Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not enough information

Why do record companies do this? I was in Tower Records yesterday, browsing the new releases, and came across a 10-disc box set of French baroque from Warner called "Court of the Sun King". Looks interesting, but who's performing on it? They do not say. At all. Is this not useful, or even essential, information? Or are we, because it's a cheap box set, not expected to care? The blurb accompanying the disc (on Presto's site) is rather more helpful: "classic [Erato] recordings from the 1960s and 70s, featuring French musicians and ensembles such as Jean-Fran├žois Paillard, Louis Martini and Marie-Claire Alain". How hard would it have been to stick this information somewhere on the box?
Meanwhile, countertenor Daniel Taylor has a new album out called "Shakespeare: Come again sweet love", which as you might expect gives us English songs and madrigals. The track listing does not provide the names of the composers. We are told this is music by "some of the great masters of the Renaissance period, including Purcell, Dowland and Gibbons". The knowledgeable buyer will probably have a reasonable idea of what's what, but wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what you're buying before you buy it?

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