Classical music recommendation site with just the right touch
August 2, 2007 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Name some good online sources for recommendations and also reviews of recorded performances of classical music.

I know of the following sources:

On Usenet, rec.music.classical.recordings and occasionally its parent group.
Classical.Net
Gramophone
BBC Radio 3
MusicWeb
Classical Notes
Fanfare

There are problems with all the above sources, as far as I can tell.

Ideally, I should be able to search for a work, say, the 'Kreutzer' sonata, and be provided with a selection of popular recommendations, alongwith some brief yet incisive observations on each.

Among the sites listed above, there's either just a singular non-annotated listing or it's just a personal review rather than a consensus or the more popular recommendation. Finally, some sites just don't have flexible search engines, meaning you have to manually browse through the archives.
posted by Gyan to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
AllMusic.com's classical section is pretty verbose. I don't know that it's exactly what you're looking for, but it's certainly a good site to keep in mind.
posted by JohnFredra at 10:59 AM on August 2, 2007


I don't understand why the customer reviews on Amazon aren't what you're looking for.

Classics Today is a great website with reviews of classical music and a very flexible search engine. Each review separately rates artistic and audio quality on a 10-point scale. IMHO, these reviews are about as good as classical reviews get: erudite, entertaining, concise, and useful. It's not what you're looking for in that each review is by just one person, but I'd bet the individual reviews on this site would be better guidance than the customer reviews on Amazon or any other site.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:11 AM on August 2, 2007


Jaltcoh, as far as format goes, Classics Today looks very good, but the range of review seems wanting. I first looked for Alban Berg's violin concerto, and the Krasner/Webern performance is missing. For Mozart's Horn Concertos, Brain's 1953 performance is missing. Both of these are prominent in the newsgroup recommendations, in various threads. The site seems oriented towards more recent and contemporary recordings, but the format is indeed excellent.

I didn't think of Amazon because there aren't any surveys there, unless some reviewer decides to invoke comparisons.
posted by Gyan at 10:11 PM on August 2, 2007


I didn't think of Amazon because there aren't any surveys there, unless some reviewer decides to invoke comparisons.

So your question is whether there's a website that compares the customer reviews so that you don't have to look at the reviews for each recording individually? That's so specific that I doubt if it exists, especially since most classical CDs aren't directly comparable (except for one-work-per-CD compositions like Beethoven's Ninth, or siamese twins like the Debussy and Ravel string quartets). I don't think you're going to do much better than going to Amazon and comparing the aggregate customer reviews for different CDs.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:32 PM on August 4, 2007


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