On this day in 1928 the following advertisement appeared in the Daily Express:
COLUMBIA are privileged to announce the Exclusive Official Records of the Test Pieces in the National Piano Playing Contests organised by the Daily Express. The Contests are based entirely upon these ten Test Pieces, and these gramophone records have been specially designed to assist competitors in each of the four grades in their studies. Not only are the Test Pieces played with the consummate skill and artistry of Mr. William Murdoch—in itself a vital help—but-the distinguished pianist, in explanatory talks included on the records, gives valuable and practical hints and details of the technique required in playing them. Thus the hearer has a performance of each Test Piece played by a master pianist as a guide, and, in addition, an oral description of the work by the same interpreter. Too much stress cannot be laid upon the value of these Columbia records to competitors, since it is a well-known fact that repetition by gramophone records is by far the easiest way to familiarise oneself with music in all its detail and technique.
Murdoch, who was already well known for his Ireland interpretations, and indeed for his connections with Columbia, on these records included the third movement from Ireland’s Sonatina. This Rondo was selected for inclusion in the most demanding Category A, for students aged 18 and over, alongside pieces by York Bowen and George Dyson.
Source: Daily Express, 10 July 1928, p. 2.