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Stop, look and Listen to new magazine

ListenWho says print journalism is dying? A slick new classical music magazine is on the scene, called Listen. It is the brainchild of ArchivMusic, which I understand is now owned by Steinway. Here is how it describes itself: "Listen is America's bimonthly magazine about classical music in our daily lives. It's a lifestyle publication covering people, places and events; recommendations of recordings, books and film; and all the many ways our lives are touched by classical music."

You can read subscription info and the current table of contents here.

The May/June issue of Listen, pictured above, has a glamorous portrait of pianist Arthur Rubinstein on the cover. The Rubinstein story, called "Remembering Arthur Rubinstein" is disappointing. It's just a brief essay and four pictures. I wanted more! But the magazine had a lot that was interesting.

A big interview with conductor Valery Gergiev is very involved, with Gergiev talking shop about opera, the new Mariinsky CD label, etc. "Instead of watching some really terrible movies, where people go in and kill each other for two hours, I much prefer my daughter or my sons to see another 'Nutcracker.'" That is one thing Gergiev said that I liked.

There is also a lengthy essay in honor of Haydn, "Music's Greatest Innovator." And a big feature on "33 Variations," the Broadway play starring Jane Fonda and exploring Beethoven's "Diabelli" Variations. And a story called "East Coast/West Coast" about young lion conductors Gustavo Dudamel and Alan Gilbert.

A glossy full-page Naxos ad featuring JoAnn Falletta jumped right out at me.

I like how Listen treats classical music as something everyone can understand. The many profiles of musicians take a human-interest slant. I never knew that the violinist Hillary Hahn carried a mini Crock Pot with her on her tours! But I guess she does. The magazine even gives you her Asian chicken soup recipe. It's great to see a music magazine with a cooking column.

The back of Listen has a few pages of CD reviews and book reviews.

Listen is colorful, pretty and informative, and I'm looking forward to the next issue. Future issues, by the way, are set to spotlight Joshua Bell, the great pianist Richard Goode and, as a city spotlight, St. Louis. I see no reason Buffalo could not be a city spotlight sometime. Hmmmmm...

-- Mary Kunz Goldman




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