Known Johnson

September 10, 2007

AllMusic let down

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 10:39 am

I find myself frustrated with music bible AllMusicGuide at times like right now, when I’m trying to look up minimalist classical composer Arvo Pärt. Where in the pop/rock sections of the site, looking up a name yields their discography, in the classical section you’re presented with simply a bio and a page of works. I understand this, and in theory is makes sense. But think of it like a non-classical person and it’s a disaster. What I want to find under the composer’s name is a list of recordings of his works. I realize that composer’s works are recorded numerous times by different ensembles, but when I just want to read about that work, it’s almost impossible to find anything remotely usable. For instance, I’m trying to find information and a review about Arvo Pärt’s Sanctuary album. I can’t find it on AllMusic, and relying solely on Amazon reviews isn’t the best way to go about introducing yourself to something new. But Amazon is the only place that I can actually read about this release – it turns out it’s a bit of a “best of” for the composer.

Why can’t AllMusic keep the classical functionality the way it is, as I’m sure classical aficionados like it, but add in an additional page that lists actual releases of Pärt’s music? This is one of the reasons that anything under the classical umbrella is so hard for outsiders to get into – it’s very, very difficult to find meaningful information about recordings.

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