various guides and catalogs had been published before, with
listings and comments (as Irving Kolodin had done with The
New Guide To Recorded Music), DeMotte's guide was really unique
and the first of its kind. It was not a duplication of Schwann,
The Longplayer or The Gramophone catalogs. Nor was it based
on Roland Gelatt's High Fidelity Record Annual which saw its
first edition in July of 1955 and contained reviews which
had appeared in High Fidelity Magazine in 1953, 1954 and a
few reviews from the early 1955 issues.
Long Playing Record Guide compiled by Warren DeMotte listed
the available recordings of compositions of practically each
and every composer and Demotte evaluated the interpretations
of the musicians and in many cases mentioned the technical
quality of the discs. The reason for the publication is obvious.
Read the first sentences of the introduction that Warren De
Motte wrote to his THE LONG PLAYING RECORD GUIDE:
the advent, in 1948, of the long playing phonograph record,
the record collector has been faced by an embarrassment of
riches. Due to the use of the tape recorder and the LP process,
resulting in the reasonably low recording costs, dozens of
record companies have come into existence, and many of them
issue records at an amazing rate. In only a few years a thick
catalogue of recordings has been built up, with countless
duplications that manage to confuse the collector, the
dealer, and the recording companies alike."
the time "The Long Playing Record Guide" served
thousands and thousands of music lovers in making their decisions
on what recorded performance on LP to buy, or it would at
least tell them about the qualities of the records they already
had on the shelf.
DeMotte has been active in home audio development
as associate editor of a major hi-fi magazine, record
reviewer on several magazines, producer of a network
Good Music program, and author of a monthly magazine
feature entitled Warren DeMotte's MUSIQUIZ.
His analytical articles on home playing equipment
are authoritative and his components comparison-charts
have set an industry standard.
the cover of The LP/STEREO RECORD GUIDE & TAPE
record collectors and music listeners have come across this
guide and have searched for many recordings and have read
the many evaluations and criticisms written by DeMotte.
makes "The Long Playing Record Guide" so interesting,
is that DeMotte - despite of omitting recordings of works
by Paganini and Granados for example - assesses the quality
of each recording and compresses his opinion in a single phrase
(or sometimes two) and he marks the best available performance
with an arrow.
people would argue that one cannot do justice to the efforts
of musicians, producers, and recording engineers, by allotting
just a few words to their product and add a discriminating
arrow to the product of a fellow musician who would have given
a better performance. But every time one reads DeMotte's judgement
on a recording owned, one cannot doubt his expertise and above
all his sincerity, even there may be of course differences
interesting aspect of DeMotte's painstaking exercise is that
the result is equally valuable today as it was in 1955, the
year in which the first edition was published.
Especially for record collectors of old mono disks it is a
mer à boire. If
you come across this valuable item do not hesitate to buy
it, be it the first or the more complete second edition.
my pages (especially on
THE REMINGTON SITE) I shall - from time to time, but
always with gratitude - cite a characterization of this or
that recording as it was given by Warren DeMotte.
Long Playing Record Guide by Warren DeMotte
Dell Publishing Inc., New York, 1955
A second, updated edition almost immediately followed.
It listed recordings that could not have been included
when preparing the first edition, especially listings
of Deutsche Grammophon recordings released by American
the early nineteen sixties Warren DeMotte compiled "The
LP/Stereo Record Guide & Tape Review - Formerly The Long Playing
Record Guide". The new guide was published by Argyle
Publishing Corp., in 1962.
Again Leopold Srokowski wrote the preface. This guide is also
an invaluable reference book for the serious classical record
and tape collector. It lists the stereo recordings from the
first years of any original American disc and the available
American issues that are the equivalent of Decca SXL, His
Master's Voice ASD, British Columbia SAX, English RCA SB,
etc. And again it is a magnificent reference guide.
Bruil - December 1998