extraordinary turntable
in size, weight,
precision, performance and
considering those factors
price. If you can fit this into your installation, it will
probably fit your budget too. Such a piece of equipment
is a joy to "listen to"
we were unable to detect rumble
under any home -operating circumstances.
Belt-drive turntable bas a
25 -1b. table, double shock- mounted motor.
-
However, there are some drawbacks, as there would have
to be. First is its size
211/2 by 153/4 by 8 inches overall.
Takes a lot of room. And then there is the real inconvenience of lifting off the pulley-and -belt cover, and
moving the belt to the proper pulley step, each time it
is desired to change speed. This isn't an item for one
who is casually interested in a good music system, or who
seeks maximum operating convenience
but for those
who want to approach perfection without completely dislocating the budget, careful consideration of this new
turntable is de rigueur.
Incidentally, the motor is spring- mounted in such a
way as to maintain tension against the belt; it would 'not
seem that wear would become troublesome.
R. A.
-
.
-
Legs consist of
felt -damped
springs, are adjustable in length.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
i
lad ¿7waií'
m
Here's how I solved a problem that bothered me
...
... and may be bothering you.
Many of my favorite recordings happen to be 78's. They mean as much to me as any of my
newer LP's or 45's. Changing pickups was often a real nuisance-and yet I wasn't willing to
give up the superior quality of my two Pickering cartridges.
Last fall my dealer offered a suggestion. "Wait a little longer." he said. "You'll be glad you did."
He was right. I now have Pickering's new turn -over cartridge. A simple flip of the handy
lever and I'm ready to play any favorite that Fits my mood -whether it's standard or microgroove.
More than that, I'd swear my recordings sound better than ever.
¿Jm glad (J Waited
... ¿uI you
wont have to.
Ask your dealer to show you this convenient new turn -over cartridge. Have him demonstrate it.
See if you, too, don't hear the difference!
I'l['KE [il NG and company ineorpora/ed
/.
Oeeanxide, L.L, New York
PICKERING PROFESSIONAL AUDIO COMPONENTS
1
i.- cirri
.air
.P
709Wri;
...Demonstrated and sold by Leading Radio Parts Distributors everywhere.
For the one nearest you and for detailed literature, write Dept. H -3
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, x954
99
www.americanradiohistory.com
Neri Performance
.
.
.
THE PERMOFLUX
2 -Way Speaker System
HI -FI REVISITED
Superb Cabinet Craftsmanship
with "DUAL DRIVING POINT" Horn Design
Now Brings You
FULL RANGE HIGH FIDELITY
At Either Lou, or High Volume Level
Continued from page 39
two types of enclosures; now there are endless varieties. The past two or three years
have seen a vast amount of experimental
work accomplished, all aimed at extending
the useful range of a loudspeaker.
Originally, the primary purpose of an
enclosure or baffle was to prevent the sound
from the back of the speaker from getting
mixed up with that from the front. Remember when you were waving your hand back
and forth? You compressed the air on one
side, rarified it on the other. Above your
hand, compressed air would meet rarified
air
and result in cancellation. Thus the
principle was to use a big baffle; the bigger
the baffle, the less danger of cancellation.
Hence we have a predilection, among audio
engineers of yesteryear and, to a certain extent, even today, for infinite baffles; e. g.,
mounting a speaker in the wall between two
rooms so as to reduce to an absolute minimum the possibility of back and front radiations from the speaker cone mixing together and cancelling.
Subsequent engineering thinking led to
the desire to control and utilize the radiations from the back of the speaker, to reinforce those from the front in the low frequency area, where speaker efficiency is
poorest. One very common design of this
type is the bass reflex, characterized by a
second opening (in addition to the speaker
hole) in the front panel. Careful cabinet
design, with special attention to matching
the second opening or port to the characteristics of the speaker, produces fine results. However, sloppy design produces
extraordinarily poor results (juke box boom
or beer barrel bass) because the port adds
to the weaknesses of the speaker rather
than counterbalancing them.
Another approach to the problem was
made through adaptation of the horn principle. That principle is easy to illustrate:
yell out the window. If the object of your
yelling does not hear you, add a megaphone
such as used by cheerleaders. Your voice
will carry much further. You have improved
your vocal efficiency, if we may put it that
way. Or consider an extreme example, the
tuba. Stir up a little air at the mouthpiece,
and an awful lot of sound comes out.
So we have horns, and horn -loaded loudfound mostly in corners, where
speakers
the two walls of the room will extend the
mouth of the horn still further. They enable a small amount of cone activity to
produce a relatively large amount of sound,
particularly down in the very low frequencies where, as was demonstrated way back
by the piece of cardboard stunt, it takes a
lot of area or surface to create much sound.
Finally we come to the category of variations and new developments. These are
indeed legion, and many have very real
merit. Some have enabled a relatively small
single speaker in a tiny enclosure to produce
surprisingly fine quality. Others, still of
relatively small size, utilize two or more
speakers, or a coaxial speaker, to produce
results normally expected only of much
larger units. The basic rule has been, tie
larger the enclosure, the better the sound
reproduction (given equal speaker quality).
-
Perfection
in Cabinetry
b'
ediarenicfrwsolf
1ncar[caa
in
Mahogany or
Korina Blonde.
Unique "New Dual Driving Point" Enclosure Design, employing Dual
Eight inch woofer system, surpasses bass and mid -range performance
of firest conventional 12 and 15 inch systems. Satin smooth highs are
added by specially designed Super Tweeter.
Beautiful modern cabinet styling
precision constructed of carefully
hand rubbed to a lustrous enduring finish . .
selected veneers
...
...
Neu...
THE
.
Diminutive
2 -Way
Speaker System
PIRMOFLUX
Exclusive New De. combines
sign
full high fidelity
performance with
minimum cabinet
-
size and low cost.
Angled speaker
mounting assures
correct distribution
of sound regardless
of placement. Per-
fect for Binaural
when used in pairs.
Two Royal
6
inch
Speakers and Super Tweeter
housed in choice of Mahogany or
Blonde enclosure.
your Hi -A dealer for demonstration; also hear the
New Super Royal Speaker (8, 12 and 15 inch sizes).
See
For complete
descriptive literature write to
..
.
CORPORATION
4916 West Grand Avenue
4101
Chicago 39, Illinois
West Coast Plant
Glendale 4, California
San Fernando Road
Continued on page 102
I00
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
t
Born to the service of true sound
/severe
ir11
FREQUENCY RESPONSE OF MODEL
.5
T
-10, OVERALL
__il'11
`M1\I
tlM111
The development of the Revere "Balanced- Tone"
Tape Recorder was dictated by one standard -the
wiEnzrino1
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TAPE RECORDER
IMO
Mam
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FREQUENCY-CYCLES PER SECOND
Recording made from typical Revere production T -10 recorder with constant 1 volt
to phono input. Level set to just strike "normal" indicator at 15kc. Playback Into
3 ohm load at extension speaker jack.
attainment of accurate sound reproduction. Brilliant success is proved with every true -tone recording. From opera and concert stage to Basin
Street, each sound is reproduced with remarkable
depth of tone, breadth of range and incomparable
fidelity heretofore achieved only with costly studio
equipment. Yet Revere is priced conveniently low,
its keyboard operation the easiest of any recorder.
See, hear, a Revere Tape Recorder at dealers
everywhere.
REVERE CAMERA CO.
T- 700 -"Balanced- Tone" Tape Recorder. 2 hour
recording per reel. Complete with microphone, radio attachment cord, 2 reels (one with tape) and carrying case
$225.00
with
built
radio
TR -800 -Same as above
-in
$277.50
T- 10- Studio Model, 7.50 Speed- Complete with micro.
phone, radio attachment cord, 2 reels (one with tape) and
carrying case
$235.00
TR -20 -Same as above with built -in radio
$287.50
CHICAGO 16, ILLINOIS
Revere
BASS-REFLEX SPEAKER
-An
exceptionally fine 12" Alnico
V
Speaker, acoustically
matched to the 16 "x22 "xt3"
Bass Reflex Cabinet. Provides
exceptional bass response and
wide range.Uoit designed asa
console base for the recorder.
Light -weight; portable. With
plug and 25 -ft. cable
$49.50
IOI
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
www.americanradiohistory.com
HI -FI REVISITED
Continued Irrom page too
-
Ready to plug into
your sound system
popular new "Deb" is getting the biggest hi fi rush of the season!
Blonde or mahogany finish Formica case houses combination
pre -amp, power supply and oscillator. Smooth, dustfree manual turntable
can't injure record grooves- record rides high on a cushioned float
the size of the record label. Equipped with Weathers FM light
weight pick -up arm and cartridge with sapphire stylus, ready to plug into
This
your sound system.
K
-700 $99.50
WEATHERS New
Turnover Cartridge
One stylus for 78's the other for 33% and
45 LP records. W -401 for Weathers
Manual Tone Arms $25.00 W -411 for
changers and arms other than Weathers $25.00
WEATHERS De luxe Professional
Tone Arm for 16" Transcriptions
Designed for ease of cueing. Completely
balanced
accurate leveling of
turntable unnecessary. Lightweight, plays at
less than
gram stylus pressure, blonde
or ebony finish.
...
1
A -510
$24.50
Standard Tone Arm for 12" records
A -500 $14.50
See your hi fi dealer, or write
us
-we'll
tell you where.
Sales office
613 Hanna Building
Cleveland 15, Ohio
Factory, Barrington, New Jersey
The rule still holds
but much success has
been achieved in attempting to disprove
the rule.
Of all the pieces of equipment in the
audio chain, the loudspeaker and its enclosure should, if at all possible, be bought
"by ear." They should be listened to under
as near normal conditions as possible. The
reason is that most published specifications
on speakers do not mean a great deal. The
frequency range is sometimes given, but
this is not necessarily significant unless the
smoothness (plus and minus so many deci
bels) with which that range is covered is also
given.
On cone -type speakers (as opposed to
diaphragm -type tweeters), the weight of the
magnet is frequently given; in general, this
is significant because, between two speakers
of the same cone size, the one with the heavier magnet may be expected to produce
better results.
Here. as elsewhere, there
are many qualifications to this criterion,
such as design, care in manufacture, method
of suspending the cone edge to the voice
coil and to the metal frame of the speaker,
design of the cone itself
all these and more
besides may counterbalance the significance
of the magnet weight criterion.
If listening isn't possible, a rule of thumb
is to spend as much on the speaker as possible and mount it in a cabinet or enclosure design recommended by the speaker
manufacturer. (We're going to get several
hundred letters on this subject, and we admit
it's a rough guide only
but better than
none!)
Incidentally, speakers, and the method of
housing them, are one of the weakest points
in standard, commercial, and somewhat
elderly radio- phonograph combinations. If
you own one of these and are thinking about
making improvements, it is nearly always
remarkable what a difference will be made
by installing a new speaker in a correct enclosure. In most cases, it is a simple opera-
-
-
tion and very worthwhile. Later, if further
improvements are desired, a full hi -fi system
can be added ahead of the speaker.
So much for loudspeakers and their enclosures. Proceding in our backward fashion, we come to amplifiers. The amplifier
link in the chain of audio components is a
link by itself and does not include control
equipment or the preamplifiers often associated with the control link in the chain.
Even though control and amplifier links are
mounted on a single chassis, the two are
separable.
Amplifiers convert a small amount of
energy into real power (hence the frequent
appellation, "power amplifiers "), sufficient
to drive a loudspeaker. Most publicity about
amplifiers carries fairly complete technical
specifications, and these specifications are
significant. Power output is rated in watts
and, other specifications being equal, the
more the better. Ten is a happy, moderatecost medium, sufficient for most applicaHigher power in amplifiers is
tions.
like higher horsepower in automobiles
smoother at all speeds, greater reserve for
emergencies. (An interesting sidelight: there
-
Continued on page 104
102
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
The pipe organ is, traditionally,
the "king of instruments."
No other instrument spans the
entire audio spectrum
... with
unsurpassed tonal quality ranging
from those frequencies where
sound is felt as well as heard,
up through those contributing
presence, brilliance and finally
the delicate coloring of
overtones and harmonics.
a completely revolutionary speaker system
-
In Celeste we have combined classic organ
removed
pipe art with modern accoustical science
electroit
with
a
modern
and
replaced
air
system
the
essentially
an
is
enclosure
transducer.The
mechanical
to
200
with
frequencies
of
30
resonators
assembly of
cycles and harmonic responses up through the medium
frequency range. Careful selection of these fundamental frequencies plus a folded baffle surrounding the
pipe chamber gives .complete augmentation through
overlapping, blending and damping. A coaxial
speaker, mounted vertically above the resonators,
provides direct radiation and dispersion of sound.
Bass note reinforcement is through two ports at either
side of the bottom of the enclosure. A unique accoustical crossover provides perfectly smooth transition from treble to bass. The resulting distribution
of radiated energy yields a superior tone quality with
a spatial effect and response throughout the bass,
never before attained in any speaker system.
Celeste is the product of several distinguished pioneers in radio and electronics. It's
development entailed a painstaking review of the
fundamental physics of sound and literally thousands
of tests with various resonators and frequencies. We
believe you will find no finer instrument of sound
reproduction anywhere at any price.
Dealer inquiries invited.
PICKARD & BURNS
INCORPORATED
240 Highland Avenue, Needham 94, Mass.
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
www.americanradiohistory.com
Because of its enthusiastic acceptance at
the Audio Fair, we have decided to make
Celeste available immediately. For complete details write for our brochure.
HI -FI REVISITED
Continued from page 102
Q °p
is considerable evidence to show that in
true binaural sound, much less power is
The
OVERWHELMING CHOICE
of tone -quality conscious
visitors to the New York
Audio Fair were the
Bozak Loudspeakers.
Countless audiophiles and
music lovers at the Audiorama
heard the Bozak Speakers,
went away, and returned
time and again to
enjoy their discovery.
From the Monaural
two- and three -way systems,
including the fabulous B -310
with its "On- the-Stage"
realism, to the astounding
Binaural demonstrations of
Cook Laboratories reproducing
16 -cycle organ tones,
the Bozaks were once again
the sensation of the Audio Fair.
For the Very Best in Sound
See
l
114 MANHATTAN
STREET
Your Dealer or Write
STAMFORD
.. .
CONNECTICUT
needed.)
Output impedance has to do with matching to loudspeaker voice coil impedance;
8 and 16 are just about essential to match
common hi -fi speaker impedances; 4 is good
for occasional unusual speakers; 5oo (or
600) rarely needed except in special applications.
Frequency range should be given (and
interpreted) only in conjunction with a
second specification which indicates the
smoothness with which that range is covered,
e.g., 20 to 20,000 cycles plus and minus so
many decibels. The narrower the plus and
minus range, the better. And, since human
hearing covers from roughly 20 to t8,000
cycles, the nearer that range is approached
in the amplifier, the better.
Distortion rating is often stated. It may
be given either as harmonic distortion or as
intermodulation distortion; the more complete specifications will give both. Interpretation of the figures is complicated since it
normally involves the power output, in watts,
at which the reading was taken. The lower
the distortion figure, for a given power, the
better.
Incidentally, this is where high power
output ratings come into their own. Distortion increases rapidly as maximum power
output of the amplifier is approached. Thus,
a good 5o -watt amplifier will show negligible distortion at to watts, but a to- watter
may show high distortion at to watts.
And be not misled: distortion occurs in
every piece of audio equipment, in small or
large degree. The manufacturer who unqualifiedly says his equipment does not
have distortion is lying. It just isn't possible.
Once again, we'd suggest studying the
mail order catalogues to see what is given in
the way of specifications.
We admit, technical specifications are not
the final answer. But, in the case of amplifiers, they come very close to being final in
nearly all cases; certainly they are a first
basis of judgment.
The next backward step along the chain
is to the control link, and this we rather
dread because of the number of functions
performed by the equipment.
First, leis break down these functions.
The simplest function is to control volume.
This may be of two types: a straight volume
control or a compensated volume control,
often called a loudness control. The compensated volume control is compensated for
peculiarities of human hearing: our ears are
not equally sensitive to all frequencies and,
as the overall volume level is changed, the
change in apparent loudness at certain frequencies does not parallel the change at
other frequencies. This is especially noticeable at the low frequency end. Cutting
down overall volume makes it seem as if
the low frequencies had been reduced in
volume even more. Hence, a compensated volume, or loudness control, reduces the
loudness of low frequencies less than that of
the middle and high frequencies. It may
also compensate slightly, in the same man Continued on page io6
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
SPECIALIZATION
MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Specialization may be defined as the concentration of
all effort to a special or specific course of action
Even a mechanical device concerned with the function of record
reproduction should possess all the advantages of such specialization.
Most units undertake to do much more. They change records,
mix records, flip records, reject records, and assume a multitude of other
functions. This is 'generalization' as distinguished from 'specialization'.
The REK -O -KUT turntable, on the other hand, is devoted
entirely to playing records. And every design feature, every fragment
of engineering know-how has been devoted and restricted
to the all- important job of playing records ... to provide the
constant, steady, unwavering record motion necessary for
the faithful reproduction of records free of mechanical distortion.
Specialization makes that difference. And all of the
efforts and facilities of the manufacturer shall continue
to be intensively devoted to that one objective...
that one aim: To make the finest turntables in the world.
REKOKUT Turntable for your specific discriminating
requirement. Seven models are available at prices ranging from $59.50.
At Leading Radio Parts Distributors and at Sound and Music Dealers.
There is
a
Write for Descriptive Literature
TURNTABLES
REK-O -KUT COMPANY,
38-03M Queens Boulevard, Long Island City 1, New York
Export Division: 458 Broadway, New York 13, U. S. A. Cables -Morhanex
In Canada: Atlas Radio Corp.. Ltd., 560 King Street, W., Toronto 2B
JANUARY- FEBRUAR'
,
l
y'.l
IOS
www.americanradiohistory.com
HI -FI REVISITED
Continued from page roq
ner, at the extreme high frequency end of
the spectrum. An uncompensated volume
control reduces the volume evenly through-
by L. H. Bogen
Member. Audio Engineering Society
\ 'i.e President, David Bogen Co.. Inc.
out the audible range.
Another function of the control link in
the chain is to enhance or attenuate treble
and bass, through "tone controls." This
is not done by arbitrarily taking a segment
say, 20 to 200 cps
of the spectrum
and depressing it flatly. The change is
always progressive, minimal at the middle range, acute toward bottom or top. A bass
tone control knob, in its full -boost position,
may increase the relative loudness of a Soo
cycle sound (relative to, say, r,000 cycles
perhaps 3 db.
and higher) only slightly
But the effect further down, at loo cycles,
will be much greater, perhaps 12 db. At
20 cycles, it may be as great as 3o db. The
same principles apply to bass droop, and to
treble boost or droop.
In determining the comparative range of
control provided by tone controls, it is
necessary to know the frequency at which
the control range is specified. Stating that
the bass control range is from plus 15 to
minks 12 db is not significant unless a
frequency is specified. Readings are often
taken at So cycles or so at the low end and
at Io,000 cycles for the treble. (lt would be
nice if everyone would standardize!)
For the sake of convenience, we might
throw "filters" into, or at least very close
to, the tone control group. They operate
on somewhat similar principles. Tone controls provide boost and droop; filters provide droop only. Furthermore, tone controls provide gradual droop whereas filters
provide very sharp droop, almost a cut -off.
Filters are designed to eliminate as abruptly
as possible all sound above, or below, specified points along the frequency scale. Their
purpose is to eliminate unwanted scratch,
ANOTHER SURPRISE FROM
A SURPRISING AMPLIFIER:
The Bogen DBIOA now features
Record Compensation (and the
cost is still only $54.45)
For several years now, the Bogen
DB10 amplifier has been supplying
a very happy solution to the problem
of how to assemble a good system at
a realistic price.
