ncdrawl

Penguin Classical Guide Rosette winner database(good foundation for collection?)

19 posts in this topic

Teddy Ray, great link. I used to work in Leamington Spa and used to visit the Presto shop regularly for my classical CDs. In fact I can safely say that they helped get in to classical music when I first got an interest in it. It was a great little shop, sheet music upstairs and the cds downstairs, then they moved across to a different road and lovely new premises.

It used to be great having this shop and the expertise just down the road from where I worked and spending a happy lunch time, when I wasn't in the pub that is, browsing through the classical and small jazz section they had.

All this nostalgia from a happier time.

As for the Penguins, they a re good indication of solid recordings and decent interpretations to start with but no doubt as you get more experienced you'll end up finding your own favourite interpretations.

there was a while where they did them packaged up to match the old Pengiun Classics books - a nice touch I thought. I still think the Dutoit/Montreal Planets, that came packaged up in this way from an original Decca release (I think), is still one of my favourites and one of the best recorded as well.

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When I was younger I used the Penguin guide as my bible. Most good commercial recordings these days are different only in interpretation and recorded acoustic usually. You could hear one interpretation that you simply dislike. Abaddo's Brahms symphonies with the BPO were a huge turn off for me yet the composer, conductor and orchestra are among my favourites.

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My original 1st edition Penguin is not as good/useful as online reviews etc.

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I've always found it a pretty good guide, in that much of its recommendations accord with my particular tastes and preferences. For example, I regard the Gardiner live San Marco recording of Monteverdi's Vespers to be the best there is. Nobody else does, except Penguin.

OK, it's confirming my particular prejudices, but then all our musical tastes are not selected on rational bases. We like what we like, end of story. The Seventh Day Authenticists may regard Andrew Parrott's version as more authentic, but personally I think that it would more usefully be marketed in tablet form - it would wipe Valium off the market overnight. And naturally there are folk who will think precisely the reverse.

The musical experience isn't be the same for everyone, so a number of sources should be consulted - but Penguin should be one of them.

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