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Surprised by Beauty

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Author Topic: Surprised by Beauty  (Read 3861 times)
Greg K
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 01:51:07 am »

Hugely enjoyable as I found the "Third Ear Guide" when it first came out 20+ years ago, the coverage is annoyingly inconsistent and the musical judgments often disagreeable to me.
The Mahler and (especially) Bruckner sections are extremely sketchy and slipshod, for example, and so many other composers that one wishes for a much fuller treatment of are shortchanged and not given the range of consideration their stature truly deserves.  It's apparent many of the authors dashed off their commissions without sufficient knowledge of and exposure to the recordings landscape they were charged with describing, and the critical evaluations are often too glib or overly dogmatic.  Noticeable biases become evident also, with these exclusively American critics tending to favour American composers and American (or at least American based) conductors and Orchestras (just as the Penguin & Good CD Guides do with the English).  All inevitable in a compilation like this, I suppose.  It is entertaining though, but also out of date by now, as any even more recent print handbooks of this type would be almost as soon as they were issued, - the new releases come so fast and furious.  
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