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Gramophone Magazine

Gramophone Magazine September 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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8 Min.
gramophone souns of america

Daugherty This Land Sings Annika Socolofsky sop John Daugherty bar Dogs of Desire / David Alan Miller Naxos American Classics B 8 559889 (67’ • DDD • T) The premiere recording of Michael Daugherty’s tribute to Woody Guthrie recalls populist chords in American history when homeless citizens rode the rails, labour unions arose from flames and hobos became troubadours. Ironically in light of recent events, This Land Sings was commissioned as a message of hope and premiered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Listening to the 17 tracks without narration may lessen its theatrical impact but allows for deeper reflection on just how tied to the current struggle for the nation’s soul are the issues that consumed Guthrie. The quality of the music, the edgy virtuoso performance by the Albany Symphony’s new music ensemble Dogs of…

3 Min.
will today’s solutions prove of lasting value?

If the last few weeks have felt like an emotional roller coaster of optimism and dashed hopes for us audience members, imagine how it must feel for artists. It’s clear in hearing from them that two different but related needs are bound together: the desire to communicate with fellow musicians and audiences in a shared space, and the need to earn money. Situations and support are different in different countries (as, indeed, at the time of writing, are concerns of a resurgence of the virus), but music-making is truly global, and no one operates in isolation. The internet has only enhanced that, and in positive ways. This past month we held a 10-day online festival in which each of the nominees for our Orchestra of the Year Award presented a concert…

2 Min.
this month’s contributors

‘Simon Rattle and I first met at the interview of Porgy and Bess at Glyndebourne, and we became friends,’ reflects our guest writer SIMON CALLOW. ‘Our recent interview was ostensibly to talk about his new recording of Cunning Little Vixen but predictably it turned into a discussion of art in a time of plague.’ ‘It was a great pleasure to meet Luís Toscano and to hear the Cupertinos live at Cadogan Hall last February,’ says EDWARD BREEN, author of this month’s feature on the vocal ensemble. ‘Their charismatic performances inspired me to embark on a lockdown listening odyssey of Portuguese polyphony.’ ‘I have vivid memories of hearing Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony when the first commercial recording was broadcast,’ recalls RICHARD WHITEHOUSE , author of our Collection. ‘Forward 41 years and what was regarded…

3 Min.
gramophone editor's choice

RECORDING OF THEMONTH MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde Dame Sarah Connolly mez Robert Dean Smith bar Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski Pentatone EDWARD SECKERSON’S REVIEW IS ON PAGE 30 At its finest – as it is here – Das Lied von der Erde is a work of profound poignancy; two superb soloists, and a conductor who beautifully shapes this performance, make it an unmissable release. MAHLER Symphony No 7 Minnesota Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä BIS More Mahler this month: a brilliant and detailed traversal of the composer’s Seventh Symphony from Osmo Vänskä which more than warrants a place on this page – a very fine recording. REVIEW ON PAGE 37 JOHAN SMITH Guitar Works Johan Smith gtr Naxos With competition prizes to his credit, Johan Smith (see One to Watch on page 9)…

6 Min.
for the record

The celebrated American pianist Leon Fleisher has died, aged 92. His career embraced making classic recordings with George Szell, then a long period from 1964 when, due to focal dystonia, he played only with the left hand (adding teaching and conducting to his piano-playing) and, finally, in the 1990s a return to two-hand performance. Born in San Francisco, Fleisher started playing the piano aged four and, at nine, studied with Artur Schnabel and later with Maria Curcio. He made his concerto debut aged 16 with the New York Philharmonic and Pierre Monteux. Fleisher won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1952 and then signed to CBS, making a series of recordings with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra which included magisterial accounts of the Beethoven and Brahms concertos; Harold Schonberg, writing in Gramophone…

1 Min.
one to watch

Johan Smith guitar The Naxos Laureate series has long offered us recorded evidence of why competition judges have alighted on a particular artist for recognition. In this case, it’s guitarist Johan Smith under the deserving spotlight. Winner of the 2019 Guitar Foundation of America competition, the Swiss player’s consequent album is – as our reviewer William Yeoman puts it on page 62 – ‘a classic mix of the old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, designed to showcase the guitarist’s technique and musicality’. That it does this so well, however, it what makes it well worth a listen. Works include a thoughtfully shaped and textured Bach Toccata, a reflective journey through Britten’s Nocturnal After John Dowland and some soulful Ponce in the form of Diferencias sobre la folía de España y fuga. Smith’s…