Features

Pahud: top-notch teacher as well as player
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Learning from a pro

I have a flute lesson with Emmanuel Pahud every week. Really. It’s not that expensive. And even if he’s in the middle of touring, he’ll take a break to visit me at home. I’ve relearnt Schubert’s Trockne Blumen with him (my recital piece at music college), and he’s encouraged me to dust down my Marcel Moyse De la Sonorité to practise breathing techniques. He’s also helped me improve my intonation and tone down my vibrato, and made me look at tonguing in a whole new way (less attack, more air!).

Camilla Nyland as Rusalka at the ROH (photo: Clive Barda)
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Rusalka’s chequered history

When wild cheers turn to boos in the space of five seconds, you know an impression has been made. And perhaps we should expect nothing less of Rusalka ’s much-delayed Royal Opera House debut, which provoked such mixed reactions at its first night last week. I had some sympathy with the booers. The directors Sergio Morabito and Jossi Wieler have thrown just about everything at the fairy-tale opera including a neon crucifix, a disembowelled sheep and an oversized black cat who has his wicked way with the title water nymph.

Karol Szymanowski as a young man (Photo: Tully Potter Collection
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Celebrating Szymanowski (1882-1937): 75 years on

I cannot talk objectively about Szymanowski, for you cannot expect objectivity or reasonability from someone in love. And reasonability is out of place when this music is concerned…Szymanowski is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. Sir Simon Rattle

Gramophone Hall of Fame logo
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The Gramophone Hall of Fame

As Gramophone approaches its 90th birthday in April 2013, we’re launching the Gramophone Hall of Fame . Every year we will add to the list to celebrate the men and women who have made the classical music industry what it is; the musicians, producers, engineers and executives whose talent, vision and genius have enriched the record catalogue since the first sounds were captured on wax in the last decade of the 19th century.

Wilhelm Furtwängler recorded the Ring cycle in Rome in 1953 (Photo: EMI Archive
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Remembering Wilhelm Furtwängler

In March 1952 Dr Furtwängler was conducting at the Teatro alla Scala and I went to Milan to meet him with the intention of negotiating a renewal of his exclusive recording contract with EMI and, should my negotiations be successful, to select with his approval the repertoire which would be recorded during the extension of the contract.

Jeremy Nicholas: 78s span 7 decades of recorded history…and a lot of storage
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Shelving the shellac

In the early 1960s when I was about 13, an optician friend of my parents named Peter Leach gave me his entire collection of 78rpm discs. It was a whole library of great and not-so-great classical works in recordings that reflected the listening tastes of a connoisseur. He must, I am sure, have subscribed to The Gramophone .

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