By selecting the DB10 (and the
later DB10 -1), thousands of purchasers have saved enough money on
the amplifier to be able to afford a
really good speaker set -up. (I think
this makes for a more sensibly balanced system, since it is generally
acknowledged that amplifiers have
been brought to a higher stage of
perfection today than speakers.)
To this field -proved amplifier, our
Engineering Dept. has added a new
refinement for 1954: record equalization control. Through the use of
3 additional positions on the circuit
selector switch, the listener will now
be able to compensate for the varying characteristics of the different
makes of records in his collection:
LP' position Approximately equal
to the AES curve; for optimum response from American microgroove
records.
"78" position For shellac classical
records (in good condition).
"Fop" position Similar to the "78 ",
with a sharp cut-off (about 2000
cycles) for a more mellow tone, and
for reducing surface noise of worn
records.
In addition, we provide calibrated
tone controls to correct modifications
for other records, such as FFRR
and orthophonic.
-
-
for
809e,,
23 years,
tnanufacturera
of fine electronic equipment
The Saturday Review Honte Book
of Recorded Music and Sound Reproduction writes of the Bogen DB10:
"This is a compact little marvel of
tone and versatility for the price. It
was resourceful enough to compete
over most of its range with several
amplifiers costing three times as
much .. ,"
Now you get record equalization too,
and the price is still only $54.45.
s
-
1
Companion FM -AM Tuner
is the Bogen R604
This unit fills a real need in the
market for an FM -AM tuner with a
solid circuitry, excellent performance and minimum controls, to sell
for under $100. Sensitivity is 5
micro-volts for 30 db quieting. FM
Frequency Response is 50- 15,000 cps
± 1 db. Stability is exceptionally
good, with Automatic Frequency
Control and temperature-stabilized
oscillator effectively preventing drift
and eliminating warm -up period.
hiss, AM -radio static, or what have you at
the high end, and equally unwanted turntable rumble, etc., at the low end.
Equalization for record frequency characteristics is still another function of the control link. This is a complex subject; stated
as succinctly as possible, record manufacturers are obliged, for technical reasons, to
reduce the loudness of low frequencies, in
comparison with middle frequencies, and
find it advisable to increase the loudness of
the extreme highs. There is considerable
variation from one manufacturer to the
next in the "recorded frequency characteristic" considered best. Therefore, when
such records are played back in the home
(or studio, for that matter), you must be
able to "equalize" for any one of several
recorded frequency characteristic curves.
Since the curves vary at the low end, we have
variable turnover; and they vary at the high
end, so we have variable treble de- emphasis.
Some equalizers utilize a single knob with
two or more positions, each position providing correct equalization for one of the
characteristic "curves" used by major record
NARTB, Columbia, Lonmanufacturers
don, RCA Victor, and AES (Audio Engineering Society, one of the standard
curves). Other equalizers use two knobs or
Send for your copy of
"Understanding High Fidelity"
This book, we think,
strikes a nice balance
between theory and the
practical aspects of hi -fi.
It covers such subjects as:
How to evaluate and
select the best components for your location,
listening requirements
and budget. For a copy,
mail the coupon with 25c.
MAIL COUPON NOW
David Bogen Co., Inc., Dept. WA
29 Ninth Ave., New York 14, N. Y.
Send "Understanding High Fidelity" (for
which I enclose 25¢), and free catalog.
name
address
city
-one
-
state
Send free catalog only.
-
-
_-I
Continued on page ro8
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
IO6
www.americanradiohistory.com
the
Now...
BIG
question...
when to :ehange stylus
finally answered by
-
Audax STYLU
Photo count
piano reaIiiii
cisti
Patent. Pending
1. Gives VISUAL indication (before your
valuable records are ruined) of
with
whether or not the stylus is in playable
condition.
2. Will test ANY type of stylus, in any
type of pickup
a jiffy.
3. Neither the stylus nor the cartridge
need be removed for the test. Nothing
need be disturbed.
4. The grooves may be used over and over
again, until finally a worn or defective
stylus scrapes the delicate groove-walls.
5. Should last for years-costs only
$3.90 net at your dealers. (Add 30c for
shipping, 35c for shipping west of
Mississippi.)
STYLUS -DISK is a MUST for any music
system. Just as a fuse protects an electric
circuit, the STYLUS -DISK protects your
records against ruin by a worn stylus. Have
no concern about the stylus. You can be absolutely sure that STYLUS -DISK will do
its part to guard your valuable records.
Audax
Heretofore realistic piano reproduction has
been the Industry's problem. For over 25 years,
pickups, even the poorest one, favored one kind
of instrument over all others. Now
for the
first time, it is possible to reproduce realistic
piano music and at the same time faithfully
reproduce all other instruments as well.
This was dramatically demonstrated at the
recent Audio Fair. Audax had a leading artist
perform at the grand piano. It was left to the
audience to decide what parts of the composition were played by the artist and what parts
were electronically reproduced.
The audience was amazed, when, during the
recital, the artist suddenly walked away from
the piano and the music continued nonetheless.
The recorded piano music was so real, so lifelike, that it had the audience dumbfounded.
Heated discussions arose as to when the music
was the recorded version.
Thus the Audax CHROMATIC proved more
than equal to this extraordinary task of realistic
piano reproduction again proving that
in
music, listening quality is everything. The
Audax CHROMATIC has listening quality to a
degree found in no other reproducer. But only
YOU can tell what sounds best, therefore
.
see and HEAR the Audax.
...
-in
...
..
-Be sure to obtain copy of "ELECTRONIC PHONO FACTS"
from your dealer or write to Audax direct
Write for free literature
AUDAK COMPANY
500 Fifth Avenue
.74.a standard
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
6y
Dept.
G
New York 36, N. Y.
'Which Othsri ...Ars Jud4sd and Valued"
107
HI -FI REVISITED
Continued from page rob
(HIGH
Now you can
f FIDELITY
have the ULTIMATE in
the NEW
enauttE:
Beauty
Styling
Response
Presence
A//in One
A
cabinet
.
.
.
Complete Unit!
styled by
fidelity speaker system
designed by UTAH to produce clean, sparkling, brilliant tone
A high
..
MAURICE that will complement
and grace your decore- excite the
envy and admiration of your friends.
covering the entire audio spectrum
with minimum phase distortion clean,
smooth fundamental bass and bright,
addition to its startling beauty
new Utah Brillante marks an
epoch in the design and engineering
of a high fidelity sound enclosure
because the name Utah
pioneer
in the field of sound reproduction
-assures you the finest in design,
engineering, production and performance. It is right because it is
made right by Utah.
In
-the
clean highs.
-
-a
In the new Brillante speaker system are incorporated all the latest
developments and improvements in
the field of high fidelity sound reproduction
the engineering
knowledge acquired by Utah's expert sound engineers over a period
of 30 years of outstanding achievement in the field
knowledge
backed up by production know -how.
-all
Glowing with the splendor and
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-a
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to a rich patina of fine furniture
the new Brillante sound enclosure
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Design, engineering, quality and
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-is
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any or
See the
"ila
108
.
Brillante at your local Hi Fi Headquarters
or write for the Brillante brochure
High Fidelity Dept.
RADIO
CO.,
PRODUCTS
H U N
T
I
N G T O N
,
I
N D
I
A N A
INC.
levers, one varying bass turnover and the
other treble de- emphasis.
Some types of phonograph cartridges
do not require as elabornotably crystals
ate equalization circuits as the popular
"magnetic" cartridges, so control units de-
-
-
signed specifically for other than magnetic
units often omit equalization controls and
rely on tone controls for adequate compen
cation for recorded frequency characteristics.
We have skimmed the surface of the equalization question; it was given "the full treatment" in an article in the Winter 1951
issue of HIGH FIDELITY, so if you would
like a better understanding of the subject,
we'd suggest going back to this article. For
directions on the specific equalization re
quired by the various makes of disks, see
"Dialing Your Disks," in the record -review pages.
Speaking of magnetic cartridges allows us
to move to another function of the control
link in the audio chain: preamplification.
Cartridges of the general class called "magnetic" produce very little electrical energy
anywhere from 5 to 70 thousandths of a volt.
Therefore this energy must be increased to
a reasonable amount, and thus the need
the "pre -" disfor pre -amplification
tinguishing amplification at this stage from
that used later in the power amplifier.
Some control units include, in their preamplifier- equalizer sections, a "flat" position. This permits preamplification without
bass boost or treble de- emphasis and is used
with microphones, which, like magnetic
cartridges, have very low output.
And now, in our backwards fashion, we
move on to the sound- source link of the
chain. In this category are included phonograph pickups, FM, AM, and TV tuners,
tape and wire recorders, microphones, and
so forth. Let's clear away tuners, first, and
start with TV tuners because a couple of
several fine TV
sentences will suffice:
tuners are available which omit audio amplification and speaker sections. These plug
directly into the control section of a hi -fi
system. It is also quite simple to use a
standard television set as a tuner. Connections are made, in general, to the TV set's
volume control and are run from that to the
hi -fi control equipment; amplifier and speaker on the regular set are not used. Still a
third variation is possible and will, in general,
-
-
improve television sound: disconnecting
the TV set's regular speaker (which usually
is pretty small, particularly in table model
sets) and reconnecting to a good external
speaker.
There are a few AM -only radio tuners
manufactured, and they are well worth considering in areas where FM broadcasting
hasn't reached yet. An alternative is to
perform an operation on a standard AM radio
receiver similar to that suggested for standard
television receivers.
There are many FM -only tuners available,
also many FM -AM tuners. With FM tuners,
two sets of specifications are important:
the frequency response (expressed exactly
as for amplifiers; i.e., plus or minus so many
db within such and such a range) and the
Continued on page r ro
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
jumps are for Horses
...NOT for muvietic tape
That's why you need SOUNDCRAFT Mier o- Pol shed * pipe.
No Raised Spots! No Roughness! No Jumps!
It's Smooth right from the .start!
Under the microscope, magnetic tape
may look like a steeplechase- replete
with all the "jumps." As you record,
these jumps- minute raised spots characteristic of all coating processes -momentarily separate large enough areas
of the tape from the recording head to
appreciably interrupt high - frequency
response. On some equipment, they
may even cause signal dropouts.
subjecting the ferrous oxide coating to
high -precision polishing. It leaves the
surface mirror -smooth, and preconditioned for immediate, stable, high frequency response.
The Answer Is Micro -Polish
But Reeves Sou NDCRAFT eliminates
the "jumps" with its exclusive MicroPolish process, assuring the most complete head contact possible right from
the start. That's because Micro- Polish
smooths off the microscopic nodules by
In addition, SuLNDCRAFT Recording.
Thpes are pre- coated with a special 6,rniulation to give utmost oxide ad he .,
and prevent curling and cupping.
All tape is dry -lubricated to eliminate
squeals and carries a splice -free guarantee on all 1200- and 2500 -foot reels.
Breaking in tape by running it
through the recorder, with accompanying head wear and waste of time, is a
thing of the past.
REEVES
Other SOUNDCRAFT Advantages
www.americanradiohistory.com
SOUNDCRAFT
CORP.
10 East 52nd Street, Dept.
New York 22, N.
*Pat.:lpplied For.
Y.
F
HI -FI REVISITED
Continued from page 1o8
New!
And
Terrific:
É
FISHER
-a
"705'
SERIES
When the FISHER 50 -R Tuner and 50 -A Amplifier first appeared,
two things promptly happened. We were besieged with orders; as well as
with requests (from those with limited space) for a tuner with audio control facilities and preamplifier. Many also wanted a low -cost, high output, quality amplifier. It took us time, but here they are. And they're tops!
FISHER FM -AM Tuner
MOODEL
Features extreme sensitivity: (1.5
mv for 20 db of quieting), works where
others fail. Armstrong system, adjustable AFC plus switch, adjustable AM
selectivity, separate FM and AM front
ends. Complete shielding and shock mounting on main and subchassis. Distortion less than 0.04% for 1 volt output. Hum level: better than 90 db below 2 volts output on radio, better than
62 db below output with 10 mv input
on phono. Two inputs. Two cathode follower outputs. Self powered. Six
controls:
Sensitivity is determined in
sensitivity.
terms of the signal strength (expressed in
microvolts) required for a certain degree of
quieting, or reduction in background noise.
For example, "5 microvolts required for 3o
db of quieting" is typical. A specification
of 3 microvolts for 3o db indicates a more
sensitive tuner, but 3 microvolts for 20 db
indicates less quieting (and therefore not
such good performance, overall) than the
3mv -3odb combination.
One thing to watch out for in selecting a
tuner is the seemingly small point of duplication of controls. This has nothing to do
with fidelity or performance, but we have
seen many installations in which the tuner
incorporated a control link, as we have referred to it, and then another control link
was added, so that tone controls, for inwaste of money.
stance, appeared twice
More and more manufacturers recognize this
possibility and have made available tuners
with perhaps just a tuning and perhaps a
volume control knob.
Note carefully: both FM and TV tuners
require special antennas for best results.
Don't skimp here.
Probably the most popular sound source
among high fidelity listeners is phonograph
particularly since the advent of
records
long playing records. So: pickups.
Certainly the most common type of pickup cartridge in general use, taking the nation
as a whole, is the crystal. Until recently, they
suffered from two weaknesses: their frequency
response range was poor and erratic, and
they deteriorated with time. Among high
fidelity enthusiasts, those who want to
hear all the music on the record, magnetic
again until recently
cartridges have
been considered the only thing to use.
There are several types of magnetic cartridges
and recent improvements have made their
capabilities better than ever.
The "until recently' reservations above
have to do with developments within the
past two years. There is now a crystal cartridge which apparently suffers from none
of the old- fashioned ailments. Alsp, some
entirely new lines of pickup design have
been tried, some with notable success, some
too new to assess wisely.
Because "old- fashioned" 78 rpm records
require a cartridge whose stylus tip has a
radius of about 211 thousandths of an inch
(.0025 or 21/2 mils), and long -playing disks
require a stylus -tip radius of one -thousandth
of an inch, either separate plug-in cartridges
must be used if both types of records are to
be played, or a double -duty cartridge used.
The double duty type is of two styles:
either the stylus tip is changed, by revolving
on a shaft, for example, within a single
cartridge, or two actually separate cartridges
are mounted back to back so that either
one can be positioned to contact the record.
We said much earlier that if you owned
a regular radio- phonograph you were likely
to be startled by the improvement which
could be effected by adding a new speaker,
in a separate cabinet. If your present phonograph uses an "old- fashioned" crystal cartridge, an equally startling improvement can
be made by switching to one of the newer
-
-
TREBLE, VOLUME,
CHANNEL and EQUALIZATION, TUNING.
5184.50
BASS -AC,
LOUDNESS,
FISHER 25 -Watt
Amplifier
M
0 AL
The FISHER Model 70 -A Amplifier offers more clean watts per dollar
than any amplifier made-25 clean watts for only $99.50! The 70 -A costs no
more than "basic" 10 -watt units, but has 150% greater power!
High output (less than
distortion at 25 watts;
0.05% at 10 watts). IM distortion less than 0.5% at 20
watts; 0.2% at 10 watts.
Uniform response ±0.1 db,
20-20,000 cycles; 1 db, 1050,000 cycles. Power output
constant within 1 db at 25
watts, 15-35,000 cycles. Hum
and noise virtually ocnmeasurable (better than 95
db below full output!) Four
1/2%
separate feedback loops,
unique cathode and screen
feedback circuit. Outstanding transient response. 8 and
16 ohm outputs. SIZE: 61,1," x
10t/%" : 6t/s" high.
$99.50
PRICES SLIGHTLY HIGHER
WEST OF ROCKIES
Write for full details
FISHER RADIO CORP.
45 EAST 47th
STREET
N. Y.
-
Continued on page 112
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
www.americanradiohistory.com
watch
your
RPM!
Needless to say, your turntable is the very heart of your
hi-fi system and without a rumble -free, constant -speed
turntable, you can't expect reproduction that can truly be
classed as "High Fidelity."
The Presto 15-G, acclaimed by engineers the country over
as the finest 12 -inch turntable made, is the perfect answer
to your turntable requirements. Designed and constructed
with the same precision characteristic of the famous Presto
line of professional equipment, the 15-G is a 3- speed, rim driven, heavy -weight turntable built for years of troublef ree service. Yet, with all its many advantages, this remarkably accurate turntable sells for only $53.50.
PRESTO 15 -G
If you have been going around in circles looking for turntable accuracy, slow up when you get to your Presto distributor. Be sure he shows you the new Presto 15 -G. It's a
sure cure for turntable blues!
Turntable
Mail this coupon today!
r
PRESTO RECORDING CORPORATION.
HIGH FIDELITY SALES DIV.
PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY
Please send me illustrative data and specifications on the new
Presto 15 -G.
RECORDING CORPORATION
NAME
PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY
Export Division:
Canadian Division:
25 Warren Street, New York 7, N. Y.
Walter P. Downs, Ltd., Dominion Square Bldg., Montreal
ADDRESS_
CITY
ZONE_.
WORLD'S
LARGEST
MANUFACTURER
OF
PRECISION
RECORDING
EQUI MENT
.
_STATE
AND
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
DISCS
111
www.americanradiohistory.com
HI -FI REVISITED
e a /ia
Iid2ertt!
Continued from page
Arthur Fiedler
'wall nil acon nrulic
ore
rxiaeg
Ito
ypes. A magnetic cartridge, for example,
plus a simple preamplifier will make a drastic
change in the sound you get from records.
The question of material with which the
,tylus is tipped is really not much of a
question. There isn't much doubt that
diamond is the proper choice to make. It
outwears sapphire to such a point that although the initial cost seems high, the
long -term cost will be low
and you won't
have to remember to change the stylus after
every few records. There are some possible
advantages to sapphire, but they are of a
rather esoteric nature and the nuisance of
changing styli outweighs, in 99% of the
cases, the subtle advantages.
We might as well be flat- footed about
metal tips: they just shouldn't be used on
long- playing records. After half a dozen
playings they'll be so worn that they will
damage the records.
Damage to the records is the all- important
point to bear in mind. You only have to
ruin four or five LP's to cover the cost of a
new diamond
which is very unlikely to
ruin any records for several hundred hours
at least.
The time has now come for a decision:
do we go on with this article, trying to discuss briefly the myriad other pieces of equipment which often find their way into a hi -fi
set -up, or do we say enough is enough and
stop right here with this bird's eye review?
We'll take a deep breath and say, stop!
Maybe more anon, in a later article; certainly
more about each of the points covered
in the various
and in much greater detail
articles which appear in this magazine.
-
Sofazd
WHAT YOU'LL HEAR AND FEEL
WHILE LISTENING TO POPULAR OR
CLASSICAL MUSIC THROUGH A
IS
HIGH
AUDIO A
-
'r!
enjoy
very much
The Klipschorn in my home, with
*TRADEMARK
its wide range, clarity, and
exceptional
definition."
Y!A
-handsomely compact 10 -watt
single-chassis combination.
Quality sound, at cost so low
any music lover can afford it.
4
-
-
HARPSICHORDIST
-
World Renowned
Symphony Conductor
of Boston POPS Orchestra
RCA Victor Recording Artist
Cox,
'n gineered n,,di,,ampfifrration
is of the type designed by engineer
Joe Minor. Berkeley Custom Electronics. Alip s r h orn Distributors in
Berkeley, California.
ACKNOWLEDGED the peer of all
speaker systems by unbiased consumer research, year by year, and
ear by ear of music lovers always,
The Klipschorn today
embodies every engineering development of the tinte, toward realism
in music re- creation by record and
rullio.
KIIPSCH & ASSOCIATES
fil7F'i
ARKANSAS
an amplifier, a pre -amplifier, a speaker, the
larger the better and preferably pre-war
(that is what he said, don't ask me why), a
rosewood cabinet to house the speaker, a
Continued on page
rr4
4!
Model
2A4
i
1
combining famous BROOK
12A power amplifier, and flexible 4B pre -amplifier, at moderate cost.
