National Orchestral Discography Pages
Prepared by Michael Herman
Continued by Stephen Ellis
The series of Discographies
that I have compiled has been meant to partially fill a gap in the documentation
of recorded music. As a collector of LPs and CDs for over 45 years with
a specialty in orchestral music, it was apparent that it was nearly
impossible to easily track down information about classical recordings
unless they were currently available. This is not a new development,
as the same problem existed in the days of LPs even though record catalogues
were issued on a monthly or quarterly basis.
In the 1950’s, a comprehensive 3 volume guide to recordings was
published that attempted to cover all recordings issued up to that very
time. This was The World's Encyclopedia of Recorded Music by
Francis F. Clough, and C.J. Cuming. However, a work of this type would
be an impossibility today as too many recordings have been and are still
being issued so something comparable would require a multi-volume set
that would dwarf both the O.E.D. and New Grove many times over. So now
it is up to the specialist to stake out a particular area and attempt
to present reference works that will help enlighten that musical area
for those that seek specific information about it.
The data contained in these Discographies comes from a wide variety
of sources. The majority of these sources are sites found on the Internet
and they basically consist of library databases, national music information
centers, recording companies and retailers, music publishers and dedicated
sites of composers, conductors and orchestras. I have been also able
to utilize a personal library of musical reference books and record
catalogues that I have gathered over the years. Finally, I have been
able to call upon a network of international music friends from the
various countries that my Discographies cover as well as direct questions
to composers, conductors and officers of musical societies who are extremely
forthcoming with needed information. Each Discography contains a bibliography
listing of my sources.
The greatest advantage of online publishing is the ability to constantly
revise what has already been written. In an area such as recordings,
this ability is absolutely essential. With my eyes continually on the
sites mentioned above, I endeavor to keep these Discographies useful
by making them as up to date as possible. I am very grateful to readers
of these works who have pointed out both omissions and errors and have
greatly aided me in this enterprise.
Michael Herman passed away, from COVID, in December 2020.
With the passing of
his friend Michael Herman, Stephen Ellis, of Glenview, Illinois, has
agreed to continue Michael’s sui generis discography pages. Ellis has
been a collector of recordings of contemporary music since 1961, was a
confederate of musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky for the last twenty years
of his life, and published nearly 1,000 reviews of, and articles on,
contemporary music over a span of 25 years as a writer/critic for
Fanfare Magazine (1979–2004).
Updates to the discographies will
start to appear in coming weeks.
All cover releases on both LP and CD.
They include works written after 1800, with the exception of British
Orchestral Music, which is for composers born between 1800 and
Most recent update:
the 19th Century to the Present (excluding Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann,
Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler)