Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Terminological Blunder

Whatever else may be said about the folks who compile these Gesamtwerk collections over at Brilliant Classics, their command of terminology leaves a bit to be desired. I have just begun the collection of eight discs grouped under the title, "Works for Choir a Cappella." I knew something was fishy when the first of these discs turned out to be the two collections of "Liebeslieder" waltzes (Opera 52 and 65), which are accompanied by four-hand piano! I was also a bit disappointed that these waltzes were sung by the Chamber Choir of Europe, since I have always preferred four solo voices; but one cannot exercise many choices in selecting a complete edition. It turns out that, of the eight discs in this group, only two are for unaccompanied voices. In order to distinguish them from the first three of the Vocal Music discs, this collection would more accurately be described as "Works for Mixed Voices without Orchestra," which does not consume that much more printing ink (or toner)! One final nit to pick is that the Chamber Choir of Europe uses solo voices for some of their performances. These voices are named on the "Liebeslieder" disc but on none of the others, nor do they seem to be given on the "Digital Guide" CD.

Post Script: Upon closer inspection, I found that the solo voices are listed in the "Digital Guide." However, they are listed on the final page for each disc, rather on the page that gives the texts of the songs! Thus the problem has more to do with design than with content!

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