; . .
Editor James Jolly
Assistant Editors HarTlet Smith
Consu/tant to Qulta Chavez Editorial Department
Jazz Consultant Keith Shadwick
Audio Director John Borwlck
Audio Editor Ivor Humphreys
Audio Consultant John Gilbert
Advertisement Ian Hutchison
Managers Roger Thomas
Advertisement Patti Alvarez Co-ordinat or
Editor James Jolly
At 70, it's not perhaps unusual to treat ourselves to a spe cial birthday present; and at 70 a face-lift is perhaps an excusable indulgence! In the pages that follow we've put into practice many of the suggestions, ideas and thoughts gleaned from talking to readers , writers, record people (both the producers and the consumers) and come up with a new-style magazine, designed with clarity and accessibiity in mind. Gramophone has become a by-word the world over for carefully considered, serious and balanced record criticism-that is a rep utation that will be retained and, I hope, enhanced.
In a world of increaSing mediocrity a clearly argued review is becoming more and more important. The age when the truly outstanding seemed commonplace has passed and too many performances sit complacently in a central band of insipidty. Designer maestros, in RO's memorable phrase, vie with each other in recording performances that say little and do little to enhance either the record catalogue or their own reputations. Gramophone's policy, renewed earlier this year, of reviewing more discs than any other record magazine remains our highest priority . The balance of reissue against new release, too, is of major importance and we will continue to serve the collector of the bargain-price disc as well as the devotee of the foremost artists of today.
In previous surveys and in conversation with readers of the magazine, the driving motive for purchase of Gramophone has been the reviews and these, I·acknowledge, are the heart of the magazine. This will con tinue to be the most important section, to which we will add relevant news and matters of related musical interest. Popular features , such as the Collection, will form an important and regular part of the magazine. In the review section to make the layout more visually appealing we have introduced section openers but have resisted the temptation to encroach too far on review space.
This month, Gramophone's UK cover price increases by 20p to £2 ·60, a rise of a little over 8 per cent. We regret the need to raise our price faster than general inflation, but
Highlights in October
Production Manager Dermot Jones
Designer Dinah Lone
Marketing Manager Verity Batchelder
Editorial Manager Margaret Sykas
Circulation Manager Andrew Kirkland
Subscription Manager Valerie Warburton
Editorial Director Christopher
Deputy Publisher alUi Barry Irving Advertisement Director
Publisher Anthony Pollard
Volume 71 Number 844
Published by General Gramophone Publications Limited 177-179 Kenton Road Harrow
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Cecilia Bartoli in Rossini's "La Cenerentola" Sir Colin Davis conducts "Hansel und Gretel" in Dresden Leonard Bernstein'S "On the Town"
Vladimir Ashkenazy Reviews is featured as pianist and conductor as he performs chamber music by Brahms and conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Sibelius's Second Symphony in a new live Decca recording
Collection Monteverdi on record believe that rise is more than justified by the considerable investments we have made in improving the magazine and its content. Gramophone now carries more reviews of new and reissued recordings than at any time in its 70-year history-and more, I believe, than any other comparable magazine. We continue, as Compton Mackenzie promised in the first issue 70 years ago, to obtain "the finest opinions procurable" . We remain, however, the least expensive classical music review magazine on British bookstalls , and trust that our readers will bear with us as we strive for yet further improvements. (Overseas readers should note that local cover prices are set by the distributors in each country , and whilst they may rise to take account of the increased UK price, the amount of any increase is beyond our controL)
Gramophone takes a look this month at the French record scene, with profiles of its smaller record companies, interviews with some of its major figures and a slightly richer mix of record reviews of French music, French artists and from French labels.
Andrew Stewart reports from the Liverpool sessions for "The Dream of Gerontius", with Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Vernon Handley
Free Sony Music CD including test signals and a selection by the Audio Editor from Sony Classical 's recent releases
Gramophone September 1993 1