Magazine article Gramophone

Gramophone Reviewers

Magazine article Gramophone

Gramophone Reviewers

Article excerpt

When I joined the team at Gramophone in the autumn of 1960, I had already been reading the magazine for more than 15 years and reviewing records for The Guardian and the BBC for five or six. But Gramophone has always offered the ideal platform for explaining and appreciating the art of recording. It has always been a principle of what I write to seek to explain what a particular artist has aimed to do, not least when a performance follows an unexpected path. As an old teacher of mine used to say, 'What has he tried to do; how far has he succeeded?' A spin-off from that attitude is that one can get to know artists personally without being inhibited. Could I face whoever it was after they had read it? I have always wanted to ensure that the answer would be 'yes'.

Highlights of my career to date have included shaking the hand that wrote The Rite of Spring (during Stravinsky's last visit to London) and watching a video of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf at my side, commenting on her own performance. Even nowadays there are plenty of recordings that take me by surprise. Long may it be so. One of the possessions of which I am most proud is the Gramophone Award I was given in 1993 for Special Achievement. I only hope I have deserved it. …

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