Early Music

Supplementary recording lists

This page provides an index to some genre-oriented lists I made to supplement the Early Music FAQ recording lists. These lists will be my favorite recordings in the genres included, with links cross-referenced to the individual CD files in the FAQ database. Hopefully these lists will be somewhat useful, although commentary will be brief and not to be taken too seriously. The astute reader will be able to judge how I let my personal biases affect my editorial decisions in the FAQ and elsewhere. This is one reason I regard it as helpful to "lay it on the line" as the saying goes, even if I end up feeling stupid sometimes.

Sacred | Secular
Sacred | Secular

Note that I divided these lists according to the traditional era border of USA musicology, which was the original framework for the FAQ, even though I have diverged from that division over the years.

I used a "rating system" on these recordings, to give my own personal preferences. I'll probably adjust them from time to time. The highest rating is four stars, and I should remind the reader that even a single star is a recommendation, while two stars is a firm one. This can easily be judged by the brevity of these lists, as compared with the available body of recordings. Of course, on these pages, my whims reign supreme, for better or worse.

I should note that I always prioritize repertory over performance. In other words, I will give good marks to a "merely decent" performance of repertory I find very interesting. On the other hand, if more than one performance is available, I will pick the better one (at least by my own estimation). Also note that the CD links are part of the FAQ (i.e. they weren't written with these lists in mind). Explanatory comments can be found by clicking on the rating itself.

At this point, you can safely assume that a genre which is not listed here does not interest me, although I should remind the reader that several recordings do not fit conveniently within this categorization scheme (which is the tidiest one I could come up with) and have been placed essentially arbitrarily (based on whatever genre happens to come most strongly to mind during the moment I add the disc). Of course, there are other pieces I'd dearly like to see recorded in quality performance.

This and all subsidiary lists & rating comments were written by me and are copyrighted by me. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form. Recording contents are covered by the FAQ copyright.

Todd M. McComb <mccomb@medieval.org>