Where/when does the collecting cease?

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Lance
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Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:10 am

I was thinking the other day ... watching all the new releases of Beethoven piano sonatas by new and forthcoming pianists. I have a number of complete recordings of the 32 sonatas, supplemented by countless individual performances by others. Some of these (though they may not always be complete in the case of Solomon and Gieseking), have been considered among the best, as well as the (apparently) very first recording of the complete sonatas in the 1930s by the venerabl Artur Schnabel.

I have been very happy with what I have acquired, but I have to give very careful thought to the purchase of the new artists coming forth. Though I happily listen to some of these via NPR and XM radio, I don't necessarily feel the urge to acquire any more. The current generation of, say, the under 30s, will be the ones who will be acquiring much of this material. And of course, I still find occasional new releases that find some favour and will want to acquire.

On the other hand, new SINGERS are of special interest, but conductors of complete Beethoven/Brahms/Schumann symphonies are not as appealing.

After all, how much can we collectors truly handle?

Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days? (Ted ... what about you?)
Lance G. Hill
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______________________________________________________

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

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John F
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by John F » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:08 am

I drew the line long ago. Up until the mid-1980s I was a collector in the sense you mean, having (say) over 20 recordings of the Beethoven 4th piano concerto. Then the CD came in, with the consequent reissue of nearly everything that had ever been on LP which I saw no point in buying again, and new LPs stopped being made. By then I had enough canned music to last whatever's left of my life, and while I've not stopped buying records altogether - big projects have been the Vienna State Opera Live series, the (nearly) complete recorded works of Alfred Schnittke, and an extensive survey of the contemporaries of Haydn and Mozart - it's nothing like the old days.

Then the major record stores with classical departments closed, putting a stop to browsing and impulse buying. Now I mainly go to live performances - it's a key reason I live in New York, after all - and have only bought three CDs online in the last five years.

Looking back, I had a purpose and a focus in the collecting days. I had done programs on classical music radio and thought I might do it again, and I'd also started reviewing records (in Fanfare) and needed to be able to make comparisons. Both of those incentives are gone now, I've left them behind, so it's pointless to continue the duplication of repertoire. To what end? Now my thoughts are more about how to dispose of what I've got, either before or after I'm gone.
John Francis

karlhenning
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:16 am

John, did I miss that you are a Schnittke fan?

(John channels Jeeves with, I could not say, Karl . . . .)

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

sans maitre
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by sans maitre » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:16 am

With the advent of buying music and storing it on the cloud,with no discs to get scratched or take up valuable shelf space the the house, my appetite has increased dramatically, particularly for large collections

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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:22 am

John F wrote:Then the major record stores with classical departments closed, putting a stop to browsing and impulse buying. Now I mainly go to live performances - it's a key reason I live in New York, after all - and have only bought three CDs online in the last five years.

Looking back, I had a purpose and a focus in the collecting days. I had done programs on classical music radio and thought I might do it again, and I'd also started reviewing records (in Fanfare) and needed to be able to make comparisons. Both of those incentives are gone now, I've left them behind, so it's pointless to continue the duplication of repertoire. To what end?
Good on ya for listening to the music hot out of the horns!

To answer Lance's question: storage space is the delimiter . . . and like John, for the most part, I don't duplicate rep (though I am susceptible to curiosity about a fresh recording of the Shostakovich Op.43 or the Prokofiev Op.125, e.g.).

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

John F
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by John F » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:26 am

karlhenning wrote:John, did I miss that you are a Schnittke fan?

(John channels Jeeves with, I could not say, Karl . . . .)

Cheers,
~Karl
:)

By the way, and this is where the thread drift starts. BBC Radio 4 has done some wonderful dramatizations of the Wooster/Jeeves novels with Richard Briers and Michael Hordern - as close to perfect as it gets. Here's the current one with more to come:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jqgh
John Francis

Marc
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Marc » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:19 pm

Well, let's consider it a luxury problem.

I recognize the problem though, also because of severe budget limitations, but there is still room to move. Of course there's nothing wrong with drawing lines or making a more strict selection. But there's also nothing wrong with exploring lesser known composers, period instrument performances or whatever, both on disc and/or online.

From Schnabel to Schoonderwoerd!

(And carry on from that!)

