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Gramophone Magazine December 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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13 Edities

in deze editie

3 min
from ancient to modern, hail music’s breadth

I find myself writing this on the feast of Saint Cecilia, November 22, just as I prepare to sign off the issue. A Roman martyr from the third century AD, she is of course celebrated today as the patron saint of musicians, an inspirer of verse by the likes of Dryden, Pope and Auden, and of musical tributes, setting such verse, by Purcell, Handel and Britten. The subject of sumptuous paintings from the Renaissance to the pre-Raphaelites, she is generally playing either a string instrument or the organ. Our own Awards logo is based on our striking sculpture of her, today to be found in the former church that houses our offices, in a neo-Gothic niche near where the now lost Willis organ must once have been. And it’s not just…

2 min
this month’s contributors

‘I never need very much encouragement to talk about operetta,’ says the author of this month’s cover feature RICHARD BRATBY. ‘It’s my contention that we’re living through a renaissance of the form. It was a real joy to talk to three champions of this wonderful but misunderstood genre.’ ‘The chance to interview a pianist about the business of playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 was a rare opportunity which, as a pianist (of sorts) myself, I wasn’t going to miss,’ says JOHN EVANS, author of this issue’s Musician and the Score. ‘Martin Helmchen was admirably open and honest.’ ‘You have to let yourself get burnt when handling one of the big Beethoven scores – and I feel quite singed,’ admits PETER QUANTRILL, the author of this month’s Collection on the…

2 min
gramophone editor's choice

RECORDING OF THEMONTH HAMMERSCHMIDT ‘Ach Jesus stirbt’ Vox Luminis; Clematis / Lionel Meunier Ricercar FABRICE FITCH’S REVIEW IS ON PAGE 48 From Passion through to festivities, this is a truly compelling choral album: Vox Luminis’s contributions both as individuals and an ensemble feel exquisite and heartfelt. BEETHOVEN. FERRÉ. SOLLIMA ‘Searching for Ludwig’ Kremerata Baltica / Gidon Kremer vn Mario Brunello vc Alpha An intriguing and stirring Beethoven album to conclude the anniversary year – two quartets performed by string orchestra. REVIEW ON PAGE 51 ‘TO ROMAN TOTENBERG’ Nathan Meltzer vn Rohan De Silva pf Champs Hill A chance to hear exactly why we made Nathan Meltzer our One to Watch last issue – and also a chance to hear the 1734 Stradivarius once owned by the album’s dedicate, Roman Totenberg. REVIEW ON PAGE 69 ‘EL NOUR’ Fatma Said sop Warner Classics A splendid debut from…

4 min
for the record

Stile Antico, the Gramophone Award-winning vocal ensemble, is joining forces with Decca Classics for three recordings celebrating the forthcoming major anniversaries of three Renaissance masters. The first in the series will explore the music of Josquin des Prez, to tie in with the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death next year. Called ‘The Golden Renaissance: Josquin des Prez’, and centred around the composer’s Missa Pange lingua, the album is released on January 29. Subsequent releases – to be recorded in Dolby Atmos sound – will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Byrd (2023) and the 500th anniversary of the birth of Palestrina (2025). Founded 15 years ago, Stile Antico has built up a substantial and acclaimed catalogue of albums on the Harmonia Mundi label. One recent release was a…

1 min
one to watch

For those who follow these things, the British baritone James Newby has been a rising star for a few years now, thanks in no small part to a string of prestigious awards. In 2015, while still studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, he won the Richard Tauber Prize (for the best interpretation of a Schubert song) and Third Prize overall at the Wigmore Hall/ Kohn International Song Competition; in 2016, the year he made his debut at the BBC Proms in Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with conductor Sakari Oramo, he won the Kathleen Ferrier Award; in 2017 he won the Trinity Gold Medal and Glyndebourne’s John Christie Award, and became a Rising Star of the Enlightenment, the OAE’s two-year scheme for emerging singers. Perhaps inevitably, he subsequently became…

2 min
gramophone guide to … string trio

The problem with having only three string instruments is that the sound is naturally less ‘complete’ than a string quartet. The challenge for composers is to maintain ample tone with, as it were, one bow tied behind their back. Trios with a pair of violins and cello had lingered from the Baroque period, a hangover from the trio sonata from which the harmony-filling keyboard instrument was dropped. Haydn wrote a string of such works early on, and in one of them he had his second fiddle switch to viola, but he didn’t pursue this type of trio any further. It was, as so often, down to Mozart not only to launch the Classical string trio but also to provide its enduring masterpiece. His Divertimento, K563, is a magisterial six-movement work of…