How much music on discs can we really digest?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17471
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Lance » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:58 am

Those of us who have rather extensive record (LP or CD) collections must be asking ourselves at times ... "what are we doing?" Given our age(s) and the fact that we aren't going to live to be 150 years old, where does one draw the line on "the art of collecting?" And I do think, in a way it is an "art" for ourselves, selecting music and performing musicians who appeal to us. With so many renditions of this or that, do you ever look at your collection and say "I haven't head that one in 20 years?" (or more or less possibly). With regard to many of the younger conductors/instrumentalists/singers, etc., are we generally leaving it up to today's classical music aficionados to support today's current stream of artists? I have limited my own acquisitions to some newer pianists on the scene, some vocalists, and rarely recorded material especially from the Romantic period. Discovering new recordings by people such as Maltempo, Goran Filipec, Grosvenor, still make the collecting "habit" most worthwhile. My own line has been drawn at acquiring another Beethoven 9 or 32, Brahms or Schumann 4, Bach cantatas (I have them all in at least one set and many individually), so that need is basically fulfilled. [And then is it really a need? How much music can we actually listen to (and absorb) given our 24 hours of day and trusting not to be couch potatoes the rest of the time, eating properly, spending time with other family members? If one is retired, we almost feel as though we are "entitled" to use our time as we wish. If listening to great music for eight hours a day is your "thing," then more power to you.

Anyway, these are some thoughts on a rather bleak Friday afternoon (with lots of rain expected yet) in the middle of April! What do others think about what could be a major dilemma in our lives especially as we gain in age?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

maestrob
Posts: 5392
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:32 pm

Hi, Lance!

Being a musician, well done recorded music is like air to me: I must listen, the same as I must breathe. I actually listen to four to six CDs/day, depending on my schedule. Also, I do my best to keep up with recommended new recordings, buying two new discs/week (plus bargain boxes at the rate of 1/mo.). I spend time engraving these new acquisitions in my memory so I can express opinions about them, rotating the new discs with others from my collection.

Frankly, there are few recordings that I regret purchasing, as I've always bought the best as my tastes matured and became more focused on quality rather than quantity. Replacing my LPs with CD counterparts was a major task during the 1980's, but that's done now. Maintaining and organizing my collection is my "work" now that I'm retired as is our social schedule. Happy to say that I'm still learning and growing, although I probably will not buy another set of Beethoven, Mahler or Bruckner, you never know. I was recently inspired by Daniel Barenboim's recent set of Bruckner DVDs, and Abbado's DVDs of Mahler from Lucerne, which are far superior to these conductors' earlier efforts IMHO.

That said, I have "only" 5,000 or so recordings in our small apartment, and plan to install a new cabinet this Spring in order to house the slowly growing collection.

We have music going all the time, whether classical during the day, or jazz late at night.

John F
Posts: 19602
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by John F » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:28 pm

For many years I accumulated records that I thought might be useful, for radoi shows or other writing, and I haven't listened to all of them and now I never will. Then, when it became clear that I wasn't going to use my records in that way, I limited myself to records I specifically wanted to have, chiefly for unfamiliar repertoire that interested me, but also including the multivolume Vienna State Opera live material on Koch. Finally, when the record stores closed and I couldn't browse, I've stopped getting records altogether, and turned instead to the problem of disposing what I already have.
John Francis

T. Schurk
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:33 pm

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by T. Schurk » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Maestrob mirrors my thoughts on record collecting to an uncanny degree! I can only add that he's about 2,500 records ahead of me, which means that I better get down to work!

