- Hardcover: 800 pages
- Publisher: WW Norton (Oct. 5 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393034445
- ISBN-13: 978-0393034448
- Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 4.1 x 24.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#1,098,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #92 in Books > Education & Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > Music
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- #301 in Books > Humour & Entertainment > Music > Reference > Discographies & Buyer's Guides
Metropolitan Opera Guide To Recorded Opera Hardcover – Oct 5 1993
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Buying a recording--particularly of the average opera, which requires more than one compact disc--is an investment of sorts; the big sets usually aren't cheap. If you walk into the classical music section of one of the better record stores, you'll be confronted with a wall of jewel-toned boxes of operatic recordings. How do you choose between them? The problem is particularly acute for newcomers, who may know that they want a particular opera, but know the names of only one or two performers. The record companies have put their trust in brand names (such as Pavarotti and Domingo), but unless you're already a major fan of one of these high-profile singers, you don't need to seek only the CDs on which they are featured if you shop with the aid of a good guide. The Metropolitan Guide to Recorded Opera is written by people dedicated to opera who listen to recordings with practiced and critical ears, and who know--and can either recommend or trash--almost every recording available of any given opera. The volume lists 150 operas in chronological order, with the oldest first, then provides a roundup recommendation at the end. Having a single authority/critic for each score offers a consistent viewpoint for that particular opera, and much of the writing is lively as well as informative. As a bonus, the text is studded with "favorite recordings" recommendations of various operatic luminaries. These starred recordings aren't listed or indexed, though, so finding them is a matter of serendipity. The only problem with The Metropolitan Guide to Recorded Opera is that it isn't entirely current. Because it was published in 1993, it doesn't contain reviews of recordings published since that time.
From the Back Cover
This practical and up-to-date Guide to Recorded Opera, the only such volume authorized by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, offers a wealth of invaluable information for the opera lover. Whether it is used for recommendations on which recording to buy, or for a bird's-eye view of the recording history of a specific opera, the Guide to Recorded Opera will prove an indispensable addition to the opera lover's library.See all Product description
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Of all such publications - and they can provide endless hours of absorbing reading even if the aim is not necessarily to get a well-informed recommendation - an outstanding example is The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera. Developed from an idea by Roland Gellat, and edited by Paul Gruber, it surveys and assesses virtually all opera sets on record up to 1993, the year of its publication. The roster of reviewers is impressive, comprising a team of twenty highly qualified contributors working in the USA and England.
Something I always look for in books of this type is a detailed index. The one here meets all my requirements. It enables me to find all references in the book to, for example, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, a singer you might think is represented in recorded opera sets more than anybody else. It is Placido Domingo, however, whose index entries occupy more space here than those of any other singer.
An alphabetical order of composers dictates where the recorded opera reviews are found. Once you have found "M" near the center of the book, for example, you can locate Mozart, and find his operas discussed in chronological order. There is also an index of opera titles, if you prefer that means of finding what you want. There are no illustrations, and pages are laid out in two-column format, so the book is reasonably compact and not too weighty.
Each reviewer is set the task of assessing all available recorded sets of a particular opera (a luxury few of us can enjoy) and providing a recommendation. Perhaps it is in the nature of opera, an art form with so many inter-relating components, that few single versions of a particular opera are found to excel on all counts. One of the few is the de Sabata "Tosca". Nevertheless the reviewers always attempt to "narrow the field" and indicate strengths and weaknesses along the way.
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