Saturday, December 10, 2011

I am making history

Part 1 of A History of Classical Music through Recordings is now up on It's about Gregorian chant. The introductory post in which I attempt to justify my existence is also up.
I'm currently working on part 2, which brings in polyphony, and parts 3 to 5 have been mapped out. In the introduction I note that 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die doesn't cover early music very well. I'm pleased to note that their (chronologically) first album, of the (original) Carmina Burana, corresponds to my nineteenth. And still I occasionally feel bad about only scratching the surface.
I know way more about early music than I did a few weeks ago. Maybe you will too!
8tracks mix to follow soon, hopefully. It's my ambition to own all the recordings I discuss (makes it easier to discuss them, eh?), so there could be a steady stream of mixes. I intend this to be something I'm very proud of.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Gramophone review survey

Got an email from Gramophone telling me they want to improve their online review archive. No surprise there. The old Gramofile was very useful, but the new version, which relies on accurate OCR'ing of scanned issues, is haphazard, and removing the ability to browse the PDFs didn't help either. If they can get the thing working properly it will be a great resource.
So the accompanying survey seems interesting. One question asks,
If you were looking to read a review of a specific recording on the Reviews Archive, how would you go about searching for it? Which criteria would you look for first? What would you look for next?
And then I get to pick various criteria from a list (Composer, Conductor, Date of recording, and so forth) and arrange them in a suitable order. Then there's
The following is a list of information which could appear alongside a classical music review. In your view, which of these are essential, which are nice to have and which are not required?
and we get things like "More from this composer", "Reader rating", "Playing time", "Reviewer name" and many more besides.
Some thought went into this, obviously. So much better than seems to be the usual approach (see eMusic for example), which is "Dear customer, We have just completely fucked up our web site. Isn't it great?!"