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GRAMOPHONE

LETTERS

6

Memories of Brendel’s marvellous career EDITOR’S CHOICE 10 The best new recordings of the month

SOUNDBITES FOR THE RECORD

12

The Berlin Philharmonic goes online; Midem Classical Awards announced MY TOP 10 17 Iconic and arresting – 10 great openings to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor DIARY 21 Antonio Pappano celebrates a birthday with his famous Rome orchestra PHILIP KENNICOTT 23 When critics are axed, orchestras lose ARMANDO IANNUCCI 24 The Passacaglia from Peter Grimes is riveting but the secret is in the form THAT STRAIN AGAIN 26 As in generations gone by, here comes the new Cambridge musical set THE GRAMOPHONE DEBATE 28 Music – an abstract series of notes, or rooted in time, place and politics? ENCOUNTERS 32 Changing prisoners’ lives with Bartók USA (North American edition only) A1 Classical music is back on the US airwaves with a vengeance ONE TO WATCH 35 The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet

FEATURES COVER STORY

36

The tradition of rival Italianate divas is long and distinguished. As Netrebko and Gheorghiu lead the charge for their record labels, leading critics champion their favourite soprano THE RECORD OF SINGING 44 EMI’s famous vocal odyssey is back REPUTATIONS – NELLIE MELBA 46 The public loved her, critics were left cold. John Steane decides who was right JAMES EHNES 48 The leading violinist on recording with some of the world’s greatest instruments THE COLLECTION 50 Hunting for the ideal Les illuminations

REVIEWS ORCHESTRAL

58

Janowski tackles Brahms; Jurowski takes on Tchaikovsky; the treasures of Arnell CHAMBER 68 A stylish Polish pair from the Royal String Quartet; compelling Imogen Holst INSTRUMENTAL 72 Murray Perahia’s superb Beethoven; Mark Bebbington’s second volume of Bridge INSTRUMENTAL ROUND-UP 79 British piano rarities abound VOCAL 80 Tchaikovsky songs from Christianne Stotijn; jazz meets folksong in Sweden OPERA 90 Angela Gheorghiu’s Madama Butterfly, Netrebko’s Giulietta partners Garan∂a’s Romeo in Bellini’s Capuleti DVD 94 James Ehnes plays the Fulton Collection REPLAY 98 A tour of Kreutzer Sonatas BOOKS 102 Ives’s letters; Gurney’s sad tale; Richard Taruskin takes on Russian music

SOUNDWAVES TUNE SURFING

104

The Berlin Phil’s virtual concert hall opens

MUSICAL JOURNEYS SEEN AND HEARD 107 New York goes mad for Barenboim LIVE MUSIC 111 Natalie Dessay in La Sonnambula at the Met

HIGH-FIDELITY AUDIO AND VISUAL

Yamaha’s amplifier is superb value

FINALE MY MUSIC

Leading restaurateur Jeremy King

112

130

SUBSCRIPTIONS

CLASSIFIEDS

NEW RELEASES

REVIEWS INDEX

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120

124

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COVER: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, STEFAN HILL/LEBRECHT MUSIC & ARTS CONTENTS: TERRENCE McCARTHY/SAN FRANCISCO OPERA, JOHANN PERSSON/ARENAPAL, BENJAMIN EALOVEGA, GEORGE RODGER/TIME LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES, BRIAN GALLAGHER COVER CD: ERICH LESSING./AKG IMAGES

www.gramophone.co.uk

36Queens of Italian opera: Angela Gheorghiu and Anna Netrebko

48 James Ehnes records with world-beating violins.

Twelve of them

Who lights up Britten’s Les illuminations? 50

112 Primare’s DVD

130JeremyKing’s music morsels all-in-one

GRAMOPHONE MARCH 2009 3

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