Cover image for The Penguin guide to compact discs & DVDs
The Penguin guide to compact discs & DVDs
March, Ivan.
Personal Author:
2003/4 edition.
Publication Information:
London : Penguin Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
1566 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"The key classical recordings on CD, DVD & SACD"--Cover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML156.9 .M34 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



This guide reviews thousands of classical CDs and selects some of the best new DVDs. Ranging from long-established recordings to the latest releases, from premium-priced CDs to bargains, it represents the cream of the international recorded repertoire and contains all the information required to make selections from some of the finest music available.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This fourth edition of a trusted reference surveys recordings and performances of classical music issued and reissued during the last 20 years. Yet for all its breadth (1300 CDs), new coverage areas (70 SACDs and DVDs), and heft (1600 pages in fairly small type), the guide is selective, say editors March, Edward Greenfield, and Robert Layton, all distinguished British music critics. Recordings of the masters abound, as well as those by minor composers from around the world (e.g., Edward McDowell, Arnold Bax, and Nikolai Medtner). In particular, English composers are well covered-there are about 20 pages on Edward Elgar, which is more than Mendelssohn is allotted-perhaps to the marginalization or omission of some familiar works and composers (e.g., the complete cycle of Viotti violin concertos is not represented at all, and there is only one entry for Viotti). Entries are arranged by composer: the same disc split between two composers may be reviewed under both composers' entries. The editors evaluate by means of a narrative and a star system (one to three, with a rosette indicating an "arbitrary compliment" from a member of the reviewing team). Recordings marked with a door-key icon indicate that it may be used as the basis of a personal collection, and these recordings are listed in an appendix. Unlike Alexander J. Morin's Classical Music: The Listener's Companion and Gramophone Classical Good CD Guide 2003, Penguin only reviews the music; explanations about the piece or its composer, as well as reference material (? la Gramophone), are absent. For the classical music aficionado, this is good news because it provides more space for the heart of the matter (i.e., the reviews), though some libraries may appreciate the explanatory and reference features offered in the other works. At less than $30 a pop, all three books are highly recommended, and because none is comprehensive, every library should own two or even all three. Classical Music: The Listener's Companion has a slight edge overall, but Penguin will be an essential purchase for many libraries. [More composers and performances are included in a biannual yearbook.-Ed.]-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note: The Key Recordingsp. ix
Forewordp. x
Introductionp. xiii
The American Scenep. xvi
Price Differences in the UK and USAp. xvi
The Australian Scenep. xvi
International Mail-order Source and Websitep. xvii
Abbreviationsp. xviii
Composersp. 1
Appendix The Key Recordingsp. 1525