Continued from page 48
good friends in the record industry thought
this modest device unworthy of me and
(with the promise that they would aid me
in choosing a machine more suited to "my
critical ear ") persuaded me to give it to
my sister as a wedding present.
About to days after I did so, a very nice
man from out of town came to my apartment
to discuss a new phonograph installation
with me and that was when something
snapped, so to speak! A mental block was
created at that interview which I have not
fully surmounted.
This gentleman had worked out a plan
whereby, with the casual expenditure of
most of what I had put aside for the Internal
Revenue Bureau, I could have a record player
superbly equipped to blast the neighbors
out of their minds, if not out of their houses.
To bring about this desirable eventuality, all
I had to do was to buy a three -speed turntable, acquire a console on which to place
it (preferably one with a 5o -pound marble
top in the style of one of the Louis', as
anything else would not keep its level and
would give me "wow" or something), buy
m
Model
10C4
-
-
30 -watt basic amplifier
remote control pre -amplifier
combination; higher power for
full- bodied orchestral passages.
Model 7
-
Self- powered pre -amplifier
perfect compliment to any good
basic amplifier.
Every BROOK Amplifier is.built to the
highest possible standards of quality.
Write for full information on the complete BROOK line; also name of your
nearest dealer. Dept. FA -4
BR I OS
34
f LfCTROnICS,
DeHART PEACE,
ELIZABETH, N.
.
1
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
www.americanradiohistory.com
FOR CERTAIN CJ(ieciat PEOPLE
1<
Those persons
to whom fine music
is a foremost
pleasure in life
a pleasure worthy
of a substantial
investment in
quality.
-
A
VERY
The man whose
hobby is highfidelity reproduction and who
delights in
approaching close
to theoretical
perfection.
Those whose
lives and professions are music
in teaching,
performing
or in the role of
the critic.
-
fiecza/ INSTRUMENT
-
And the person
who traditional(
buys the finest
in things that
serve his likes.
For music reproduction, there is one best the AMPEX
MAGNETIC TAPE RECORDER. If you were to visit the studios of a
major record manufacturing company, you would find that Ampex is
the recorder that makes and plays master tapes of priceless performances.
If you could have such a master tape, and could play it on an
Ampex, it would be like having a symphony, an ensemble or a great
soloist perform right in your living room.
And you can. With an Ampex Tape Recorder in your home, you can
make your own master tapes from live performances on
F -M radio. These reach your home with a quality and
brilliance similar to that which reaches a
professional recording studio. You record these
performances while you listen to them. They become
your "musical library." You can replay them any
conceivable number of times. Their extraordinary
fidelity is completely permanent.
The Ampex Magnetic Tape Recorder can fit your
home as a logical part of a high fidelity custom music
system. The Ampex and the music system are complimentary, each uses the quality of the other. Both
compliment your taste in fine things, well placed.
Recorders priced from $975.00
For further information write Department F -1278
AMPEX-1
CORPORATION
934 CHARTER STREET, REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA
Distributors in principal cities; Distribution
in Canada by Canadian General Electric Corporation
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
An Ampex in typical custom built cabinet containing FM and AM
radio, recorder, and disc record changer
113
www.americanradiohistory.com
eIr
A
Decal 6 "
SPEAKERS
HEATHKIT
for diffused
room-fling
Dead
sound
SDUAL
SPEAKERS
HERE AND
RECORD
-_
PLAYER KIT
HERE
I/
7
HIGH
QUALITY
TWIN
SAPPHIRE
CERAMIC
CARTRIDGE
e NEW
MODEL RP-2
69
ATTRACTIVE
TWO -TONE
CABINET
50
SHIPPING WT.
33 LBS.
FOUR TUBE
PUSH -PULL
WEBSTERCHICAGO
SEPARATE
TONE ANO
AMPLIFIER
VOLUME
CONTROLS
DUAL MATCHED SPEAKERS
introduction to high
quality record reproduction. A simpleto- operate, compact, table -top model
with two matched speakers in an acoustically correct enclosure reproduce all of
the music on the record.
A new economical
DIFFUSED SOUND
Because of the diffused non -directional
properties of the dual speakers, listening
to fine recorded music is a thrilling new
experience through naturally clear, lifelike reproduction of sound at all tonal
levels.
HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCE
The performance level of the Dual is
vastly superior to that of the ordinary
phonograph or console. Automatic
changer plays all three sizes at all three
speeds with automatte shut -off aft last
record is played.
OTHER 71,,, flail
HEATHKIT AMPLIFIERS
r
HEATHKIT
TWIN SAPPHIRE STYLUS
THREE -SPEED
RECORD
CHANGER
A wide
tonal range ceramic cart-
ridge features an ingenious
"turn- under" twin sapphire
stylus for LP or 78 records providing
quick selection of the correct stylus without turning the cartridge.
SIMPLIFIED CONSTRUCTION
Simplified, easy -to- assemble four tube
amplifier features compensated volume
control and separate tone control. Proxylin impregnated beige and saddle tan
fabric covered cabinet supplied completely assembled. You build only the
amplifier.
EASY TO BUILD
No specialized tools or knowledge re-
quired as the construction manual has
been simplified to the point where even
the complete novice can successfully construct the Heathkit Dual. The price includes cabinet, record changer, two 6"
PM speakers, tubes and all circuit components required for assembly.
HEATHKIT
FIDELITY
AMPLIFIER KIT
WATT
MODEL A -9B
AMPLIFIER KIT
3550
THE
6
MODEL A -7B
$155?
Shipping Wt.
10
lbs.
The Heathkit Model
A -7B
Shipping Wt.
18 lbs.
watt high fidelity
amplifier especially
A 20
Amplifier fea-
tures separate bass
and treble tone controls -two compensated
inputs -three output impedances 4, 8 and 16
ohms- frequency response i 1 t-db from 20 to
20,000 cycles -push -pull beam power output
at full 6 watts.
Heathkit Model A -7C $1750
designed for custom
installations. Low
hum and noise level 9 pin miniature duo
triodes in preamplifier and tone control circuits. Four switch selected inputs, frequency
response 3 1db 20 to 20,000 cycles. Output
impedances of 4, 8. 16 and 500 ohms.
with preamplifier stage
FOR
fzee COPY
of audio booklet "High Fidelity
Especially for You." Also new
1954 catalog. Lists all kits, specifications, schematics. etc.
YOU
I
1
4
SAVE BY ORDERING
DIRECTLY FROM FACTORY
HARPSICHORDIST
Continued from page 112
convertible cartridge (made of precious
stones or some equally logical substance)
to insert in the arm, and a rather comprehensive tool kit to keep this really very simple
arrangement in good working order. With
the acquisition of these electronic indispensables, he assured me that I could hope
to hear music in three rooms at the same time
and that for a small additional charge, he
could also rig something up so that every
time I turned on a hot -water faucet anywhere
in the apartment I would be greeted by the
resplendant sonorities of the Mahler Fifth.
Fle left me a very disillusioned man after I
explained to him that I could not plan to
move to the YMCA this season to make
room for all that equipment, even if they'd
such as I would be after
take paupers
paying his bill.
Since that interview I had not ventured
again into the field of recorded music except from the "safe" side of the mike,
until my recent visit to the disk- supermarket. I must admit, however, that I am
not very proud or pleased with this condition and hope to remedy it soon. If I do,
the next time you drop into any of New
York's largest record incubators and see
somebody holding a record up to the light
looking for bubbles, don't hesitate to start
a conversation. I would love to meet you.
-
LEINSDORF
Continued from page 36
of four new works, and with the overlapping
of identical choices let us agree for argument's sake to a total of 16 works.) Four
record companies will record the 16 works,
four for each company; but the scores will
be recorded early enough to be ready and
issued prior to the season during which the
A
concert performances are scheduled.
good many enterprising orchestras would
find it advantageous to offer the records,
perhaps at a special price, to their patrons
and subscribers; these, then will be able to
play the new works and know them sufficiently well by the time their subscription
night with the performance rolls around.
There are a good many difficulties to
overcome. There probably would have to
be a special pay -rate for the recording sessions for works that have not been performed in public yet. On the part of symphony orchestras and their various conductors (an obstreperous lot, don't I know ?)
a good deal of cooperation would be necessary. The general vogue among conductors
to take a new work either for its "world
premiere" or not at all, must be given rip
for what it is: an unmusical act of pure
snobbishness and publicity- hunger. Difficulties can be overcome if the will is there.
The benefit of having a new work on a
record before a concert performance cannot
be overestimated.
We are all most concerned with the
problems closest to home; therefore it
should be forgiven if I have been dealing
mostly with the field of orchestral music.
It is also the easiest portion for constructive
Continued on page 1t6
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
///` Beam W/B
e
*
ST
SPEAKER LINE
$44.50
10" Full-Range Duplex
illustrated
12- FulI.Range Duplex.
W/B STENTORIAN
HIGH FIDELITY DIRECT
Specifications,
RADIATOR SERIES
6', 8', 9', 10', 12'.
Extended bass and
smooth highs. Balanced
response without coloration, from 35-14,000
cps. Incorporates the
exclusive new cambric "Fibre- tone"
cone. Voice coil impedance, 15 ohms.
Die -cast chassis. Crackle gold finish.
Priced from $6.95(6') to $39.50 (121.
W/B STENTORIAN
HF TWEETERS
T 12
Specifications
Ideal with any cone
speaker. Response,
2,000 to 20,000 cps.
Coil impedance,
15
ohms. Power handling, 15 watts. Rigid
construction. Prices: T 10 (5 watts),
$17.95: T 12, $45.00
Crossover unit, 15 ohms, matches
all Stentorian tweeters, H.F. speakers
and woofers, $7.25.
$99.50
Duplex Model
12
Frequency Response, 20- 20,000 cps. Bass Resonance, 35 cps. Built -In Crossover Network Graduated "Fibre- tone" L.F. Cone Phase Matched H.F. Drive
Power Capacity Conservatively Rated 15 Watts "Alcomax 3" Magnets Die -Cast
Both Duplex models have
Chassis Crackle Gold Finish Weight, 16 lbs., 4 ox.
twin concentric voice coil drives.
Here is a new speaker line which will become one of the great names in the
American hi -fi (leid. Built un a revolutionary new principle, these speakers are
priced remarkably low for instruments of such outstanding quality.
Beam W/B Stentorian speakers, British -made by the world - famous Whiteley
Electrical Radio Company, complement to the fullest extent the most modern
achievements in hi -fi recording and in amplifier design- provide vivid realism,
high sensitivity, and a degree of musically satisfying balance never before attained
in a speaker.
The wonderfully smooth performance of Stentorians over an extended range is
made possible by W/B Beam's new "Fibre- tone" diaphragm and cone process...
and by the patented, brilliantly- designed twin concentric drives (duplex). And
Stentorians are made entirely by one organization; every component, without exception, is manufactured under one roof, to strict quality specifications. Compare
price and performance, and you'll want to own one of these remarkable speakers.
Also 18' woofer...and the revolutionary
"Quadruplex "full -range unit having
four independent drives on a single axis.
18'
Audi ion These Beam Stentorian Speakers at Your
Audio Dealer's. Descriptive literature on request.
BEAM
STENTORIAN
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION
BEAM
350 FIFTH AVENUE
'Lerders
WEB
in
NEW
YORK, N.
Y.
Loudspeaker Manufacture for over 30 years.
115
ASCO
A
Professional Audio
IS
HI -LO FILTER
SYSTEM
America's first electronic sharp cutoff Filter System. Suppresses turntable rumble, record scratch and
distortion, etc., with absolute minimum loss of frequency response.
Separate low and high frequency cutoffs. Can be used with any tuner,
preamplifier, amplifier, etc. No in-
sertion loss. Uniform response.
Self- powered. Beautiful plastic
cabinet. Shipped prepaid
Only
Another
...
$29.95
FISHER FIRST
PREAMPLIFIER -EQUALIZER
Same size and appearance as the
Filter System above. Top -quality
record equalization within every
reach. Independent switches for low frequency turnover and high frequency roll -off. 16 combinations.
Handles any low level magnetic
pickup. Uniform response. Two
triode stages. Full low frequency
equalization. Output lead any length
up to 50 feet. Beautiful plastic cabinet. Shipped prepaid . .
Only
$19.95
SOUND
ADVICE
SL
FREE! NEWEST BOOK ON HI -FI
Corne in and get your copy of "Sound
Advice." 148 Pages of up -to -date Hi -Fi
data, by Irving Greene, famous audio engineer
.
or send coupon enclosing
10c (or stamps) for handling.
ASCO SOUND CORP.,
117 W. 45 St., N.Y. City
"SOUND
ADVICE ". Enclosed 1Oc for handling.
Please send me copy of
FISHER HI -L0 FILTER
SYSTEM....
@ 29.95
_FISHER
PREAMPLIFIER
EQUALIZER
.
Total Amount Enclosed
NAME.
ADDRESS
@ 19.95
Continued fron page 114
ultra-utility
with
ultra -smart
"LIBRETTO"
Equipment at LOW COST
FISHER
ultra -fidelity
LEINSDORF
Offers Finest
H
suggestions. When we look at the solo
recital, the picture gets a little darker. There
has been a noticeable decline in interest in
recitals all over the Western music world.
The causes are as complex as the conservatism in repertory matters; let us then call it
"coincidence" that this decline of the recital comes at a time when the record has
brought a kind of intimacy which is far
better suited for chamber music and much
of the recital repertory than our already
overly large concert halls; especially when
they are only partially filled.
Like it or not, the home is becoming a
more self- sustaining unit, particularly for
entertainment and pasttime. In view of
this, I sometimes wonder if our concert
establishment is not over -expanded, and
perhaps due for a collapse.
Masterworks, performed by master interpreters, have come to the home and have
become a very ordinary commodity. It is
almost always assumed in writings and in
speeches that the "spread" of music is all
to the good. It is a delicate matter to voice
some doubts in such a development. If one
were misunderstood, one would quickly be
accused of being feudalistic, medieval and,
in general, anti- democratic.
Perish the
thought.
It is the extremes that are alarming. One
can shave in the morning with Haydn and
Handel; one can eat lunch with Mozart
and Mahler; and all day long one can gorge
oneself on any of the several great B's. I
don't see how such music can not be lowered
in value by being so promiscuously available. This over -ready availability comes only
from records; and since there are a good
many records of very high quality, the socalled live music making of the concert
stage has quite a struggle; the recital is already more or less dead. Of course, it is
not only due to records that the recital has
gone out of fashion; it is largely due to the
decline of home -made amateur music; the
amateurs were the natural audiences for
recitalists. There is, of course, some connection between the phonograph and the
decline of amateur music making. We are at
this moment at a high point of amateur, or
semi -professional orchestral activity and
therefore our orchestral organizations are
the most balanced part of the general musical
establishment.
Quite a few ideas about music making
and organizing of music will have to change
as we go along. Of one thing I am certain,
though: that the ratio of general interest
in the old versus the new must change, or
we will have a very sick music life on our
hands. There are today still easier and greater
profits and successes in the great masters of
the past than in the still doubtful authors of
today. Especially with an industry which is
"in business" it is not easy to establish the
necessity of indulging in the unpopular in
order to make it popular.
Sooner or later the technical improvement
of record -playing will become tiresome as
the only novelty; we have made great
progress from the original horn of the nice
Continued on page t
1R
remote
control
HEAR the difference, SEE the difference
nailland model
in the
1826
ultra -fidelity ensemble
- _
The proof of unprecedented
=1
superiority of the new RAULAND
Ultra- Fidelity Ensemble is in
its unmatched performance.
That proof awaits you now at
your Hi -Fi dealer. The Master
Amplifier is of matchless
quality. The unique self- powered
"Libretto" Remote Control -Preamp,
with its amazing flexibility,
is an ingenious innovation. The
laboratory tests are a revelation, but the ultimate proof of
superiority is in the thrilling
listening and operating experience.
The specifications summarized
below can only hint of the quality
of this new dimension in sound.
the master amplifier
A truly superb instrument
with frequency response of
±0.3 db, 20 to 40,000 cps at rated 20
watts output. Harmonic distortion less than
0.5% at rated output, less than 0.3% at 10
watts. Intermodulation distortion less than
0.4% at 1 watt (home level), 0.7 % at rated
output (measured at 60 and 7,000 cycles 4 to
ratio). Output imp., 8 and 16 ohms. 4 -position input selector-for magnetic pickup, crystal pickup and 2 auxiliary. Dimensions: 14'
1
x 9" x 8"
high.
the LIBRETTO
remote control
A true remote control, completely self- powered and capable of operation several hundred feet from
amplifier. Uniquely fashioned in the form of
a luxuriously bound book (only 8% x 11 x 2"
thick). Backbone lifts to provide easy access
to tuning controls. Operates flexibly in either
horizontal or vertical positions.
CONTROL FUNCTIONS
1. 6- position crossover control (flat, 150, 300,
450, 700, 1000 cycles). 2. 6- position roll -off con-
-5, -8,
trol (flat,
-12, -16, -24 db at 10,000
cps). 3. Volume Control- instant choice of conventional control or loudness control. 4. Bau Tone, +24 db
to 20 db at 20 cps (db calibrated).5. Treble Tone,
+18 db to -30 db at 10,000 cps (db calibrated).
Custom- Engineered, Custom-Styled
For Audio Connoisseurs
-
s
the RAULAND
1826 Ultro -Fidlity
ensemble at your Hi -fi
dealer, or write for
full details.
RAULAND -BORG CORPORATION
3515 W. Addison St., Dep. F,
Chicago 18, Ill.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
116
www.americanradiohistory.com
HARVEY
..
RCA
FIDELITY
GH
RCA has introduced
a complete
Ch fideJit
y units, coupling high line
elAUTHORIZED
DISTRIBUTOR
of matched
quality with
treme flexibility.
exYou are offered
unit combinations
a wide choice
of
to meet any
requirement.
individual need
No matter what
or
selected, you
unit combination is
are sure that
each is matched
other
design- engineered
to the
to work together
maximum efficiency.
with
presents...
...
AM -FM TUNERS
Designed especially for home music systems
to provide top -quality reception of AM as
well as FM broadcasts. Sensitivity is better
than 5 microvolts for effective quieting action. Frequency response is
1 db from 40
to 15,000 cycles with less than .05% distortion at 2 volts output.
19
Y
Matched HI
....
.,
POWER AMPLIFIERS
Truly hi -fi units with extended frequency response and negligible distortion. Power supplies are self contained.
LOUDSPEAKERS
Designed by the renowned Dr. Olsen to give
faithful, high quality reproduction. Each
is an outstanding performer in its class.
Model
SL -8
-8 -INCH
EXHandles 10
watts of power with good response from 65 to 10,000
cycles. An ideal speaker
where space limitations exist.
SC -8 enclosure is recommended.
Less enclosure
$18.95
TENDED RANGE.
Model ST1 -Three simple knob controls for
band selection, volume, and tuning.
Complete with tubes.
IRS'
9
$144.95
Model SVP -10 -10 WATT (with Preamplifier).
Phono preamplifier and power amplifier in a
single unit. Input selector switch has positions for phono, radio, and auxiliary. Has
separate bass and treble controls, and volume control. Response: 30 to 18,000 cycles
1 db. Complete with tubes.
$59.80
-
Model SVT -1 DE LUXE
Identical to Model
ST -1, but having built -in phono preamplifier,
-12 -INCH
$164.50
EX-
TENDED RANGE. Handles 10
watts with excellent reproduction from 50 to 16,000
cycles. Extremely sensitive.
SC -12 enclosure is recommended.
Less enclosure
and independent bass and treble controls.
Complete with tubes
Model SL -12
$22.95
-15
LC -1A
-INCH DUO CONE. The most famous
of the Olsen speakers, de-
signed for professional
use. Unique cone design
accounts for unusually
Model SP-10
RECORD CHANGER
-A
3 -speed automatic record
automatic shut -off, muting
switch, weighted turntable, 4 -pole motor,
and plug -in cartridge heads. Supplied with
2 interchangeable spindles for standard and
45 rpm records.
