Saturday, 24 February 2018

Adieu, The Gramophone

I bought my first copy of The Gramophone magazine in 1953 (at the age of twelve). I have bought every issue since then, but I have now decided to stop. Mainly a question of age, and experience. I can usually spot interesting new recordings, or hear about them via friends. I no longer need guidance by “experts”, and too often I distrust the experts' opinions and recommendations. Too many of Gramophone's heroes and heroines are based in London, too many record for major companies, advertisers or sponsors. As soon as one reads rave reviews for Benjamin Grosvenor, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim, Martha Agerich, Mitsuko Uchida, John Eliot Gardiner, et al, one says: “Yeah, well”. In addition, I have walls full of CDs that I cannot possibly listen to again during my remaining years so I really do not need yet more.

At my age, I am out of synchronisation with forte-pianos, harpsichords, violins sans vibrato, eight-part choruses sung by just eight singers, and the whole concept of “authentic”. In addition, I do not regard those who compose music post mid- twentieth century as being well worth investigation or investment, come what may; there is quite enough first-class music pre-1965 that is pretty well unknown and rarely played to occupy several lifetimes. And to cap it all, I am not in favour of dumbing-down classical music performances and artists in an attempt to enter the lucrative market of pop and entertainment. That's all about money, not art.

So, regretfully, I shall part company with The Gramophone after around 65 years. I'll miss it.

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