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Music: September Records

2 minute read

Some phonograph records are musical events. Each month TIME notes the noteworthy.


Stravinsky: Petrouchka (Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting; Victor: 8 sides). Stravinsky’s 28-year-old epic about the lovelorn clown, still tops in modern ballet scores, gets its first complete (and a brilliant) recording.

Wagner: Die Walkure, Act 2 (Berlin State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, Bruno Seidler-Winkler and Bruno Walter conducting, with Lotte Lehmann, Marta Fuchs, Margaret Klose, Lauritz Melchoir and Hans Hotter; Victor: 20 sides). Austria’s Anschluss in 1938 interrupted a magnificent recording of Die Walküre in the middle of the second act. Already completed were Sieglinde’s scenes, sung by anti-Nazi Lotte Lehmann, conducted by Jew Walter. After Anschluss the rest of the act was filled out by a 100% Nazi cast. Despite this patchwork, the result is good enough to make a Wagnerphile’s ears burn. When the recording was issued in Germany this summer, German Wagnerphiles’ ears burned in vain for the parts recorded in pre-Anschluss Austria. They found they had to take their Walküre without their Sieglinde. Luckier U. S. Wagnerphiles, listening to the complete version, will find Sieglinde’s warbling to be a cut above the record’s remaining average.

MacDowell: Suite No. 2 (“Indian”) (Columbia Broadcasting Symphony, Howard Barlow conducting; Columbia: 8 sides). Though he died in 1908, frail, mad, Manhattan-born Edward Alexander MacDowell still holds his title as No. 1 U. S. composer. His poetic “Indian Suite,” regarded by some as his masterpiece, avoids tom-tomfoolery, sounds strangely like Sibelius. Brilliantly performed and recorded.

Mozart: Quartet in G Major, K. 387 (Roth Quartet; Columbia: 6 sides). One of Mozart’s finest, given a carefully-tooled performance at Columbia’s Manhattan studio.


Album of the month: Western songs (Decca), sung as straight as a Texas fence line by the three able Ranch Boys.

Hot vocal of the month: Ella Fitzgerald’s Stairway to the Stars (Decca).

Foxtrot of the month: Glenn Miller’s Baby Me (Bluebird).

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