We all love lists, and we all love sharing our musical passions with our friends. Each week we'll respond to topical events, or to important anniversaries, with at least one new list – but we'll also try to be a little serendipitous and come up with some Top Tens that will open your ears to some great new music. And under each list we invite you to suggest recordings of your own to add to our reccomendations. Here are our tens (newest from the top).
I’ve just been re-reading Amiscellany , the punningly-titled memoir by the broadcaster, administrator and critic John Amis which was published in 1985. I know John a little – one of life’s enhancers, he will celebrate his 90th birthday next year – and it has been rewarding revisiting his multi-layered, meandering career. He seems to have known and befriended every important figure in the classical music world from the early ‘40s onwards.
To mark the European launch on Septemeber 1 of the highly-respected and much-visited US website Arkivmusic, Gramophone is teaming up with Arkivmusic.eu to offer its readers a discount on all CDs and DVDs. And to make your choice even easier, we're giving you a preview of The Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2012 's guide to the essential recordings in up-to-date recommendations. Simply register and you will receive a 10 per cent discount on your first purchases from Arkivmusic.eu.
In the October issue of Gramophone , Philip Clark interviews Riccardo Chailly about the Beethoven symphonies to coincide with the Italian maestro's first recorded cycle, for Decca; here Philip explores how Beethoven has freed, intimidated, or simply infuriated, composers who followed...
Anniversaries are increasingly the very stuff of contemporary artistic programming. As we reel from the double Mahler anniversary – the 150th anniversary of his birth with the centenary of his death hot on its heels – an anniversary of far greater political significance looms on the horizon. It is a cliché to say it, but September 11, 2001, changed the world. None of what has happened since should detract from our ability to reflect upon the brutality and inhumanity inherent in what occurred on 9/11, nor upon our own recollections of the shock of the day itself.
When revered and very old musicians die there’s always a sense of severance, of losing contact with the past. And when Gian Carlo Menotti died in 2007 at the age of 95 it was acute, because Menotti was a one-man ancien regime : the last of a breed of composers who carried on writing operas and ballets in the old romantic tradition – heart on sleeve, emotional, and for all the world as though the age of Verdi and Puccini still existed.
This week marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Karl Böhm. We looked through the Gramophone archive and found this interview with the legendary Austrian conductor from 1972 when the music critic Alan Blyth sought out Böhm in Salzburg. The result was a stunning insight into one of classical music's finest minds as Böhm looked back on his career, reminiscing on his friendship with Richard Strauss, his studies under Bruno Walter and performing Wozzeck in the presence of the composer.