GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Classical Music for Beginners => Topic started by: Que on September 17, 2007, 07:35:22 AM

Title: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Que on September 17, 2007, 07:35:22 AM
Are you regularly reading classical music magazine(s) and if so, which one(s)?
What do think of them - what are their weaknesses & strenghts?

What websites do you consult for good reviews of recordings?

We have members from all over the world, so this thread is NOT restricted to magazines & sites in English!
I'm personally open to recommendations of magazines & sites in English, German or French.

I read myself Gramophone (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/) - a British magazine.
Strong point is it's comprehensiveness and some reputable reviewers, on the other hand it doesn't bely its Britishness...

Any comments on its (also British) competitor International Record Review (http://www.recordreview.co.uk/)?

EDIT: I've widened the scope of this thread to online sources for reviews!
they after all serve the same purpose. :)

Q
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: dtwilbanks on September 17, 2007, 07:41:18 AM
I'll pick up Gramophone occasionally but its British bias can be a huge turn-off. I used to read Fanfare but less so now that I have cut way back on buying recordings; I think my favorite reviews were in there. American Record Guide is a bit too eccentric for me.

Nowadays, I'll peek at Classics Today every so often.

Otherwise, I just read this forum.  ;D
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Cato on September 17, 2007, 07:47:01 AM
Fanfare is great, although I cannot afford it these days, both because of its own cost and because it inevitably fertilizes desires to buy more CD's, which I also cannot afford and have no room for!   :o
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Lethevich on September 17, 2007, 08:32:57 AM
Gramophone is good, if you factor in the bias, but I found that I am not reading much beyond the reviews, leaving 2/3rds of the magazine wasted - not good value at all, I may stop getting it soon.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Harry on September 17, 2007, 08:37:54 AM
That would be the Gramophone, of course, and the monthly JPC magazine, a few German magazines, but on a irregular basis, and many friends all over the world, send me interesting cuttings from local magazines, or even cd's if they think it worth my while.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Mark on September 17, 2007, 09:39:49 AM
I'll add BBC Music Magazine, not least for its cover CDs of performances from the bottomless BBC archives. A good read, fairly balanced reviews (so far as I'm able to tell), and not as 'low brow' as Classic FM magazine, which really would be beneath most people here.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Norbeone on September 17, 2007, 10:13:31 AM
Goldberg Magazine is supposedly excellent. It focuses mostly (or entirely?) on earlier music from Baroque era to before hand. Maybe it ventures into early classical era, though i'm not sure. It has some excellent sample articles on the official site and definately seems worths subscribing to.

http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/ (http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Que on September 17, 2007, 10:19:11 AM
Goldberg Magazine is supposedly excellent. It focuses mostly (or entirely?) on earlier music from Baroque era to before hand. Maybe it ventures into early classical era, though i'm not sure. It has some excellent sample articles on the official site and definately seems worths subscribing to.

http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/ (http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/)

I have seen it in the shops - enterily devoted to early music including baroque.
That is a too narrow scope for me and I have not so much interest for pre-baroque, but I would recomend it to early music lovers.

Q
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Harry Collier on September 17, 2007, 11:20:35 AM

I read The Gramophone (since 1956) but the reviews are becoming more and more skimpy and London-biased, so I may give it up soon. I read International Record Review which I like, because the reviews are a lot more detailed and the reviewers a lot less swayed by nationality or advertisers. I also read Le Monde de la Musique each month; very quirky, and with a very French bias. But it is good to have a variety of opinions; very occasionally, as with the recent Isabelle Faust recording of Beethoven's violin concerto, Gramophone, IRR and LM de la Musique all agree and that is rare enough to get me reaching for my ordering mouse.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Mark on September 17, 2007, 12:02:27 PM
... very occasionally, as with the recent Isabelle Faust recording of Beethoven's violin concerto, Gramophone, IRR and LM de la Musique all agree and that is rare enough to get me reaching for my ordering mouse.

Quite so. It's a rare thing indeed to get Gramophone, BBC Music and Classic FM magazines to agree on a great many releases in their reviews pages, and I've made a few errors in purchasing because of this. >:(

Now, I treat reviews as little more than a rough guide, which I feel justified in discarding if I so wish. But I do tend to pay attention to a handful of reviewers who write for two of the above-mentioned publications. That excludes Jed Distler, however.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Don on September 17, 2007, 02:45:19 PM
Gramophone - Visually attractive, reviewers tend to prefer mainstream performances, British bias that doesn't bother me.

BBC Music Magazine - comes with a cd of complete works, nice pictures, British bias not troublesome, reviews are very short.

International Record Review - There's a lot of meat in those reviews but the verdicts tend to be overly positive.  Nice covers, but the rest is mostly plain.

American Record Guide - Good reviews, I could live without the first half of the magazine, big bias against period instruments that does bother me.

Fanfare - My favorite.  Great reviews, plenty of them.  Their on-line site is really nice.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Que on September 17, 2007, 11:07:47 PM
I've widened the scope of this thread to include online sources for reviews. These of course serve the same purpose as old fashioned magazines and indeed I've used them more and more over the years to make decisions on what to buy/explore.

A small list of the online sources for reviews I use. I'll add some more specialised sites later.

Classicstoday (http://www.classicstoday.com/)
I think much comment is not needed, it's well known on the forum! ;D
Let me just add that I've used it a lot as guidance in the past but have grown a bit weary of it. Too little reviewers - I'm by now well aware (and fed up) with Hurwitz' preferences. I tend to value Jed Distler's reviews now and then. The number of 10/10 reviews is a bit (suspiciously) generous of late...

Classicstodayfrance (http://www.classicstodayfrance.com/) (In French)
The French sister site. I find it more reliable - Christophe Huss is a good reviewer. But the number of reviewers is also here to little, which tend to make it one-sided. Noticeably less 10/10's... 8)

Klassik-heute (http://www.klassik-heute.de/kh/3cds/neue_besprechungen.shtml) (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?  :)

Musicweb International (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/classrev.htm)
I guess most of you are familiar with this British home of (former) Joyce Hatto advocates. >:D
Its actually a very good, comprehensive source for reviews - as long as you take the opinions on all things British with a pinch (sack) of salt.

Gramofile (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/cdreviews.asp)
Last of this bunch is the online database of the magazine Gramophone (online registration required).

Q
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Don on September 18, 2007, 12:49:38 PM
I've widened the scope of this thread to include online sources for reviews. These of course serve the same purpose as old fashioned magazines and indeed I've used them more and more over the years to make decisions on what to buy/explore.

A small list of the online sources for reviews I use. I'll add some more specialised sites later.

Classicstoday (http://www.classicstoday.com/)
I think much comment is not needed, it's well known on the forum! ;D
Let me just add that I've used it a lot as guidance in the past but have grown a bit weary of it. Too little reviewers - I'm by now well aware (and fed up) with Hurwitz' preferences. I tend to value Jed Distler's reviews now and then. The number of 10/10 reviews is a bit (suspiciously) generous of late...


"Generous" is putting it mildly.  Given all the inflated ratings on that site, I place no validity on them.  Also, how about the fact that the five reviews per day usually include 2 from the previous day.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Earthlight on September 18, 2007, 05:13:50 PM
The only one I read regularly is American Record Guide. I picked it out more or less at random years ago, when I didn't have the time to read both it and Fanfare (or the money to subscribe to both), and continue with it.

Don was, if anything, too polite about the editorial biases; the editor-in-chief is a composite of every stereotype about classical music aficionados (especially those involving snot), and there is a small but vocal coterie of "he's Russian, he can't play French music," or "she's English, she can't play anything!" But the individual reviewers seem to work unhindered, and many of them are quite good; it's pretty easy to filter out the bad actors. New music usually gets handed off to a sympathetic reviewer. The editor is very proud of the mag's editorial independence -- no big advertising contracts -- and in that I take his word for it.

The overwrought animus against period instruments generally plays out in the longer essays that appear in the beginning of each issue, or it did last time I bothered to read any of those longer essays. Now and then this attitude pollutes a review, but overall I think most of their writers try to offer intelligent critiques, and I enjoy most of what I read in each issue.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Harry Collier on September 18, 2007, 11:39:32 PM
I've made a few errors in purchasing because of this. >:(

Now, I treat reviews as little more than a rough guide

Very wise. The occasional BIG mistake I've made when buying a CD (usually involving Simon Rattle) has been because I've been infected with some reviewer's enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Mark on September 18, 2007, 11:54:59 PM
Very wise. The occasional BIG mistake I've made when buying a CD (usually involving Simon Rattle) has been because I've been infected with some reviewer's enthusiasm.


Quite so. Although, I have to admit, I'm rather pleased with everything I have that features Rattle. ;D
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Maciek on January 08, 2009, 09:23:37 AM
And this may come in handy:
Classicaldigest.com (http://www.classicaldigest.com/index.php) - a reference database on classical music reviews in magazines or online, with links to the reviews whenever possible.

