We are following with considerable sympathy the attempt by Warner Classics to replace EMI Classics – which it took over – at the heart of a diminished recording industry. That sympathy has been slightly dented by the arrival of the first batch of midsummer releases.
It contains a set of Bach cello suites, always cause for excitement.
Every cellist regards recording the set as a lifetime summit. Mstislav Rostropovich was so daunted by Bach he almost left it too late. Many brilliant young cellists are breathlessly awaiting their date with destiny.
So who’s Warner’s launch set played by?
Ring a bell? She’s the Russian former model who is married to Barrett Wissman, co-owner of IMG Artists and a self-confessed fraudster.
Nina has previously appeared – once or twice – on Philips and Sony Classics.
The Warner recording was made at Purchase College, in upstate New York. No recording dates are given. The producer and recording engineer is Adam Abeshouse. His website proclaims that he ‘founded the Classical Recording Foundation to meet the growing need for artists not supported by major labels to record music about which they are passionate.’
We assume, for want of further information, that this is one of those projects. (UPDATE: It is not. We have been told by Mr Abeshouse: ‘This was NOT a Classical Recording Foundation Recording. I was hired to produce and engineer this recording on a freelance basis, without any affiliation.’ Apologies for the confusion.) f
We have listened to the first two suites. The playing is not bad. No more, no less. If I were a cellist represented by IMG, I’d be spitting tacks.
Will it do much good to Warner Classics? Depends on the deal.