New-look Gramophone Magazine

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New-look Gramophone Magazine

Ok. Here we go. I really like the new look of Gramophone magazine. As
far as the review pages go though, you really need to list the finest
comparable available recordings to each review rather than a selective
one or two which seems to happen nowadays. For goodness sakes, if anyone
apart from Gramophone knows what the key recordings are it is a poor
situation. I occasionaly buy Classic FM and BBC Music Magazine but still
prefer Gramophone. Please allow your preferred recordings to be stated
otherwise it diminishes your credilbilty as a market leader in reviewing
classical recording releases.

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

It's a bit early to comment on the "new look". Nothing fundamentally has changed in the content (and I'm actually quite happy about that :) The "trial" is a bit cheesy, but the idea is great (only a better known recording perhaps?). "one to watch" is always interesting, reviews are good so... ehh.. I will buy it next month again!

 

Rolf

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

They say one shouldn't buy a book on the basis of its cover, but in the real world many do - so some initial comments on the cover.  First, I have problems with the 'blocky' title of the magazine.  The fancier and more refined fonts used in previous titles have gone: we have the rather bleak, basic and very 'white' letters of the new version, spread across the very top of the page.  Second, there is the dominant picture of the admittedly very photogenic Ms DiDonato, with the 'headlines' on either side giving a very cluttered appearance to the cover.

Otherwise, I like what lies inside it.  I am glad to see the balance shifting back to reviews: over the years, issues less central to the recording industry  such as articles/notices on festivals, concerts etc, and profiles of performers, have taken up more and more space in the magazine.   

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

So far I am quite happy with the new look.   I must admit I was slightly alarmed by the style of the cover on first opening my copy when it arrived, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the magazine as always and I think the make-over has simply smartened up an already excellent publication.

RE: Home

"I really like the new look of Gramophone magazine. As
far as the review pages go though, you really need to list the finest
comparable available recordings to each review rather than a selective
one or two which seems to happen nowadays."

 

THANK YOU.

I agree wholeheartedly with the above. There are only a handful of reviews (OK, I haven't counted, but definitely a minority) that include "reference recordings" at the head of the review. Some reviewers will refer to a reference recording in the course of a review, which is reasonable, but it seems like most reviews are content to evaluate the recording in question on its own merit alone. This is a reasonable perspective considering how quickly some recordings go out of print, and how "odious" comparisons are. But Gramophone is a magazine dedicated to the evaluation of recordings - for casual listeners, for collectors, and for institutions. To this end, an acknowledgement of the reviewer's preferences would be helpful to gauge their response to the performance being reviewed - to say nothing of acknowledging the fact that consumers are comparing many versions of a piece.

This is not to advocate placing older recordings on a pedestal, nor to undermine the purpose of the Gramophone Good CD Guide. However most reviews, particularly of works that have been reviewed before, are written with a background of previous experience and preferences. Listing these at the head of all reviews where comparison versions are available will definitely increase the credibility of Gramophone among current and potential readers.

On a different note, it was surprising to see the North American section now placed before the table of contents. Clearly North America is peripheral to Gramophone's main intended audience, but this seems like an absurd way to organize the magazine.

The "Trial" concept is clever, though the first round seems a bit contrived. Hopefully it will seem less so as the format becomes more familiar to the writers.

Other than these three criticisms - one of which has nothing to do with the new format per se - I like the new Gramophone so far.

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

The "new look"--it is not "classical" or "classic"---I only hope I can find back issues of the "old look" that I don't own. It just doesn't feel right in the hands.

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

hi

like most "new looks" or "improvements" it is neither - it feels and look slightly tacky - perhaps the next step is reviews of Beethoven's greatest hits style cds

RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

Am I crazy? The new look is disappointing to me. Wasn't the old, glossy look more refined, atmospheric, in a word, elegant? I have generally preferred Gramophone to the BBC magazine, but I do like the latter's cd's better. If the visual aesthetic of Gramophone is gone forever, I will probably switch. No offense!

Roger Baker
RE: New-look Gramophone Magazine

I have just seen the new issue of Gramophone, the volcanic ash cloud prevented me from seeing it earlier, and sadly I have to admit that I won't be buying it, and if it's a sign of things to come, I won't be buying it again.

First of all I find the cover horribly dull and plain, the, by now, useless covermount CD, in now way redeems this. How much time or combined editorial gray matter was expended in its conception?

More importantly however is this nonsense about the 250 greatest recordings of all time. This obsession with lists of superlatives in modern media is something that drives me demented. For one thing it stinks of extremely lazy journalism, are you really that defunct of new ideas? The mania for lists and canons is something I have never understood, and the concept of the best or the greatest is at best vacuous and at worst deeply displeasing with its subtext of superiority. A majority of people can share the same subjective opinions, but that's as far as it goes. When these opinions come from experts in the field, people like me take note, and that's why I have always valued Gramophone, and why I started buying it in the first place because of its sense of gimmick free authority exemplified by its best reviewers.

For me though the latest issue smacks of gimmicry. If this is to attract a new audience, I can fully appreciate the necessity to do so, but when you do this, you must be careful not to alienate the people who buy Gramophone consistently. I can understand that this balancing act is not easy. I used to buy Songlines until the day they fronted their magazine with the utterly innane title of The 20 sexiest world music tracks. Is Gramophone going to start having articles on the 20 sexiest sopranos of all time? I shudder to think.

I fully endorse new ideas, so for what it's worth, how about more writing on the margins of the standard repertoitre. For example about 15 years ago you released two publications called Gramophone Explorations, I found them fascinating and extremely helpful, so how about incorporating these ideas in the main body of the magazine, or why is Gramophone Collection always centred on old works, why can't we have we have something on more recent masterpieces.

Having said this I wish Gramophone all the best, and hope your future is as successful as your past.

 

 

suggestions for modern works in Gramophone Collection

Thanks Martin for the reply, very much appreciated. I fully understand the bind you are in, I don't know how many interpretations Gramophone deems necessary to merit a Collection piece, but I should think 10 would be sufficient.

Before I add some personal suggestions, I apologise beforehand if any of these have previously featured in Gramophone Collection and escaped my memory, or do not possess the requisite discography.

George Crumb : Black Angels

Karlheinz Stockhausen : Gruppen

Morton Feldman : Rothko Chapel

Gyorgy Kurtag : Stele

Pierre Boulez : Le Marteau sans Maitre

Gyorgy Ligeti : Atmospheres, Piano Etudes

Iannis Xenakis ; everything he composed, or various works by Dutilleux or Lutoslawski.  

 

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