The New Guide to Recorded Music

The New Guide to Recorded Music

The New Guide to Recorded Music

The New Guide to Recorded Music

Excerpt

It was a temptation to describe this "third inversion" of A Guide to Recorded Music as Complete, implying a volume which did not, as its two predecessors did, exclude records not admitted to American catalogues. The second thought was that it could not in any case be "complete" in the dictionary meaning of "entire, perfect," for there are even now scores of recordings I know about which will be on sale by the time this volume is published but are not now available for audition. But in that peculiar sense that the record buyer understands "complete" (meaning an opera recording, for example, from which only a little, or maybe quite a bit, or even a lot, has been omitted), it might qualify. Discretion, and the third thought, argued against it, however.

"Complete" it may not be, but International it is. In a similar preface to the edition of 1946, there was this statement: "It is quite possible that, if the concentration by American manufacturers on domestic talent continues, an international edition1 of this manual will be in order fairly soon. Certainly there is considerably more justification for it under present circumstances than there was in the late thirties, when the reissue of virtually all important products of companies affiliated with the American ones was a mere matter of business routine."

That concentration has continued with somewhat less intensity than during the war years, but it is still so much a matter of basic policy that the literature of "foreign recordings" now contains hundreds of works in versions superior to those of domestic access. Furthermore, the creation of the FFRR standard (once more, Full Frequency Range Recording) has impressed a wide segment of the American public with a quality product for which they are not unwilling to pay premium prices. Both HMV and English Columbia have expended their best efforts to keep abreast of their local competition, and the termination of the 1948 Petrillo ban has given American producers nine months in which to prove that they, too, are revising their thinking. Some infant offspring of that appropriate time span have recently appeared, and they are altogether promising.

It is a further fact that the concentration of American makers on their "exclusive" artists has resulted in excisions and deletions infinitely superior in artistic validity, and not at all obsolete in technical fidelity, to their purported "replace- . . .

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