A quarterly magazine of early music
60 FF, £6.50, $12.50, 1,250 PTA. http://www.goldberg-magazine.com
In the niche market that is classical music, there
is an even smaller niche market: that of early music. Sublime sounds
for some, characters dressed up in funny costumes playing screechy instruments
for others, early music divides classical music listeners into the HIP
HIP is an acronym standing for historically-informed
performances; essentially the purview of early and baroque music ensembles,
this "philosophy" is spreading, with a great deal of 19th
century music being performed on original instruments and in "authentic"
Accordingly, it might come as a surprise that a magazine
exists that deals with early and baroque music and nothing else. While
classical music is suffering, and classical music magazines losing readers,
Goldberg manages to live on. This large-sized, glossy, color magazine
looks, at first glance, more like a fashion magazine than a music publication
(not because of its content, but because of its production). Published
quarterly, it focuses on one important composer per issue, and features
interviews, news, reviews and more.
The approach is resolutely international - a reflection
of the world of early music, the proponents of which cross borders with
the ease of the musicians whose music they play. Goldberg is published
in two bilingual editions - Spanish/English and French/English. While
this can lead to some confusing layout, it allows the magazine to reach
a much larger audience than if it were just in one language.
Recent issues have featured extensive articles on William
Byrd, Heinrich Schütz, Claudio Monteverdi and François Couperin,
giving historical and cultural context to these composers, and presenting
some of the key discography for those who wish to discover their music.
Especially interesting, in issue 15, is a delightful
interview with Emma Kirkby. The magazine also runs an irregular series
of interviews with the owners of early music record labels.
While the contributors to Goldberg include prestigious
critics and musicologists, the articles are highly accessible to all.
Lovers of early and baroque music would certainly do well to check out
this magazine, to learn more about the music they listen to, and to
have an attractively produced magazine to read every three months.