RebLem
Posts: 9054
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by RebLem » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:39 pm

I still buy CDs regularly. Just today, my 15 CD DECCA Mengelberg box arrived with many works, including a complete Beethoven Symphonies cycle and a Bach St Matthew Passion all recorded in the period from March, 1939 through November, 1941. The box is rather Spartan, but the booklet has a reasonable amount of documentation and narrative. No art, except for the B & W photo on the cover of Mengelberg in early middle age, looking like Gene Hackman at that age.
I am mostly interested in collecting older artists, but a few younger ones have caught my attention. I am following, for example, a fairly young German pianist named Matthias Kirschnereit, whose set of the complete Mozart Piano Concerti with The Bamberg Symphony I bought a while back and found very good. Mostly what I collect, though, is unfamiliar baroque, classical, romantic, and early 20th century repertoire. cpo is one of my favorite labels, because they have done yeoman work in bringing many neglected composers to our attention. I chomp at the bit for more. Here's a few things I would like to see:
1) A completion of the Goldner String Quartet's apparently aborted cycle of the Peter Sculthorpe string quartets.
2) A set of all the complete John Phillip Sousa stage works, perhaps by the Ohio Light Opera, or ensembles at the Eastman Rochester School of Music.
3) More Franz Lachner, a neglected 19th century composer I think is better than his reputation. Ditto Norbert Bergmuller.
Some of the things I have come to enjoy are lesser known works by well-known composers. Three examples: Dvorak's Cypresses, Schubert's Masses, and Max Bruch's chamber music.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Rach3
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Rach3 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:00 pm

I did not try to replace my lp's with cd's ( my old turntable/speakers still work, will acquire another if quit working ) ; usually purchase new recordings only to add new works I've not previously known but heard for the first time and liked ( eg, Prokofieff 2nd Symphony , Mosolov piano sonatas , Britten Violin Concerto, Finzi Cello Concerto) ; very occasionally acquire duplicates of the same work in order to hear an artist I've not heard and who interests me , like a Grosvenor,or Gitlis,or Moser, or if the duplicate is an historical treasure as with those from Arbiter Records, or if the duplicate is a favorite work ( think I have about 8 of Brahms' First Piano Concerto); and rely on FM radio and on-line radio broadcasts, YouTube,outlets like Medici TV, to hear multiple versions of standards like the Bartok Quartets, Beethoven symphonies, Rachmaninoff concertos, " new " artists, etc. Cost is a significant limitation, thus my collection probably only 1500 or so total lp's and cd's. I am also concerned that technology " improvements" and the need to keep up financially and mentally with that technology may exceed my ability in the future.So, I spend a lot of time on-line listening, but only occasionally buying.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17471
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Lance » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:52 pm

Well, this subject is getting some looks and responses. I am pleased about that. Aside from the monetary factors, and space requirements for growing collections, I have done something now for a while that seems to work. If you are ordering online from Amazon, or whoever, put everything in your basket. The NEXT day, check it over carefully and ask yourself: "Do I really need that?" I surprise myself by eliminating quite a few things whether CDs or books. I may drop some of these items in the area "to buy later," but after some time, I make another decision and delete from that area as well. Buying music can be impulsive at times, but this system works for me. I am not averse to new music or artists, but some of the music we have is already considered the best it can be. This eliminates duplication or triplication on many occasions. But, I, too, listen to the radio frequently to keep up with more contemporary music, artists, etc.

If you collect by ARTIST, which I frequently do, a collection will continue to grow with things you may have missed in the past or have become very elusive. Recently I acquired the Japanese Decca recording of violinist Ruggiero Ricci performing Beethoven's Violin Sonatas 7 and 10 with pianist Friedrich Gulda, recorded in 1954. For some reason, Decca has never seen fit to include these sonatas in any of their collections of Ricci up to now, nor have they included the Sarasate music recorded by American Decca with Brooks Smith. IDIS [Italy] copied and remastered this stereo LP and make it available presently but I was more pleased with the original LP sound than their remastering. So it is precisely that kind of thing that keeps one looking sharp for long-gone repertoire on performing artists of the past.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

maestrob
Posts: 5392
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:25 am

T. Schurk wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:05 pm
Maestrob mirrors my thoughts on record collecting to an uncanny degree! I can only add that he's about 2,500 records ahead of me, which means that I better get down to work!
:D 8)

Believe me, it doesn't take long to get to 5,000 at today's prices! Just make sure that you only buy those that you really want for permanent listening, not just the ones you're curious about that will end up on your shelves collecting dust!

maestrob
Posts: 5392
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:32 am

Lance wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:52 pm
Well, this subject is getting some looks and responses. I am pleased about that. Aside from the monetary factors, and space requirements for growing collections, I have done something now for a while that seems to work. If you are ordering online from Amazon, or whoever, put everything in your basket. The NEXT day, check it over carefully and ask yourself: "Do I really need that?" I surprise myself by eliminating quite a few things whether CDs or books. I may drop some of these items in the area "to buy later," but after some time, I make another decision and delete from that area as well. Buying music can be impulsive at times, but this system works for me. I am not averse to new music or artists, but some of the music we have is already considered the best it can be. This eliminates duplication or triplication on many occasions. But, I, too, listen to the radio frequently to keep up with more contemporary music, artists, etc.

If you collect by ARTIST, which I frequently do, a collection will continue to grow with things you may have missed in the past or have become very elusive. Recently I acquired the Japanese Decca recording of violinist Ruggiero Ricci performing Beethoven's Violin Sonatas 7 and 10 with pianist Friedrich Gulda, recorded in 1954. For some reason, Decca has never seen fit to include these sonatas in any of their collections of Ricci up to now, nor have they included the Sarasate music recorded by American Decca with Brooks Smith. IDIS [Italy] copied and remastered this stereo LP and make it available presently but I was more pleased with the original LP sound than their remastering. So it is precisely that kind of thing that keeps one looking sharp for long-gone repertoire on performing artists of the past.
Lance, you mirror my own tactics about how to purchase CDs. I have a want list, which I check every few days on amazon, then I have items waiting in my cart for May 1st. That way, I'm blocked from ordering single items on impulse. When the first of the month rolls around, I review my cart, make adjustments, and order accordingly. Frankly, I have roughly 75 CD singles and ten boxes that I haven't opened yet, so I'm not short on new titles to explore in the meantime.

THEHORN
Posts: 2554
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:57 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by THEHORN » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:35 pm

For me at least, one of the best things about classical CDs today is the incredible amount and variety of off-beat, out of the way repertoire which is so easily available .
Why get your umpteenth recording of the nine Beethoven symphonies when you can the symphonies of Myaskovsky, Balakirev, Taneyev, Stenhammar , Berwald, Zdenek Fibich , Enescu,
Szymanowski, Havergal Brian, Arnold Bax, Albric Magnard, Kurt Atterberg, Carlos Chavez ,
Geroge Whitefield Chadwick , Unno Klami, and so many other lesser known but interesting composers ? And this list is just the tip of the iceberg .
Speciality labels such as Chandos, CPO and others have so much unusual but interesting repertoire available, and Naxos too .

Rach3
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Rach3 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:00 pm

THEHORN wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:35 pm
For me at least, one of the best things about classical CDs today is the incredible amount and variety of off-beat, out of the way repertoire which is so easily available .
Good point, and I agree. Limit my buying to such items rather than yet another standard.

barney
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by barney » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:51 pm

I have more than 10,000 CDs and about 1200 LPs. That is far too many, according to my wife, and not nearly enough, in comparison with collectors like Lance. Because I do music reviews (which is how a good half or more of that collection came about) I get a large number of unsolicited CDs. I have to confess that there are several hundred still in their cellophane wrappings. Accordingly I feel that it would be rather immoral to buy more, unless it is explicitly repertoire or artists that I cherish or don't have. So for example I have recently bought the Paganini works subject of a contemporaneous thread, and Rattle's version of The Cunning Little Vixen, which I didn't have at all. The latter has been well-listened to, and I eagerly anticipate the former. But in general it is time to scale back. A couple of years ago I bought the huge Rubinstein set (alerted to it by CMG), and I haven't listened to any of it yet. Mind you, I've listened to a fair bit of Rubinstein, but from CDs I already had (recently revisited his sublime Chopin Nocturnes, to compare with Arrau).

