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1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die [Paperback]

Matthew Rye
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Nov 2007 1001
1001 Classical Recordings is a guide concerned with excellence in every field of classical music. The reader becomes familiar with the Gregorian chants of the Medieval age (pre-1400), the madrigals and more secular music of the Renaissance (1400-1600), the intricate ornamentation of the Baroque era (1600-1750), the structured pieces of the Classic period (1750-1820), and the emotionally charged Romantic works (1820-1900), right through to the innovative and sometimes challenging composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.From the great and inspiring Masses, choral works, symphonies, concertos, and operas, to the intimacies and subtleties of chamber music and pieces written for small ensembles and soloists, the reader builds up a full understanding of the variety of music in the classical genre, and is guided to the most outstanding recordings of each masterpiece. Each entry is potentially a gateway to exciting new territories of music for the reader to explore.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell (15 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844035794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844035793
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 16 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Matthew Rye is a writer, editor and critic. He has written numerous programme and CD booklet notes, was a reviewer for the Daily Telegraph for 13 years and BBC Music Magazine for over 15, and has also written for the Independent, Sunday Times, Musical Times, The Wagner Journal and other publications. He contributed to The Rough Guide to Classical Music, The Blackwell History of Music in Britain and was general editor of 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die (Cassell Illustrated, 2007). He is currently reviews editor of The Strad and is the author of a new series of eBooks, Masterpieces of Music (Erudition; www.eruditions.co.uk/).

Product Description

Book Description

This guide selects only the most distinguished CD recordings and expressions of each composition. It steers the reader away from wasting money on less accomplished performances of the same works. Part of the series that includes the global bestseller 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. No other guide to classical music crams so much endlessly browsable, readable information and insight into one volume. It is written by experts who know and care about the music--it is the key to a lifetime's passion and listening pleasure. This friendly but authoritative guide immediately makes sense of the choices on offer in stores. For MP3 users, CD reviews have an iPod-style list with recommended downloads from each recording - chosen for their artistic and technical excellence

About the Author

Matthew Rye is a writer and journalist who worked for many years on the staff of BBC Music Magazine and more recently at The Strad Magazine, where he is currently working freelance as a reviews editor. He is a music critic for the Daily Telegraph, writing regular reviews of CDs and concerts, and he has also contributed to a wide variety of other titles on classical music. His publications include a chapter on twentieth-century opera for the Blackwell History of Music in Britain and contributions to the Rough Guides to Classical Music and to Opera.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, don't be put off by that title... 2 Mar 2008
By Steve TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I completely agree with Garth Winter's review. This book is part of a series of publications of 1001 'things' you shouldn't miss, which may suggest a publisher has just thrown together some classical CDs to make a up a music title. In fact, this is an extremely thoughtful guide and one I have found enormously rewarding since buying.

It differs from other classical CD guides available in the U.K. in a number of ways, the most obvious being that works are arranged in chronological order, from the 12th Century up to 2004. This actually makes a lot of sense; if you like one piece of music, in a style typical of its age, say a Tchaikovsky ballet, then browsing a few pages either side of Swan Lake (say), you find other works which may well appeal to you. More than, say, a Telemann concerto which would be listed in a conventional alphabetical guide. I think relative newcomers to classical music will particularly benefit from this (although as a long-standing collector I've already been inspired to try a number of works I've not heard before). Also this book is very well illustrated, with reproductions of CD covers, and full page photos of composers and conductors. I thought this was a bit of a waste of space at first, but there are some fine illustations; a front cover of Time magazine showing Shostakovich against a blazing Leningrad with the title 'Fireman Shostakovich' (although the CD cover illustrated for the Leningrad Symphony is completely wrong (Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony)). And on page 619 there is a delightful photo of Alban Berg and his young nephew, Erich; young Erich is looking up in something approaching awe at his uncle, whilst Berg himself seems to be on some literally, as well as physically, higher plane altogether. Grab a sight of this even is you don't buy the book.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the title suggests! 15 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
I like to think I'm a serious classical musician and collector, with thousands of CDs, but I found plenty in this book to send me in new directions, and for the relative newcomer to music it would be a truly fabulous resource. As the great cellist Steven Isserlis says in his foreword, the sheer variety of music available to us these days -- even within "just" the classical sphere -- is bewildering. Where are you to start? Well, this would certainly get you going, presenting as it does more or less the entire core repertoire of concert hall, opera house and chamber-music room.

