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Subject: Re: Gramophone's list ranking world's top 20 orchestras
From: Jeffrey Sarver <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jeffrey Sarver <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Nov 2008 09:41:47 -0500
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Can't help but jump into this fray.  'Gramophone' was my life-spring as a youngster (not 
THAT many years ago!).  The reviews were long and detailed and there was not a 
cheesecake artist in sight, very few photographs indeed, and the ones that were there 
were usually in black and white.  It was a very distinguished publication.  Then the boy-
editor, James Jolly, took over and the thing went to the dogs; pandering to the yuppies, 
trying to get them to buy Bruckner and so on, selling out to perks from the big recording 
companies, jumping on the sexxxxy bandwagon.  

Alan Blythe was the last of the old guard reviewers and he deteriorated into a machine 
for elderly clichés, leaving me with the sense that he, nor any of his collegues, had 
actually listened to the recording they were reviewing but were falling back on their 
remembered opinions of the artists involved.  Objectivity and deep thought disappeared 
under the skittering leadership of boy-editor.   

I wonder, generally, if there is a place for reviewers of the calibre of Edward Sackville-
West, Desmond Shawe-Taylor or Compton-Mackenzie anymore.  Jolly and his fellow twits 
would think those greats were too 'heavy' and long-winded.  Well, there is long-
windedness resulting from an over-enthusiastic and involved reviewer and there is WIND 
of the paté-fueled variety coming from too many awards ceremonies and such.
'Gramophone' suffers from a great deal of the latter making it no longer worth the price 
of admission.  

This stupid list of the 20 best orchestras is typical of Jolly's love for little populist 
lollipops.  The Kinainen Saito orchestra, or however it's spelled, is typical of the cool, 
trendiness Jolly is determined to thrust in the faces of serious collectors.  There's far too 
much of that nonsense going around while great orchestras, performers and the all-too 
rare live event of monumental impact go unrecorded.  

I'm sick of the self-destructiveness in the music industry as represented by the 
determined degradation of 'Gramophone'.  They have lost the plot completely and no 
longer know WHO there real audience is anymore.

There!  I feel better.  Sorry for MY windy rant but that's what we're here for, right?

Jeff

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