about SEEN & HEARD (July-December 1999)
Editor: Peter Grahame Woolf
The trigger which led to the launching of Seen&Heard was a timely Editorial in BBC Music Magazine (July 1999) which highlighted a crisis in music reviewing. Its Editor, Helen Wallace, deplored how serious music was being squeezed out of the Dailies, classical music "the first to fall victim". Space for concert and recital coverage had been progressively reduced, with fewer arts editors music critics than formerly. Younger artists can no longer rely upon having reviews to promote their careers. She concluded that "only the Internet offers a ray of hope; maybe a new era is nigh after all".
Classical Music on the Web (Webmaster Dr Len Mullenger) has a rapidly growing reputation as the largest music website in Europe. Since autumn 1998 it has established an important outlet for CD reviews (Editor Rob Barnett), covering many worthy releases which are inevitably overlooked by the music magazines and newspapers.
The need for a new live music journal too is the nettle which Seen & Heard has grasped. Besides the music loving public, it endeavours to serve the music profession, its performing artists and their teaching institutions, composers and their publishers, performance venues, including those where music is presented to established audiences, and others which seek new listeners. Its policy is to offer special encouragement to artists who promote unfamiliar repertoire.
Reviews are published quickly, often overnight, and indexed for later retrieval. The initial electronic publishing costs have been manageable, but modest contributions towards expenses from individuals and organisations likely to benefit would be welcomed, as would advertising enquiries. Hard copies of reviews in colour can be supplied on request.
Peter Grahame Woolf has been writing about music for more than forty years. He is currently a regular contributor to The Organ and Piano Journal, and has in the past written for other paper publications which have succumbed to commercial pressures, notably the late lamented Music & Musicians and, more recently, the idealistic but short lived Strictly off the Record.
His tastes are eclectic and go beyond the usual connotations of "classical" and the different musics which that term nowadays encompasses uneasily (it is hard to think of a more suitable title?). They include early and contemporary music, and music from other cultures. He has a particular concern for some major figures from abroad who are unduly neglected in UK, and was amongst the first to bring to UK attention important 20th C. composers, such as Giacinto Scelsi of Italy, Galina Ustvolskaya from Russia, the great French organist-composer Jean Guillou and the senior Spanish composer Luis de Pablo, about whom he has written in Music on the Web's Non-British composer pages.
The editorial policy of Seen & Heard will continue to develop flexibly and to be responsive to readers' views, which will be welcomed. From its inception, Peter Grahame Woolf has been assisted by a small team of experienced and knowledgeable contributing music writers, mainly London based. Related CDs are mentioned in concert reviews and also cross-linked with the CD review section of Music on the Web (UK).
Peter Grahame Woolf December 1999
Seen and Heard is part of Music on the Web (UK) Webmaster Len Mullenger
ARCHIVE OF SEEN & HEARD http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/earlier_reviews.htm