Record Reviews


Bartot: Mikrokosmos Suite (arr. by Tibor Serly) and Two Portraits (Franco Autori conducting the New Symphony Orchestra of London; Bartok Records: 12″ LP). Charming and beaulifully recorded, Mikrokosmos is the ideal introduction to this sometimes baffling modern genius.

Gershwin:Porgy and Bess (Complete opera, with Lawrence Winters, Camilla Williams, Inez Matthews, other soloists, chorus and orchestra conducted by Lehman Engel; Columbia: three 12" LPs boxed with libretto). This is while-hot, surely one of the most gripping, heart-squeezing, fascinating things ever put on records, be it called grand opera, folk opera, or musical play. Without reservations, buy il.

Hartmann, Karl Amadeus: Symphony No. 4 (Franz André conducting the INR Symphony of Brussels; Capitol Telefunken: 10" LP). “Peter Grimes rides again ! ” gleefully exclaimed one listener. If you think you’d like Benjamin Britten in Havarian, try this.

Haydn; Symphonies Nos. 43 and 50 (Mogens Wöldike conducting the Danish Slate Radio chamber orchestra; Haydn Society: 12” LP). Wöldike’s here and Haydn Society’s got him. Import-shoppers know what this means; others can find out for $5.95. Perfection is so rarely met with.

Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 3 and Motet:Exsultate, Jubilate and Zaide:“Ruhe sanft” (Richard Bales conducting the National Gallery Orchestra with Mason Jones, horn, and Barbara Troxell, soprano; WCFM: 12″ LP). These were made at last summer’s Charlottesville, Va., Mozart festival, obviously con amore.

Nielsen, Carl: Symphony No. 5 (Erik Tuxen conducting the Danish State Broadcasting Symphony; HMV “plum label" Z-7022-26: five 12” 78s). Nielsen has been called a Scandinavian Rachmaninoff, but he’s more than that, although virtually unknown in America. Recording: superb.

Strauss, Richard:Don Quixote (Bavarian State Orchestra, the composer conducting; Decca-Deutsche Grammophon: 12" LP). Smoothly recorded.

Verdi: La Traviata (Arturo Toscanini, soloists, Robert Shaw Chorale, and NBC Symphony; RCA Yietor: luo 12″ LPs or 13 45s). The maestro unvetoed release of this 1947 transcript after he heard a black-market record of it broadcast in Europe last summer.

Come On-a Stan’ s House (Stan Freeman, harpsichord, with guitar, drums, and bass viol; Columbia: 10" LP or four 10 78s). The jazz pianist is now extinct — this is the instrument for the idiom. Lend an ear to “Scarlatti in the Blue Room.”