:)

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:44 am

Well, there's no question that the older we get we start thinking of HOW things will go at the end ... collection disposal, etc. Still, with the thought that "we just might live forever," {who's kidding who?} we continue to collect, all in the interest of hearing interpretations, studying music, and being "entertained" with hopeful aplomb. If we cannot get to live concerts, then canned music — regardless of the format — is the next best way to go. In the last few years all these big-boxes of complete this or that — which are much more affordable than having bought then one-by-one — the "disease" goes on. But if I'm going to have a disease, I'll take collecting music, and, as someone pointed out, discovering music from the periods of the past or historical artists that interest us (huge interests for me) that keep coming forth (think Sviatoslav Richter, for example) it is a good reason to keep the fires burning. I still have ALL my LPs (since age 17), which I rarely turn to these days (but on occasion for radio work) but the CD takes precedence 99% of the time for all occasions. I told my daughter she could have a heyday on eBay or selling through Amazon all these LPs, CDs, and of course, a huge number of books on music and World War II/Holocaust, etc. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy everything in whatever time remains. (How's that for a cop-out?) :lol: I am still very interested in what others have to say on this topic.
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 &*$#@+#]

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bigshot
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by bigshot » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:13 am

With functional items, I find that I define what I want to collect and that's it. For instance, I decided I wanted to learn to play guitar, and I defined my collection as a jumbo steel string, a classical guitar, a small blues parlor guitar and a baritone uke. I went out and got those things and stopped.

Music and books are different. I always want to learn new things. I'll go through periods where I'm investigating new subjects and I'll add new things to the collection. That never stops as long as I am still thinking about music and art, and I am still learning.

sans maitre
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by sans maitre » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:38 am

Curious, what constitutes a blues parlor guitar?

premont
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by premont » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:34 pm

Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.

barney
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by barney » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:00 pm

premont wrote:
Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.
Very well said. If I think about it, I get a little sad that something I treasure my children don't (though they will pick some stuff out), but then I realise how wasteful that emotion is. They value other things that I will bequeath. Meanwhile the point is that I should enjoy it. Mind you, I only have about 10 Beethoven complete piano sonata sets and ditto symphonies (plus individual accounts), so it is not so daunting for me. I have more than 30 K466 D minor concertos, that's my most-owned work.

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:20 am

Well stated! It's kind of my attitude as well.
premont wrote:
Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.
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

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:36 am

Well, you have a great attitude towards this, one I appreciate. You also mentioned Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K.466. This is my favourite of all Mozart's concerti, and it is probably the one that is MOST recorded. I would be curious to know which ones you have that match mine. This is only a partial listing, but bear in mind some pianists have made more than one recording of the work. Please, if you have a chance and have quick catalogue access to your collection, give me an xxx before each name indicating you also have the disc. It's nice for me to know that there are other collectors who have a voracious appetite for this music!

Anda
Adsnes
Argerich
Ashkenazy
Ax
Barenboim
Brendel
Casadesus
Ciani
P. Cohen
Corea [!]
Curzon
de Larrocha
Egorov
J. Doyen
Entremont
Firkusny
Annie Fischer
Edwin Fischer
Gieseking
R. Goode
Gulda
M. Haas
Haebler
Haskil
Myra Hess
Iturbi
Jarrett
Katchen
W. Kempff
Kissin
Lili Kraus
Lefebure
R. Levin
E. List
Lugansky
D. Matthews
Michelangeli
Moravec
M. Mische
Naoumoff
Novaes
O'Conor
Perahia
Pires
Pletnev
Pollini
Previn
Richter
Rubinstein
Schiff
A. Schnabel
R. Serkin
Shiraga
Solti
T. Sterne
M. Tipo
Uchida
Bruno Walter
Yudina


I didn't count 'em, but that's about it ... take my choice any time of day or night. Pretty wonderful times in which we live, eh? Now, if you think I'm missing something REALLY important in the way of interpretations, please let me know this as well. Grazie.

barney wrote:
premont wrote:
Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.
Very well said. If I think about it, I get a little sad that something I treasure my children don't (though they will pick some stuff out), but then I realise how wasteful that emotion is. They value other things that I will bequeath. Meanwhile the point is that I should enjoy it. Mind you, I only have about 10 Beethoven complete piano sonata sets and ditto symphonies (plus individual accounts), so it is not so daunting for me. I have more than 30 K466 D minor concertos, that's my most-owned work.
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

Marc
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Marc » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:47 am

I'm not a KV 466 collector (though I love the piece), but at least I've got a recording which is not on the Luscious Lance List!

:P

Roberte Mamou with the Berliner Symphoniker, conducted by Gerard Oskamp.

Image

Nothing to worry about.
IMHO, the performance is neat & harmless.

The Amazon reviewer is raving about it though ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfBDuvprbpY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCFZ7rcXHJY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ7FWwyoWQc

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Conc ... 000003YWZ/

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:58 pm

Thank you, Marc! Well one can't really have "everything." Well, maybe one can. I am just delighted that I have been able to amass these things over a period of many years ... am and most thankful! The above was NOT a bragging effort, but merely to illustrate how the great beauty of a piece of music can be heard so many ways. For me, this works predominantly when there is a soloist involved, as in the case of K466, a pianist! To be frankly honest, I see no reason to acquire any more recordings of any Mozart concerto unless it happens to be a pianist of historical nature or one of my favourites on the scene today. If one were to be unearthed by, say, Moiseiwitsch, I'd be first on the list to grab it.
Marc wrote:I'm not a KV 466 collector (though I love the piece), but at least I've got a recording which is not on the Luscious Lance List!

:P

Roberte Mamou with the Berliner Symphoniker, conducted by Gerard Oskamp.

Image

Nothing to worry about.
IMHO, the performance is neat & harmless.

The Amazon reviewer is raving about it though ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfBDuvprbpY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCFZ7rcXHJY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ7FWwyoWQc

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Conc ... 000003YWZ/
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

Lance
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Posts: 18477
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:03 pm

On another note, I cannot believe that (Cutner) Solomon never recorded Mozart's No. 20. He did record numbers 15, 23, and 24. Perhaps he found the 20th too Romantic, but I really think there wasn't time. He never completed the Beethoven 32 and had a stroke, lived a long life, but the piano was no longer a part of his life. A great pity for posterity. He was Mozartean/Beethovenist par excellence.
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

barney
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by barney » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:35 pm

I did count them - 60! That's a lot. I have 35 (though I have nearly 1000 CDs uncatalogued, so there may be one or two more). I didn't set out to collect them, after the first 10 or so, but they are in different sets, eg Mozart sets, Curzon, Haskil, Great Pianists of the 20th Century etc. So the 35 is really not quite that many because of repeats. x below = one recording. more than one x is more than one recording by that pianist, ie different recordings, not two of the same version.

I know it's not a competition, but I'm miles behind you, Lance. Against that, I don't need any more! I'm happy listening to the great performances I have. I only listen to the work a few times a year. Just reviewed the Argerich/Abbado CD, so listened to that 3 times. The only ones I have you haven't listed are the new wunderkind Jan Lisiecki, the admirable Stephen Kovacevic and Malcolm Bilson on fortepiano with John Eliot Gardiner.

Of that 60, which do you listen to most - which are your favourites?
Lance wrote:Well, you have a great attitude towards this, one I appreciate. You also mentioned Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K.466. This is my favourite of all Mozart's concerti, and it is probably the one that is MOST recorded. I would be curious to know which ones you have that match mine. This is only a partial listing, but bear in mind some pianists have made more than one recording of the work. Please, if you have a chance and have quick catalogue access to your collection, give me an xxx before each name indicating you also have the disc. It's nice for me to know that there are other collectors who have a voracious appetite for this music!

x Anda
Adsnes
x Argerich
x Ashkenazy
x Ax
x Barenboim
x x x Brendel
Casadesus - don't know why I don't have this celebrated account
Ciani
P. Cohen
Corea [!]
x Curzon - I have this 4 times! The original by itself, in the complete Curzon set, the Decca Sound, and the Britten the Performer set. It sounds as good each time!
de Larrocha
Egorov
J. Doyen
Entremont
Firkusny
Annie Fischer
x Edwin Fischer
Gieseking
R. Goode
Gulda
M. Haas
Haebler
x x x x Haskil - with Markevitch 3 times, and 3 others
Myra Hess
Iturbi
Jarrett
x Katchen
W. Kempff
Kissin
Lili Kraus
Lefebure
R. Levin
E. List
Lugansky
D. Matthews
x Michelangeli
Moravec
M. Mische
Naoumoff
Novaes
O'Conor
x Perahia
Pires
Pletnev
Pollini
Previn
x Richter
x Rubinstein
Schiff
A. Schnabel
R. Serkin
Shiraga
x Solti
T. Sterne
M. Tipo
x x Uchida
x Bruno Walter
Yudina


I didn't count 'em, but that's about it ... take my choice any time of day or night. Pretty wonderful times in which we live, eh? Now, if you think I'm missing something REALLY important in the way of interpretations, please let me know this as well. Grazie.

barney wrote:
premont wrote:
Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.
Very well said. If I think about it, I get a little sad that something I treasure my children don't (though they will pick some stuff out), but then I realise how wasteful that emotion is. They value other things that I will bequeath. Meanwhile the point is that I should enjoy it. Mind you, I only have about 10 Beethoven complete piano sonata sets and ditto symphonies (plus individual accounts), so it is not so daunting for me. I have more than 30 K466 D minor concertos, that's my most-owned work.

Lance
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Location: Binghamton, New York
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:58 am

Well, the Artur Rubinstein/Wallenstein has always been a favourite, as I mentioned. Beyond that, I turn to Casadesus (commericial/live recordings), Curzon (another of the very greats in this repertoire and like you, multiple performances), and Artur Schnabel. Just recently received the Argerich on DGG but haven't yet heard it.
barney wrote:I did count them - 60! That's a lot. I have 35 (though I have nearly 1000 CDs uncatalogued, so there may be one or two more). I didn't set out to collect them, after the first 10 or so, but they are in different sets, eg Mozart sets, Curzon, Haskil, Great Pianists of the 20th Century etc. So the 35 is really not quite that many because of repeats. x below = one recording. more than one x is more than one recording by that pianist, ie different recordings, not two of the same version.

I know it's not a competition, but I'm miles behind you, Lance. Against that, I don't need any more! I'm happy listening to the great performances I have. I only listen to the work a few times a year. Just reviewed the Argerich/Abbado CD, so listened to that 3 times. The only ones I have you haven't listed are the new wunderkind Jan Lisiecki, the admirable Stephen Kovacevic and Malcolm Bilson on fortepiano with John Eliot Gardiner.

Of that 60, which do you listen to most - which are your favourites?
Lance wrote:Well, you have a great attitude towards this, one I appreciate. You also mentioned Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K.466. This is my favourite of all Mozart's concerti, and it is probably the one that is MOST recorded. I would be curious to know which ones you have that match mine. This is only a partial listing, but bear in mind some pianists have made more than one recording of the work. Please, if you have a chance and have quick catalogue access to your collection, give me an xxx before each name indicating you also have the disc. It's nice for me to know that there are other collectors who have a voracious appetite for this music!

x Anda
Adsnes
x Argerich
x Ashkenazy
x Ax
x Barenboim
x x x Brendel
Casadesus - don't know why I don't have this celebrated account
Ciani
P. Cohen
Corea [!]
x Curzon - I have this 4 times! The original by itself, in the complete Curzon set, the Decca Sound, and the Britten the Performer set. It sounds as good each time!
de Larrocha
Egorov
J. Doyen
Entremont
Firkusny
Annie Fischer
x Edwin Fischer
Gieseking
R. Goode
Gulda
M. Haas
Haebler
x x x x Haskil - with Markevitch 3 times, and 3 others
Myra Hess
Iturbi
Jarrett
x Katchen
W. Kempff
Kissin
Lili Kraus
Lefebure
R. Levin
E. List
Lugansky
D. Matthews
x Michelangeli
Moravec
M. Mische
Naoumoff
Novaes
O'Conor
x Perahia
Pires
Pletnev
Pollini
Previn
x Richter
x Rubinstein
Schiff
A. Schnabel
R. Serkin
Shiraga
x Solti
T. Sterne
M. Tipo
x x Uchida
x Bruno Walter
Yudina


I didn't count 'em, but that's about it ... take my choice any time of day or night. Pretty wonderful times in which we live, eh? Now, if you think I'm missing something REALLY important in the way of interpretations, please let me know this as well. Grazie.

barney wrote:
premont wrote:
Lance wrote: Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days?
Recognizing, that my time for music listening is not without an end - even if the end is not imminent -as far as I know - , I have slowed down and also narrowed my acquisition activity in the course of the last years. 56 Beethoven piano sonata sets and 45 Beethoven symphony sets must be enough for the moment. And I now concentrate on the music, which is closest to my heart, and this is baroque keyboard music. My relatives are uninterested in music - unfortunately, and how they are going to handle my collection, when I am gone, does not bother me. I have purchased the music in my own interest and to listen to it myself.
Very well said. If I think about it, I get a little sad that something I treasure my children don't (though they will pick some stuff out), but then I realise how wasteful that emotion is. They value other things that I will bequeath. Meanwhile the point is that I should enjoy it. Mind you, I only have about 10 Beethoven complete piano sonata sets and ditto symphonies (plus individual accounts), so it is not so daunting for me. I have more than 30 K466 D minor concertos, that's my most-owned work.
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

