Go to previous post:
The wake-up bomb

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:

Our Admirable Sponsors

March 3, 2002

Gassical class Graham Sleight responds to my bit about the Grammys:
You’re absolutely right that the record companies are behaving in really dumb ways—not least by releasing recording after recording of the core repertoire (endless Beethoven symphonies, for instance), while neglecting more marginal stuff like the Berlioz which the LSO won for. You can understand their reasons—the Berlioz is a vast, unwieldy, almost unperformable opera requiring a huge cast. Putting together a new recording would be an expensive and risky exercise; but caution over choice of artists and repertoire is what’s backing the record companies into the corner you identify. However, I wouldn’t put the blame solely on the record companies myself: there’s also been vast agent-driven inflation in conductors’/soloists’ fees in the last few decades, resulting in higher-priced concert tickets, ageing audiences, etc etc….If you want to delve more deeply into this, the British journalist Norman Lebrecht has written two polemical books on the subject, The Maestro Myth and When the Music Stops.

The other recent trend in classical recording has been to do the taping at concerts rather than in the studio: I think that’s been done with all the LSO Live series and also with, say, Daniel Barenboim’s 90s Ring Cycle, or Simon Rattle’s recent Mahler recordings. So there may be more demand for immediacy and atmosphere than pristine studio perfection.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised. And I’ll certainly look for Lebrecht’s books. [01:15 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Gassical class: