As an Introduction to the Repertory of the Era, we have devised these lists of recommended recordings, set in their historical & stylistic contexts. They provide overviews of the repertory, and are well-annotated. Follow the CD links to see details, as well as alternate and more advanced suggestions.
Major surveys have sub-overviews to act as supplements for certain repertory or to provide alternate views. In the future, we will prepare more such sub-overviews.
It is our belief that discussions of music for the general public are best-served by suggesting recordings of performances which allow the repertory mentioned to be heard, and so constructing concise lists illustrating a range of programs & performances has long been a focus of the FAQ.
Upon following many individual CD citations, there will be various options for further exploration, frequently with more discussion or implication of context. Conversely, our CD database is not made up of "flat" files. Rather, they are generally arranged with an eye to hierarchy, and so one can retrace their context to these overviews by following "page of FAQ citation" links given at the bottom of each CD data file. This also allows cross-linking in various ways.
With few exceptions, such as our comprehensive discographies, our aim is not to overwhelm the reader, and so each listing is intentionally briefer than it could be. One can then extend to related items by following either alternate citations within a CD data file or by following the "page of FAQ" links. We hope that this approach, a true "web" of connected performances, yields an interesting voyage of discovery.
See also: survey of medieval & Renaissance repertory without CD citations
Or see: other recording-based links
To Early Music FAQTodd M. McComb