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Marc » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:23 am

Lance wrote:Thank you, Marc! Well one can't really have "everything." Well, maybe one can. I am just delighted that I have been able to amass these things over a period of many years ... am and most thankful! The above was NOT a bragging effort, but merely to illustrate how the great beauty of a piece of music can be heard so many ways.'
[....]
Not to 'worry'. I never thought you were bragging.

I have the same thankful 'abnormality' with f.i. Bach's Passions and his organ works. The nice thing with organs is that they all sound different, and that the organist has so many different (registration) options.

But I'm slowing down a bit with this cd collection disease.

My latest disease is actually listen to them. :mrgreen:

SONNET CLV
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by SONNET CLV » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:55 am

Lance wrote:I was thinking the other day ... how much can we collectors truly handle? Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days? Where/when does the collecting cease?


There is, I've heard, this thing called death ....

Febnyc
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Febnyc » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:37 pm

The collecting itself, for me at any rate, does not cease. However, it takes a different "shape" than that, for example, of Lance's. I prefer to expand my shelves of CDs horizontally - i.e. investigating all sorts of composers from all ranks of abilities - rather than vertically, or with multiple, almost orgiastic, duplications of the same works.

I had wandered down the latter path for a while, venturing out into many renditions of the usual repertoire, including five "Toscas," as one instance. But I realized that I never would listen to all these discs sitting there - I cannot even imagine owning 30 versions of a Mozart Piano Concerto, unless the overriding fetish simply is to HAVE them. So I picked one (in rare cases, two, at the most) favorite CDs and got rid of all the siblings.

Now my thousands of CDs are supremely eclectic - I often dip my toe in the water of a new, unheard of composer or work, and find, after a first listen, that I don't like it a bit. But that's part of the journey - and having experienced it, I sell it off or give it away forthwith.

I find no profit in having a mountain of CDs (and/or LPs, by the way) oodles of which never will be listened to. That strain of acquisitive disease has not, happily, infected me. But I sure get to hear lots of wonderful music which exists, unfortunately, on the back burners of the classical world - and deserves better.

Far be it from me to preach. In fact, I bow to the fortitude of a collector who finds the strength (and possesses the wherewithal) to keep spending on an avalanche of those regurgitated "boxes" - Beethoven Sonatas, or untold armies of tributes to conductors, or orchestras, all of which contain the same works over again, marching ad infinitum into...well, into infinitum. If you ask me, this is one true definition of "fanaticism."

Anyway, with thanks to a number of pioneering recording labels the compositions of more and more unsung composers are seeing the light of day. And it is in this direction that my collecting continues, most likely without ceasing.

stenka razin
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by stenka razin » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:15 pm

I have noticed that since my available house space is truly shrinking for CDs, I have been spending more and more time collecting Blu Rays of operas and ballets only, because I believe that the Blu Ray is here to stay at least for the rest of my life, hopefully.
In addition I was 'given' a ton of AutoRip CDs for free because Amazon grandfathered in all recordings that I have purchased over the last 10 years. I like the MP3 function for my iPad and iPhone, especially when my wife and I are out. So, we all do change.

P.S. I still do collect CDs of compositions that I have never heard, but, the total is way under what I was purchasing before my conversion to BluRay and MP3's.

Regards,
Mel 8)
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barney
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by barney » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:32 pm

Well, in my defence, I've bought very little. Rubinstein and Perahia sets in the past year, Wagner at the Met, RCA Living Stereo (mind you, that's 294CDs - does it count as 4 or 294?). plus some individual CDs. Yet in the past 15 months, my collection has increased by 1706 CDs, and of course I've heard only a fraction. They get sent to me to review, and I do as many as I can - again, only a fraction.

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:08 am

Trust me ... I've thought of that, many times. One way or another, none of us will stay forever. In the meantime, I am exceedingly happy to enjoy what I have ... and that's probably too much! :(
SONNET CLV wrote:
Lance wrote:I was thinking the other day ... how much can we collectors truly handle? Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days? Where/when does the collecting cease?


