Record Reviews


Bach: Cantata No. 86,Ich Bin Vernügt.and No. 106,Actus Tragicus (Magda Laszlo, soprano: Hilde Majdan, alto: Alfred Poell, bass; Hermann Scherchen conducting Vienna State Opera Orchestra: Westminster: 12″ LP), More of Scherchen’s sensitive, superbly executed, handsomely recorded cantata series. Listen also to Westminster’s No. 198, Trauer-Ode, same personnel.

Beethoven: Songs (Alfred Poell, bass; Victor Graef, piano; Westminster: 12″ LP). No one is likely to sing these better than this gently virile Austrian medico. You may as well buy them.

Boccherini: Concerto in B Major with Haydn: Concerto in D Major (Antonio Janigro, cello; Felix Prohaska conducting Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Westminster: 12″ LP). Averaging musical and acoustic values, the best available—and the coupling makes it a very good buy.

Carpenter, John Alden:Adventures in a Perambulator, with McBride-Copland-Still: Contemporary American Violin Music (Louis and Annette Kaufman, violin and piano; Henry Swoboda conducting Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Concert Hall: 12″ LP). The pram piece is vivid but a little dated; the fiddle trifles are grand.

Dittersdorf: Symphony in A Major, with Prince Louis Ferdinand Hohenzollern: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra (Otto Graef, piano; Erich Kloss conducting Frankenland State Symphony; Lyrichord; 12″ LP). Musically inconsequential, if pleasant, this is a high-fidelity collector’s item. Terrific reproduction.

George London Recital (George London, bass-baritone; Jean Morel and Kurt Adler conducting Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Columbia: 12″ LP). The advance publicity was all true: this is one of the world’s great dramatic voices, here used with electrifying effect on Russian and French operatic arias.

MacDowell: Concerto No. 2 in D Minor; Six Woodland Sketches

(Alexander Jenner, piano; Henry Swoboda conducting Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Arthur Balsam, piano; Concert Hall: 12″ LP). Long awaited and well worth it. especially Balsam’s job on the Sketches.

Ravel: Complete Piano Works (Robert Casadesus, assisted intermittently by Gaby Casadesus, piano; Columbia: three separate 12″ LPs). Heart-stopping music by one of all time’s dozen greatest composers, played by his close friend and best interpreter, faultlessly recorded.

Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Major; Deutsche Tänze (Rudolf Moralt conducting Vienna Symphony; Vox: 12″ LP). Good recording makes this solid version the best available.

Schubert: Symphonies No. 8, “Unfinished,” and No. 2 (William Steinberg conducting Pittsburgh Symphony; Capitol: 12″ LP). Lovely, lively performances with gorgeous “FDS" reproduction. In case anyone still lacks an “ Unfinished,” the No. 2 makes this one an unbeatable bargain.

Guitar Recital (Vicente Gomez, guitar: Decca: 12″ LP). A phenomenally good reprint; thrilling sounds.