View Full Version : HMV/Classic FM CDs

19-06-2009, 20:41
Hi y'all,
Stan's 7520 has spurred on my renewed interst in music. :) I am now hearing things, from the same CDs, that I did not hear previously, and enjoying it immensely. I have been looking at some of the subject CDs, currently available at HMV at 3 for 15.00, or 5.99 each. If the recordings are good this is an attractive price and given Classic FM's involvement (BTW, what will they call it when FM is no more, Classic Digital I suppose), I would have thought that they should be good quality recordings. There is a very wide range, mainly classical but by no means all.
I would invest in 3 myself but my (cloth-eared) opinion would be nothing to go on.:confused: Has anyone with an 'ear' for this sort of thing had a listen?
Thanks for any opinions.

Jeremy Marchant
21-07-2009, 19:40
These are mostly EMI recordings repackaged. EMI gets the benefit of the Classic FM brand - as I've discussed in another thread, people can be reluctant to explore classical music without some sort of a prompt; Classic FM is seen by its adherents as offering added value to the radio station without having to go to the trouble of recording 50 CDs from scratch.

Personally I always avoid albums contain excerpts form larger works. Particularly as, it seems here, the subtext is 'you the listener are too thick/nervous/unsophisticated/delicate/something else to appreciate the whole work, so here is a little bit of it.

The Classic FM catalogue is very variable. If you have a little disposable income, and really don't know which recordings to buy, I would suggest start with the EMI 'Great recordings of the century' series and the similar Philips 50 series and buy something from one these. I'm not aware of a great outcry that EMI and Philips misrepresented the content of these labels, so I guess you could buy anything and be assured of an excellent performance. If you're unsure which works to buy - buy anything! None of it is rubbish. If you don't like it, try and identify why that is - could well be the style, which means you'll have to get to know a bit about the dates these composers were writing in. Next time try something different. When you hit something you like, buy more by that composer, by his contemporaries, by those he influenced or influenced him (you can get a lot of this stuff on Wikipedia and many other places on the net).

My single tip for those who really know little 'classical music' is: don't buy anything written before 1900. A provocative statement, which I might justify some other time. And, of course, I 'm not saying never in your life buy anything before then, just for the first 6-12 months, while you begin to get your bearings.