Monday, January 14, 2013

A Delius contradiction

Here's what Adrian Corleonis said of Naxos's recent release of Delius's A Mass of Life (conducted by David Hill) in the Nov/Dec Fanfare:
In sum, a superb production and the grandest addition to the Delius discography in many years.
And here's what Richard A. Kaplan said about it in the same issue:
This recording of A Mass of Life is unfortunately no great addition to the Delius discography.

What can you do?
Well, let's see. Corleonis remarks that in 1997 he said that Richard Hickox's new recording of this work was the best since Beecham's 1952 version but "That honor goes now to the present offering". Kaplan, meanwhile, says you should "Stick with Beecham, Groves, and Hickox".
OK, so they agree on Beecham and Hickox at any rate. But wait! Kaplan admits to not actually having heard Hickox's recording. So why does he think it would be better than Hill's new one? On the basis of the review in Fanfare at the time, where his colleague "waxed enthusiastic about it". Which colleague? Adrian Corleonis, of course.
Now I'm not sure which of them to trust least.

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