From Library Journal
This excellent guide to classical music discography ranges over the entire history of recorded sound, with 50-plus contributors covering some 500 composers. In contrast to most guides of its kind, headnote information (e.g., label, disc numbers, performers, and the like) is presented in the text in summary form only, with boldface alerting readers to particular performers and recommended recordings. Usually, a composer entry begins with a short assessment of the composer's work and historical significance, followed by a discussion of the recordings. Besides the main 1100-page composer section, editor Morin, a contributor to several prestigious musical publications, allotted sections to genres and instruments/artists. The main competition to this work is The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs, out in a new edition this year. Both are mammoth works, but some minor composers/works in one are not in the other (and vice versa). For certain major composers, Penguin is superior, but in general the nod goes to the newcomer, especially for its coverage of "genre" music not included in Penguin (the film music of Korngold, for example, is not mentioned in Penguin) and more complete entries on important minor composers (such as Viotti). Ideally, libraries should own both books to cover the classical scene fully. (The "About the Book" section of Classical Music states that, like Penguin, it will be updated periodically.) This fascinating and readable survey is recommended for all libraries.Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Alexander Morin founded the Aldine Publishing Company. He lives in Washington, D.C.