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17471
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:44 pm

Barney, always great to read your posts! They are so lifelike with day-to-day facts of living! I smiled when I read this one. Yes, I, too (as probably most of us) have some CDs with the cellophane wrap still on just waiting to be auditioned. I, too, receive many CDs for radio broadcast courtesy of the publisher, so I know the feeling. If you do take the shrink wrap off to put it on a shelf (and keeping these things off floors), you stand a chance of forgetting about them altogether, When I place them on a shelf I let the unheard CD hang out of the case by about an inch as a reminder to hear it! If I ever get to Australia and visit you, I'll be checking to see how many CDs hang out of your shelves!!!
barney wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:51 pm
I have more than 10,000 CDs and about 1200 LPs. That is far too many, according to my wife, and not nearly enough, in comparison with collectors like Lance. Because I do music reviews (which is how a good half or more of that collection came about) I get a large number of unsolicited CDs. I have to confess that there are several hundred still in their cellophane wrappings. Accordingly I feel that it would be rather immoral to buy more, unless it is explicitly repertoire or artists that I cherish or don't have. So for example I have recently bought the Paganini works subject of a contemporaneous thread, and Rattle's version of The Cunning Little Vixen, which I didn't have at all. The latter has been well-listened to, and I eagerly anticipate the former. But in general it is time to scale back. A couple of years ago I bought the huge Rubinstein set (alerted to it by CMG), and I haven't listened to any of it yet. Mind you, I've listened to a fair bit of Rubinstein, but from CDs I already had (recently revisited his sublime Chopin Nocturnes, to compare with Arrau).
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

maestrob
Posts: 5392
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am

barney wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:51 pm
I have more than 10,000 CDs and about 1200 LPs. That is far too many, according to my wife, and not nearly enough, in comparison with collectors like Lance. Because I do music reviews (which is how a good half or more of that collection came about) I get a large number of unsolicited CDs. I have to confess that there are several hundred still in their cellophane wrappings. Accordingly I feel that it would be rather immoral to buy more, unless it is explicitly repertoire or artists that I cherish or don't have. So for example I have recently bought the Paganini works subject of a contemporaneous thread, and Rattle's version of The Cunning Little Vixen, which I didn't have at all. The latter has been well-listened to, and I eagerly anticipate the former. But in general it is time to scale back. A couple of years ago I bought the huge Rubinstein set (alerted to it by CMG), and I haven't listened to any of it yet. Mind you, I've listened to a fair bit of Rubinstein, but from CDs I already had (recently revisited his sublime Chopin Nocturnes, to compare with Arrau).
Well! Barney, you've got me beat, that's for sure, as far as quantity is concerned. I wouldn't know where to put all that! As for unheard CDs, I suppose it's particularly hard for either of us to have the time to listen to all those mega-box bargains that keep coming our way. I have a Horowitz original jacket collection that I haven't opened yet, and the Murray Perahia box sits unopened on my shelf to this day (I have many of the single disc releases, but not all.). So much music, so little time, eh?

Rach3
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Rach3 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:52 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am
So much music, so little time, eh?
Indeed ; but better than the alleged Oscar Levant quote: " So little time, and so little to do."

barney
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by barney » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:36 pm

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:44 pm
Barney, always great to read your posts! They are so lifelike with day-to-day facts of living! I smiled when I read this one. Yes, I, too (as probably most of us) have some CDs with the cellophane wrap still on just waiting to be auditioned. I, too, receive many CDs for radio broadcast courtesy of the publisher, so I know the feeling. If you do take the shrink wrap off to put it on a shelf (and keeping these things off floors), you stand a chance of forgetting about them altogether, When I place them on a shelf I let the unheard CD hang out of the case by about an inch as a reminder to hear it! If I ever get to Australia and visit you, I'll be checking to see how many CDs hang out of your shelves!!!
barney wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:51 pm
I have more than 10,000 CDs and about 1200 LPs. That is far too many, according to my wife, and not nearly enough, in comparison with collectors like Lance. Because I do music reviews (which is how a good half or more of that collection came about) I get a large number of unsolicited CDs. I have to confess that there are several hundred still in their cellophane wrappings. Accordingly I feel that it would be rather immoral to buy more, unless it is explicitly repertoire or artists that I cherish or don't have. So for example I have recently bought the Paganini works subject of a contemporaneous thread, and Rattle's version of The Cunning Little Vixen, which I didn't have at all. The latter has been well-listened to, and I eagerly anticipate the former. But in general it is time to scale back. A couple of years ago I bought the huge Rubinstein set (alerted to it by CMG), and I haven't listened to any of it yet. Mind you, I've listened to a fair bit of Rubinstein, but from CDs I already had (recently revisited his sublime Chopin Nocturnes, to compare with Arrau).
Thank you Lance, you are very kind.
Alas, I lost the floor battle years ago. I also have several thousand books. Typical of me to have spent all my money on things that future generations will possibly not even recognise, let alone prize! Books and CDs are piled on the floor, on tables, on my desk - an enormous and enormously ugly piece of furniture I inherited from my brother-in-law, so I don't mind that little of it is visible.

