Gramophone Awards Musings

I didn't actually manage to view or listen to the Gramophone awards last night, so today I faithfully visited the Gramophone website to see what happened while I spent my day cleaning cheap records I bought for €1-2 each in and around the second hand shops of MacCurtain St (including some rather rare old Decca LXT and SXL records). It seems that they have awarded a prize to Sir Clifford Curzon. How strange, I thought, since it appears that Sir Clifford has been no more since 1982. I searched the web in order to find out if he has in fact done a Lord Lucan, but alas it seems that Sir Clifford is indeed pushing up the daisies.

With regard to a former Gramophone lifetime achievement winner, Martha Argerich, I found this bizarre website. The Martha Argerich Conspiracy.
I thought this was remarkably interesting. The writer has a hypothesis that Martha Argerich and Mitsuko Uchida are indeed the one person, Martha "undergoes artistic transformation to perform in the inimitable Uchida style on appropriate occasions." Rather strange. Somehow I'm not convinced. I find Uchida's style far too cold and clear to compare to Martha's wild romantic spirit. He also has an interesting gallery of Martha photos (in case you are not already "Martha-ed out." Good site.

Boo of the week goes to EMusic.com, who have scraped their free for all download policy. I'm now limited to 45 downloads a month instead of as much as possible. However it still works out at about 20c (EU currency) instead of the outrageous £1.25 (about €1.80) that OD2's many sites look for. I have to admit that I don't like paying over the odds for a format which is sonically inferior to vinyl/minidisc/cd. Emusic also has some great labels such as ESL, Centaur and Koch (home of my old friend Joshua Rifkin's ensemble, American Bach solists). Its good for independent labels, some world music (lots of old Claddagh stuff) and keyboard music.

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