It is only the perfecting of electrical recording during the last three years... that has given us piano reproduction... that could hardly be bettered.
Calling 1930's recording methods "perfect" is quite a strong statement. Was Sergei that easily satisfied with the audio quality of his recordings? Or is this just an indication that was he impressed with the rate of technological improvement?
Through the medium of the gramophone we can now offer the public performances closely similar to those we give on the concert platform... If once, twice or three times I do not play as well as I can, it is possible to record and re-record, to destroy and remake until, at last, I am content with the result.
I don't understand Sergei's logic here. He seems to state that the concert platform is the touchstone of musical performance. However, he also states that he is never satisfied with his initial performance and must re-play before being happy with himself. So, wouldn't the concert platform suffer from the same flaw as radio broadcasts? Both would contain mistakes that can't be fixed.
Yet today, when we have first-class recording, business is worse than it has ever been. For this, I can only think that the universal craze for radio is to blame.
Let us also consider the rather depressed macro-economic conditions in the early 1930's. And I'm glad you don't have to see the "craze" for television in our modern times!
But to listen-in in great cities like London or New York when one could actually be present in a concert hall â€“ to me that would seem sacrilege. Radio is a very great invention, but not, I think, for art.
Hasn't the cost of the concert hall always been a concern? I can listen to the radio for free. I can even buy several CDs for the cost of one concert ticket.
Think what it would have meant to us to-day could we possess records made by Liszt, the greatest pianist who has ever lived. Yet we can only dimly imagine what his playing must have been.
I think a lot of us would like to have this hypothetical recording. Interesting that Sergei firmly states Liszt is the greatest pianist of all time, while at the same time stating that he only has a dim idea of his playing...
To make records with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra is as thrilling an experience as any artist could desire. Unquestionably, they are the finest orchestral combination in the world.
I'm not so sure the Europeans would take kindly to this statement. Outdone by the Yankees?
It is very rarely that an artist, whether as soloist or composer, is gratified by hearing his work accompanied and interpreted with so much sympathetic co-operation, such perfection of detail and balance between piano and orchestra.
Think how satisfying it must be to hear 110 people playing your