Author Topic: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources  (Read 22615 times)

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DavidW

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2010, 08:55:19 PM »
Fanfare is one of the best and you can access their reviews online if you're a subscriber--

http://www.fanfaremag.com/

I prefer Musicweb over Classics Today because I get tired of the rants, but there is also Classics Today France which is Hurwitz free.  It's not in English though. :(

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2010, 10:52:07 PM »
classical.net has hosted reviews for ages now - often very detailed ones. Check out their review archive here:

http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/

Audiophile Audition is another useful source:

http://www.audaud.com/classical

Another site that's been around for a while is this one:

http://www.classicalcdreview.com/

Basically I agree with Herman about Musicweb - sometimes it's worth reading, but they're too uneven to be considered authoritative. A very hit-&-miss site in terms of quality. (They've also had some nutty reviewers, like the bizarre Dr. David Wright.)
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2010, 11:06:00 PM »
Audiophile Audition is another useful source:

http://www.audaud.com/classical
I like this one a lot. They give enough information, allowing me to figure out if I might like it regardless of the tone of the review.

I don't know much about musicweb itself, but the reviews also tend to provide enough information to figure out if I like something or not. The worst is the one paragraph review they sometimes do at classics today - just not enough information to make a decision.

In terms of quality, I feel fanfare and gramophone are similar. I have only picked up one issue of fanfare (hard for me to find), but like Gramophone, they spent too much time telling me if I should listen to the music or not (whether the music was good enough or not) as opposed to reviewing what was played. Maybe I got unlucky with that issue. I picked up an American Record Guide issue some moths ago - my first, and I was pleasantly surprised. But I don't know much about them.
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2010, 12:14:34 AM »
There's also this

http://www.musicalcriticism.com/

as well as the reviews in The Guardian.

But in general I am wary of reviews, have read too much I disagree with over the yeras. Some individual reviewers I trust, but mainly I follow my own opinions. I hit and miss some times, but not more than by buying by reviews. There's sooo much bullshit out there - and one have also to take into consideration that there's such a thing as individual taste. 

Offline Maciek

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2010, 04:53:09 AM »
I've merged this thread with a very similar one from the past.

DavidW

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2010, 06:33:00 AM »
Audiophile Audition is another useful source:

http://www.audaud.com/classical

Oh I know that site, they gave a glowing review to one of the entries to the new Herreweghe cycle.  You know that I like and no one else on this forum does. >:(

They're a good source for reviews. :)

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2010, 05:45:45 PM »
Oh I know that site, they gave a glowing review to one of the entries to the new Herreweghe cycle.  You know that I like and no one else on this forum does. >:(

David, are you referring to Herreweghe's Bach cantata cycle? If so, I've been very outspoken about its high quality. It's a fave of mine. Jens is a great fan of this cycle as well.
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DavidW

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2010, 05:49:05 PM »
David, are you referring to Herreweghe's Bach cantata cycle? If so, I've been very outspoken about its high quality. It's a fave of mine. Jens is a great fan of this cycle as well.

No I'm talking about his recent Beethoven symphony cycle.  His Bach cantata cycle is well regarded everywhere.  And you know either Jens or Hurwitz (I get them confused sometimes ;D ) said that Herreweghe had no business conducting Beethoven. ::)  I listen to his recordings with the Royal Flemish Orchestra and I think wow! this is exactly what I like. :)

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2010, 05:54:04 PM »
And you know either Jens or Hurwitz (I get them confused sometimes ;D ).....

 :o ;D

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2010, 07:05:45 PM »
No I'm talking about his recent Beethoven symphony cycle.  His Bach cantata cycle is well regarded everywhere.  And you know either Jens or Hurwitz (I get them confused sometimes ;D ) said that Herreweghe had no business conducting Beethoven. ::)  I listen to his recordings with the Royal Flemish Orchestra and I think wow! this is exactly what I like. :)

You sure you aren't talking about Jens and Norman Lebrecht? They are the two that I'm always mixing up... :-\

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jlaurson

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2011, 06:12:41 AM »
No I'm talking about his recent Beethoven symphony cycle.  His Bach cantata cycle is well regarded everywhere.  And you know either Jens or Hurwitz (I get them confused sometimes ;D ) said that Herreweghe had no business conducting Beethoven. ::)  I listen to his recordings with the Royal Flemish Orchestra and I think wow! this is exactly what I like. :)

1.) you couldn't have insulted me more, except perhaps by throwing lebrecht into the mix as well. And I don't mean this in a smiley-esque way. i endeavor to be as much unlike either of those two gentleman as possible. i know i'll never be a bernheimer or ross... but i am confident enough to know that I am neither h. nor l. i don't approach music with a pre-formed opinion. and the (mere) fact that i don't shy away from having one, though, certainly isn't enough to make me anything like them.
2.) for the record: i never said that herreweghe has no business conducting beethoven. i was disappointed by his 9th and found that his 3rd didn't match the efforts of jaervi or egarr that came out around the same time... but then, who does. his vc recording is superb.
3.) i will say that he has no business guest conducting anything, except perhaps early / choral music. he is--on a sheer technical level--one of the absolute worst conductors i have ever seen. his three bands obviously are not fazed by that and consistently turn out top-notch stuff... but the poor sods in any orchestra not used to his strictly parallel chicken dance motions... oy.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 06:14:49 AM by jlaurson »

