Letter from the Provinces: Countdown and Wrap-up

Ethelbert Nevin

[January 2007.]

As Tower went down for the count, I found myself giving them money yet again. Indeed, I’ve patronized the Olde Red-and-Gold more in the last 60 days than the previous five years. It wasn’t easy to dodge teary melancholics schlepping overloaded baskets from one aisle to the next. Hey, a store might even remain in business if it pegged its prices at 30% off list. But then, there’s the matter of salaries and rent.

The feeding frenzy quickly eviscerated the classical ghetto (and adult video too, so I hear…). I thought I could fill up on some Beatles and Miles Davis, but classic rock and jazz fled from view just as speedily. Days later, perusing the final classical bin filled with mostly contemporary American music tagged at 80% off, it was hard not to feel sorry for slighted Innova, especially poor, whip-brandishing Andrew Violette.

My scavenging claws’ successes: Boris Tchaikovsky on Chandos, Herbert Brün on EMF, Horacio Vaggione on Ampersand, Günther Becker and Juan Allende-Blin on Cybele (now I have to get an SACD player!), and Steffen Schleiermacher’s “Asia Piano Avantgarde: Japan Vol. 1” on Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm. Sorry, Mr. Violette.

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As we approached the Mozartean year’s final hours, 2006’s best wasn’t sandwiched in polycarbonate. The Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum posted Mozart’s complete works online. You can search by KV number or genre. Have you a taste for everything WAM wrote in G-sharp minor? It’s there for the asking.