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E A L O V E G A

I N

J A M

: B E N

P H O T O G R A P H Y

What a vintage!

It’s been many years since we witnessed quite such a magnificent harvest; maybe the glorious weather that we enjoyed this year (at least in the UK) had an effect on the music-making that went on. Whatever the reason, the industry gave us a constant stream of truly mouthwatering releases throughout 2014.

As we did last year, we have gathered together the recordings that made the most impression on us over the course of a year (13 issues’ worth) and we also remind you of the recordings which took a Gramophone Classical Music Award in late September (quite a few that were noted with an Editor’s Choice received the double accolade of also taking an award). The recording which captured our imagination this year, above all others, was a set of the four Brahms symphonies with various overtures and shorter works. Hardly original stuff, you might retort, but these are works that maintain their hold over music-lovers’ affectations year in and year out – they are indeed the musical incarnation of Shakespeare’s glorious phrase (of Cleopatra) that ‘age cannot wither…not custom stale’ their ‘infinite variety’. What made Riccardo Chailly’s Decca set with the Gewandhausorchester of Leipzig so special was that it achieved what all great musicmaking aspires to, to make it sound new once again. Chailly’s tenure in Leipzig has been one of the most rewarding partnerships of recent years: a conductor who understands what is involved when he takes on the music directorship of one of the world’s greatest orchestras, and how to meld that orchestra’s history with the necessity to inhabit the present – tradition constantly renewed and reinvigorated, perhaps. It was a real pleasure, at this year’s Gramophone Classical Music Awards, to orchestrate the presentation of the Recording of the Year Award to Maestro Chailly by Sir Neville Marriner. We were also thrilled to welcome to the Awards as our new Artist of the Year, a regular musical partner of Riccardo Chailly, the violinist Leonidas Kavakos – on page 39 we celebrate his triumph in this public vote.

This year has seen us embarking on a new partnership, with the Paris-based downloading and streaming service, Qobuz. Streaming is now part of musical life – it’s the way many people listen to their music, and many of us at Gramophone have widened our musical horizons immeasurably thanks to online streaming services. We chose Qobuz as a partner because it offers high-definition sound and it’s a company that understands classical music (meaning its metadata is of high quality and classical music gets its fair share of attention). We have been creating playlists at Qobuz to coincide with features in the magazine – and you will find a number of playlists related to this digimag on its site. We hope you find much to interest you in the pages that follow, and we hope that it’ll help stimulate some Christmas present ideas. James Jolly, December 2014

EDITORIAL

ADVERTISING Phone 020 7738 5454 email gramophone@markallengroup.com gramophone.co.uk

Phone 020 7501 6368 email esther.zuke@markallengroup.com

SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION EDITED AND DESIGNED BY James McCarthy and James Jolly

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Esther Zuke / 020 7501 6368

GRAMOPHONE is published by Mark Allen Group, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB, United Kingdom

Riccardo Chailly receives his Recording of the Year Award at this year’s Gramophone Awards ceremony in London

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