B0823. ALAN BLYTH, Ed. CHORAL MUSIC ON RECORD. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1991. 309pp. Index, DJ. - 0-521-36309-8
"Alan Blyth wrote regularly for more than 40 years, for Gramophone beginning what proved to be the major strand of his critical writing - the recorded voice. His Fleet Street journalism later included reviews for the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph, where he was a staff music critic from 1976 until 1991. In recent years he contributed elegant obituaries to the Guardian, his last of the singer Teresa Stich-Randall on July 27.
A sure judge of the human voice, Blyth was supremely qualified to write and edit several major publications concerned with the recorded voice. The first of these was Opera on Record (1979), the favourable reviews of which led to two further volumes covering less well-known operatic repertory, and two volumes of Song on Record and Choral Music on Record. These were edited meticulously, with Blyth himself contributing essays on Verdi, Wagner, and the songs of Schubert, Wolf and Duparc. Among his other publications were guides to opera on CD and video, a layman's introduction to Wagner's Ring cycle, and 'Remembering Britten'(1981).
A specialist on singers and singing, Blyth held trenchant views on the modern school of opera production, particularly those offering radical reinterpretations ("misrepresentations" might be Blyth's word) of the classics."
- Philip Reed, THE GUARDIAN, 15 Aug., 2007
"Following the successful volumes of Song on Record, this book surveys all the recordings of major choral works from the Monteverdi Vespers to Britten's War Requiem. Discussion of the various interpretations on record is preceded, in each chapter, by informed criticism of the work concerned, including--where appropriate--a clarification of editions, revisions, etc. (all the many changes in Messiah are, for instance, described in detail). The coverage of recordings is exhaustive and its value is enhanced by a detailed discography, with up-to-date numbers of each recording. Each contributor is an authority within his or her specialist area and collectively, their insights and observations of leading music critics make the book invaluable to record collectors, music lovers and anyone with an interest in changing tastes and styles of musical performance. Alan Blyth, formerly with The Times (London) was the music critic of The Daily Telegraph. He was on the editorial board of Opera, the editor of the three-volume Opera on Record and two-volume Song on Record (CUP), as well as author of 'Remembering Britten' and 'Introduction to Wagner's Ring'."
- Zillah Dorset Akron