The material is set out in clear chronological order, and the reviews of the suggested recordings of the music are written by well-known and respected critics. And in fact "1001 Recordings" is a considerable understatement, because they're not dictatorial about what they consider to be the best, and in many case they offer a list of equally interesting and worthy alternatives.

The book weighs a ton, but a heavy read it is certainly not. It is not the last word -- no book could ever be that -- but it is a steal at the price, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Narrow in scope? 14 Mar 2010
By maximus TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
You might think (from my review title) "what's narrow about 1001 recordings. That seems quite a long list actually", well you might think differently if you have come across other well known Classical music CD review publications such as the Gramophone and Penguin guides (both of which have their own pros and cons too). If you haven't come across them, then you might think "great this book is going to tell me what to buy", which would be a shame if once you buy the recommended discs in this book, you find (a) you don't like the recordings and (b) you wish you had considered a wider selection of interpretations/performances before making your final choice(s). So based on those thoughts, I wonder therefore from who's point of view is this book an indispensable list - clearly the author thinks so, but at what cost to the reader? Sure I can see a market for it if you really haven't got time to read more about or sample other alternatives, but otherwise if you like researching a bit more, then this book will undoubtedly seem too prescriptive in its approach and rather one sided for the earlier periods of music, since it almost solely gives credence to "period instrument" performances. Some of these I agree with, but most need to be listened to next to more traditional performance styles which have developed through the turn of last century and also many of the younger conductors these days, bring about authentic performances (through musicological research) without necessarily using period instruments. So as a result I find myself becoming a bit cynical about this book as it does end up appearing more like a very large glossy sales/marketing brochures for a narrow band of labels and performers. Read more ›
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt by omissions in the index 26 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
This is an impressive piece of work which is spoilt somewhat by an inaccurate index to the works reviewed. I was curious about Wagner's Lohengrin and but to my surprise did not find it in the index. If you plough through the book, you will find that it is indeed included. Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and most of the works by Schumann are also excluded from the index. A good effort spoilt by slack editing.

I took the trouble to write to the publishers to point out these omissions, but after a couple of months have received no reply whatsoever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good selection with something new
The book is arranged chronologically by date of composition. So no matter how wide your music taste you will always find something you haven't heard before that you fancy... Read more
Published 15 months ago by David Slater
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappoining
For the novice, yes. Unfortunately is focusses on recent recordings, which leads to very 'safe', but not always musically recommendations.
Published on 26 Dec 2010 by Paradijsvogel
2.0 out of 5 stars Important Missing Entry
This book makes no reference to ikonic soprano Emma Kirkby

I wrote asking why and where I could find recommended recordings of her work but received no reply
Published on 9 Sep 2010 by Professor Walter Dean
4.0 out of 5 stars 10001 Classical Recordings
A little unusual in that the reviews are listed in the order of when the pieces of music were written rather than in alphabetical order of the composer. Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2010 by M. J. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent referencial starting point
i looked around for the so called 'elite bibles' of classical music which to my mind seem over-priced compared to whats in them. Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2010 by steppes
3.0 out of 5 stars Great on music since 1945, forget the rest
Wonderful on modern composers and recordings, suggesting numerous excellent recordings, but WOEFUL on the nineteenth century, especially Verdi and Wagner.
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by D. M. Purkiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but don't take it too seriously if your a classical buff
The "1001 Classical Music Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die" is an interesting and fun attempt to pinpoint 1001 key works and the best recordings of each but of necessity the... Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2010 by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the 1001 series
I've been listening to Classical music for over 20 years now but this book has made me feel I've barely scratched the surface. Read more
Published on 27 April 2009 by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT
I asked someone on the radio 3 message board about buying cds, he suggested this, he was right, it is SUPERB :)
Published on 9 Jun 2008 by Jason Palmer
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