Magazine article Gramophone

FROM WHERE I SIT: Edward Seckerson Ponders the Nature of Comparative Reviewing

Magazine article Gramophone

FROM WHERE I SIT: Edward Seckerson Ponders the Nature of Comparative Reviewing

Article excerpt

Last month's focus on the Jarvi conducting dynasty has prompted me to reflect on the number of times Jarvi senior (father Neeme) has come out on top in my own comparative reviewing --not least on BBC Radio 3's Record Review where he has scooped at least as many Building a Library choices as the best of his peers. Off the top of my head his recordings of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony (still an absolute scorcher) and Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky were my top choices at the time I surveyed all the available recordings of those works. There were others.

Comparative reviewing is, of course, at the very heart of what a classical music journalist does and, as the wider catalogue of recordings and their easy accessibility has grown exponentially, so too has the value of detailed and well-reasoned advice such as one finds in the pages of this magazine. It's all so subjective, of course, but as readers and listeners alike get to know the personal tastes (and foibles) of their favourite critics they are able to process their opinions and, if you like, 'hear' those recordings before doing so through the descriptive elements of the review alone.

Long before I started writing for Gramophone I would weigh up the words of my favourite critics, in some cases read between them, and often plump not for the 'best all-round' recommendation of a particular work but the one I felt would excite and engage me the most. To this day I can remember thinking that I might actually get more from the Charles Munch/ Boston Dvorak Eighth than the spanking new Kertesz/LSO one. Initially I was swayed to the latter; eventually I would have both. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.