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JOHN LUBBOCK talks to Bill Newman


<< Continued from page 5

Quite often the record, or substitute, is played once then discarded. 'Logistics have proved that in the case of boxed sets, records 1 or 2 were returned with blemishes on, implying that the purchaser never played record 3. Artists like Simon Rattle take recording very seriously and come across in performance, but having made so few recordings myself I try to keep my approach fresh. More often the orchestra plays as in a live concert which brings into focus the parameters of interpretation, but take four interpretations by world-class conductors with different orchestras and shuffle the movements - no one would notice and you couldn't tell what orchestra is playing, anyway. A live concert is for now. Like a wonderful performance I heard of Brahms Piano Concerto 1 with Barenboim, Giulini conducting. Outragiously slow, but it hung together and made musical sense. Two critics furiously argued about how it should have sounded in their conception, but surely there is room for two great artists to perform it their way.'

Lubbock has always been keen to promote promising new compositions by today's composers, like Stephen Montague. 'A lovely man, and a very good composer. The CD - I wonder how many composers can produce four different works of such variety. There's nothing of the secondary pasticher, no mock-music, although there is something of the minimalist in a work like White Edge, but it constantly moves on from there instead of going on endlessly in the same vein.' Recordings of new music are very much his metier because of their unique qualities. 'I don't think I want to record another Mozart Symphony in my life, with 59 versions already. Not that I am depriving the public. They can buy it if they want. But there is a small puritan streak in me that says you shouldn't wash up while listening to Bach's St. Matthew Passion. You should make the effort and go! Occasionally too low in level to hear is some original masterpiece being used as muzak.'

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Copyright © 24 June 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK


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