Less cartridge
$48.95
Model SRC -51
changer with
-10
WATT DE LUXE. Furnishes
watts with less than 0.5% distortion from
30 to 20,000 cycles, and 10 watts with less
than 0.5% from 50 to 15,000 cycles. Response: 20 to 20,000 cycles within .5 db.
Has power supply outlet for preamp.
3
Complete with tubes
$99.50
'clean' sound and smooth
response. Handles 20
watts of power with amazing r eproduction
from 50 to 16,000 cycles. SC -1 5 enclosure
is recommended.
$179.95
Less enclosure
SPEAKER
ENCLOSURES
Internally designed to
achieve maximum per-
formance for the
speakers intended.
DE LUXE PREAMPLIFIER
-A truly high quality front end
control unit. Provides equalization for Ortho,
Model SP -20 -20 WATT DE LUXE. Same reLP, AES, and 78 rpm records. Input selector
sponse as with SP -10 but furnishes twice
also has positions for Radio, TV, Tape, and
the power for the same frequency range and
Auxiliary source. Has master volume control,
distortion. Reserve power ideal for handling
and separate bass and treble controls. Obpeak transients. Power supply outlet as on
tains power from main amplifier or other
SP -10. Complete with tubes
$134.50
external supply.
Complete with tubes
$74.50 Write to HARVEY, Dept. HF -154 for full details.
Model SV -1
Externally styled with
good taste to match virtually any decor.
May be used either vertically or horizontally.
Supplied with 3" black legs.
Model
SC -8 -12 x 22 x 28" Mahogany
$104.40
Blonde..
106.75
SC -12 -12 x 25 x 32" Mahogany
125.25
Blonde
128.80
.
SC -15
-16
x 25 x
32" Mahogany
Blonde_
.
Visit the
HARVEY
AUDIOtorium
...
widest
from the
See and hear the finest
anywhere.
selection of hi -fi equipment available
Note: Prices Net, F.O.B. N. Y. C.
Subject to change without notice
JANUARY-FEBRUARY,
.
135.30
139.80
Please specify finish desired.
HAR VEY
RADIO CO., INC.
103 W. 43rd Street, New York 36, N. Y.
JUdsf,n 2 -1500
II]
AVAILABLE
HAVE YOUR OWN
`TOW!
COMPLETE HiFi
SYSTEM
AT MODERATE COST
LEINSDORF
Continued from page r r 6
dog on the old HMV label (78, 331/4, 45,
vinylite, shellac, tape, film and whatnot)
there will be more improvements as there
should be (hydromatic, air -conditioned and
six- dimensional sounds, if you please) but,
technical improvements cannot replace the
basic raison ¿lire of any device, apparatus or
gadget. The 3 -D movie will not improve a
bad story; and the best reproduction will not
create a tenth Beethoven symphony; that his
to remain the precinct of old- fashioned kind
of work with pencil, or pen and paper.
(There is not even a music typewriter yet!)
Let it also be known that the fourth estate still pays more attention to the fifteenth
version of Eine kleine Nachtmusik than to
many a good first recording. This I report
from my own experience, and by no means
as a complaint; it happens to be a fact and,
in the cases I can quote, not even debatable.
The smallest number of reviews (as collected
by the issuing record company and by professional clipping services) which I have seen
in the past seven years on any of my own
records was received for a work recorded for
the first time, while any old war horse which
I happened to record got many times more
coverage. That, in itself, might simply indicate that only a few publications have critics
willing to tackle a work which they do not
know from previous records.
If I were forced then, to formulate my
answer to the inquiry about a repertory
shortage into a single sentence, I should
"There is a grave
venture to suggest:
shortage of works which won't have to be
heard for the first time."
-
START NOW WITH THE
400's
At right -Model 401
(Recorder -Preamplifier) $199.50*
Not shown -Model 402
(Power Amplifier- Speaker) 5100.00*
*Taxes not included. Prices slightly higher
in Mountain and West Coast States.
HERE'S HOW! The Crestwood 401 is an extremely stable tape recorder (wow and flutter
than u.a'; frith a full fidelity preamplifier (frequency response 30-13,000 cycles 2db).
It has separate inputs for microphone, radio -TV and phonograph, which are connected
le,
I
a selector switch.
The Crestwood 402 is a high impedance input, 10 watt power amplifier (frequency response
20. 20,000 cycles
2db) with an 8" extended range dynamic speaker, specially housed to
produce exceptional frequency response for a compact unit.
to
IT'S EASY! With
Crestwood models 401 and 402, here's all you do to complete your
HiFi system:
1. AM -FM tuner (of your choosing) ** is plugged into radio -TV input.
2. Record changer (of your choosing) ** is plugged into phono input.
Both may be permanent installations because of the selector switch, which allows choice
of inputs or tape playback.
**Certain AM -FM tuners and magnetic pickups may require special handling. Information
supplied on request.
YOUR HI -FI SYSTEM IS READY TO USE!
By use of the selector switch you can
listen to either radio or records..1nd, by merely pressing the Record button, whatever you're
listening to will be instantly recorded on tape-accurately, faithfully, just as you're hearing
it! The same selector switch control microphone input, allowing your own program
arrangement.
CAN BE USED WITH PRESENT SYSTEM, TOO! rite
excellent unit to fit into your per
t
HiFi system. Full lid,
FEATURES INCLUDE
v
SEE
Full Fidelity
Two Speeds
Two -Track Recording
Separate Monitor and Record Volume Controls
Exceptionally Sharp Magic Eye Record Volume Indi
color
Simplicity of Operation
10 Watt Power
Amplifier Precision Engineering
Modern Styling
DAYSTROM
TAPE RECORDERS
Brand New
World of Recorded Sound
Open
a
Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet Overture.
Mendelssohn, Midsummer Night's Dream.
Rimsky-Korsakoff, Scheherazade.
Mussorgsky -Ravel, Pictures at an Exhibition.
Beethoven, Symphony No. 6.
Haydn, Symphony No. tot (The "Clock"
YOUR DEALER
movement).
(The "SurHaydn, Symphony No. 94
prise" movement).
All ballet music can be added to the list.
Older children can even learn to enjoy following the story of an operetta sung in a
foreign language, such as Die Fledermaus;
and some will even follow an opera avidly,
if the parents make it seem like fun.
Most children seem to love rhythm. For
this reason they easily learn to enjoy ballet
music, marches and the like. If you can
stand the noise and confusion, they enjoy expressing their feelings about this kind of
music by dancing or marching around the
living room. I merely mention this fact.
Should you or your spouse incur any serious
traumatic damage in the process, don't ever
say I recommended it!
Another thing children seem to enjoy
instinctively is the sound of percussion
instruments. For this reason, Haydn's Symphony No. too (the "Military') seems to
go over big at a fairly early age. And you
Continued on page 120
FOR FULL INFORMATION
OR
SEND COUPON
El Am interested in setting-up my own HiFi
system.
Am interested in HiFi tape recorder only.
Name
Address
City
Continued from page 45
Crestwood 401 is an
and complete dependability.
Crestwood Division of Daystrom Electric Corp.
Dept. HF -1, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Please send complete information on the new
Crestwood,.
BY
BEETHOVEN AT SIX
Zeno.
Slate...
-
Awarded MEDAL OF MERIT for: Excellence of Product, Quality of Engineering.
Beauty of Design
by International Sight and Sound Exposition, Chicago, 1953.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
IIó
www.americanradiohistory.com
How to Select and Order
G. A.
Fixed or Variable Networks
Specifically Suited to Your Speaker System
TO HELP you make sure that you select
the correct networks for finest performance from your particular speaker system,
the following information is presented on
two and three -speaker types, using either
G.A. fixed networks or the new G.A. Variable Audio Crossover Controls.
G.A. FIXED NETWORKS
High-Quality Performance: The circui
designs and components furnished for G.A
networks represent the very best audio en-
shown in Fig. 2. Network A should have
the same impedance as the bass speaker,
and network B, the same impedance as the
mid -range speaker. Usually a crossover of
I, too or 2,2oo cycles is chosen for network B.
Impedance of
speaker
16 ohms
Price
Com-
Price
low- frequency Crossover Order by
Frequency Number
4,400 No. IA
1
2,200
1,100
2
350
4
2 Coils
plete'
Only
9.50
11.50
12.00
17.50
175
5
24.00
8 ohms
9.70
2,200
6A
1,100
7.00
12.00
6
350
8
12.00
17.50
175
9
20.00
24.00
85
10
20.00
26.50
4 ohms
275
12
7.00
15.00
175
13
12.00
19.00
Complete networks include
capacitors
and level controls. Be sure to indicate whether you
want lust the coils or the complete network
S
5.75
7.00
7.00
12.00
20.00
5.75
f
dividual adjustments for setting the level
of each speaker independently of the other.
Overall volume can be regulated from the
preamplifier. Since the V -A -C has a possible
gain of 5, power amplifiers can be operated
at minimum distortion.
No measurable
distortion is introduced by the V.A.C.
V -A-C Control for Two Speakers: Connections for a two -speaker system are given
in Fig. 3. The V -A -C can be used with any
standard preamplifier and power amplifiers.
Use an amplifier of zo to 5o watts for the
nary
Network Circuits:
gineering practice.
They provide these
essentials of true high -fidelity performance:
i) Selectivity giving 12 db droop per octave.
2) Losses are held to a minimum by the
use of air cores and No. t6 wire. 3) Inductance values are extremely accurate, and
coils are unconditionally guaranteed against
shorted turns. 4) Individual level controls
permit exact balancing of the speakers.
General Apparatus Company is probably
the largest manufacturer of high -precision
network inductances. G.A. quality control
assures you of the finest performance, at
prices which reflect economies due to
quantity production.
Complete information is supplied with each G.A. network.
Connections are so simple that the components can be hooked up in a few minutes. It
you are in doubt about the correct network
for your particular system, send tof for du
G.A. Network Data Sheet.
G.A. V -A -C CONTROLS
The Variable Audio Crossover Control is an
exclusive G.A. development.
Types for
two and three -speaker systems permit the
adjustment of the crossover at any point
between 90 and ',too cycles (Type A) or
goo to 1,000 cycles (Type B).
1
Two -Speaker Systems: Fig.
z illustrates a
two -speaker system. First, decide on the
crossover frequency you want, and check the
impedance of the low-range speaker.
Select the network you require from the
Table, according to the impedance of the
low -range speaker. It is not necessary that
both speakers be of the same impedance,
but one should not be more than twice the
impedance of the other. With an Air-
Thus it is possible to determine the optimum point, or points, after your speaker
system bas been installed. If, at any time, you
want to experiment with other speakers, you
can shift to any ocher crossover by merely
resetting the calibrated control knob.
Flexible Controls: The
tube -operated device, complete
with its own power supply. In addition to
the calibrated control knob, there are in-
Two networks
are required for three- speaker systems, as
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
Prices, Deliveries: The V -A -C
supplied in kit form, including all components, a handsomely -finished aluminum
chassis to by 51/2 by 3 ins., one 6SN7 -GTA
and one 5W4GT, and an instruction book
with picture wiring diagrams and step by -step instructions. As far as possible,
deliveries are made from stock. Price,
Type A or Type B, $39.95, plus 750 mailing.
is
V -A -C is a
Three -Speaker Systems:
V -A -C Controls for Three Speakers: Using a combination of Type A and B Controls, with three speakers, the crossover
points can be varied from 90 to 1,100 cycles,
and from goo to 1 1,000 cycles. The high range amplifier should be of 5 to lo watts.
This is the ideal speaker system. permitting unequalled flexibility of control, delivering the finest performance that money
can buy. Order V -A -C Types A and B.
V -A -C
Completely
Coupler for the bass, a crossover of 175
cycles is generally used, or 35o cycles if the
bass speaker is in a conventional cabinet.
to to 20 watts for the
high- range. Order V -A -C Control Type A.
low- range, and
Instruction Book: The V -A -C
Instruction Book is available at $t.00 postpaid. You may deduct that amount later
from the price of a V -A -C.
V -A -C
GENERAL
A PPARATUS
COMPANY
314 STATE ROAD, GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS
I19
BEETHOVEN AT SIX
Continued from page z18
may find that children are more tolerant
than many adults toward modern composers like Varese and Stravinsky.
There is a large body of music, both
chamber and symphonic, which falls into
none of these easily introduced classes. Can
you do anything to help your child to an
appreciation of this music, beyond exposing
him to it and hoping? We have found
family guessing games a useful device in
luring him to listen, which is of course the
first step toward appreciation.
There are many variations of these musical guessing games. The way they work in
our house is that the adult who puts on the
record asks: "Who will be the first one to
tell me who composed this music ?" Or the
question may be what kind of music is it
quartet, symphony, concerto? Or we may be
asked to listen for a certain instrument, and
the first one to hear it wins. You'll find it
is fun yourself. As for your child, let him
once be right where the others are wrong
and hell love that music forever.
We can date our son's devotion to chamber music to one day when he was six. We
had tuned in late to our favorite FM station and were trying to guess the composer
of the string quartet which was being
played.
My husband guessed Haydn; I
guessed Mozart.
We smiled indulgently
when our son said Beethoven (his current
first guess for everything). But, of course,
it turned out to be early Beethoven! Our
faces were red, but a big step had been
taken in his liking for music.
(Having
stumped the experts on a string quartet, he
seemed to feel like an authority in the field
thereafter. Not only did he like anything
written by Beethoven, but all string quartets
in general. As for his favorite composer,
nothing was too much for that man to have
accomplished. Not long afterwards I over-
IMMEDIATE DELIVERY
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Handsome gray panel, edge lighted dial. 7% x 10 x 13W
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Shpg. wt., 16 lbs.
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inputs; record compensator; 8
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imp. Size: 8 x 14 a 9" deep.
Shpg. wt., 30 lbs. A wonderful
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93 51( 321. Net
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Jensen
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way
New "presence"
speaker system in ultra compact cabinet. Uses spe-
-
cial 8" woofer and separate
multicell horn tweeter;
with frequency dividing
network. Imp.: 4 and 8
ohms. 20 watt power rating. 11 x 10 x 23%" wide.
Mahogany toned pigskin
plastic finish. Wt., 24 lbs.
$2 DX 035. Net
$69.50
Garrard Deluxe RC -90
esee
3 -Speed Changer
Ultra -fast change
cycle for all speeds.
Plays all speeds, all
sizes. Two plug -in
Fidelity Amplifier
Ultra- compact, ultra -quality. Response flat 2030,000 cps. Harmonic distortion lees than 0.8%
at 10 watts. Features 4- position input selector,
separate turnover and rolloff record equalizers,
treble and bass controls, adjustable loudness
compensation and pickup level control. Hand
some aluminum case, 13'4 x
x 314". Shpg.
H. H. Scott 99-A High
wt., 15 Ibis.
935X994. Net
heads take any
modern cartridge. New pulley -drive and flywheel for wow-free operation. Rugged 4 -pole
motor. Shuts off after last record is played;
new type manual play position. Special muting switch. Large spindle for 45 rpm records.
Less cartridge, cord and output cable. Shpg.
st.. 18 lbs.
9j
$97 95
96 RX 720.
Net
$64.68
Low Cost "Studio Presence" Phono System
Best buy in a full -fidelity record-reproducing
system recommended by Saturday Review's E.
T. Canby and associates. Complete system
includes: Bogen DB -10 -1 High- Fidelity
heard our young musicologist telling his
Amplifier, Garrard RC -80 3 -Speed
Changer with two G.E. cartridges and
diamond stylii, Electro -Voice SP12B
Coaxial Speaker. Complete with cables
(no soldering required), hardware and
65 lbs.
.. $167.75
93 5X 572. Only
93 5X 911. BOGEN R604 Fat -AM TUNER. High
Fidelity tuner for above system.
..
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$97.35
full instructions. Shpg. wt.,
...... ......
FREE
1954
268 -PAGE
Buying Guide
ALLIED RADIO CORP., Dept. 49 -A -4
100 N. Western Ave., Chicago 80, Illinois
'i
Allied Radio
O
Ship the following:
HIN
Write today for the complete guide to the world's
largest selection of High
Fidelity systems, amplifiers, tuners, speakies. If it's anyers, changers and a
thing in Hi -Fi, it's in stock at ALLIED. Send
for our FREE Catalog today.
I
enclosed
$
Nome
-
Address
ALLIED RADIO
Everything in High Fidelity
Send FREE 1954 Catalog.
City
younger cousins that Beethoven, in addition
to his other activities, had been President
of the United States!)
Another game is one we like to play
when we are away from home and can't
Each member of the
hear our records.
family in turn hums or whistles a melody
and the rest try to guess what it is. If no
one can guess it, a hint may be given of
the orchestration (provided the one who is
"it" can supply the information). If you
try this one after a year or so of playing the
games suggested earlier, you will be surprised and gratified at the results you have
achieved. Every member of your family will
have something to contribute. In fact, you
may find that some of the youngsters will
hum passages you've never noticed, tell
you the principal instrumentation, and can
prove that they are right by pointing them
out the next time you play that music.
Probably this all sounds like a lot of work
to you. Actually, though, it is fun, too. It
will bring you closer to your children and
will enhance your own musical appreciation.
And when your perpetually dirty nine-yearold, whose greatest ambition is to be a major
league ball player, bursts in with the cry
"Leis have some music!" and requests one
well, I'm
of your own particular favorites
sure you'll feel it was worth every minute
of the time you spent.
Zone.
.State
J
L
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
20
www.americanradiohistory.com
A
FESTIVAL OF SOUND
presented by
LOS ANGELES
AUDIO FAIR
HIGH FIDELITY audio -equipment and home music
components to be demonstrated and displayed for
lovers of high -quality reproduction, audio- philes,
sound enthusiasts, recordists, FM -AM -TV electronic
engineers, industrial, consultant and educational
personnel, government and military agencies,
distributors, dealers and technicians.
Attend the great annual Southern California
Los Angeles
sound event -Audio Fair
YOU WILL SEE
-
HEAR
-ENJOY the largest and,
most concentrated exhibition of audio equipment
under one roof- featuring the latest products
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ADMISSION FREE TO ALL EXHIBITS
Held in conjunction with the
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Section Technical Sessions
FEBRUARY
ALEXANDRIA HOTEL
.
1954
this year five floors
For
William
JANUARY- FEBRUARY,
L. Cara, Fair
further information write:
Manager, 4245 Normal Ave., Los Angeles 29, Calif., Richmond
1954
www.americanradiohistory.com
7 -3196
OLympic 4988
WGMS
WAS (85.00
NOW '41.95
SAVE $43.05
Continued from page 44
symphony affiliations is occasional
speechmaking by musical notables. From
and
symphony fund -raising luncheons WGMS
has broadcast speeches by Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Sol Hurok, Sir Thomas
Beecham and Harry S. Truman. Once Sir
Thomas, in a broadcast lecture at the library,
energetically disposed of a common notion
that Mozart symphonies should be played
as "damn nonsense,"
by little orchestras
then hastily apologized for forgetting he
was on the air. He also, by the way, played
the piano.
The current schedule also includes a
noonday "gourmet's guide" conducted by
an ex- radio -TV actress to the accompaniment of cafe music, a daily shoppers' guide
and a Saturday afternoon show called "The
Pastor's Study," in which local clergymen
take turns playing the role of a clerical Mr.
Anthony to anonymous phone -callers.
WGMS keeps its fingers crossed about that
one, but so far it seems to have worked
out fine.
WGMS devotes two -thirds of its time to
serious music, another fifth to the lighter
ranging from Kostelanetz to Gilkind
and the rest to church
bert and Sullivan
music, news interviews and miscellaneous
talk. About half of all the music consists
of symphonies and concertos.