Offline MishaK

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2011, 07:10:30 PM »
Klassik-heute (In German)
The German partner site of Classicstoday. Germans turn out to be even less generous with superlatives! ;D So few 10/10's (which is good - it still means something). Various reviewers who IMO occasionally not always have their priorities right - recordings can be marked down because of personal opinions of dogmatic/musicological nature and there is much emphasis on recording quality. Lots of reviews of recordings that are not mainstream: obscure labels, composers, performers etc. Interesting no?  :)

You know, as a German-born transplant to the US I must say I find this site intolerably bad. US classical music criticism is pretentious enough. The German kind is often execrably worse, and this site is a good example why. As much as Hurwitz is sometimes just ridiculous, and even if I disagree with him 80% of the the time, at least I can tell that most of the time he has actually at least looked at the score and has reasonably well-founded reasons why he says what he says. Klassik Heute is just a joke: they have painfully few reviews - you can't find reviews even for well known releases which have won multiple awards - and most of the writers write meaningless one paragraph blurbs that say next to nothing. Those who do write longer reviews typify the annoying German music reviewer who uses a concert or CD review merely as a vehicle to expound on his musical philosophy and his ideas on a given work, using as many "big words" as possible, rather than telling us actually what the performance was like. So you get eight paragraphs of hot air followed by maybe two paragraphs that actually talk about the performance, usually in a haughtily superior tone. The worst of all is this Benjamin Cohrs guy, who is the anti-Hurwitz in his musical prejudices. I have yet to see him review a recording of a work written pre-1910 in which he doesn't excoriate the conductor for supposedly "ignoring" the gospel of HIP performance practice and praises Norrington to the heavens as a counterexample. I'm sorry, but if you honestly think that Bruckner *must* be played without a trace of vibrato you've got your head up your behind. He's a fundamentalist of the worst kind.

jlaurson

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2011, 07:17:32 PM »
You know, as a German-born transplant to the US I must say I find this site intolerably bad. US classical music criticism is pretentious enough. The German kind is often execrably worse...

ha! you're so on the money.  ;D


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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2011, 09:11:37 AM »
I agree about Klassik-heute - but Klassik.com is better, less bossy and more reviews. Sometimes  classicalcdreview.com/ reviews out-of-the-way vocal recordings, and classicalsource.com/ offers a few good reviews too seldom, alas. Peter Gutmann's classicalnotes.net/ has quite interesting discussions of the discography of individual works, among much else, always worth considering, I've found.
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Offline ClassicalWeekly

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2011, 06:40:29 PM »
Can anyone recommend a good classical music magazine?  I used to read Opera News but I'm looking for something more general.  I've heard Gramophone is good - but it's also expensive.

Thanks in advance.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2011, 10:00:20 PM »
The Gramophone seems like it's a pretty good magazine albeit with a strong British lean. I don't take many of their reviews very seriously. They give everything Hyperion recordings 5 stars or whatever their equivalent is of that rating. Then there's BBC Music, which suffers very much from the strong British lean of Gramophone. Classic FM, another British magazine (surprise), has a magazine which I have only looked at once but seemed pretty decent. The last UK based magazine I know of is simply called Classical Music. I'm not too familiar with it. The United States has a magazine called Fanfare. I have not seen this magazine before. Another one is International Record Review, which I'm not so sure of its location and I have not seen it in a store either. I'm quite positive all of these magazines have websites.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 10:05:20 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2011, 10:30:53 PM »
Can anyone recommend a good classical music magazine?  I used to read Opera News but I'm looking for something more general.  I've heard Gramophone is good - but it's also expensive.

Thanks in advance.
This is a loaded question in some ways. You will find that some people here will champion one magazine and spit on another. The only way you will really know is to read them yourself. 

The one nice thing about Gramophone is that you can read their archive for free. And although the site can be frustrating in some ways, there is an amazing wealth of information. Anyway, this is a great way to try for yourself whether you like it or not. I don't think you can get the most recent issues, but reviews don't have a sell by date, so that doesn't matter. People have complained for years about a British bias, but I think it is way overblown. Hyperion get good reviews, for example, because they have great discs (both interesting music and good perfromances). I've yet to have anyone be able to show me with any concrete proof that there is a systematic British bias. There are a few favorites though that they seem to like in eveything, of which some are British (and some are not).

Fanfare have a few reviews for free at their website as well. Here you will find a relatively small number (for free), but they are up to date. So again, a good way to try them out.  I have only gotten the American Record Guide once, but liked the issue I got.

One thing they are all guilty of, and this irritates me, is telling me who is a good composer and what are second rate works. I don't think this should be in a review. I will make that judgment, thank you, and this is one reason I just pick up occassional issues of magazines that interest me. You may also want to explore the web as there are many sites that review for free, although the quality of those reviews is much more varied than the magazines.

EDIT: THe magazine section of this thread has many links to magazines: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3730.0.html
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 10:40:08 PM by mc ukrneal »
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Brahmsian

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2011, 06:51:53 AM »
My personal favorite is BBC Music.

Zizekian

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2012, 06:09:38 PM »
How accurate does everyone find the classical music review section on the NPR Music website? I'm still learning the ropes when it comes to purchasing classical music (well, as a more discriminating consumer and not just buying box sets from the bargain bins!).

jlaurson

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Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2012, 02:15:16 AM »
Can anyone recommend a good classical music magazine?  I used to read Opera News but I'm looking for something more general.  I've heard Gramophone is good - but it's also expensive.

Thanks in advance.

This would seem to fit your description. It's more general than either Gramophone & Opera News, the quality of writing strikes me as fine, it's very well made (quality paper stock, art direction) but inexpensive.


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