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Gramophone Magazine

Gramophone Magazine May 2020

Gramophone enriches your classical music experience and connects you with great recordings. Packed with features across all classical music genres, our globally acclaimed writers will inform and entertain you with independent and intelligent editorial and more than 150 reviews in every issue. Our reputation is founded on our acclaimed critical analyses of the latest CD releases, in-depth features and interviews with classical stars, and our comprehensive coverage of recorded and live music. Please Note: This price excludes VAT which will be added when you checkout.

United Kingdom
Mark Allen Business & Leisure
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3 Min.
concert halls are closed, but the music plays on

Amonth is a long time. When I last wrote this column it was to note that some halls, in some countries, had been forced to close due to the spreading coronavirus – to send my sympathies to those affected, and to hope that things may make a swift return to normality. A few weeks on, and the world is a very different place. It’s from home that I’m putting the finishing touches to this edition of the magazine, produced remotely by Gramophone’s brilliant team. Rest assured that we’ll continue to get each issue to you, and even if the challenges facing distribution networks means we’re sometimes a little later than usual to reach your doormat (digital subscriptions are of course entirely unaffected!), do bear with us. But there are now…

2 Min.
this month’s contributors

‘Stephen Hough: a great pianist, a dream interviewee, a trip to Helsinki to see him perform five Beethoven piano concertos over two evenings … I’ve definitely had worse assignments,’ says JEREMY NICHOLAS. ‘And with Hough, you can always expect the unexpected.’ ‘The music of Thomas Adès gets right under the skin of an audience,’ says PETER QUANTRILL, who interviews the composer-conductor. ‘I had a jolt of recognition when meeting the man himself, such is the connection between him and his music … not dissimilar to that between dogs and their owners.’ ‘Jamie Barton is just as sassy and as fun as she looks,’ says DAVID PATRICK STEARNS, who interviews the mezzo-soprano. ‘But what impressed me more was her seriousness as an artist. She’s a guardian of tradition in song and opera, but…

2 Min.
gramophone editor's choice

ADÈS Piano Concerto. Totentanz Kirill Gerstein pf Boston Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Adès DG Kirill Gerstein excels in Adès’s wonderful Piano Concerto; this is followed by a truly impressive account of the composer’s Totentanz, Adès conducting throughout. REVIEW ON PAGE 36 KORNGOLD Violin Concerto. Sextet Andrew Haveron vn RTÉ Concert Orchestra / John Wilson Chandos This beautifully personal performance of the Korngold Concerto is tender, touching, sweet-toned and full of humanity. Bravo to both Andrew Haveron and John Wilson. REVIEW ON PAGE 40 MAW Spring Music. Solo Violin Sonata Harriet Mackenzie vn BBC National Orchestra of Wales / William Boughton Lyrita Three works from British composer Nicholas Maw, from bursts of orchestral spring to exquisitely played solo violin. REVIEW ON PAGE 41 RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Symphony No 3 Behzod Abduraimov pf Lucerne Symphony Orch /…

5 Min.
for the record

Krzysztof Penderecki, one of Poland’s greatest composers and a leading figure in contemporary music, has died at the age of 86. He was born in Debica in the south-east of the country, and studied in Kraków where he graduated from the Academy of Music. He continued there as a professor as his composing career took off. Early acclaim came with his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (1960) and his large-scale St Luke Passion (1963-66). During the 1960s, he won numerous composition prizes, including the Sibelius Gold Medal (1967), the Prix Italia (1968 – for Dies irae) and the Award from the Polish Composers’ Association (1970). The year of 1973 saw his career extending to the United States with the start of a professorship at Yale University which ran until 1978. During…

1 Min.
one to watch

Dmitry Shishkin Piano Dmitry Shishkin first came to the attention of many observers when he won the second prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition last year. He had already won the Geneva International Music Competition in 2018, and reached the final of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, but his recent performances in Moscow suggested that he was ready for a career beyond the competition circuit. A sample of Shishkin’s performances at these competitions, which are available online, reveals his primary strengths. Blessed with enormous hands and long, slender fingers, he encompasses works that are the graveyard of many practice rooms – Liszt’s La campanella and Chopin’s C major Étude, Op 10 No 1, for example – with apparent ease, while his Warsaw performance of Chopin’s Op 10 No 2 reveals a…

1 Min.
gramophone online

The magazine is just the beginning. Visit gramophone.co.uk for … Podcasts Our popular series of podcasts continues with two revealing interviews. In the first, James Jolly speaks to violinist Jack Liebeck about his new album of the Brahms and Schoenberg violin concertos on Orchid Classics with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andrew Gourlay. There are, he says, some clear connections between these two seemingly opposed works. In the second, we speak to the soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan about the typically wide-ranging programme for her new album, ‘La Passione’, on Alpha Classics. From Luigi Nono’s Djamila Boupacha for solo soprano to Gérard Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, Hannigan reveals how she pieced the album together. There are now more than 230 episodes of the Gramophone podcast available for you to…