Mrs. Tilden, for a typical week, figured out
the music budget as follows (in hours):
Symphonies, concertos _451/2
Y2
Operas
5 hrs., 5o mins.
Chamber groups
Ballet
3r/2
31/2
Keyboard
2
Light orchestral
1/1
Recital
French pop
3 hrs., 20 mins.
Show music
i %2
Vocal solo
5 hrs., 5o mins.
Lunch and dinner
I hr., 15 mins.
Folk
Religious, choral
Miscellaneous
7
-
-
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BOTTOM VIEW
12 TUBE HI-FI FM-AM TUNER
AT FABULOUS 50.6% SAVINGS!
TREMENDOUS NATIONAL
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we shipped them out just as fast as they rolled off
Approved's assembly line. Yet our stock position now
at least for
enables us to guarantee AT ONCE delivery
the next few weeks!
For 541.95
EXCLUSIVE AT RADIO SHACK CORP.!
Separate RF, IF
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Band -indic. lamps
12
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Double limiters
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GUARANTEED FM SENSITIVITY!
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ORDER BY MAIL, PHONE, WIRE!
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Requires 6.3V AC (d 4A,
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Order No. 36 -207, 7 lbs.
V12 POWER
36 -207
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83/4 W s 53/4 H s 8 D.
Compare! Also, the AM sensitivity is for better than
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NOTE: For use with any
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TV,
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RADIO SHACK CORPORATION
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(or even $71.55)!
The
miniature tubes
-
(Dept. HF)
15
mins.
WGMS music programming is about as
catholic as current record production. Any
month's issue of Good Music, the WGMS
program guide, contains several standard
classics, but one will find also a generous
sprinkling of less overworked titles. This
past November, for instance, there were
pieces by Honegger, Locatelli, Hanson,
Delius, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Milhaud, Copland, Villa- Lobos, Boyce, Telemann, Roussel, Bartok and Walton, to
name a few. Along with these, of course,
was Beethoven's Fifth.
WGMS, like record manufacturers, apparently subscribes to the idea that there is
some music people can't do without. Back
of Mrs. Tilden s desk there is a list of 3o
titles, and SOP is that they appear in the
schedule every month. Not all can, but a
good proportion does. Bob Rogers pulled
the list out of a trade paper. Here it is:
Beethoven's 3rd, 5th, 6th,
Symphonies
7th, 9th; Brahms' ist, 4th; Tschaikovsky's
5th, 6th; Franck's D Minor.
Beethoven's 4th, 5th;
Piano Concertos
-
-
Continued on page 124
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
Arrow
feature s
-
... to
make sure your records last!
Scientific analysis has proven that stylus pressures of over
as surely as if Junior went
1 gram can destroy your records
to work on them with a hammer! Now you can check your
stylus pressure, while the stylus is engaged in the record
groove, with this unique Weathers Gauge that measures
accurately 1/2 to 50 gram.
Sorry! No C.O.D.'s on this item only.
Please include check or money order
$1.19
net
On
orders
C.O.D.
for Reproducer
Cartridge and Arm.
send 25% deposit.
be sure of
faithful
recording
reproduction
WEATHERS
FM
REPRODUCER
CARTRIDGE
A Weathers FM
Reproducer Cartridge and Arm give
you the lowest stylus mass, highest
compliance, and just I gram of tracking pressure for greater record and
stylus life. MODEL W -21 2LP, with
net
sapphire stylus and W -12 arm
price $62.00
With diamond stylus
net price $77.00.
...
-
...
with the new
TRIER
ARROW ELECTRONICS
80
W h y take chances
with faulty reproduction when the Turner
Cortlandt St.
65
-
215 Front St.
N. Y. 1
WE WERE
AT THE
-
80 gives you a clear,
Hempstead, N.
true performance
every time for as little as $15.95. The
Y.
high quality Bimorph
moisture sealed crystal is mechanical and
shock proof for assured performance
under all operating
conditions. Response
FAIR
and what pleased us most was the number of
people who were pleased with us. "You still put out
the best sounding sound ", they said.
.
.
.
is 80
with
a sensitivity
level of about
-58 db. Matching C -4 stand
adds to the graceful beauty of the
microphone. Both are built of die cast Zinc overlaid with lustrous
satin chrome.
Model 80 -List Price
$15.95
C-4 Stand -List Price
$ 5.75
The reason is quite simple. We are more interested
in producing good sound than we are in putting on a
good show. We have devoted all our time and effort
to the task of developing a complete sound system
worthy of being designated `high fidelity'. Here are
the results. We offer them with pride.
HARTLEY
HARTLEY
HARTLEY
amplifier
HARTLEY
$65.00
215 Loudspeaker
Boffle Enclosures .. 45.00 to 250.00
37.50
135.00
Write for free literature.
H. A. HARTLEY CO., INC.
521 East 162nd
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
5
-4239
Street, Bronx
51, N. Y.
TURNER c..
942 17th Street,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tone - Control Pre-
Prices slightly higher West of the Rockies
LUdlow
The
.
20 watt Amplifier
to 7000 cps
/
Export: Ad Auriemo, Inc.,
89 Broad SL, New York 4, N. Y.
Conoda: Conodion Marconi Co.,
Toronto, Ont. 8 Branches
123
rniinal
Always Features the Finest
SOUND VALUES!
High Fidelity
P
TLCOX-6AY
-
-
Operas
Carmen, Don Giovanni, Madame
Butterfly, Traviata, Tristan and Isolde, Aida,
Bohème, Meistersinger, Marriage of Figaro,
Faust.
A full -length opera recording is pro-
If you like good music, you'll love the full, rich tone of the RECORDIO. Only Wilcox
Gay RECORDIO has PRESTOMATIC push -button keyboard. You'll marvel at the simlisten to your favorite selections
plicity of operation. Just push a button relax
or build your own tape library by recording the glorious works of the masters from
r
ds or FM. Controlled Reluctance microphone standard equipment on all models
-
-
-
Fidelity
PRESTOMATIC RECORDIO
De Luxe High
j
Model 3F10. Never before has a unit so rich
in fidelity, range and tone qualities been
available for professional and home recording
at such a low price. Powerful enough
sensito meet any volume requirement
tive enough to record even the faintest whisper. High fidelity push -pull beam power
output delivers 6 watts of undistorted audio
to the 6 s 9" speaker. High speed forward
and reverse tape wind. Attractive two -toned
carrying case. Sire: 181 s 123/4 s 109,11".
18 lbs.
Frequency Response:. 3 db 55- 10,500 cps at 71/2 IPS
75- 7,500 cps at 33/4 IPS
Hum and Noise Level:
48 db or better
net
...
..
-
a
,
$133.30
4
W
COMBINATION
TAPE -DISC RECORDIO
Really Versatile
Record on Tape
Record on Disc
Record From One to the Other
Model 3610. The Versatile Wilcox -Gay combination
Tape -Disc RECORDIO does all that and more! You can
it as a conventional phonograph, as a public
address system with built -in or external speaker.
Record directly from radio, TV, microphone or phonograph. Play it back through internal amplifier, your
radio audio system, or external hi -fi amplifier. You'll
discover other variations as you use this marvelous
recorder. Complete with microphone, tape reel, and
two -tone carrying case.
use
Free
Response:
Hum level:
--
db 80 -6,000 cps at 3V4 IPS
45 db
net
3
$133.30
RECORDIO GRAND
in bass reflex cabinet. Basic 3F mechanism. Storage
compartment for tape. 12" speaker for bass and middle
frequencies, plus separate 41 " sneaker for highs. 3F40
-Mahogany, $193.00;
3F41
-Limed
5200.35.
Oak,
PRESTOMATIC RECORDIO
Model 3810. Compact Junior version of the 3F10
described above. Same famous finger -tip control.
It's light-weight
carry it to parties, business
meetings, or make recordings of records, radio, or
the young genius at home. You can record anything
from the spoken word to a full symphony orchestra
all with brilliant realism. Have your favorite selections on your bookshelf. Built -in 5 s 7" speaker.
Frequency Response: + 3 db 75- 10,000 cps at 71 IPS
80- 6,000 cps at 31/2 IPS
Rum sad Heise Level:- 45 db or better
net
f
Model 3811. lyre and 33/4 IPS tape speeds, c 3 do
80-6.000 cps at 31/2 IPS, and 100 -5,000 cps at
Ir/e IPS. With plug-in connection for foot pedal con- h
trol and earphone attachment for office use.
.
-
$119.97
I
ft...
$1.19
AUDIO
954
1200
ft... $1.69
AL D343 c3u>i
GUIDE'
..
A ready -reference to the
Over 130 pages packed with sound values.
Amplifiers, Speakers, Radio & TV
world's finest Audio Equipment.
Tuners, Record Changers, Recorders, Custom Furniture, P. A. and Sound
Equipment for professional and home installation. If you can't visit our
Sound Studios. Send for your FREE copy today f
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RECORDING TAPE
Plastic Base Recording Tape on Reels
Individually Packaged. Fully Guaranteed!
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Phone. WOrth 4-3311
Radio
Audio
Video
Electronic
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Ç'mînaI
,PAD /O
85 Cortlandt St.
C!'RP
New York 7, N.
Y.
See and Hear the Best in Audio at Terminal Sound Studios.
124
Continued from page 122
Rachmaninoff's 2nd; Brahms' 2nd, Tschaikovsky's ist; Grieg's.
Violin Concertos- Beethoven, Mendel
ssohn, Brahms, Paganini.
Recordio
O MIC
WGMS
grammed every Saturday night. Two evenings a week and a half-hour program called
"Opera Box" offers excerpts, and there is
also a 55- minute opera "hour" Saturday
mornings. For some people, in a city with
no opera house, this is far from enough,
but at least its something. In November
the complete operas were Tannhauser,
Manon Lescaut and Gianni Schicchi (double
bill), Fidelio, and Girl of the Golden West,
Saturday nights, and Rigoletto on two Saturday mornings.
For out -of -the -way music the station once
borrowed from its listeners, but the LP deluge has made this unnecessary. Also tried
once was a request program, but Rogers
scratched it after too many people asked for
things like Mahler s hour-and-r5-minute
Resurrection Symphony and Beat Me Daddy,
Eight to the Bar. "We just couldn't honor
such requests," explains Rogers with a perfectly straight face.
One reason the station continues to put
strong emphasis on the old standbys, according to Rogers, is because its audience
is growing. "The bulk of our audience,"
he says, "is no longer just established music
lovers. We're getting new ones all the time.
To them, Beethoven's Fifth is exciting.
Recently
They're making discoveries."
Rogers made a discovery himself. President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, attending the
season's opening symphony concert, let it
be known that he was one of WGMS's new
listeners.
Researchers, Rogers says, credit WGMS
with reaching 79,000 out of the Washington
area's 40.0,000 homes at least once a week.
Two years ago a survey gave the station
25.50o listeners on Saturday mornings
and an
more than any network station
even bigger one on Sundays. Furthermore,
Rogers found himself with so many Baltimore Good Music subscribers that he was
able to persuade WITH, Baltimore's jukebox station, to cut loose its FM transmitter
to relay WGMS's full schedule, with Baltimore commercials cut in. A new AM station in Waynesboro, Pa., across the Maryland border, is taking the entire Sunday
program (during the week it plays hillbilly).
And Rogers is planning to send seven -day
service soon to an FM outlet in Richmond,
Va. Major live concerts, besides the Budapest series, already are carried over the Continental FM net to Philadelphia, New Haven,
Boston and New York. So far this has been
a one-way deal, but there is a possibility
WGMS might someday get such concerts as
the Boston Symphony's in return.
Awaiting Federal Communications Commission approval is WGMS's application to
extend its AM service to nighttime and boost
its power to 5,000 watts. The station's
Continued on page 126
- -
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
PILOT Hit
RADIO CORPORATION
re
au ha
be iev e ;t!
to
For the ultimate in
HIGH FIDELITY
to
NEpR
TUNERS
it
the AF -824 FM -AM
PILOTUNER
Full symphonic level
high -fidelity sound from the
amazing BARUCH -LANG corner loudspeaker system.
The phenomenal
BARUCH -LANG high fidelity corner loud-
speaker system
the successful result of research at one of the
is
leading university acoustic laboratories to achieve high quality,
wide range response in a compact, low -cost unit.
Complete, ready for connection to any amplifier, radio, or television set, this amazingly efficient speaker system is ideal not
only as the main high -fidelity speaker in your living room, but
also as a second or third speaker placed at other points in your
home. Designed exclusively for corner installation, this unit is
only 131
high and 19-lx- across the front.
Shipped by express
only, shipping charges
collect. Weight 14 lbs.
C.O.D. if you wish.
Specify birch or
mahogany moulding,
impedance.
the original manufacturer of
this famous, nationally advertised speaker, can you buy direct
and thus save dealer markup. Kloss industries offers you an
unconditional 10 day refund guarantee in order that you may
listen to the KLOSS BARUCH -LANG system in
your own home without obligation.
INDUSTRIES
two stage pre -amplifier
equalized according to LP NAB, AES and
foreign recording standards seleved by
Switch. Three magnetic phono and crystal
and AUX. inputs. Two stage audio amplifier with cathode follower output. Sensitivity on FM -AM 10 MV. Audio frequency
response
'vDB, 20 to 20,000 cps. Hum
level 80DB below one volt with hum bal-
4 or 16 ohms
Only from KLOSS INDUSTRIES,
K LOSS
$119.50
10 tubes, with
10 Arrow Street, Cambridge 38, Mass. Dept. I.
adjustment provided.
ancing
Volume,
Controls:
Equalizer, Treble, AM -FM-
PHONO -AUX, Bass, Tuning and AFC onoff. Built -in antennas for FM and AM.
TURNOVER
THE
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"EWS
STRAIN-SENSITIVE
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NEW HIGH COMPLIANCE!
Modulated Pickup Voltage!
Easy to Install!
Now you can have the wide -range
and linear response of the PFANTONE Strain- Sensitive Pickup in a
brand-new TURNOVER CARTRIDGE.
Easy to install in your changer,
these pickups are further improved
with extra flexible plastic elements
to provide HIGH COMPLIANCE.
Because the PFAN -TONE Pickup
MODULATES a voltage rather than
$99.50
E
generates one, it transforms the
mechanical energy taken from the
record grooves into a faithful electrical image of ALL the music on the
records- without distortion, rumble,
or hum. The PFAN -TONE TURNOVER
CARTRIDGE will bring you The Music
You Have Been Missing! Write
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New improved Williamson type Amplifier
using famous KT66 tubes. Power Output: 10 watts -less than 0.1% distortion, 25 watts less than 0.3%
-
distortion, maximum output
watts. Frequency
Response
-
30
TDB 15 to
50,000 cycles. Hum Level 90 DB below
10 watts. Speaker output impedance 8
and 16 ohms. Tube complement 6SN7GT.
6SN7GT (21, KT66 (21 Push -Pull Power
Amplifier, 5U4G Rectifier.
Underwnrers Approved
Write for free brochure
PILOT
RADIO CORPORATION
THE
Of
STANDARD
Dept: TSP,
CHEMICAL COMPANY
Waukegan, Illinois
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
EXCELLENCE
125
www.americanradiohistory.com
WGMS
Continued from page 124
HI -FI SPECIALS
Finer Quality
... Yet Lower Priced
ESPEY 512C FM -AM TUNER
High Fidelity Tuner Chassis. Completely self
powered tuner. Featuring full tonal range with
increased selectivity and sénsitivity. Tuned RF
stage and two high gain IF stages. Built -in preamplifier for all magnetic cartridges, with
switch for selecting crystal phono. Circuit is
drift compensated. Uses 9 tubes including 3
dual purpose types, plus 5Y3GT rectifier. 6 gang
tuning condenser. High and low level audio outputs. Phono input on rear of chassis. Complete
with tubes, AM and FM antennas, hardware
and escutcheon. For 105/125 volts, 60 cycle.
Size: 13t/2" W x 81/2" H x 9" D. Shpg. wt.,
16 lbs.
-
$69.50
96F031. NET
NEWARK COAXIAL SPEAKERS
Outstanding high- fidelity values! These low -cost
speakers provide good high frequency response
and bass reproduction. All have high -frequency
tweeter unit and crossover network. Av. wt..
lbs.
83F994. S" Speaker. Rated 6 watts. Has 2.15 oz.
Alnico V magnet. Imped., 6 ohms. NET..... 8.95
83F995. 12" Speaker. Rated 12 watts. Has 10 oz.
Alnico V Magnet. Imped.. 8 ohms. NET .....12.95
83F996. 15" Speaker. Rated 14 watts. Has 10 oz.
Alnico V magnet. Imped., 8 ohms. NET..... .19.95
8
GARRARD 3 -SPEED CHANGER
Model RC80. The world- famous changer that
plays all types of records with watch -like precision. Includes special interchangeable spindle
for 45 rpm records. Accommodates most cartridges. Has adjustment for needle force. Size.
151/x131/4 "; requires 53/4" above, 31/2" below.
With plug -in heads, less cartridges. Shpg. wt..
18 l
45.08
73F510. NET_
Model RC -90. Finest changer in Garrard's history with many unique and exclusive features.
Plays all record sizes at all speeds. All speeds
are individually adjustable. Operates from 100130 volts or 200-250 volts 60 cycles AC. Size;
Requires 53/4" above motor
151/2x133/4 x95/2".
board, 37/e" below. Less phono cartridges. Shpg.
lb
73F592. NET
64.68
Dual Stylus Cartridge and Shell
73F517. For RC-80.
73F594. For RC-90. NET EA.
5.88
BOGEN AMPLIFIERS
Model PH10.1 10 Watt Amplitter. Fig. A. Practically humless-80 db below rated output. An
exclusive multi -range tone corrector provides
sharply defined frequency curves for most effective performance. Response: + 1 db, 40- 15,000
cps. Push-pull output with inverse feedback
gives 10 watts. Gain, 72 db. Circuit accomodates crystal phono or output of radio tuner.
Input selector switch provided. Input impedance, 1/2 meg. Output impedances, 3.2 and 8
ohms. Tubes: 6SL7GT, 2- 6V6GT. 5Y3GT rectifier.
Power consumption. 60 watts. For 110-120 volts.
60 cycles AC. Size, 5x11x6" Wt., 10 lbs. q
A
..
_.. _..
96F240. NET
37.20
Model CUP. For custom installations Contains
4 shaft extensions and all hardware plus control panel. Wt., 1 lb.
3.45
96F242. For P1-110 -1. NET
Order from Dept.
Plie Chiits's,. Include Shipping
H -I
Charges and Insurance.
ELECTRIC COMPANY
223 W. Madison St.
Chicago 6, Illinois
-
owners also have applied for one of the
though
Capital's UHF television channels
with no intention of trying to duplicate the
AM -FM musical format. Recently, too,
WGMS studios were lodged in spacious
new quarters in the downtown Harrington
Hotel.
WGMS has been, of course, in the forefront in spurring interest in high -fidelity
radio and recordings. The station has been
of the few sources of extended -range
live broadcasts available to Washington
audio enthusiasts, and one pioneering hi -fi
William C. Shrader
has
entrepreneur
built a large part of his profitable business
in custom radio -phonographs with his six
years of advertising on WGMS.
Other
WGMS clients now are cashing in on the
Record dealers, too
Shrader spadework.
owe the good music station a large debt,
for many collectors have heard their hi -fi
recordings first through the WGMS transmitter. The station, in 1948, paired its AM
and FM transmitters for the city's first
demonstration of binaural broadcasting, and
two years ago it teamed up with another
FM station, WASH, for a much better
National Symphony childemonstration.
dren's concerts were used in both tests.
And as this was written, a new WGMS
vice president, Dan Cavalier, was lining up
exhibitors for Washington's first hi -fi fair,
to be sponsored by WGMS at the Hotel
Harrington this March.
