Sunday, 17 July 2011

Cheap Vinyl

One of the perks of being a fan of classical music, aside from the implicit knowledge that you are smarter, more sophisticated than and superior to non-classical listeners, is that classical records are dirt cheap in most record stores. My boss is away - an extreme rarity - so I hopped on a tram to Fitzroy Hipsterville and visited some record shops. First up was Northside Records, known for their soul-jazz-funk-hip-hop, had some good stuff at acceptable prices, including Motor City Drum Ensemble's "Monorail" double 12" for $26, a bargain round these parts, and were I more flush I'd have picked it up.

...with John Roberts, usually boring but this is good:

But not as good as the Hundred20 old-skool tracks:

I also thought it would make me look cool next to the bundle of bottom shelf $2 clutter I actually bought:

Beethoven Piano Concerto #5, Wilhelm Kempf, old pressing

Berg, Schonberg, Webern - Those dudes don't know the gold they're sitting on - Second Viennese School for 2 bucks!!!

Debussy: Prelude etc. Nice Rousseau cover

Mussorgsky: Pictures, probably never listen to this, I think I find it annoying, but maybe the Ravel will get an airing.

Dexter in France. Could be in poor shape, their jazz collection was generally more highly regarded, and costlier.

It being 2011 and record stores a different beast these days, the owner shmoozed me, asked me my taste in electronic music (flustered, I said "house and ambient") and pulled out full-price recommendations to hopefully snag more of a sale. I'm probably being cynical though, if they've made it this far they're probably safe. His interest sagged when I asked whether he had any classical music, replying "down in the $2 bin". Bonanza!

Ten bucks lighter but five records heavier I strolled around the corner to the The Searchers book & record exchange. Less disregard shown for classical, stored above ground and in the same racks as rock, pop, hip-hop etc, but here they went as low as $1. I bought this:

Adams and Reich. Never really liked Adams but the Reich is good, and minimalism on vinyl always welcome, in some vain hope I'll someday mix with it

Debussy Images etc. Add more yellow to the sides of the casette image below for what the vinyl looks like.

Vivaldi chamber music. Hadn't really seen Hyperion LPs, they look identical to their CDs.

Beethoven by the Menuhins.

Mine is an EMI HMV LP with Arnodl Bocklin's "Ein Fruhlingstag" on the cover

Mozart Clarinet Concerto, from the recording below, but mine is a 10" without the horn work, on Decca, with a reproduction of an uncredited Dutch outdoor tavern scene on the cover. The previous owner was named "Bennett" and they bought it 17 April 1964, according to the sticker in the corner.

Felt ok with Steve Reich in the pile but purchasing anything valued at $1 is a degrading experience. The look I received from the clerk, not dislike but utter disinterest, was revealing: I'm too old to look young and cool listening to Vivaldi, especially in my work strides; now I resemble the 100% classical penny-pinching cranks I used to serve at Harold Moores.

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