BBC Radio 3 Record Review

This is my favourite radio broadcast of the week, one which I started listening to in my university days, over 40 years ago.

Essentially, it’s a critical review of recent Classical( term used widely) releases or rereleases, which is a good way of keeping in touch with what’s going on. It’s broadcast on Saturdays at 9:00am.

The best part of the programme (I think) is the Building A Library slot, in which an eminent musician compares all available recordings of a chosen piece. This morning it will be J Strauss’s '‘Die Fledermaus’ (at 10:30). (I shall be rooting for C Kleiber’s DG account.)

EDIT: I meant to post this to in the Music Room section, so if it can be moved, I’d be grateful, Mr Dane. Sorry!


I do try and have a listen

Hope you will be at home to listen soonest


Thank you, Ian.

Unsurprisingly, CK’s unfathomable decision to cast Ivan Rebroff as a falsetto Count Orlofsky counted against his recording being chosen as the preferred version.

And that’s fair enough, as it is indeed a horrid blot. A great shame, though, as everything else on the set is magnificent.

record review is one of my favourites too, but possibly second to inside music later in the day - in fact saturday on R3 is my radio day - a perfect mix - tho i wouldn’t mind losing the film music 3-4 - others might disagree

I get Gramophone monthly, listen to Record Review weekly and guided by their reviews select albums to add to Quobus favourites to listen to at my leisure. Many will be deselected after listening and some that really appeal, I purchase to add to my Core.

You are clearly much more tech savvy than I am. I wouldn’t have a clue how to listen to these recordings online. So I just go ahead and buy on instinct (although often I’m buying new releases of recordings that I’ve had before).

If I don’t like what I’ve bought, I give the LPs away to people in my local who might not be able to afford to buy them. (Fortunately for my ever expanding collection of LPs, this doesn’t happen often.)

I used to buy Gramophone every month for over 30 years, but gave up about 10 years ago, as it had turned from a serious magazine into a comic.

In contrast to the output of most TV including the BBC, Record Review is a weekly highlight for me. Fronted by the irrepressibe Andrew McGregor who seems to have an infinate knowledge of all things classical. He can’t posssibly like everything he plays but you get the impression he does.
I like the way his knowledgeable presenters, many of them writing for Gramophone, narrow down their Building a Library choice giving the reasons why.
The programme takes a sort of holiday when the Proms are on. You know you are into Autumn when it returns mid September.
A vote for Tom Service and his usually (too) short programme. He crams on an awful lot in 15 minutes or so.

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10.30? That’s why I missed it, it used to be 9.30, I was out the door before it was 10.30 in the UK.

I disagree. :grinning:

Yes, the Building A Library slot has moved from 9:30 to 10:30 very recently (this might even have been the first time). I have no idea why the time slot was changed, nor was a reason given (not that I heard, anyway).

Andrew McGregor appears have an encyclopaedic knowledge of music. I don’t know his background, but I remember hearing once (maybe from him) that he played violin in the National Youth Orchestra in his younger days.

I think that he’s one of Radio 3’s best presenters. He seems woefully underused by the station.

I think you might look at a recent copy and you might find it’s not a comic at all. It’s certainly glossier than it used to be, but it’s still the best place to get proper analytical reviews.

While I’m posting, I would just mention that if you add yourself to Presto Classical’s mailing list, you get a whole lot of useful information and comment. I tend to buy after reading what I see there and as it happens both of the discs that interested me in the Editor’s Choice feature in Gramophone this month were ones I had already bought as high res downloads from Presto.

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Thank you, David. I shall pick up a copy the next time I catch a train up to London. Mind you, I have so many new and existing LPs to play that I don’t really need another spur to buy any more.

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Presto has a very complete selection of CDs but they do not embed the artwork in the music files so I need to do this manually using Mp3tag to make it appear on the NDX2 and NAIM app… ‘eClassical’ is easier and maybe cheaper.

As I like modern and HiRes recordings, I also check out new releases on Qobus (other new CDs are usually in Qobus but not necessarily on that list)

Presto works fine for me. I just put the album image in the folder with the music files. It’s a bit of a fag to have resize and rename it, but it only takes a few moments. I like the fact that Presto curates things too.

I find Qobuz’s interface hard to navigate, so I only buy from them as a last resort - I think about once a year, usually when Presto doesn’t have downloads, or once recently when a new release just wasn’t there at all, most unusually. I don’t think I’ve tried eclassical.

The other thing I like about Presto is that if you buy something from them, you find it immediately in the Presto app on your phone/tablet and you can immediately hear the music you bought in whatever resolution you paid for. You can offline things if you want too. So that’s a very handy way to get access to music when I’m travelling.

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I know about resizing and renaming, but I usually had to resort to Mp3tag. I’ll try again.

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If you call it folder.jpg, it should work. The Core (and maybe the app too) needs the size to be no more than about 1000x1000 pixels.

Nothing against using MP3tag. But I don’t worry about the metadata that much.

Building a Library is wonderful, especially when one can dig out the lists of recommended recordings going back years that used to be easily available (and weren’t, last I checked).

The only slight niggle with it is that the reviewers are restricted to currently available recordings. It’s understandable - we’ve all read online discussions of ‘which is the best pressing of…’ only to find that the only one worth having is a Japanese pressing from 40 years ago that was only available in Madagascar for two weeks in February 1987 and is now yours for just the GDP of a small South American country on Discogs - but given the state of the s/h CD market, it would be good to know when there’s a deleted recording which was great.