Apart from its musical and technical
farsightedness, WGMS has also dealt
adroitly with advertisers. The most fruitful
decision here was to sell choice evening
an entire evening to
time as a package
one
-
-
-
one sponsor. Rogers and crew have managed to attract an impressive variety of
clients, from Washingtons biggest independent dairy to a carpet cleaner.
But it is, after all, the audience that
counts most. And WGMS has an audience
which, by and large, is extraordinarily loyal.
Letters testify that many WGMS listeners
turn the station on in the morning and
never veer from it throughout the broadcast
day.
Such persons include taxidrivers,
dentists, osteopaths and barbers, as well as
Commuters keep their car
housewives.
radios tuned in. Tourists have been known
to express pleasure at making the stations
acquaintance
one Floridian wrote that he
kept his battery portable tuned to WGMS's
wavelength the entire week he was sightVacationing residents, conversely,
seeing.
have written their regret at being away.
The ultimate in loyalty is represented,
perhaps, by the two hobbyists who have
hooked alarm clocks to their radio receivers
in order to be waked up the moment
WGMS's day starts.
Lately commercials have taken rather a
Rogers readily admits
severe drubbing.
there are more of them than formerly, and
naturally he's not happy when the increase
inspires complaints. But he doesn't apologize. After all, as he points out regularly in
Good Murk, our sponsors make our programs
-
Continued on page 128
126
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
you can hear
It's true
cents little -mota..
...
HIGH FIDELITY
/PHONOGRAPH
ONLY
$94.45
FULLY GUARANTEED
Unsurpassed in quality by any high fidelity
table model phonograph on the market today!
Nationally known Heath Dual Record Player is loaded
with pleasure -giving features. Automatically plays rec-
ords of all three sizes and speeds. Dual matched speakers mounted in acoustically correct enclosure faithfully
reproduce all the music on the record. Tone arm has
dual needle ceramic cartridge. Compact cabinet covered
with beautiful two -tone saddle brown and beige proxy lin impregnated fabric. And remember, this quality,
high fidelity phonograph is yours, at the low price of
$94.45! Constructed from Heathkit RP -2, tuned and
tested by experts, on your order. Shipping weight, 32 lbs.
ACT NOW, ORDER NOW, START ENJOYING HIGH FIDELITY
-``.
Tho
!
Write for prices and complete information on
construction or any amplifier or pre -amplifier
kit, or see our advertisements in September
and November 1953 issues of High Fidelity.
With your order, please
enclose check or money
order.Shipped express on ly
F. O. B. Benton Harbor.
',>
CLARKSlAN
R/20/
magnetic pickup with sapphire
$15.00
stylus: net price
truly exciting
difference a Clarkstan Magnetic Pickup
gives to your music enjoyment -a difference you can hear. If your ear is tuned
to the finest in sound, you'll want the
vivid, life -like reproduction obtainable
only with the Clarkstan RV 201 Variable
Reluctance Pickup -over 15,000 cycles
of low distortion, flat response is yours.
Ask your hi -fi sound obber to let you
hear this difference. Then you, too, will
join the growing thousands of discriminating music lovers who buy only the
best in pickups -the Clarkstan RV 201.
Disc-over for yourscll the
a sound
investment...
Type -Magnetic, variable reluctance
with removable stylus.
Armature Stylus is armature; weight
-
31mg(.031g)
-Flat to over 15,000 cps.
Stylus- Sapphire with standard .003"
Response
V
CANADA'S FIRST HIGH -FIDELITY RADIO,
PHONOGRAPH, RECORD AND TELEVISION CENTRE
Stromberg- Carlson "Custom 400" Wide -Range High -Fidelity Radio,
Phonograph and Television Equipment
Hallicrafters High- Fidelity Tuners and Amplifiers,
Short Wave Communications Equipment and Television
Fisher High-Fidelity Tuners, Master Audio Controls and Amplifiers
Columbia "360" Phonographs
Concertone Tape Recorders
Pilot High -Fidelity Tuners, Amplifiers and Preamplifiers
River Edge Custom Cabinets
- Sonotone Ceramic Cartridges
Electro-Voice Speaker Enclosures and Sound Equipment Consoles
All makes of High -Fidelity Records including special
imports from Europe and U. S. A.
-
Wiz:Ain
390
duci
Eglinton West
a cmet
144 idn
Telephone HUdson 1 -1119
Toronto, Ontario
radius ball point or .0012" as desired.
Styli are interchangeable and replaceable. Other sizes available.
Needle Force -5 to 7 g for LP microgroove; as low as 9 g for standard records.
Output -60 my at 1000 cps with lateral
displacement of .001 ".
Recommended Termination
impedance.
-High
-
Inductance
Electrical Characteristics
350 milihenries at 1000 cps; 'Q' 1.05;
DC Resistance 1450 ohms.
Mounting Standard holes lí" between
-
centers, 3 -48 screws.
Weight -:30 gram.
YOUR
SEE
HI
-Il
SOUND
JOBBER
OR
WRITE
Pacific Transducer Corp., Dept.
11921 West Pico Blvd.
FACTORY
H -14
Los Angeles 64, California
Send me free literature on the
Clarkstan RV 201 Magnetic Pickup.
NAME__
ADDRESS
CITY
JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
127
!
WGMS
Continued from page 126
...THE
SUPERB
NEW
possible." On the other side, numerous
listeners have praised the commercials for
their restraint.
There are a couple of things, apparently,
about which everybody is happy. One is
WGMS's former weekly jazz program, which
was opposite the New York Philharmonic.
When it was dropped, nobody said a word.
The other thing is singing commercials.
On WGMS, they are flatly banned.
SPEAKER SYSTEM
THAT PAINTS THE
TRUE COLORS
OF SOUND
IN ONE EAR
Continued from page 47
THE PORTRAITIST
$335 complete
Just as a great artist transfers to canvas the real beauty
of his subject, so does this unique speaker system recreate in your living room the true image of the orig-
inal performance.
The Cross -Coupled loudspeaker system, as described in
High Fidelity (November- December 1953), produces
the complete range of audible sound without boomy bass
or shrieking highs. Employing a totally new concept of
design, this 3- speaker assembly renders full living -room
dispersion of middles and highs with a foundation of
smooth, rich bass. Wharfedale loudspeakers are used
exclusively.
Models are available for corner or wall placement; furnished in light, medium, or dark Philippine Mahogany.
Other woods and finishes can he obtained on special
order.
THE
RAM
P.O. BOX 221A
MASCO
WITH 8 POSITION
gives You
THE
MURALIST
$310 complete
SELECT OR
HIGH FIDELITY
breathe.
recording live
and
instrument
that makes every
a
ILl1
MASCO
10 -Watt
Custom
High
Fidelity
Amplifier
Selects and correctly compensates for
the characteristics of TV tuner, radio tuner, crystal
phonograph pickup; plus magnetic phonograph pickup
equalized for FIVE different recording characteristics including the NEW ORTHOPHONIC RECORDING CURVE.
j
Wide range frequency response -20 to 20,000 cycles
± V2 db. Ten watts of power output at less than 1%
harmonic distortion. Recorder output jack permits re-
cording while listening.
Unsurpassed In high tonal definition, in faithfulness of
reproduction, In hearing satisfaction. Hear It today at
your dealer's.
SOUND
EQUIPMENT
MARK SIMPSON MFG. CO., Inc.
32 -28 49th Street
/%/i,,,
128
-
-
GREAT BARRINGTON. MASS.
EQUALIZATION
in
-
-
Dealer inquiries incited
COMPANY
brilliant it sounds. Reed winds and strings
especially sound brighter and cleaner of edge
when pushed above their normal operating
ceiling; and conductors, as a caste, love for
orchestras to make brilliant sounds at the
top. The rise in pitch did much to brighten
up orchestral concerts, wow audiences, and
lead to the aggrandizement of conductors;
what it did to performers
particularly
singers
is another matter.
For example, under the old American
concert pitch a soprano singing music by
Mozart would have to sing a pitch actually
higher than an eighteenth- century sopranos
high C to reach a tone notated by the composer (and presumably thought of by him)
as a B. The 440 vps standard isn't so bad
quite
but the strain imposed by the rise
in pitch will be very apparent to you if you
will go over to the piano and sing the
highest tone you can reach comfortably,
then up it a semitone (let alone a full tone)
and see how it feels to try. Not very nice, is
it? So pity the poor people who make their
bread and butter that way.
The intervals between B flat and B and
between B and C may not look like much,
just written out, but they can be as impassable as the Grand Canyon for a singer
pushed to the extreme limit of his range.
Similarly, although it might not sound bad
at all, a fine eighteenth- century violin does
not benefit from the extra stresses imposed
by the tighter stringing necessary to raise
pitches thirty vibrations higher than the
original design took into account.
Many attempts have been made to bring
about some kind of unanimity about pitch
and to eliminate dangerous excesses. The
first formal action was taken by a group of
physicists who met in Stuttgart in 1884 and
adopted a standard A of surprise!
440 vps just like the latest London conference Nobody paid much attention, though,
and in 1889 an orchestral standard A of
435 vps was adopted (backed by the famous Diapson Normal tuning bar, which,
although cherished in a vault at the Conservatoire, turned out to have an actual vibration
rate of 435.45; so much for the fallibility
of standards). A number of orchestras,
including the Boston Symphony, adopted
the French figure.
However, standards or no standards,
conductors have always had a tendency to
squeeze the pitch of their orchestras up a
few vibrations in search of that little bit of
extra brilliance
and the hell with vocal
soloists who can't make it. Just like tweeter -
Long Island City 3, N. Y.
-
-
-
Continued on page 131
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
30'*` WATT
ULTRA -LINEAR
McGOHAN
AMPLIFIER
HI -FI
only $109.50 net
v
o
z
as
3
G
o
z
zn
a
-I
-8
3 -AC
o
0
é
ó
O
0
a.
n
r
N
A
Outlets
Dimensions-11%' long, 5y5' deep, 5I/
i
3D
C
WA -300 Preamp and Tone Control
Five Position Selector Switch for radio or auxiliary
inputs and for LP, AES and Foreign record compensation.
Seven Inputs-high and low gain radio, high and
low gain ouxiliury and three phono inputs for GE,
Pickering and Andas pickups.
Calibrated Tone Controls -Bass, +17 to -15
15 to -18 db.
db. treble,
Frequency Range -20- 20,000 cps,
I db
Tubes- 12AX7, 12ÁU7
Finest!
amp and tone control unit
with self- contained power sup ply. Compare its features,
listed at the left, with similar,
more expensive units. The
WA -300 is only $49.50 not.
o
0
WA -325 Ultra -Linear Amplifier
FirI With Ille
The perfect preamplifier for
the WA -325, or any other
amplifier, the WA -300- pre.
V
Frequency Response-20- 60,000 cps, w I db.
at 25 watts
'Interrnodulation Distortion -Less than 1% at 30
watts, equivalent sine wave power.
Harmonic Distortion -Less thon 0.5% at 25 watts.
Feedback -20 db.
Hum and Noise Level -85 db. below 25 watts.
Output Impedance
and 16 ohms.
Tubes- 2- 6SN7GT, 2 -KT66, 1.5V4G.
4' long, 71/2' deep, 6' high.
Dimensions
2 -AC Outlets
..
is an amplifier that looks
good as it sounds. The
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
IN ONE EAR
Continued from page 128
lovers: Anything for higher highs.
In actual practice, the pitch of most orchestras has a way of varying with the weather, since the oboe is commonly used as
a tuning yardstick, and reeds are affected by
atmospheric changes. Physicists have talked
themselves blue in the face about this, tru
ing to get orchestras to use tuning bars
forks, but they have never made much
headway against tradition.
In May, 1939, an international conference on pitch was held in London (does this
sound familiar ?), and it was unanimously
agreed to recommend to all interested organizations the adoption of a 440 vps A
The recommendation was accepted variably,
but in this country
aside from conductors' sneaking it up a little now and then
the 440 A is pretty generally recognized. In
order to assist musical organizations in
maintaining consistent pitch, the Bureau of
Standards broadcasts a 44o vps signal from
Washington, but the only orchestra I know
of that uses it for concerts is the Baltimore
Symphony, which began in 1952 to bring
a little receiver out and tune up by the hum
from Washington instead of by the oboe.
Just to show that the orchestra has no
monopoly on A signals, the management
of the National Festival Hall in London has
an intermission -recall signal that sounds an
A
presumably a 44o vps one, although
some orchestras on the Continent still tune
to 435 vps or some other value known only
to them.
Maybe it's my turntable that
needs adjusting. I wonder what the Soviet
Union A is, but they probably wouldn't tell.
Come to think of it, I probably don't wally
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Continued on page 132
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
99
-414 QJSI HIGH FIDELITY
care at all.
Speaking of pitches (or were we?),
the spade foot, a variety of burrowing toad,
is said to baa like a sheep in the key of G
major. This could be confusing to sheepdogs, I imagine, unless sheep avoid G
major out of deference to spadefeet (spade foots?). Has anyone data on the keys in
which sheep baa? Or on burrowing toads
of that kind tuned in keys other than the
prescribed? Here is a standing offer of five
bucks for an E minor spadefoot or a bonded
recording of one. Don't ask why.
-10.- In case anyone wonders about the
effect of high frequencies on living tissue,
they may get an idea from consideration of
this. Radio station WOR has a 50,00o -watt
transmitter at Carteret, New Jersey, with a
grounding coil in Casey Creek; when the
station broadcasts really high notes the fish
in the creek get so upset that they float belly up until things return to (relative) normal.
Now do you know what that feeling is?
One J. Murray Barbour, of the music
department of Michigan State College,
claims to have developed a mathematical
formula that will give "a truer pitch to the
sharp major thirds of the piano." Since this
requires an octave of at least 53 notes (118,
if you want to be a perfectionist) nobody is
likely to build a piano that way; and if
anybody did, you would have to ride on a
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IN ONE EAR
Continued from page 130
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motor scooter to play it. Doesn't make any
difference, none at all. Just thought somebody might like to know.
"Suppose," said a friend ro Arturo
Toscanini, you were on a desert island and
all you could take along with you was one
." The maestro thought deeply
opera
and painfully for a few moments; then his
features relaxed. "I would drown myself,"
he said serenely. So much for Building Your
Record Library, the desert island game, and
similar pursuits. The old are often wise.
Add places-I- would- visit-if-I- had -atime- machine. The place: Metropolitan
Opera House. The date: February 6, root).
The opera: La Traviata (Act I). The cast:
Marcella Sembrich
Violetta
Geraldine Farrar
Flora
Boulevard Les Angeles 51,
California
it
Enrico Caruso
Alfredo
Antonio Scotti
Baron Douphol
Adamo Didur
Doctor Grenville
Marquis d'Obigny ....Pasquale Amato
Angelo Bada
Gastone
The occasion: The farewell program of
Mme. Sembrich.
The recording cherub who appears in
Angel Records advertisements is a ringer,
if a diligent one, for the cherub who sits
by the spindle on the actual record labels.
The label cherub, who hasn't changed since
1898, is a little, snivelly- looking number
who has cut only four grooves with her
(maybe angels are neuter, but this one is on
the feminine side) feather stylus; the advertising cherub, up to date, is prettier, more
demure, and looks quietly pleased at havobviousing cut six grooves in her disk
ly a microgroove cherub, glad to have a job.
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If not available at your local jobber,
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lQ0.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
!Jt
forSOUND from AtoZ
GUIDE TO
AUDIO
REPRODUCTION
Stories of the Great Ballets, by Gladys
Davidson. 486 pages. Color frontispiece; photographs. Cloth. British Book
Centre, New York, 1953. $3.25.
As the preface says, Gladys Davidson has
produced "simply a book of romantic stories,
derived from some of the most famous
Ballets." And a horrid mess it is.
whose other publica,- Miss Davidson
tions include such fascinating titles as
Talking to Animals and At the IVhipsnade Zoo
has selected 76 ballets, most of them from
the British and French repertoires, for her
ministrations. Eschewing the distractions
of technical or musical information, she
has told the stories as they seem to her
not as they seem to their choreographers or
necessarily to anybody else. She does her
story- telling in the past tense and with a
peculiarly condescending and obnoxious
brand of auntie- Gladys -put- baby -to- sleepsleep unctuousness and soggy cliché.
"In the quaint little villages snuggling
amidst the romantic forest and mountain
regions of the Rhineland, many strange and
mystic legends of fairies
so begins
the authoress' (anybody with a style like
that deserves to be called an "authoress ")
account of Giselle, which trips across the
emerald grass, into the deep mysterious
glade where the airy-fairy sprites were
fated to dance until four o'clock (interesting
detail, that), until the reader is told that
. the lovely sylph form of Giselle
vanished from sight behind the little white
around which sweet cross on her grave
scented flowers were already blossoming ..."
And Gait! Parisienne: "On the terrace of
Tortoni's Restaurant in Paris a scene of
irresponsible gaiety was to be observed one
summer afternoon." Or Scheherazade: "In
the gorgeous harem of Schahriar, King of
India and China, one quickly became lost
in a sea of rich passionate colour and perfumed air .. .
The main usefulness of a book covering
the ground here floated over by Miss
Davidson would be as a reference to plots of
ballets unfamiliar in this country. But I,
for one, would rather remain totally ignorant
of the plot of Three Virgins and a Devil say,
than put up with a telling that begins;
"One pleasant summer day three charming
young virgins set out together to take a
country walk." Quite a book. Goo! J.H., Jr.
-
-
..."
-
-
The Musicians and Petrillo, by Robert
D. Leiter. 202 pages. Cloth. Bookman
Associates. New York, 1953. $3.75.
"Petrillo is, to my almost certain knowledge and to my strong conviction, not a
crook." This statement should not be
taken as faint praise, considering that it was
made by that self -appointed judge of crooks
and non -crooks, Westbrook Pegler. Fur-
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, T954
thermore, Mr. Pegler's concession has been
amplified by a variety of people including
Serge Koussevitzky ("He's a very able man
in his line. For his union he did a splendid
job. ") and a former vice president of CBS,
Joseph H. Ream ( "So far as I know, Mr.
Petrillo is always a gentleman. ")
Such statements are perhaps surprising
to those who recall the period from 1939 to
1948 when the "gentleman" who has done
such a "splendid" job was most commonly
word which
referred to as a "dictator"
at that time carried roughly the same implication as "communist' does today. To
explain the evolution of the descriptive
labels applied to Petrillo is the task Robert
Leiter sets for himself in this book. He approaches it as a labor- economist (which he
is, at the City College of New York) and
the result is a thoroughly competent study
of the American Federation of Musicians.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Leiter does not
treat us to a more extensive study of Petrillo,
the man. However, what glimpses we do
get are intriguing.
James Caesar Petrillo was born in Chicago on the wrong side of the stockyards,
in 1892. As a youth he was ambitious,
engaging in a number of activities which
Horatio Alger, Jr. has prescribed as fitting
education for all red -blooded American executives (it is indeed interesting to reflect
that in the loth century, organized labor
has been developed under the same type
of men which developed U. S. industry in
the 19th century): he sold newspapers
and later peanuts, ran an elevator, drove a
delivery truck and managed a cigar store.
He was also a second -rate trumpet player.
However, he was a first rate organizer and
at 14 had his own band. When his "lip gave
out" (this loss was not linguistic, as numerous business executives and Congressmen
can testify), he switched to union politics
and by 1922 was President of the Chicago
local of the AFM. He rapidly emerged as a
power in union politics and by 1939 it was
generally conceded that he was the tail that
wagged the dog
the dog being the then
national President of the AFM, Joseph N.
Weber. The following year Petrillo was
elected President and since that time few
opponents in or out of the union have
succeeded in wagging him.
Both as a local and national President he
has operated with a relentless urge to elevate
the lot of the musician, a goal which any
musician in the country will agree has been
achieved. However, his tactics have often
been a little rough. In 1939, while still
President of the Chicago local, he clashed
with John L. Lewis of the CIO concerning
jurisdiction over the nation's musicians.
