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Subject: Recording reference material
From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Nov 2008 08:10:56 -0800

text/plain (61 lines)

There are three invaluable references to recordings of opera, operetta 
and oratorio, each with its advantages and drawbacks. I am cross-posting 
to several lists and apologize for any duplication.

Opern Diskographie - Karsten Steiger
K.G. Saur, publisher
This is the second edition of "Verzeichnis aller Audio- und 
Video-Gesamtaufnahmen" and provides the most carefully researched 
material on recordings of opera only. A heavy, expensive tome on paper, 
it is thoroughly indexed but difficult to handle. One learns that a 
particular artist sang in a specific opera - then turns to that page to 
find perhaps thirty paragraphs to scan for the name, then to correlate 
with the first listing for that opera to see the order of listing for 
the characters.
Verzeichnis aller Opergesamtaufnahmen - A. Ommer
Digitale Bibliothek
This CD-ROM expands on Steiger to include operetta and oratorio with a 
most valuable index by singer. Inexpensive and easy to access, it does 
require some understanding of German. However, it is not reliable with 
many pages of confusion such as mixing two recordings in a single 
listing. Accuracy is good on commercial recordings, fair on major 
'private' titles, poor on the obscure items one is most likely to seek. 
In all, though, the listing by singer makes it worth its modest cost and 
it is easily installed onto one's hard drive for ready access.
This WWW site offers a free, comprehensive and reasonably accurate 
discography of opera and operetta which is updated monthly. It may be 
accessed on the WWW, but is designed to be downloaded and burned (ISO 
image) to CD-ROM. The format is unique but effective and locating a 
recording by composer or title from CD-ROM is straightforward in an 
unusual DOS program running under Windows. The program is quirky but 
once learned is easy to use - and the price is right. It can be 
installed on a hard drive.

In general, I access Ommer first because it is easiest, confirm with 
Steiger or CLOR when appropriate, then with other references when 
needed. I find each of great value but at current cost would recommend 
Steiger only to committed aficianados with patience and good reading 

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