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The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection : The 350 Essential Works
Berlioz. Vaughan Williams. Schubert and Schumann. Mozart after the Jupiter Symphony, Bach beyond the Brandenburg Concertos, opera after The Magic Flute. In his informed and indispensible guide with over 157,000 copies in print, National Public Radio's Ted Libbey takes listeners by the hand through the classical repertory to build a music library. For the second edition, with five years of new performances to consider, five years of new releases to review, and five years of reissues to re-evaluate-the author has completely revised and updated the book.
While sticking to the essential 300 works, there are now one-third new selections and reviews, and a 50% change in discography to keep all suggested CDs up to date. The NPR Guide tp Building a Classical CD Collection will make every music lover's core collection complete.
Brilliant reviews on orchestral works and concertos
By Patricia A. Powell
- June 16, 2002
The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection is a good start but, it has its limitations. Ted Libbey gave himself a daunting task in putting this guide together. He did an excellent job on the two chapters on orchestral works and concertos, which comprise about half the book. These chapters alone make this book worth the money. His commentary is concise without losing important detail. The reasons that he selected the recommended recordings are clearly laid out. He gives the audiophile a genuine opportunity to understand what is good in a specific recording and what is missing. In many cases he provides more than one choice and explains the differences between the recordings. Based on his commentary, I am obsessively trying to find the Elan recording of Santiago Rodriguez playing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. As the guide progresses, however, the author seems to lose interest. His chapter on chamber music is adequate. Then, he zips through solo keyboard works and... read more
Deeply flawed but great
By Joshua L Wright "book and music fan"
- July 24, 2004
I love this book. It has been the sole guide my wife and I have used to flesh out our collection of art music recordings for close to a year now. However the book has major problems.
While everyone certainly has their favorite composers and genres of music, the amount of space dedicated to Jean Sibelius defies all logic. While he was certainly great and wrote much better stuff than I could ever write, the amount of space devoted toward this relatively obscure composer is indefensible in light of all the composers left out, even in his 2nd list of 350 in the back. No works by Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Corelli, Poulenc, Satie, or Couperin (what does he have against the French?).
What is even more glaring is the neglect some of the greatest composers of all time recieve. Libby spotlights Handel as a "major maestro" and then lists a paltry three of his works. They are his greatest to be sure, but if one is going to include him alongside Beethoven, Brahms,... read more
Recommendations from the experts
- April 8, 1999
An outstanding guide to building a classical CD collection.As a classical music collector and a listener of public radio, I find this guide to be very essential,even for those who already have a CD collection.The book is in six chapters:Chapter one tells about music for orchestra,chapter two about concertos,chapter three on chamber music, chapter four on solo keyboard work on chapters five and six Mr.Libbey tells about vocal works,including, sacred music, secular choral music,and opera by various composers of different times.Mr.Libbey also offers great details about each work that he tells about. The book also has funny illustrations about composers and performers and about circumstances sorrounding certain compositions.My favourite is the illustration of the violinist where Mr.Libbey explains about Beethoven`s Razumosvsky quartet #1 on page 305,the chapter about chamber music. The book also shows pictures of composers, performers,and conductors.This book is of great... read more
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