My long-suffering wife sighs and does not complain as long as it is (mostly) confined to the study. I got rid of a few hundred books and a few hundred CDs (duplications) about four years ago, and it's time to do it again. If, that is, I should get the time! I'm also about 1000 CDs behind in my cataloguing.

barney
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by barney » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:41 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am
barney wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:51 pm
I have more than 10,000 CDs and about 1200 LPs. That is far too many, according to my wife, and not nearly enough, in comparison with collectors like Lance. Because I do music reviews (which is how a good half or more of that collection came about) I get a large number of unsolicited CDs. I have to confess that there are several hundred still in their cellophane wrappings. Accordingly I feel that it would be rather immoral to buy more, unless it is explicitly repertoire or artists that I cherish or don't have. So for example I have recently bought the Paganini works subject of a contemporaneous thread, and Rattle's version of The Cunning Little Vixen, which I didn't have at all. The latter has been well-listened to, and I eagerly anticipate the former. But in general it is time to scale back. A couple of years ago I bought the huge Rubinstein set (alerted to it by CMG), and I haven't listened to any of it yet. Mind you, I've listened to a fair bit of Rubinstein, but from CDs I already had (recently revisited his sublime Chopin Nocturnes, to compare with Arrau).
Well! Barney, you've got me beat, that's for sure, as far as quantity is concerned. I wouldn't know where to put all that! As for unheard CDs, I suppose it's particularly hard for either of us to have the time to listen to all those mega-box bargains that keep coming our way. I have a Horowitz original jacket collection that I haven't opened yet, and the Murray Perahia box sits unopened on my shelf to this day (I have many of the single disc releases, but not all.). So much music, so little time, eh?
The Perahia box is one I forked out my hard-earned for, and consider it one of my great bargains. Even so, I've probably listened to only half. Of course I already had a lot of Perahia, as you did, and he is one of my all-time favourites.
I suggest you open the box and listen to his Winterreise with Fischer-Dieskau, which I had not known even existed. I would be most interested in your view.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by Holden Fourth » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:58 am

I've virtually stopped buying CDs and for two reasons.

As others have said I have enough LvB PS/Symphs/Ctos to last me a long time and the same goes for all of the other composers that I consider core repertoire. The same goes for those great performers.

On top of that there is streaming music from the likes of Apple and Spotify and I can often use these services to listen to something recommended on these forums.

It is only when I can't access something I really want to have that I go back to the physical media. A case in point was earlier this year where I started/contributed to a thread on the Dvorak Op 81. While there was an almost overwhelming vote for the Richter/Borodins available on DG, a number of people said that their live Moscow recording (which is only available on Yedang) was even better. Fortunately, Youtube has a video of this and while the sound quality wasn't wonderful I went ahead and purchased the CD based on what I heard. The sound on the CD was very good and it's also a very good purchase. I'll do this from time to time but it will have to be something quite special.

barney
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How much music on discs can we really digest?

Post by barney » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:21 am

I wonder if our collective attitudes are also governed in any way by age?
Does anyone UNDER 60 share my attitude, and that of Lance and Holden Fourth above? (I've no idea of Holden's age, btw.) If so, is it because you have a surfeit of CDs or is it because you use downloads more these days?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], maestrob and 29 guests