- Series: All Music Guides
- Paperback: 1632 pages
- Publisher: Backbeat Books (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879308656
- ISBN-13: 978-0879308650
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music (All Music Guides) Paperback – September 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
In my first look at this monster-of-a-guide, I could not get beyond this tiny print and the overly-plain visual layout. But, with another long look, the value of this unique guide started to stand out clearly. There is a reason for such tiny print - to cram in an unbelievably vast amount of information in one volume. The All Music Guide is enormously ambitious in what is contains:
o BIOGRAPHIES of over 500 composers AND 800 performers (unprecidented in one volume)
o Fairly detailed PROGRAM NOTES for an impressively large number of works (not just the major ones)
o Listings of 2-6 RECOMMENDED RECORDINGS for each work (but no comparison or explanations of the choices like Penguin)
o ESSAYS on the major musical periods and forms (difficult to read these longer sections with the tiny font size!)
The amount and level of detail of the program notes is impressive - giving musical history, perspective and minor analysis for not only a given category of work (say, Mozart's 27 piano concertos) but also most or all of the individual works! These essays are not unlike those found in a CD liner notes. So, with this guide, you can look up the background and musical insights of Mozart's concerto #20 as well as see what recordings/astists are recommended for that one concerto. The only other guide that does this is Penguin Guide.Read more ›
Among its best points, this is a comprehensive guide to composers and performers, perhaps more so for the latter than the former, giving both new and experienced collectors a tad of information on their favorite orchestras, ensembles, conductors and performers. I learned in this guide violinsit Joshua Bell was born in 1967, making him older than I suspected and two decades older than he appears on the cover of his new Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. I'd never read his birthdate in any of his recordings or in the music dictionaries I own. I tried to find violinist Janene Jansen's age; she isn't represented in the book.
Another plus: the AMG provides recommended recordings for every individual and group it discusses.Read more ›
Beware,though, of the fine print. If your vision is not the best you might want to buy a magnifying glass before purchasing this enormous wealth of information.
One could buy multiple volumes of other material before approaching what is found between the covers of this massive work. And you can't beat the price for what you'll get. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.
If you possessed limited knowledge of classical music before, after you purchase this book that will all change. And deepen your enjoyment of the greatest music ever written.
By contrast, The Third Ear discusses enough about the music to give you some sense of it and a broad and sometimes comprehensive discussion of the various performances of the piece. It often traces the earliest recordings of the piece and tells you whether or not they are available on CD. For Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, for example, The Third Ear cites over 30 different recordings with key aspects about each performance along with the recording label and catalog number. The Third Ear gives you lots of data with which to make a shopping decision or, at least, to narrow down your search. I found it useful to know that it is the opinion of some musicologists that Stokowski's various pre-stereo versions of Scheherazade are considered by some to be definitive and which labels they are available on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is much to like here. The book is massive, but also generally well written and even occasionally with a sense of humor. Don't be turned off by the small print. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alan L. Saltzstein
I love Cesar Franck, Sibelius, and Listz.
Very helpful with very detailed information on classical music.
Whenever I listen to music, I consult it. Read more
Very fine print and no illustrations but COMPREHENSIVE information written by musical experts. Particularly helpful are,the detailed REVIEWS of individual musical works.Published on March 14, 2013 by S. R. Hoffman
Very good for the person who doesn't know anything or need to brush up on there facts, about classical music.Published on February 18, 2011 by wbrd18
This big volume gives the reader an excellent overview of the periods in music by difining the era and then listing the composers in Alphabetic order with a further list of their... Read morePublished on August 23, 2008 by Myrna Dixon
I'LL SAY IT'S FAIR IN THE REVIEW. SOME CONDUCTORS WHERE NOT MENTIONED,
OUT DATED WITH CONDUCTORS NOW LIVING AND MAY BE NOT LIVING SOME NEWER
CONDUCTORS THAT ARE NEW... Read more