There is, I've heard, this thing called death ....
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 &*$#@+#]

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mikealdren
Posts: 310
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by mikealdren » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:38 pm

I've solved the space issue by loading all my CDs onto a computer. It's great for easy access and the sound quality is indistinguishable from the original but I do miss the inserts (where they exist).
Its particularly good for comparing different versions of works and the loading process has led me to listen again to CDs that have sat on the shelves for years.

Thinking about Lance's comments on multiple copies of works. Some works seem really do seem to encourage more variety than others.

Mike

Ted Quanrud
Posts: 573
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Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Ted Quanrud » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:24 pm

Lance wrote:I have been very happy with what I have acquired, but I have to give very careful thought to the purchase of the new artists coming forth. Though I happily listen to some of these via NPR and XM radio, I don't necessarily feel the urge to acquire any more. The current generation of, say, the under 30s, will be the ones who will be acquiring much of this material. And of course, I still find occasional new releases that find some favour and will want to acquire.

On the other hand, new SINGERS are of special interest, but conductors of complete Beethoven/Brahms/Schumann symphonies are not as appealing.

After all, how much can we collectors truly handle?

Do other veteran collectors have the same problem and are learning to draw the line these days? (Ted ... what about you?)
I hope I stop collecting the day someone finds me slumped in my favorite easy chair with an empty glass and a near-empty bottle of superb Russian River pinot noir by my side, and Jessye Norman’s rendition of “Im Abendrot,” set on continuous repeat, pouring out of the loudspeakers. After determining that I am no longer here (the less kind say that about me already) and before calling the coroner, that someone should make sure the cat has been fed.

Seriously, my collecting has rapidly tapered off in recent years, while the listening has increased. I expect both trends to continue, especially after 10 months or so when I retire. I will try to keep up with series that interest me, i.e. the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concertos, but there will be no more Beethoven 9’s or 32’s, and very few basic repertoire items. Aside from a few obsessions – 50-plus recordings of the Four Last Songs, 20 or so of Bach’s “Kreuzstab” cantata and about a dozen “Rings”— the collection is fairy well balanced and should continue to give me much pleasure.

One of the chief pleasures of the collection has been sharing it with a statewide audience via my weekly radio program. Yet I won’t give the collection to the radio station which like so many public stations is increasingly depending on needle-drop services, the inevitable Classical 24. Until recently, my will had designated it to a local Catholic college with a small but promising music program. That program has since diminished, and the school itself has turned into a right-wing, business-oriented institution that I find very unattractive.

As it stands now, the piano CDs go to a young couple who are piano teachers here. One set of the Bach cantatas go to a local Lutheran church, while the other goes to another Lutheran church. The great bulk of the collection goes to a Benedictine monastery, where many of the members have been loyal listeners over the years.

Wallingford
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Wallingford » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:03 pm

I'll let you in on a detail of my life that you may consider rather hairy: I collect greatest-hits anthologies of nearly all the major show-biz figures of the 20th century. That's right, most of the main categories of pop music--classic rock, lite rock, oldies, soul/R&B, middle-of-the-road, most of the great singers, older country.

There are some categories that could use some beefing up, I'll admit. I could always go for more folk. I have the seminal figures, like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Oscar Brand. And I almost never listen to any jazz. I guess classical works my brain more than enough as it does. I just need that much relaxation. And I'm always game for world beat, but again, it almost never occurs to me to squeeze it in. New country I have literally no use for (it rehashes rock). Gospel? I've played enough of it professionally. Punk and rap don't even enter the picture.

I suppose the mania started fifteen years ago when I began work at a Tower Records chain just outside of Seattle. There I quietly began building a reputation as an all-around music trivia expert, being able to move merchandise with someone's favorite song on it; this in addition to my duties as assistant classical salesman. I figured they got the deal of the century when they got me--two music degrees and all I had to show for it was this minimum-wage job.

Granted, I was a music-hoarder even before then (one used record store in the U-district was getting rid of vinyl at ten cents a pop, a lot of it classical). But the employee discunt setup at Tower was a real boon to my CD fever: store cost, plus five per cent. I grabbed both classics and pop, and my monthly habit was something like $60. That, plus all those free discarded or rejected promos. So, for a good four years, I had the kind of life that was near-ideal, living in a thriving arts community and having the kind of home life that mirrored my working life. I lived the same ambience in both places. Parallel universes.

