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Photo Gramophone/Sayer

Editor James Jolly

Assistant Editors HarTlet Smith

Mark Wiggins

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

Pollard

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

Middlesex HA3 OHA Telephone 081-907 4476 Fax Editorial/General 081-9070073

Fax Advertising 081-909 1060 Fax CirculatiDnlSubscriptions 081-909 1893 .

Telex 265871. MONREF MUS027

North American Representative

·Christle Barter North American Office PO Box 198 Cooper Station

New York NY 10276 Telephone 212-675 4967

Fax 212-675 5091

Phoro Decca/Crowthers

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.

Plroto CfPlGreen

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

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