Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 10. 1964.
• An Operetta long neglected and always underrated; an operetta on a par with Offenbach and Strauss; an operetta in which some of the loveliest music ever, is to be found. This is Plotow's Martha, a new recording of excerpts of which has just been issued by HMV (MCLP 1679), My last experience of this music was that bright production of Opera-Technique some six years ago; and my opinion now as then, is one of complete favourability. It is a superb performance; the casting (Anneliese Rothenberger, Fritz Wunderlich. Gottlob Frick) exemplary; the production and recording, a delight. Notice (1) the clarity of diction and forwardness of the soloists, (2) the briskness in the conducting, and (3) the absence of bands, lending an unexcerptish flavour to the performance. Of its kind, quite the most outstanding release in months.
• A Group having sold a million dollars worth of records can lay some claim to popularity. Such is the case with Peter, Paul and Mary who have just completed a most successful tour of New Zealand (they were at Victoria some Sundays ago). In The Wind—Warner Bros. WB 1507 mono—is the latest compilation of folk and other songs, sung in their inimitable manner, but with perhaps too little native honesty? If you pick up this disc don't be deterred by the pretentious, culture-loaded sleeve note.
• A Record may, in part due to its cheap price, in part to the amount of material crammed on have an initial advantage over another, more expensive, less fulsome disc. Such is the case with World Record's (TZ 225 mono and stereo) issue of Steinberg conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4; Wolf's Italian Serenade; Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien. Steinberg observes the repeat in I and takes the symphony at a spanking clip. The same cannot be said for the Serenade or the Capriccio, which both seem to roll along "open road, open sky." There is noticeable pre-echo but compensated for by a spacious stereo sound.
• The Above comments regarding cheap-label and music-value apply also to the same company's disc of Handel's Royal Fireworks Music (TZ 226 mono and stereo) played by the Jean-Francois Paillard Chamber Orchestra. This recording is unavailable to the general record-procuring public, coming from a French catalogue. A magnificent performance giving a true symphonic brass band effect; though the instruments have been reduced in ratio by a third. There are sensible couplings: the Double Concerto No. 27 and the Oboe Concerto No. 10. Hot Dog! These are really startling renditions: the very embodiment of pomp and peerlessness.