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Editorial T

he centenary thi s year of EMI - which we celebrate in the accompanying supplement - is as much the reaching of a milestone in the record industry's history in general as the noting of the 100th birthday of one particular company. As with evolution itself, go back far enough in the history of any major record company and you invariably end up in the same place. For the tirst decades, the industry was in the wonderful situation of being a ble to record anything and virtually be guaranteed a 'premiere' recording (a situation not unlike the tirst years of LP, or stereo, or CD). In the early years the gramophone companies were the guardians of the great and the celebrated . And it was almost always that way around - the record companies went after the stars (Fred Gaisberg pursued Caruso and Chaliapin and cajoled them into the recording studio). Now, inevitably, the recording can precede the career in the concerthall- a dangerous precedent.

As EM! enters its second century it sails into less and less wellcharted waters. The world in which it grew up is a very different one to that which obtains today. The milestones of the established repertoire are all in place and the need for novelty ever more apparently pressing. The creative climate required to nurture a major company at the end of the twentieth century is a very different one from 100 years ago. It is of course one from which the smaller independents have been drawing their creativity for the past few decades. Often it is their taste and flair that has allowed a younger genera tion of artists to develop to the level where a career on a truly international scale can naturally take over (one thinks of Jean-Yves Thibaudet's tirst discs on Denon or indeed Maxim

Edit or James Jolly Deputy Editor Harriet SmHh Assislant Edito r Mark Wiggins Editorial Assistant Vivian Stewart

Audio Editor Ivor Humphreys Audio Consulting Editor

Keith Howard

John Borwick Advertisement Managers lain Hutchison Roger Thomas Deputy Advertisement Sales Manager

Paul Geoghegan Adver1isement Co-ordinator

Patti Alvarez Classified Advertisement Manager

Carol Gross Production Manager DennotJones

Designer Dinah Lone DeSign and Production Assistant

Janis Nicholls Marketing Manager Verity Batchelder Editorial Manager Philippa Bunting Circulation Manager Andrew Kirkland Subscription Manager Valerie Warburton

Editorial Director Christopher Pollard Director of Business Development

Barry Irving

Publisher Anthony Pollard Photo Gramophone!Bayley

Vengerov 's solo disc from Biddulph) . If the next century sees a further re-detining of the role of the major record compa ny it will initially be a reduction in their output and a simultaneous concentration on what is released. Though it will take some time, I'm sure that the importance of every recording will be enhanced by something approaching 'rarity value'. When Maestro X records a Beethoven or Brahms symphony it will have to be an event and more than ever before, the message of that interpretation will have to be genuinely origin a l. With symphonic recordings costing around £ I 00 ,000 each , it is no longer economic to record , let alone release, a Bruckner symphony unless the expectation and reception of that disc guarantees a healthy recouping of that outlay .

The violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter recently expressed scepticism at the supposed state of the market since her DG recording of the Sibelius Concerto was sailing majestically up the German pop charts. And why not? She clearly has something to say and she has a public who want to hear what she has to say (and she has never been on a TV chat show to promote her discs!) . Luckily for the major companies there a re other artists with comparable drawing power, and if the chemistry is right you certainly can still release a disc of Beethoven symphonies and sell them . I suspect that contrary to popular opinion we will see discs released that the record men of 100 years ago would immediately recognize ~

Editor's choice

James Jolly selects ten outstanding CDs from this month's reviews

Vesselina Kasarova: A

Portrait Kasarova; Bavarian Radio Choir; Munich Radio Orch / Haider RCA Victor Red Seal Opera reviews Page 117

Beethoven Cello

Sonatas. Variations Wallfis,ch; York EMI Eminence Chamber reviews Page 68

Beethoven Overtures

COE / Hamoncourt Teldec Orchestral reviews Page 45

Reich City life . Proverb.

Nagoya marimbas Various artists Nonesuch Orchestral reviews Page 54

Rosenmuller Vespro della beata Vergine Canticum; Cantus Colin; Concerto Palatino / Junghanel Harmonia Mundi Choral and song reviews Page 95

Simpson Symphonies

Nos. 1 and 8 RPO / Handley Hyperion Orchestral reviews Page 58

Voi'isek Piano Works,

Vol. 2 Pizarro Collins Classics Instrumental reviews Page 82

Berwald String Quartets

Yggdrasil Quartet SIS Chamber reviews Page 68

Rossini Stabat mater

Soloists; Vienna State Opera Concert Choir; VPO/Chung DG Choral and song reviews Page 95

Missa Caput and the story of the Salve Regina Gothic Voices / Page Hyperion Choral and song reviews Page 102

Gramophone February 1997 1

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