Until the time came when the store unceremoniously dumped me (actually under rather acrimonious circumstances I won't go into here) and I was forced to sell off major chunks of my CD acquisitions over Amazon. These were my "renegade" years, trekking from suburb to suburb in search of valuable rarities to sell, never having to answer to anyone except my mail-order customers. My apartment was a handy place for my inventory.

Then about six years ago I got hooked on this fantastic download site called Rhapsody, It has the near-complete contents of just about any-size Tower store (I'm using San Francisco and London as yardsticks here), and it has stuff these stores likely didn't think of stocking. For a $5 monthly fee there's unlimited downloading. Now this in theory should eliminate the concept of an old-style disc collection. If you think it weaned me off the whole notion of possessing something material to have it on, however, you're mistaken. I've been buying 30-packs of audio CD-Rs ever since, wiring my laptop to my receiver, duping custom-made greatest-hits sets of this or that performer. All the while further fueling my collecting mania as previously-unthought-of artists light up the brain.

I just can't rid myself of the idea of having something "concrete" to keep music permanently on. Besides, giving oneself a little documentary of a performer's legacy only naturally leads me to dub it all while I'm listening; after all, it's only at a nominal cost and little extra time or effort involved (periodic "goofs" aside--I have an aged disc-dubbing deck with longstanding issues, and I'm prone to errors of my own as well).

So there you have it. A sacred shrine to entertainment. A lot of it stored, little of it listened to. It's there fot the ambience as much as anything else. Yep, these days I just don't know what I'll do with this music bibliotek I've got; it's only a good thing I'm not presently in the middle of one of my MOVIE-dubbing phases. Off of the Turner Classic Movies channel, to be exact. There are about 200 DVD-Rs of classic films I'll be wondering how to store, organize and spend time watching.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

SONNET CLV
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by SONNET CLV » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:05 pm

After reading through these posts, I'm coming to a reassessment of my mental state. Perhaps I am not crazy after all.

That's encouraging.

Lance
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Lance » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:34 pm

No, you're not crazy at all! Some people spend their time/life buying/reading books by the dozens/hundreds, or sit at a bar and enjoy themselves that way (not me!), or go on endless trips across out great globe, or buy yachts or luxurious cars, buy clothing, shoes or jewelery. While I enjoy some of these elements myself (in moderation), it is STILL the collecting/listening to great music offered by so many extraordinary artists. and in that sense I am not moderate! Truly, a gift. One simply prioritizes what one does with life, which is all too short at its longest. As long as I have my ears, I am deeply appreciative. Everything else (well almost!) can go by the wayside.
SONNET CLV wrote:After reading through these posts, I'm coming to a reassessment of my mental state. Perhaps I am not crazy after all.

That's encouraging.
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 &*$#@+#]

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bigshot
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:23 pm

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by bigshot » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:08 pm

I'm 54 years old... I remember when I was a kid thinking to myself how great it would be to be grown up so I could own a reel to reel tape recorder and perhaps something to record bits of shows off TV. My brother had a nice stereo and a large record collection and I really wanted that sort of thing too.

Today, reality has exceeded my dreams by an order of magnitude. I can carry a massive record collection around in my pocket- in perfect sound no less! These bargain box sets mean I'm paying a third of what the same recordings cost back in the early 70s. I have a collection of digital music that dwarfs even the largest record collections back in the day. And as good as it is for music, it's the same for movies.

I'm living the dream! Why would I stop collecting just because my expectations were too low?

Mookalafalas
Posts: 231
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Location: Taiwan

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Mookalafalas » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:18 am

bigshot wrote:I'm 54 years old... I remember when I was a kid thinking to myself how great it would be to be grown up so I could own a reel to reel tape recorder and perhaps something to record bits of shows off TV. My brother had a nice stereo and a large record collection and I really wanted that sort of thing too.

Today, reality has exceeded my dreams by an order of magnitude. I can carry a massive record collection around in my pocket- in perfect sound no less! These bargain box sets mean I'm paying a third of what the same recordings cost back in the early 70s. I have a collection of digital music that dwarfs even the largest record collections back in the day. And as good as it is for music, it's the same for movies.

