Are these the year's most striking record covers? Or the most retrograde…

The Leipzig artist Neo Rauch was so captivated by Riccardo Chailly’s Mahler cycle that he went home and produced covers for the forthcoming DVD releases.  This is the Resurrection Symphony

and this the Symphony of 1,000, quite the most immaculate performance I have ever experienced..

It is going to be very hard to walk past a record shop window – if you still hve a record shop – without noticing these vivid images. Yet they do seem to belong to another time – not even to Mahler’s time, but to Schumann’s, or even Schubert’s.

Is this faux-naiveté, or something simpler? Judge for yourselves. Rauch, 51, seems to occupy a niche midway between Socialist Realism and Surrealism.

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