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Editorial

There is a famous anecdote about Herbert von Karajan climbing into a taxi and being asked by the driver where he wanted to go. "Anywhere," he is supposed to have answered. "They want me everywhere." This month's cover artist, Valery Gergiev, has a musical empire that stretches even further than Karajan's. He has singlehandedly turned round the fortunes of the Kirov Opera company, amassed a quite staggering discography of Russian operas and made such an impact with his appearances at the Met in New York that he now holds for the first time in the Met's history - a guest position with that company too. He is a man of tremendous drive and seemingly boundless energy. As Matthew Gurewitsch reveals in his profile of this extraordinary musician Gergiev takes his role at the helm of the Kirov very seriously indeed. not only tending matters musical but also political and financial: he is as much impresario as Maestro.

Music and politics are set to collide rather less creatively in East Anglia. Most music-lovers will be familiar with Aldeburgh and The Maltings at Snape either from having visited this unique concert venue. from recordings made in it or from Benjamin Britten's musical evocation of the area. For those not acquainted with the area around Aldeburgh it is extraordinarily beautiful whether in the sunshine during the summer festival or in the bleakness of a winter's day when the spirit of Peter Grimes seems to hover over the place. But Snape is under threat from the skies. RAF Bentwaters, which is less than five miles from Snape, has been silent for the past five years and even when the USAF flew from the station, they came to an arrangement to avoid flying over The Maltings during concerts and recordings . This could all change with a proposal to re-open Bentwaters as an International Air Park (in other words. an airport), from which there will eventually be 80,000 air traffic movements per annum (this is equivalent to roughly one tlight every three minutes ofa 12-hour day, for 365 days a year) .

The Maltings is the recipient of various grants both private and public (via the National Lottery) and its unique position not only as a near ideal concert-hall and recording venue but also as an educational centre is under dire threat. The East Suffolk coast has a peacefulness and quiet beauty that it would be a tragedy to see destroyed. For music-lovers the despoiling of The Maltings from noise pollution would be very sad indeed. The Britten-Pears Foundation are requesting a Public Inquiry, a suggestion we wholly support (concerned readers can write to Mr 1. G . Schofield. Director of Planning & Leisure, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IPI2 IAU).

It 's farewell this month to the traditional L'Oiseau-Lyre packaging as Decca's early music wing is incorporated into the company's mainstream. It's either a triumphant acceptance of period performance as the norm or the insensitive sidelining of a great label but I for one will lament the passing of L'Oiseau-Lyre, a concern which forged new paths with such taste and distinction <9

- lames Jolly Editor

In this issue

Welcome back

Martha Argerich makes her fi rst studio concerto recording in years . For a generous coupling of Prokofi ev (th e First and Third Concertos) and Bartok

(t he Third), she is joined by Charles Dutoit and th e Montreal

Symphony Orchestra

Photo EMIIS. Argeric;' Review on page 52

The muse

Film·maker, poet , w rit er Derek Jarman is the inspiratio n behind a song-cycle by Donna McKevitt. Stil l in her twenties, Transluc ence is her Op . 1 and she is in the rare positio n of having t he piece recorded pri or to it s first performance Phoro AKGIRuhcT/.\ Interview on page 19 Review on page 104

Old and new

The ever-versatile Riccardo Chailly con ducts two very d ifferen t record ings: the first launches a series of Rossi ni's cantatas, th e second a p roject very cl ose to the co nductor' s heart , an integral collec ti on of all the music by Edgard Varese

Photo Decco/SII'ink efs

Reviews on pages 109 and 72

Claudio Arrau, the Chilean -bo rn pianist , takes his plac e in Philips 's 1OO- CD series celebrating the great pianists of the century and is also the subject of Jed Distler's "Reputat ions" artic le, a piec e th at examines Arrau' s unique approach to music-making , one that goes back to his early years with his teacher, Marti n Krause, a pupil of Li szt PhOlo Pili/ips Reputations on page 30 Review on page 82

Gramo hone Oclober 1998 1

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