By. Charles G.
The question has once more arisen as to how far a musical work should be interrupted by applause. Does it help matters, for instance, if, after the first movement of a symphony, the audience breaks out into violent clapping? This seems to roe to be largely a matter of taste. Some people feel that music contains too deep a message for expressing their appreciation in this way and prefer to meditate upon it in silence and not to break the thread of concentration. Others, however, are anxious to express at once their debt of gratitude, and this is especially felt in the case of a soloist. It is a fact, 1 thine, that a good round of applause helps the soloist better than a chilly silence, which he is apt to mistake for a polite indiffer ence. None the less, there are works which would be ruined by interruption. Such, for instance, are the Enigma Variations. a concerto for the violin like Mendelssohn's, of which the three movements run without any very perceptible break, and, of course. the movements of some pianoforte sonatas.
Then, again, there is a good deal of indiscriminate clapping in some of our concert halls, every item being received with equal applause, which gives the effect of insincerity.
Finally, since it is not considered de rigurur to " boo " in a concert hall, applause may be almost regarded as automatic, and this discounts to a certain extent its meaning. Still, the trained concert-goer can detect different shades cf enthusiasm, and there is no mistaking English audience or any other audience in the world, when its appreciation has eally beea arouseo.
Sir Hamilton Harty Conducts
At this season it is difficult to keep pace with the output of gramophone records. but mention must be made of the first recordings for the Decca Company made by Sir Hamilton Harty conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. The musical works chosen for this debut have long been associated with the name of Sir Hamilton Harty. They embrace the King Lear Overture of Berlioz, the Marche Troyenne of Berlioz, and five Handel pieces which have been selected and transcribed for a large symphony orchestra by this famous conductor. King Lear is an early work of Berlioz, a spectacular composer in his day. He was, in fact, one of the first to develop the evergrowing resources of the modern orchestra, and although he has been long outstripped by later composers in this respect there is, none the less, an interest and a dynamic force about his style which should not be forgotten.
Lighter English Music
Sir Henry Wood and the Queen's Hall Orchestra have now made a complete record of Eric Coates's London Suite. on the fourth side the March, London Bridge, being recorded (K800/801). It is good to see our English orchestras doing justice at last to the light music of Eric Coates, for, indeed, in its own particular style, it is masterly and has long since found enormous popularity.
Columbia have also produced a record this Christmas of Eric Coates's Cinderella. This is a delightful little tone poem, telling the well-known story and setting it out with attractive themes and clever effects. Note particularly how the fatal stroke of midnight is introduced; only a very skilful composer could have managed such an effect in so musical a fashion. The Meditation, Westminster, in the London Suite is surely one of the loveliest airs that an Englishman has written for some time, and worthy to rank with the bestknown tunes of Eiger in his Pomp and Circumstance marches.
B.B.C. Choral Society
The B.B.C. Choral Society, conducted by Leslie Woodgate, with Berkeley Mason at the organ, have produced some seasonable records from Handel and Mendelsohn, excerpts from the Messiah and St. Paul (K805/806 Decea). These records were made in St. Luke's church, Chelsea, and do credit to all concerned in their production.
Poetry Of The eiano
On Monday, December 9, Renate Borgatti, at her last pianoforte recital, finished her task of playing the complete pianoforte works or Claude Debussy. This artist has handled the work of Debussy with consummate skill, and has brought out the subtle use of colour and the rare sense of fantasy which are the essential qualities of Debussy's genius. He has really had no imitators. He worked most successfully along one of the last phases of the romantic development, and when he laid down his pen nothing more could be achieved in that particular field. Below the surface of what seems to be an improvisation a sensitive ear will recognise a perfect mastery of form and expression. He is one of the few musicians who have made the whole world realise the poetry that lies hidden in the soul of the piano.
The following paragraph from a circular of the Ministry of Labour was quoted at