Petrillo ordered Chicago theatres to eliminate all mention of the name of John L.
Lewis from two plays then being performed:
-a
-
Continued on page J35
by David Fidelman
Here's an a to z explanation of the reproduction of sound .
from the fundamentals to
all phases of audio reproduction systems.
Design, construction and assembly of these
systems and their components. Comprehensive methods for testing individual units.
Explanation of circuitry of pre-amplifiers and
amplifiers. Complete discussion of pick -up
devices (phono cartridges, tuners and micro phones), loudspeakers and enclosures.
Charts, tables and graphs keep mathematics
to minimum. Engineers will value tie book
for design charts and testing methods. Practical circuits for home or custom construction enable building of systems tailor -made
lo individual needs.
ONLY $3.50
HIGH FIDELITY
SIMPLIFIED
by H. D. Weiler
magazine's June 15, 1953 Issue reported
enthusiastically how "High Fidelity SimpliLIFE
fied"
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the only book quoted
expains the
complete Hi -FI story. RADIO -Television News
stated: "Those planning high fidelity music
systems for their homes will save themselves
time, money and trouble by reading this first,
then making purchases.
Typical Chapters: Sound!; Acoustics, Electronics and Music; The Simple Loudspeaker;
The High -Fidelity Loudspeaker; Loudspeaker
Enclosures; The Basic Amplifier; The Amplifier -Part 2; The Record Player; The Tuner;
Use of the Music System; Tape Recorders.
ONLY $2.50
OBTAINING
AND
I
INTERPRETING
TEST SCOPE
TRACES
by John
F.
Rider
People interested in audio will welcome this
book which shows over 500 actual photographs of test scope traces. Complete explanation of how to use scopes and what test
scope traces mean. Valuable for audio systems and test equipment and also for TV
receivers, and FM and AM receivers. Specific
test equipment set -ups are shown with each
application. There is rio other book like it!
Typical Chapters: What's in a Scope; Getting
Familiar with the Scope; Auxiliary Test
Equipment for the Scope; Using the Scope
for Checking Test Equipment; Checking
Audio Systems With the Scope; the Scope's
use in Checking Components, and
chapters.
four other
ONLY $2.40
Buy these books now
from your Jobber, local bookstore or, If
unavailable from these sources, write to:
JOHN F
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PUBLISHER, INC.
480 Canal Street, New York 13, N. Y.
133
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
BOOKS
Continued from page 133
George Whites Scandals and The Man Who
Came to Dinner. The reaction was violent
and Petrillo withdrew the order with a
characteristic Petrilloism: "They said I was
unconstitutional and all that stuff. I never
had nothing like that in mind
I just
thought I'd push Lewis around a little."
Petrillo's attempt to push NBC around
in 1942 by ordering it to ban a series of concerts given by the summer music school at
Interlochen, Michigan, caused an even
greater public explosion. The move was
part of Petrillo's general war against amateur music broadcasts which, he maintained,
resulted in unemployment of professional
musicians. It was a rash step, eventually
leading to the Lea Act, which sharply curtailed the powers of the union.
Petrillo
fought the Lea Act all the way to the Supreme Court, but when it declared the Act
constitutional, he said: "The Supreme Court
has spoken; I bow to its dictates."
However, one thing Petrillo has not
bowed to yet is the growing practice of
playing records on radio stations
thus
he argues
increasing
unemployment of
musicians (his favorite subject). His battle
with technology was temporarily quieted in
1948
after a 12 month ban on the making
of records when the AFM signed a contract with the recording companies setting
up a generous musician's fund. However,
the contract expires at the end of 1953.
It is generally expected that Petrillo will not
pass up the opportunity to push the record
companies around a little. If he does it will
be the first time.
R. H. H., Jr.
...
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HIGH FIDELITY
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by john H. New HI
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494 pages, 203 illustrations
Price $7.50
Some Enchanted Evenings, The Story of
Rodgers and Hammerstein, by Deems
Taylor. 244 pages. Illustrations and
index.
Cloth.
York, $3.95.
Harper & Bros., New
As Mr. Taylor wisely informs the reader in
his introduction to Some Enchanted Evening.
his latest book is not a biography but a
story. He could have gone a step further,
in all fairness, and called it a catalog,
probably the most debonair and amiable
catalog of the year. What it amounts to,
in short, is a faithful record of the births,
marriages, travels, and opening-and-closingnight dates that marked, first, the early
separate careers of Mr. Rodgers and Mr.
Hammerstein and, finally their pheonomenally successful collaborations. As such, it
does its job with good nature, thoroughness, and accuracy.
Rodgers and Hammerstein were always
within hailing distance of each other. "Both
men were brought up in the same environ-
ment, both went to Columbia University,
and have strikingly similar tastes
Both
have maintained the same standard of living
for twenty -five years. Both spent some unhappy years in Hollywood. Furthermore,
in a burst of unanimity that seems a little
excessive, each has a wife named Dorothy
who is an interior decorator." When they
got together to do a show for the near bankrupt Theater Guild to be called Away
IPe Go
later retitled Oklahoma!
it was
inevitable that there would be enormous
-
Continued on page 137
This big new book by one of the nation's
acknowledged experts brings you the complete
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Chock full of how- to -do -it tips and ideas
Here are just a few of the subjects covered: What to look for in high fidelity
Getting reproduction to suit your taste
equipment what to avoid
Some unusual
Hi -fi vs. P.A. type speakers
Matching the reproducer to it
"hi -fi" combinations
Loudspeaker construction and performance
Adjusting bass -reflex
environment
A novel horn system
cabinets
Controlling distortion
Baffles
Getting rid of
The best reproducer enclosure
"overhang"
Choosing a reproducer
Selecting
Sound -proofing materials
a woofer-tweeter combination
How grillwork affects
attenuation
Output transformer specifications and what they mean
Special hi -fi
circuits
Proper crossover frequencies
Do's and don'ts of volume expansion
Practical ways to suppress noise
A good tone control
Negative feedback and how
Pre -amps and equalizers
to use it
Amplifier construction hints
Judging comF -M
tuners
mercial amplifiers
Minimizing tuner distortion
Avoiding chatter
and crosstalk
Limiter -discriminator vs. ratio detector FM circuits
All about records
and record players
Selecting turntables and pick -up cartridges
Avoiding record
wear
A comprehensive course in magnetic recording
Pick -up resonance, its
cure
Choosing
a
recorder
cause and
Tips for custom builders
Special installa'
Typical "hi -fi" installations
lion problems
Bass -reflex calculations and design
horn
design
charts
Acoustical
data
and dozens of other subjects.
-
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Dept. 111. ¿4 Rinehart Books, Inc., Technical Division
232 Madison Ave., New York 16, N. Y.
Send HIGH FIDELITY TECHNIQUES by Newitt
for 10 -day FREE examination. If I decide to keep the book,
I will then remit ä7.50 plus postage. Otherwise I will
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you send cash with order, we pay postage
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if book
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
BOOKS
Continued from page 135
ON
III111
FIDELITY
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I
I
personal sympathy and rapport between the
two. What happened, of course, is an old,
old story. Oklahoma! became the biggest,
brightest success the American musical
theater had ever had. It was soon followed
by Carousel, a glowing, sentimental adaptation of Molnai s Liliom, which established
Rodgers and Hammerstein as the country's
most felicitous lyrist- composer team. Then
came Allegro, their first flop. The team recovered quickly with South Pacific, followed
that with The King and I, and opened their
latest show, Me And Juliet, last spring to
generally mixed notices.
What does the record indicate? First,
that the team can work wonders when they
are adapting someone else's literary material
to the musical stage. Oklahoma! came from
Lynn Riggs' Green Grow The Lilacs; Carousel
from Liliom; South Pacific was based on
James Michener's Pulitzer-Prize winning
collection of short stories, Talcs Of The South
Pacific, and The King And I was preceded by
both a book and movie version of Anna
Leonowens' experiences in the Siamese
court. Second, it seems to show that when
the basic idea belongs to the team alone,
the result is an unfortunate mixture of hokum, second-rate ideas, and generally overreached ambition. Allegro and Me And
Juliet are R & H properties, in toto, and
both are soporific shows; Allegro, in fact,
rarely rose above soap -opera level. Last,
though, the record seems to prove that no
matter what Rodgers and Hammerstein
put on the stage, the public will run for it,
fast. Allegro stayed around New York for
4o weeks. Me And Juliet is doing capacity
business now.
Evidently, Mr. Taylor has been able to
find little drama in the Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration. Their worldly success has been brilliant, their hits set records,
their "flops" make money. They work
well together, and if Mr. Rodgers' tunes are
usually better than Mr. Hammerstein's
words, the lyrics sometimes touch an appealing note of simplicity and sincerity.
Whether they are revolutionaries of the
theater is another question altogether; at
the very least, they are skilled, professional
workers and possibly America's most popular theatrical figures. But theirs is a success
story without much conflict, and Mr.
Taylor, doing the best he can, makes it
steadily readable and sometimes bright.
1
1
Nome
Address
1
City
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Stat.
JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
High Fidelity Techniques, by John H.
Newitt. 512 pages, 6 x 9 inches. Illustrated. Cloth. Rinehart Books Inc.,
New York, 1953. $7.50.
According to the author, this book was
FOR YOUR LIBRARY:
the Only Complete
Reference on AUDIO!
"The Recording &
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of SOUND"
by OLIVER READ
Cornoletely
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OVER
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largest selling
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Men, Broadmsting
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CONTENTS:
A Partial List of Authoritative Chapters:
Behavior of Sound Waves; Basic Recording
Methods; Lateral DiscRecording;Microgroove
Recording; The Decibel; Phono Reproducers;
Styli ; Microphones; Loudspeakers and Enclosures; Dividing Networks and Filters; Attenualors and Mixers; Home Music Systems;
P.A. Systems; Amplifiers; AM and FM Tuners -PLUS HUNDREDS OF OTHER SUBJECTS
Now you can have all the right answers to
any subject in the field of Audio. Learn how
to select and get the most out of recording
equipment. Tells you how to select the
proper amplifier for given applications, how
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and pickup principles and selection factors.
Shows how to utilize inverse feed -back, expanders and compressors. Covers hundreds
vast wealth of reliable inforof subjects
mation found in no other single volume. If
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My (check) (money order) for S
written primarily for the practising engineer
who is not a specialist in the audio field;
for the prospective home constructor of a
high -fidelity system; for the radio serviceman with a firm grasp of electronic principles
(sic) who would like to do custom sound installation work; for recording studios and
public -address or sound system operators
concerned with installation; and for professional audio technicians, engineers, and
home -receiver designers. The writing level
Continued on page 139
l( en-
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In short, this is not a book for the layman.
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Caruso: The Man of Naples and the
Voice of Gold, by T. R. Ybarra. 315
pages. Illustrated. Cloth. Harcourt,
Brace and Company, New York, 1953.
$4.50.
Just a little more than half a century has
young Italian tenor named
Enrico Caruso made his debut at the Metropolitan, and somewhat more than a generation since he died, on August 2, 1921. Yet
his name is still a household synonym for
greatness wherever opera is even vaguely
known, his popular reputation as the tenor
above all others still secure.
Both the
breadth and endurance of his fame have
something to do, no doubt, with the fact
that he has born just four years before Edison invented the acoustical phonograph. The
Caruso vocal mechanism came to its first
maturity just as the world discovered
that there was pleasure to be gained from
sitting at home listening to records. As the
fame of the singer grew, so did the sales of
his records; exceptional indeed was the
phonograph- owning family that did not
possess Caruso's Vesti la giubba or Torna d
Sorrie,Yto. By the year of his death close to
three -and -a- quarter- million dollars had been
privately realized from recordings alone; the
Victor earnings from Caruso over the years
must be astronomical.
But Caruso's recording sessions were
merely a by- product of his career in the opera
houses of the world, and the popularity of
his recordings was but a faint indication of
the adulation by those who heard him in the
$117.60
Complete
Continued on page i40
JANUARY -FEBRUARY, 1954
www.americanradiohistory.com
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BOOKS
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Continued from page 139
4Ain9 4h61
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flesh. And the adulation of those who simply
heard him sing was as nothing compared to
that of those who knew and loved him as a
warm- hearted, generous man. T. R. Ybarra's newly- printed biography is timed to
serve as a semi -centennial tribute to his
Metropolitan career.
The great pity is
that it is not a better book.
People who read and admired the author's
autobiographical Young Man of Caracas
(the reviewer among them) cannot fail to
regret that he did not devote the time or
journalistic energy necessary to produce a
definitive volume
or at least one fresher
in both material and insight
out of what
is obviously an affectionate consideration
of a figure both important and sympathetic.
Basically, the trouble with Enrico Caruso:
The Man of Naples and the Voice of Gold is
that the author has placed his reliance almost entirely on previously published biographies, partial biographies, anecdotal
excerpts from the memoirs of associates of
Caruso, standard volumes on institutions,
and a few magazine articles.
He makes
prefatory acknowledgment of a certain indebtedness, to be sure, and offers a bibliography at the close; there are occasional
footnotes when passages are quoted verbatim. But nowhere does the author indicate the full extent of his indebtedness to
authors who have preceeded him. Material
in the chapter on the Metropolitan-vs Hammerstein battle dates back to Mr.
Ybarra's memories from his days as a cub
reporter, and there is an apparently recent
interview with Geraldine Farrar; otherwise
the book is most accurately described as an
assembling of biographical data and anecdotes from various more or less familiar
-
FOR
NOT
Phono Needles!
St?
-
sources.
This is not to say that a putative biographer, 3o years after the death of his subject,
should not make use of all available materials.
But when the casual, non -expert
reader can go through a book and say to
himself "that is a paraphrase from Gatti Casazza and Howard Taubman," "that is
from Kolodin," or "that is from Dorothy
Caruso's book," he can't help feeling that
it all might have been better had the author
done a little more digging in newspaper
files and talking to old singers and conductors, and less assembling of thrice familiar anecdotes from thrice- familiar books.
Toscanini, after all, crochety though he is,
is still alive; so is Tullio Serafin. Giuseppe
Bamboschek is the man who called Gatti
the night Caruso hemorrhaged during a
performance of L'Elisir d'Amore in Brooklyn, and he could have been reached by a
telephone call to Philadelphia; so why reproduce the standard story from the Gatti Rosa Pon Casazza -cum- Taubman book?
selle lives in Baltimore, Frieda Hempel in
New York, Giovanni Martinelli in New
York, and so on. If Mr. Ybarra had talked
to them he might have produced a freshly
informative book instead of a pastiche.
Admittedly, he would have difficulty interviewing Scotti or Tamagno without the
aid of a medium, but uncritical reliance on
Continued on page 142
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HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
140
www.americanradiohistory.com
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BOOKS
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Continued from page 140
secondary sources never did any biography
good.
The end product is a book that has the
skeletal facts clear and anthologizes the
most familiar of the huge body of Caruso
anecdotes, but is not especially well written
and never contributes much really new
material or synthesizes the old into anything like a new or freshly revealing portrait of the man and artist. Not a bad book
by any means, but a disappointing (and
expensive) one.
Perhaps all of this is cavil. Perhaps the
present canon of small talk is enough
or all there is
to explain of an artist who,
if not in the primary sense creative, was
strikingly re- creative enough to have the
operatic world at his feet. But there would
seem to be room still for a really scholarly
evaluation of the pheonomenon that was
Enrico Caruso, of the reaction he evoked,
and of the times in which he achieved his
success. No matter how scholarly, it could
not be dull, for Caruso, as the present volume amply demonstrates, was not a dull
man or one lacking in complexity. J. H., Jr.
-
-
Continued on page 144
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www.americanradiohistory.com
"
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INTERELECTRONICS
R P O R A T I O N
2432 Grand Concourse, New York 58, N. Y.
C O
BOOKS
Continued from page 142
Win
a
The Burl Ives Songbook. Ballantine
Books; clothbound, 32o pages, $5.00;
paperbound, 276 pages, 5o cents. New
York, 1953.
Illtintosit
Ballads Migrant in New England, by
Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney. 248 pages. Cloth, Farrar
Strauss & Young, New York, 1953.
Amplifier and Compensator
$500
$6.00.
cash*
and
Mac needs your help He needs a
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or non -technical like "Perfectone ".
Your McIntosh dealer can supply
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Six Big Prizes!
ist prize, a McIntosh 50W2 50 watt Amplifier, a McIntosh C -108
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McIntosh A -116, 30 watt Amplifier and C -108 Audio Compensator; 4th prize, McIntosh A -116, 30 watt Amplifier; 5th prize,
McIntosh C -108 Audio Compensator and D-101 Power Supply;
6th prize, McIntosh C -104 Audio Compensator and D -101
Power Supply.
*If you are the first prize winner, McIntosh's Chief Engineer will install
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The McIntosh
Circuit
At right is a drawing of the patented
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which is not available on any other amplifier. See your Hi -Fi dealer and find
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the difference can be your suggested
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plain heel of
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your dealer. so besure to
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with your entry.
2. All entries
e to be mailed to: McIntosh
No. 5822.
Cleveland. Ohio.
°midnight Match
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31. 1954.
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FIDELITY
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complete list
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15. 1954. If a self.addrns.d, tamped
envelope is enclosed with your entry.
A
aboutMay
LABORATORY, INC
BINGHAMTON,
N.
Y.
Makers of the World's Finest Amplifiers and Compensators
Manufactured under patent numbers 2.646,467; 2.545.788; 2.654.058;
2.477.074
The Burl Ives Song Book contains 115 songs
which are both a part of Ives' singing repertoire and a cross -section of folk songs,
native and imported, which have been sung
in America for a good many years. They
are arranged so as to reflect the historical
development of the U. S. The selection is
broadly inclusive, and the Index of Titles
and of First Lines (two separate indices)
indicate clearly enough how many excellent
songs have been chosen. There are line
drawings by Lamartine Le Goullon and
Robert J. Lee, and each section is preceded
by a short historical introduction by Ives.
The music has been arranged for piano by
Albert Hague.
Clearly, this is a book which would tempt
anyone to sit down at the piano to explore
its rich contents. And that's precisely where
disappointment in the book is felt. The
piano arrangements and we have subjected them to close examination only
because this is the book's big selling point
are disappointing in the extreme. In the
first place, many of them do not at all catch
the spirit in which these same songs are
sung by Ives. Anyone can test this for himself by putting a Burl Ives record on the
phonograph, then running off the piano
parts. Worse than that, many of the arrangements are needlessly complex and difficult to play for the average home folk song
enthusiast and the harmonic scheme is
often either inadequate, or unfaithful to
the song.
Admittedly, transposing a folk song to
a piano arrangement is tricky business.
Less formal instruments are used by folk
singers, and many of their harmonies are, it
would seem, not easily carried over to the
piano. But if a song book is designed primarily for home or school use, at least the
plain, unadorned melody should be set
down in such a way as to be played on a
keyboard.
Just to test our negative reaction to the
Hague arrangements, we turned to other
works containing arrangements of identical
songs. We can only state that this corroborated our first impressions. "The Seven Joys
of Mary," for example, is beautifully set
down in John Jacob Niles' Anglo- American
Carol Study Book. This does not mean to
imply that Burl Ives does not sing as well
as John Jacob Niles. The styles of the two
are quite different, and so are their interpretations of songs commonly sung by both
by everyone, in fact. But the point here is
that the piano arrangements in the Ives
Songbook do not even sound like Mr. Ives'
own interpretation of the songs, or anyone
else's that I know of. In all fairness, this is
a point which any prospective purchaser of
Continued on page 146
-
-
-
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
144
www.americanradiohistory.com
don't gouge
that groove!
DIAMOND
NEEDLES
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After just 60 play- hours, needle point flattens to chisel sharpness -cuts away record grooves; destroys sound pick -up!
