Welcome to the spring issue of Liner Notes Magazine. We have a diverse offering this quarter. Our long-promised profile of Tor Mann, Sweden’s first great symphonic conductor is now ready. Nils-Göran Olve surveys his long and distinguished career, from attending Nikisch rehearsals to conducting major premieres in Sweden. And with a fascinating discography to boot.
The extraordinary artwork of Neale Osborne graced the cover of our Fall 2022 issue (the caricatures of flutists William Kincaid and Marcel Moyse). well, Neale’s writing is no less vivid and he takes us on an engrossing, and visually amazing, journey though Soviet-era opera cinema, a world unto itself.
With Michael White’s deftly titled “The Legacy of a Great Britten (and Great British) Singer: Jennifer Vyvyan on Disc” we revisit a beloved singer whose untimely death in 1974 at age only 49 robbed the musical world of a beautiful voice and bewitching talent. Readers are also encouraged to visit the Jennifer Vyvyan Foundation page, which Michael administers – there is a wealth of easily accessible documentary material.
In 1966 Vyvyan was the “Castaway” on Roy Plomley’s popular BBC radio program, “Desert Island Discs”. Though not currently available for streaming from the BBC, despite Michael’s best efforts, on page 160 one can learn which recordings she would have hoped to be marooned with.
While the fabled acoustics of London’s Kingsway Hall have long been celebrated, the other venues used by Decca over the years are not as well documented. In this issue’s Soundings we revisit the label’s studios at 165 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London, where thousands of now treasured recordings were made. Incidentally, if any readers would like to buy the building, it can currently be had for a mere £11,000,000.
In this quarter’s Cover Art Department we feature the photography of Dan Weiner. Part of the “concerned photographers” movement that emerged in the wake of the Great Depression, he documented the historic Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to such immortals as, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, he also took pictures of Bruno Walter, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Oscar Levant, Isaac Stern, Igor Stravinsky, and many others.
Out itinerary this issues includes two stops in the United Kingdom: First at Maestro Editions, the intrepid historical label specializing in rare broadcast and long unavailable commercial recordings. Second, we meet Sophia Singer, Founder and Proprietor of Spiral Classics, an online second-hand LP shop boasting a tantalizing catalog, all of it expertly graded, listed, and ready for purchase. Both businesses are offering Liner Notes subscribers discounts – see each article in turn for details.
Launch of the new website is delayed, alas, but we hope to have it up soon. A final note: visit this quarter’s Grace Notes, wherein we mark the deaths of classical music performers and composer. There you will and find among them the late tuba virtuoso and orchestra player Roger Bobo (1938-2023), whose 1961 recital inspired John Updike to write a poem in his honor – reprinted in this issue.
The summer issue will be published at the end of July. Thank you again for subscribing and for your support. I hope this finds you well.
—Warm Wishes, Joe Moore