Sir Neville Marriner’s last recording?

Publicists for the Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son are claiming that her performance of Mozart K467, due for release on a boutique label next spring, will have been the prolific conductor’s last word on record.

Neville, who died last year aged 92, never knew exactly how many records he made, only that he was the second most recorded conductor after Karajan.

But before we get too excited about this valediction, it’s worth knowing that most of Neville’s recordings in his 90s were done as favours – either to his orchestra, to keep them in work, or to friends in the music biz who needed to give their artists a shard of limelight.

He was the most generous of men.

 

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  • Yeol Eum Son’s performance of K467 at the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition has an astounding 9.3 million views on Youtube. That is a beyond stratospheric number for a classical video, especially for an essentially “unknown” performer.

    As a reference, Valentina Lisitsa’s highest view count is 24 million, her second highest is 8 million. Joshua Bell’s highest view count, which got goosed because it was the subject of a famous Washington Post article, is 6.2 million. Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma comes in at 39 million views.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNU-XAZjhzA

  • The recording is now available, and is impressive, the

    pianist is an ideal Mozartean, pure style, crystal clear

    execution, sensitive to the emotional landscape of the

    work, the tempi slow enough to explore the depths and

    heights of this famous composition. A profound

    achievement, goes right to the top of my list. Sir Neville

    leaves a rich farewell to us here.

    This was projected to be the first in a complete

    set of the Mozart concertos with this soloist, a project

    which would have updated the famous Marriner/Brendel

    versions. Marriner first worked with this pianist while

    touring South Korea, and was immediately determined to

    record the complete Mozart series with her, much to her

    surprise. She was incredulous and asked him to repeat the

    suggestion. We must be thankful that at least this

    memorial recording was finished.

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