Anyone know what happened to that site? I used to use it quite often (last time maybe a week ago), at least until today - it seems to be down permanently...? :'(
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Kuhlau on January 08, 2009, 03:20:15 PM
Just in case anyone wants a handy page listing everything above plus a stack more besides, my blog's 'Resources' page (http://aneverymanforhimself.wordpress.com/resources/) is the place to head for. ;)

FK
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Sid on November 09, 2010, 07:22:36 PM
What are some good places to go to get authoritative reviews of classical releases on the net? I only regularly use the two below, but am interested if any members here know any other good ones.

Musicweb seems to be quite authoritative:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/ (http://www.musicweb-international.com/)

Classicstoday seems to be less reliable. I have bought a number of discs that they have poo-pooed and ended up liking them (so strongly disagreeing):

http://www.classicstoday.com/ (http://www.classicstoday.com/)

Amazon also has some good customer reviews from people who seem to (sometimes) know their stuff. But some reviews there are great, others are crap, so the quality varies greatly...
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Herman on November 09, 2010, 07:28:54 PM
What are some good places to go to get authoritative reviews of classical releases on the net? I only regularly use the two below, but am interested if any members here know any other good ones.

Musicweb seems to be quite authoritative:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/ (http://www.musicweb-international.com/)

Classicstoday seems to be less reliable. I have bought a number of discs that they have poo-pooed and ended up liking them (so strongly disagreeing):

http://www.classicstoday.com/ (http://www.classicstoday.com/)

Amazon also has some good customer reviews from people who seem to (sometimes) know their stuff. But some reviews there are great, others are crap, so the quality varies greatly...

MusicWeb may seem authoritative to you, but it's just a bunch of guys hoping to get a free review cd. Worse the place is built around a unit that sells cd's, and MusicWeb is rightly notorious (= far from authoritative) for being a major player in the Joyce Hatto hoax: selling crap by putting out the word the crap was gold.

I'm rather surprised you don't mention Gramophone. Not that I think their reviews are instantly reliable, but at least there is some tradition there. I would recommend not taking music reviews too seriously, and to be very wary of thoe ones you mentioned.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: DavidW 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/ (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. :(
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo 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.)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: mc ukrneal 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: The new erato on November 10, 2010, 12:14:34 AM
There's also this

http://www.musicalcriticism.com/ (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. 
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Maciek on November 10, 2010, 04:53:09 AM
I've merged this thread with a very similar one from the past.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: DavidW 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. :)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: DavidW 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. :)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 10, 2010, 05:54:04 PM
And you know either Jens or Hurwitz (I get them confused sometimes ;D ).....

 :o ;D

Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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... :-\

8)


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Now playing:
Laure Colladant (Pianoforte)\ Catherine Michel (Harp) - W├Âlfl Op 44 Duo for Pianoforte & Harp 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: jlaurson 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: MishaK on January 14, 2011, 07:10:30 PM
Klassik-heute (http://www.klassik-heute.de/kh/3cds/neue_besprechungen.shtml) (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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: jlaurson 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

Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: mjwal 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: ClassicalWeekly 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: mc ukrneal 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 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3730.0.html)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Brahmsian on April 03, 2011, 05:51:53 AM
My personal favorite is BBC Music.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Zizekian on July 03, 2012, 05:09:38 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!).
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2012, 01:15:16 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.

(http://www.listenmusicmag.com/_resources/img/covers/03-12-full.jpg)
Listen Music Magazine (http://www.listenmusicmag.com)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: North Star on July 04, 2012, 01:39:40 AM
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!).

I have no idea of NPR, but I recommend asking here on the 'Recordings you are considering' thread (and searching for earlier discussions), and reading Amazon reviews, although most of them are worthless, some are very knowledgeable reviewers (it's awful if Giordano Bruno quit permanently).
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Zizekian on July 04, 2012, 03:35:55 AM
I have no idea of NPR, but I recommend asking here on the 'Recordings you are considering' thread (and searching for earlier discussions), and reading Amazon reviews, although most of them are worthless, some are very knowledgeable reviewers (it's awful if Giordano Bruno quit permanently).

Thanks!
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: eyeresist on July 04, 2012, 05:33:16 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!).

I don't know that "accuracy" enters into the matter, beyond getting the name of the piece right and being able to tell if the musicians are in tune. The rest is a matter of personal taste, so the trick is to find critics whose taste complements your own.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: jlaurson on July 05, 2012, 12:07:44 AM
I don't know that "accuracy" enters into the matter, beyond getting the name of the piece right and being able to tell if the musicians are in tune. The rest is a matter of personal taste, so the trick is to find critics whose taste complements your own.

That's not quite right, I hope. A good critic is one where you don't need his or her tastes to complement your own to a.) enjoy reading a review (super-rare, because most of the writing is at such a low level) and b.) gain enough information, objective and subjective reaction, to begin form an opinion of your own. Think - in live reviews - of what Martin Bernheimer can do.

Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Beale on July 08, 2012, 02:42:48 AM
I don't believe this site has been mentioned previously: The Flying Inkpot Classical Music ( http://www.flyinginkpot.com/ )

There are some useful reviews and commentaries on the classical music scenes by writers from Singapore.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on November 18, 2014, 05:56:49 AM
I subscribed to Fanfare for many years and greatly enjoyed it, but with a new job my work consumed me and my listening time.  Now retired, I'm hoping I will get an online subscription to it for Christmas this year (includes access to their considerable scanned archive of back issues).  It will be good to be back with an old friend, though I know I will miss many of the old reviewers who have surely gone on to other things or their reward.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Spineur on January 30, 2016, 01:34:36 AM
I occasionally consult the french magazines "Diapason" and Classica, which I feel underwhelming.  They put out so many "diapason d"or and 5*, one has the feeling that they are promotional tools for studios.  Its got to be a 'diapason du siecle" (like Minkowski Oriadante) to raise my attention.  Plus the occasionally pretentious tone that really puts me off.

The best source for me is my sister who is a professionnal musician.

Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: geralmar on February 02, 2016, 07:05:37 PM
I am particularly interested in the early years of the LP and stereo classical recordings.  I find the following sources of free online access to old music/HiFi magazines helpful for old reviews and just browsing:

The Saturday Review (1940s-72)
unz.org

High Fidelity (1954-60)
HiFi Stereo Review (1958-62)
vintagevacuumaudio.com
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: ludwigii on February 02, 2017, 10:48:27 PM
In past years, I bought and regularly consulted the issues of the magazines :

Musica and Dossier (Italian)
Diapason (French)
Le Monde de la Musique (French)
The Gramophone
BBC Music Magazine
The Classic Voice (Italian)
Amadeus (Italian)
Orfeo (Italian)
CD Classica (Italian)
Compact Disc Classics (Italian)
Musica (Italian)
Repertoire (French)
Classica Repertoire (French)

Then I have accumulated so many that I decided to stop with this drug  ;D

Orfeo was a magazine on Ancient and Baroque music, very interesting :

(http://www.andrealuchesi.it/andrealuchesi.it/bibliografia/immagini_bibliografia/rivista_orfeo.jpg)

The old Repertoire was my favorite :

(http://maguelone.fr/img/bestkit_icons/2.jpg)
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: Gordo on February 05, 2017, 07:01:28 AM
In past years, I bought and regularly consulted the issues of the magazines :

Musica and Dossier (Italian)
Diapason (French)
Le Monde de la Musique (French)
The Gramophone
BBC Music Magazine
The Classic Voice (Italian)
Amadeus (Italian)
Orfeo (Italian)
CD Classica (Italian)
Compact Disc Classics (Italian)
Musica (Italian)
Repertoire (French)
Classica Repertoire (French)

Then I have accumulated so many that I decided to stop with this drug  ;D

Orfeo was a magazine on Ancient and Baroque music, very interesting :

(http://www.andrealuchesi.it/andrealuchesi.it/bibliografia/immagini_bibliografia/rivista_orfeo.jpg)

The old Repertoire was my favorite :

(http://maguelone.fr/img/bestkit_icons/2.jpg)

I have always loved/hated Amadeus because of its exclusive and hard to find disks.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: JRJoseph on March 11, 2017, 12:33:46 PM
I have been subscribing to many of the magazines mentioned plus lots of internet sites and have just about every piece of music from all the major composers I need including many versions of many of them.  I have reached the point where I am searching for minor classical, romantic, modern and even baroque composers.  When does a love for music become a compulsion.  I truly at least like and quite often love my collection of music but have I gone too far with it?  Making a choice sometimes is difficult as is what to buy next or should I give up my magazine subscriptions as in see nothing want nothing but then again. I might discover some more interesting music.
Title: Re: Classical Music Reviews - magazines & online sources
Post by: RebLem on May 08, 2018, 05:39:49 PM
The only mag I subscribe to is Fanfare, and I love it.  If you can't afford it and have a well stocked magazine store near you, you might want to annually get just their November/December issue, in which each of their reviewers list up to five issues from the previous year that they think are the best of the year.  Most of them cheat a bit and write a narrative indentifying the also-rans that they finally cut to get it down to five.  I lso read reviews here and at Classical Music Guide, and @ Amazon.  If you are a regular @ Amazon, you will find a few reviewers that are as good and knowledgeable as any of the pros, and after a while, you will recognize them by their names or monikers.