Opera buffs, beware; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Recorded Opera, by Peter Gammond. New York: Harmony Books. $17.95.

Normally there would be no reason to discuss an inferior book of this sort, but in the case of "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Recorded Opera," avid fans and curious neophytes alike will undoubtedly be tempted to spend a considerable sum on a book that's utterly deficient.

The lavishly illustrated volume, originally published in Britain, is billed as a comprehensive guide to operas and recordings. It includes lists of recommended records, as well as a section devoted to the 100 most important singers of the of the recording era, but the names seem to have been chosen on chauvinistic rather than artistic grounds.

Most of the book is devoted to the mentioning of some 550 operas. If the sleeve not did not call it indispensible for anyone interested in opera, if the color reproductions were not so handsome, if the idea were not so good, then perhaps the book could be merely ignored. But Mr. Gammond hasn't done his homework, doesn't really know the recordings, and doesn't seem to understand what makes opera tick. Don't be misled.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK