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GRAMOPHONE is published by Haymarket Consumer, Teddington Studios, Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9BE, United Kingdom. gramophone.co.uk email gramophone@haymarket.com Volume 90 Number 1086 EDITORIAL Phone 020 8267 5136 Fax 020 8267 5844 email gramophone@haymarket.com EDITOR Martin Cullingford DEPUTY EDITOR Sarah Kirkup / 020 8267 5829 REVIEWS EDITORS Andrew Mellor / 020 8267 5125 James McCarthy / 020 8267 5954 PRODUCTION EDITOR Antony Craig / 020 8267 5874 NEWS EDITOR Charlotte Smith / 020 8267 5155 SUB EDITOR David Threasher / 020 8267 5135 ART EDITOR Lynsey Row / 020 8267 5091 AUDIO EDITOR Andrew Everard / 020 8267 5029 PICTURE EDITOR Sunita Sharma-Gibson / 020 8267 5861 EDITORIAL AND PUBLISHING COORDINATOR Sue McWilliams / 020 8267 5136 GRAMOPHONE SECRETARY Libby McPhee LIBRARIAN Francesco Burns EDITOR IN CHIEF James Jolly THANKS TO Jon Butterworth, Claire Hayter, Matt Williams, Hannah Nepil and Marija uri´c Speare

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The August issue of Gramophone is on sale from July 6; the September issue will be on sale from August 3 (both UK). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of statements in this magazine but we cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for matters arising from clerical or printers’ errors, or an advertiser not completing his contract. Regarding concert listings, all information is correct at the time of going to press. Letters to the editor requiring a personal reply should be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. We have made every effort to secure permission to use copyright material. Where material has been used inadvertently or we have been unable to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. Printed in England by Wyndeham Heron. ISSN 0017-310X. © 2012 haymarket consumer. All rights reserved North American edition: Gramophone ISSN number 74501X, is published monthly by Haymarket Media Group with an extra issue in November, Teddington Studios, Broom Road, Teddington TW11 9BE, United Kingdom. The US annual subscription price is $89. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. Subscription records are maintained at Haymarket Media Group, Teddington Studios, Broom Road, Teddington TW11 9BE. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS

Founded in 1923 by Sir Compton Mackenzie and Christopher Stone as ‘an organ of candid opinion for the numerous possessors of gramophones’

The 1812 Overture and its enduring appeal For JAMES JOLLY, his first visit to South America to interview Marin Alsop for this month’s São Paulo feature was a thrilling experience: ‘I met the many people determined to make the Alsop/São Paulo partnership reach new heights,’ he says. ‘With such a fine concert hall to work in, she’s guaranteed an exciting new Brazilian chapter in her career.’

Bombastic, grandiose, excessive…fun, thrilling and extraordinarily popular. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture justifies all these terms and, in doing so, has earned its place as one of the most performed and best-known works in the classical cannon. Sorry, canon. Use of heavy armaments are another part of the work’s appeal, as well as one of its more formidable challenges. As Geoffrey Norris dryly notes in his exploration of the work’s origins, and its subsequent performance and recorded history, ‘early recordings of the 1812 found that the 16 cannon shots near the end presented an acoustical and logistical snag’. Though composed in 1880, the 200th anniversary of its title date seems as good an excuse as any to devote our cover to it. And as those shots sound and bells ring out across an outside spectacular classical event sometime this summer (if, at least in Britain, the weather ever allows), fireworks soaring skywards, it’s

RICHARD FAIRMAN was honoured to write this month’s tribute to the late, great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. ‘He was one of the gods of music,’ he says. ‘When I went to University I took one set of records with me – his recordings of the three Schubert song-cycles with Gerald Moore on DG. I was completely seduced by the beauty of his voice.’

Going to New York to write about composer John Cage in his anniversary year made perfect sense to PHILIP CLARK: ‘Music was knitted into the sound of Cage’s environment, so what better way to understand his thinking than by standing outside his apartment?’ And an unlikely contributor to the piece proved to be Philip’s cat Willow…

‘As Geoffrey Norris notes, “early recordings of the 1812 found that the 16 cannon shots near the end presented an acoustical and logistical snag”’

clear that its appeal is as great as ever, more than justifying learning about how different societies and musicians have responded to and embraced this most memorable of works.

It’s certainly one of those works that engages audiences less familiar with classical music, an aim which is always to be applauded, for who knows where that may lead? Followers of our news pages will have noticed an ever-increasing trend in initiatives aimed at ‘de-formalising’ the concert experience, including Limelight in London’s basement-bar 100 Club, DG’s Yellow Lounge, late nights at Wigmore Hall, or the OAE’s Night Shift. Post-show DJs seem obligatory at many such events. I hope it all attracts people to hear high-quality classical music who might not otherwise have considered it. But a visit to an exhibition at London’s Foundling Museum about

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens reminded me that such

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens reminded me that such laudable initiatives have old roots. There, in Georgian London, 100,000 visitors a year could enjoy back-to-back Handel in a setting far laudable initiatives have old roots. There, in Georgian London, 100,000 visitors a year could enjoy back-to-back Handel in a setting far removed from the formality of the concert removed from the formality of the concert hall, free to stand or stroll at will. Perhaps it is to there, south of the Thames, several centuries ago, that we can trace the origins of innovative audience development.

FOR THE FULL LIST OF GRAMOPHONE REVIEWERS TURN TO PAGE 41

martin.cullingford@haymarket.com gramophone.co.uk

GRAMOPHONE AUGUST 2012 3

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