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Get a
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ir::54
INDUSTRIES, INC., 329 So. Wood St., Chicago 12, III.
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SERIES 215
HIGH -COMPLIANCE
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íR4//01/11l RECORDINO:
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ORDER FROM YOUR
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EQUIPMENT:
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Without obligation please mail FREE folder, "HI -FI FACTS
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Today, diamond needles are accepted as the only way to protect
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Chances are your record player
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Our diamond tips are unconditionally guaranteed and are made
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THE TRANSCRIBER CO.
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JANUARY - FEBRUARY, 1954
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Boston 30, Mass.
145
www.americanradiohistory.com
PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORY
BOOKS
Continued from page 144
IN THE WEST
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ALL MAKES TAPE RECORDERS
The B'est's largest distrihators
the book should be aware of if he intends
to use it as a collection of songs to be
played and sung.
Ballads Migrant in New England (with
Introduction by Robert Frost) is an excellent, scholarly compendium by two serious
collectors. The documentation is both careful and colorful, and altogether this is as
generous and absorbing a collection as
one could hope for. Helen Hartness Flanders may be remembered as joint author of
other notable collections of New England
song, including Vermont Folk Songs and
Ballads, a New Green Mountain Songster,
and a Vermont Chapbook. In her Foreword,
Helen H. Flanders touches on an aspect of
ballad collecting that may have special significance to HIGH FIDELIT" readers. She
says: "To the reader, this may be more
than a book of ballads; it may prove to be
a participation in prospecting for a common
everyday garden variety of great literature
alive today in New England." To anyone
who owns or contemplates owning a tape
recorder, this certainly suggests a most entertaining and useful pastime
the col -Iection of "migrant ballads" in their home
territory.
There has never been enough
time and money for scholars, no matter
how devoted, to cover this field with the
But recording
completeness it deserves.
enthusiasts could add immeasurably to
the trove of our folk literature.
FREDERIC RAMSEY, JR.
The Opera Reader, edited by Louis Biancolli. 678 pages. Index. Cloth- McGraw Hill Book Co., New York, 1953. $6.50.
Here is an extremely interesting anecdotal
The book is divided by composers (39) and sub -divided by operas (90).
Under each such subdivision comes a very
brief synopsis of an opera's plot, then a
collection of stories concerning its history,
some bits about the composer, in some
cases an account of the tribulations of the
first and subsequent productions, and something of the singers who won particular renown for their work in it. It's especially entertaining to see how often the first -night
critics, and audiences, were wrong. This is
well illustrated by the case of Prokofieff's
Love of Three Oranges. A leading critic wrote
simply that the opera had cost $13o,000 to
produce, which at approximately $43,00
an orange was rather high!
If there were and maybe there are
opera bugs akin to the Sherlock Holmes
fans who choose to call themselves the
Baker Street Irregulars, this would be the
book for them. Just as the Holmesians
minutely explore the darkest corners of
Sherlockiana with such questions as, "Which
finger did Watson have outside his weapon's
trigger -guard as he whirled to face the Murgatroyd Horror ?" their opera -counterparts ask:
"The Sunken Bell was interrupted in its composition because Ravel's interest was caught
by another libretto. Which one ?" (Answer
L'Heure Espagnole.) The Opera Reader is
collection.
-
-
Continued on page 149
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
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Read the "TESTED IN THE
MUSIC LISTENER'S
BOOKSHELF
HOME" report
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
Nov. -Dec. 1953. Page 110.
RESCO
ULTRA - LINEAR
Williamson
AMPLIFIER KIT
Featuring the
ACRO TO-300
BINDERS FOR HIGH FIDELITY Magazine:
Red
D. T.
N. Williamson, 36 pages, 31 illustrations.
Contains complete design data for conWILLIAMSON AMPLIFIER BOOKLET:
leatherette, gold- stamped on front and
backbone. Volume 3 to hold six issues.
Volume 1 and Volume 2, in limited quantity, still available (to hold four issues
each). Specify Volume Number.
Binder
1,
2, 3.
.
structing this famous high -fidelity amplifier.
No.94
$1.00
$2.75 each
R. D. Darrell. A highly
readable guide to the enjoyment of music
as directly related to recordings available
on LP. The last 37 pages are an index discography listing one recommended LP
recording of every composition mentioned.
RECORDING AND REPRODUCTION OF
SOUND: Oliver Read, Second Edition, 805
GOOD LISTENING:
THE
pages, over 700 illustrations, cloth. A
complete and authoritative treatment of
the entire subject of sound. Covers all
aspects of recording.
No. 46.
.
$7.95
No. 126..
G. A. Briggs. Intended
for those interested in the Loudspeaker
and how it works and how results may be
$2.75
LOUDSPEAKERS:
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Only a few resistors and condensers are in.
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ACRO TO -300
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Order today! Send check or M.O. Include postage
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improved. Non -technical terms throughout.
No.56.
$1.60
No. 98
David
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to all phases of audio reproduction systems. Design charts and testing methods.
Practical circuits for home or custom construction enabling the reader to build systems tailor -made to individual needs.
No.131.
....
...$3.50
Briggs and Garner, 216
pages, 174 illustrations, cloth. Covers, in
characteristic non -technical language, the
myriad considerations involved in ampliDetails
fier design and construction.
given for the construction of a recommended amplifier. Essential reading.
..$2.95
No. 100
HIGH FIDELITY SIMPLIFIED: Harold Weiler,
A most
209 pages, 104 illustrations.
OBTAINING AND INTERPRETING
enclosure.
.$2.50
A
BUILD
RECORD
No. 132
LIBRARY:
Howard Taubmann. Lists the basic works
considered by the author as most important for both a starting library and a more
advanced one. Every field of music.
Third Edition of
G. A. Briggs' famous book. Many new
chapters and 175 new and original illustrations. Mr. Briggs, aided by hundreds
of photographs and drawings, brings his
usual flair for lucid, readable explanation to all the essential elements of high -
B-ool7 Department
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for which please send
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me the books indicated by the circled
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46 56 73 94
125 126 131
98
132
100
101
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SOUND REPRODUCTION:
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No.125.
TEST SCOPE
John F. Rider. Audio hobbyists
will welcome this book, showing over 500
actual photographs of test scope traces.
Complete explanation of how to use
scopes and what test scope traces m'an.
Specific test equipment set -ups shown
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TRACES:
understandable discussion of the fundamental theories of high -fidelity sound reproduction. Working designs for speaker
TO
$4.50
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GUIDE TO AUDIO REPRODUCTION:
AMPLIFIERS:
HOW
MUSIC, etc.:
gestions are given for selection of high fidelity components.
by Engineering Staff, BBC,
114 pages, cloth. Covers the theory, design and characteristics of all standard
microphone types.
No. 73..
$3.25
MICROPHONES
No. 101.
OF
Canby, Burke, and Kolodin. 308 pages,
25 illustrations, cloth. Three top experts
tell the story of music, its recording and
reproduction in the home. Specific sug-
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$3.50
Edward Tatnall
Canby. 300 pages, illustrated. How to
assemble and enjoy high- fidelity equipment at tremendous savings. Can help
you avoid making expensive mistakes.
HOME MUSIC SYSTEMS:
No. 109
$3.95
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
148
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Music Leuvers:
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24 RECORD- PLAYBACK CHARACTERISTICS to match
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BROCINER
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344 East 32nd Street
LABORATORY
New York 16.
N
Shop
Encyclopedia
of
Recorded
Music, thus founding the art of discography.
Currently he is serving as a member of the
executive committee of the National Record
Awards.
It is a pleasure to report that his new
book was properly planned and assembled,
though it could advantageously have been
It has three text seca good deal longer.
flexibility without undue
$99 t
Cabinets
Matched With
Robert Donaldson Darrell is one ut the
really big names in American phonographic
lore and record criticism. Among his very
many distinctions in the field is the fact
that he put together the original (19361
Gramophone
I) Adaptability to all classes of program material.
41
SPEAKERS
Good Listening, by R. D. Darrell. 207
pages. Index. Cloth. Alfred A. Knopf,
New York, 1953. $2.75.
Good engineering is an essential requirement in the design of all good
3)
WITH
full of many parallel "might have beens"
and I, for one, do wonder what might have
come of some of them.
Mr. Biancolli has culled his anecdotes
from about 5o books and magazines. It is
not, as its title might suggest, another collection of opera libretto synopses (thank
W. B. S.
heaven). It is a lot of fun.
HERE'S THE
2) Extreme
MUSIC COMES ALIVE
Continued from page 146
tions, dealing respectively with how to be
a record -listener, how music has developed
and changed through Western history, and
the types of music that have come down to
us as our heritage. All this is handled conversationally, with a rare combination of
encyclopedic knowledge and warm, uncondescending interest in beginners' desires and problems. Throughout, Darrell
illustrates his story with names of musical
compositions. At the end, there is a 30 -page
discography, listing one LP record of each
work mentioned.
Thus, though not all the disks he has
chosen may remain "best's" for many
months, the text still will stand up. Furthermore, most of the record -selections will,
too. Darrell was trained as a musician, but
he wrote the book with records in mind.
Accordingly, when he mentions a musical
work as an ideal example of a certain age,
or style, or philosophical approach, the
reader does not subsequently discover that
there exists no good recording of it.
He is a terrific salesman, too. Even a
well- equipped record collector, after following his fascinating discourse for an hour or
two, will find himself gripped by an avid
desire to go broke.
T. M. C
Sound Recording and Reproduction, by
J. W. Godfrey and S. W. Amos. 271
pages. 53/4 x 8% inches. Illustrated.
Index. Wireless World, Iliffe and Sons,
Ltd., London, 1953. $6.50.
This book has been written primarily as an
instruction manual for the use of the engineering staff of the BBC, but it will be of value
to all interested in the techniques of sound
recording.
In this work, the principles of electrical
recording and reproduction are first set out
clearly and fully. Disk recording is then
discussed, with a detailed description of the
Y.
Continued on page 15o
-JANUARY- FEBRUARY, 1954
LP-215
-
LORENZ
'WOOFER'
LOUDSPEAKER
Made expressly for Kingdom Products by LORENZ,
leading European Audio Manufacturer. A truly magnificent speaker and a worthy complement to the
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Features a heavy rigid frame, thick felt flange
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resonances. Response: 40
13,500 Cycles. Power:
watts. Impedance: 4 ohms. Size 81 ". Its faithful reproduction is as amazing as Its exciting low
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$22.50
LORENZ TWEETER
Here is the tweeter to
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Net
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HP -1 KINGDOM
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Used with the LORENZ
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Illustrated Is the popular KINGDOM CABINET. Small, Smart,
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Complete Kingdom Sound Combination. Cabinet with speaker
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www.americanradiohistory.com
49
BOOKS
"TAB"
THATS BUY
Continued from page 149
A
FISHER HIGH FIDELITY AUDIO
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DIAMONDS AN "LP'S" BEST FRIEND
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TA B
111
volved plots, main, sub and counter, and
the many cases of mistaken identity with
which Gilbert filled the libretti he wrote
for all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, have
been unscrambled and turned into story
form by Miss Davidson with considerable
adroitness. Unfortunately, she seldom achieves the Gilbertian wit, but unfolds each
tale in a bright and informative manner,
with only the occasional use of a couplet
from one of the songs to point up a character or shed light on a situation. However,
new admirers of the celebrated operas will
find these stories a most enjoyable way of
becoming better acquainted with them.
Two short, but interesting, biographies of
the famous colaborators have been provided,
and of additional interest, particularly to old
timers, are the complete original casts of
all the operas. A separate index is devoted
to the first line of every song in each opera
a challenging list to those who pride themselves on their knowledge of Gilbert's lyrics,
and one that should provide the basis for an
amusing game among the true Savoy
afficionados. The illustrations, while good,
are all too few
none, for instance, of George
Grossmith, Rutland Barrington or Bertha
Lewis, all artists who established their reputations by their outstanding performances
in these operas.
J. F. INOcox
-
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Dept. H -F
In this book the ramifications of the in.
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OUR HI -FI PACKAGE
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Stories From Gilbert and Sullivan, by
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BBC and American Presto equipment now
in operation in British broadcasting services.
followed by chapters on the reproduction of
disks. The principles of magnetic recordings
are next explained, with descriptions of the
Marconi -Stille, Magnetophon and EMI
magnetic systems which have been used at
different times by the BBC. The book deals
also with recording on film, and describes
the Philips -Miller film equipment as used
by the Corporation. There are a number of
appendices containing a generous amount
of reference information not readily available elsewhere, and a wealth of photographs
and diagrams, including many useful graphs.
Ph.
Rector 2 -6245
Why Not Get Rid of Your
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For a $4.60 item In TM one reader received
five offers to by a $150 piece of equipment.
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
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141
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130
120
22
113
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151
146
86
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85
104
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112
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127
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79
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139
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Radio Engineering Laboratories
10
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Radio Parts Co.
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122
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116
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109
Regency
8, 134
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105
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Inside Back Cover
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JANUARY -FEBRUARY, ¡954
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DISTORTION:
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Klipsch REBEL IV
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A Klipsch Corner Horn Enclosure
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& H WOOD PRODUCTS CO.
75 NORTH
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Pioneers in radio furniture for high fidelity equipment
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The ever increasing use of wide range equipment for broadcast service has reached the point where the major limiting factor
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K. WO.
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g
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Q
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LS-le
i
----
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Type
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LS -15X
Ls-ils
g "
Low
50,125/150,
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500 /600 ohms
As above
50,000 ohms
120,000 ohm;
overall. in two
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50,125/150,
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As above
Three isolated lines or 30, 50. 200.
pads to one or two grids 250 ohms
each primary
Mast
LS-1
Length
Width
Height
341t"
24b"
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Relative* Unbal. DC
in prim'y
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LS-2
List
Case
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Price
.5 MA
LS-1
$25.00
.5 MA
+10
DB
-74
20-20,000
20- 20,000
+10
+10
DB
DB
-92 DB-Q
-74 DB
.5 MA
LS-1
LS-1
35.00
25.00
20.20,000
+10
DB
-92
DB-0
.5 MA
LS-1
35.00
20-20,000
+10
DB
-92
DB-0
.5 MA
LS-1
37.00
in prim'y
Case
No.
List
Price
DB
..----
INTERSTAGE AND MATCHING TRANSFORMERS
,.[at.C.
CS,xf K.
PECAN»
Type
No.
LS-él
LS -15
»
Application
impedance mike.
pickup, or multiple line
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LS 10X As above
mike,
Low impedance
LS-12
pickup, or multiple line
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LS -12X As above
LS -10
± 1 db
Secondary
from
Impedance
60.000 ohms in 20-20,000
two sections
Primary
Impedance
Case Size
to
» ,.
r.cát..-úïs K. eeco.o
., ,.,..
LS-21
LS-25
LS-$2
LS-30
LS-33
Application
Single plate to push pull
grids like 2A3, 6L6. 300A.
Split secondary
Single plate to push pull
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Push pull plates to push
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Split primary and sec.
Mixing, low impedance
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High level line matching
LS-.O
Maat
Secondary
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Primary
Impedance
15,000 ohms
Response
± 1 db
95,000 ohms;
1.25:1 each side 20- 20,000
135,000 ohms;
15,000 ohms
3:1 overall
±
1
db
20.20,000
Relative Unbal. DC
Level
hum
+12
DB
-50
DB
0 MA
LS-1
$26.00
+10
DB
-74
DB
0 MA
± 1 db
50,000 ohms;
turn ratio
20- 20,000 +15 DB
1.3:1 overall
50,125,/150,200, ± 1 db
50,125/150.
200, 250, 333, 250, 333.
20-20.000 +15 DB
500/600 ohms
ohms
500/600
± .2 db
125,
200,
7.5
50,
1.2, 2.5. 5,
10, 15, 20, 30, 50 250, 333,
20- 20.000 15 watts
500/600 ohms
125, 200. 250,
30,000 ohms
plate to plate
LS -1
26.00
-74 DB
1
MA
LS -1
32.00
-74
.5 MA
LS-1
26.00
LS-2
30.00
Case
No.
Price
LS I
$26.00
LS 2
35.00
LS 2
35.00
LS-2
25.00
IS-1
27.00
DB
333.500/600
,.auOC. c<.L:
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OUTPUT TRANSFORMERS
Type
IN
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Secondary
Impedance
Primary
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15,000 ohms
Maat
Response
±
Level
50, 125/150,
1 db
200, 250, 333,
20. 20,000 +15 DB
500 /600
500, 333, 250,
.2 db
Push pull 245. 250, 6V6 8,000 ohms
LS -52
200, 125, 50. 30, 25.20,000 15 watts
or 245 A prime
20, 15. 10, 7.5,
5. 2.5, 1.2
500, 333. 250,
Push pull 2A3's, 6A5G's, 5,000 ohms
.2 db
LS-55
200, 125, 50, 30, 25. 20,000 20 watts
6A3's,
plate
to
275A's.
300A's,
plate
and 3,000 ohms 20, 15, 10, 7.5,
6L6's, 6AS7G
plate to plate
5, 2.5. 12
± .2 db
30, 20, 15, 10,
LI-63 Push pull 6F6. class B 10,000 ohms
7.5, 5, 2.5, 1.2
25-20,000 15 watts
46's,
6AS7G,
807 -TR, plate to plate
and 6,000 ohms
1614 -TR
plate to plate
50, 125/150,
1 db
LS-151 Bridging from 50 to 500 16,000 ohms.
onm line to line
200, 250, 333,
15-30,000 +18 DB
bridging
LS-50
«
Relative' Unbal. DC
hum
in prim'y
-74
DB
List
±
LS-5p
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1
+
Application
Single plate to multiple
line
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The values of unbalanced DC shown will effect approximately 1.5 DB loss at 30 cycles.
Comparison of hum balanced unit with shielding to normal uncased type. 0 Multiple alloy magnetic shield.
1 6 MW as 0DB reference.
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LS-Ißl
Pp,
90
0
r.cac.c. c.c.ii KAácao
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ONLY audio units with a GUARANTEED uniform
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CABLES:
"ARIAS"
1111111011111%
STUDY IN HIGH FIDELITY
... in words and music
Executed hei CAPITOL RECORDS
IN FULL DIMENSIONAL SOUND
Notes by CHARLES FOWLER, EDITOR
OF HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE
How often have you wished you could find, on one record, performances by leading artists
which would reveal every possible tonal facet of your high fidelity system?
At last your wish can come true! Capitol's new album, A STUDY IN HIGH FIDELITY, contains
twelve numbers and excerpts and two demonstration tracks, selected from its library
of Full Dimensional Sound and other recordings. These were chosen specifically for their tonal
variations to display the full aural scope of high fidelity recording and reproduction.
A STUDY IN HIGH FIDELITY is not only a demonstration record.
It offers the ultimate pleasure which comes from superb music, sensitively performed,
meticulously recorded for faultless reproduction.
WHAT THIS ALBUM CONTAINS
Here is a thrilling listening experience. The two percussion tracks
include 23 different instruments, played by Hal Rees, chief percussionist for Twentieth Century-Fox. Excerpts from such widely varying
compositions as Bloch's Concerto Grosso, Copland's Rodeo,
Glazounov's The Seasons, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto in C Minor,
Tchaikovsky's Quartet No. 1, and Villa- Lobos' Nonetto, comprise the
six claLes
Les Paul, une Hutton, and the orchestras of Les Baxter, Ray
Anthony, Stan Kenton, Axel Stordahl and Dick Stabile represent the
popular field, with everything from Latin rhythms to hard-driving
brass, multiple guitar, rich bass sax, and vocal performances.
With the accompanying comprehensive text by Charles Fowler,
Editor of High Fidelity Magazine, A STUDY IN HIGH FIDELITY is indeed
an exciting experience in sound for music lovers and hi -fi enthusiasts.
Full Dimensional Sound
R
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- "A Study in High Fidelity " -is now available at your record dealer.
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