I'm living the dream! Why would I stop collecting just because my expectations were too low?
Well put. It really is a miracle. When I was a grad student at Indiana U some years ago, some rich old guy kicked off and left his famous film collection to the school. I helped catalog it, and screened films to check make sure they were in good enough shape to show for our Friday night screenings. Now my movie collection dwarfs his, and mine actually look better (restored and digitized). I thought I would have to be a tycoon to be able to enjoy the media which I which I now have at my finger-tips. And since I do have it...maybe I am. After all, money is only worth what it can do for you. As a bibliophile/movie and music nut I can now have everything I ever wanted very easily, so in spite of the path I chose, I'm a rich man after-all :D :D .

And about the discs in the bargain boxes costing about 1/3 of what they did in the 70s, that's without adjusting for inflation. They are actually less than half of that. Whodathunkit?
Call me Al (cuz its my name)

Tiger
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Tiger » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:32 pm

For me, the only line I draw is financial. Collecting, whether it's a new composer/work or number 200 of a particular work, is a great hobby.

Wallingford
Posts: 4563
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Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Wallingford » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:23 pm

I have an update on my collecting habit. Having just read a biography of Dvorak--and having glanced over a Brahms one--I have now shifted focus back to completing my Dvorak and Brahms collections, which are seriously deficient in the areas of both composers' chamber, vocal and choral works. This should occupy me for quite some time.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

John F
Posts: 21076
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by John F » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:47 pm

If you haven't gotten into Brahms's songs yet, that will be a treat. Many subjects and moods, including a real sense of humor.



Vergebliches Ständchen / Futile Serenade

Er:
Guten Abend, mein Schatz,
guten Abend, mein Kind!
Ich komm' aus Lieb' zu dir,
Ach, mach' mir auf die Tür,
mach' mir auf die Tür!

Sie:
Meine Tür ist verschlossen,
Ich laß dich nicht ein;
Mutter, die rät' mir klug,
Wär'st du herein mit Fug,
Wär's mit mir vorbei!

Er:
So kalt ist die Nacht,
so eisig der Wind,
Daß mir das Herz erfriert,
Mein' Lieb' erlöschen wird;
Öffne mir, mein Kind!

Sie:
Löschet dein' Lieb';
lass' sie löschen nur!
Löschet sie immerzu,
Geh' heim zu Bett, zur Ruh'!
Gute Nacht, mein Knab'!


He:
Good evening, my treasure,
good evening, sweet girl!
I come from love of you,
Ah, open the door,
open the door for me!

She:
My door is locked, and
I won't let you in:
My mother has advised me well!
If you came in,
It would all be over for me!

He:
The night is so cold, and
the wind so icy
that my heart will freeze,
and my love will be extinguished!
Open for me, sweet girl!

She:
If your love starts dying,
then let it be extinguished!
If it keeps dying,
go home to bed, and rest!
Good night, my boy!
John Francis

bigshot
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:23 pm

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by bigshot » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:15 am

There's never room for more of the same. But there is always room for a different approach, even if that approach is wrong. The problem isn't that there are too many... it's that there are too many of the same thing.

slofstra
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by slofstra » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:36 am

SONNET CLV wrote:After reading through these posts, I'm coming to a reassessment of my mental state. Perhaps I am not crazy after all.

That's encouraging.
Of course, that is not the only possible conclusion that presents itself from this discussion.

Wallingford
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Wallingford » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:04 pm

I'm seriously considering getting DGG's Complete Brahms Edition. It seems cheaper in the long run.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Len_Z
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:47 am
Location: New York, NY, USA

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Len_Z » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:27 am

Since I collect mostly performers (as opposed to composers), there's no respite for me in sight. Of course, chances of new recordings by Callas appearing on the market are pretty slim (even though I'm still hoping her Chicago Il trovatore will one day be found), some gems by Richter, Arrau, Gilels, Oistrakh, Michelangeli, Anda are being released for the first time ever today. These alone could keep me pretty busy, but I also keep finding very interesting performers among new generations of currently active musicians: Grigory Sokolov, Janine Jansen, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Alexander Knyazev, Maxim Rysanov, Leonidas Kavakos, Mikhail Pletnev - I wouldn't want to miss anything they record, and there are many others I feel curious about (i.e. Alexandre Tharaud, Arabella Steinbacher, Vassily Petrenko, etc.)

I can't recall the last time I bought a newly recorded complete opera, but there are many singers whose solo CDs I do purchase regularly. Let me name just a few: Sondra Radvanovsky, Waltraud Meier, Krassimira Stoyanova, Kate Royal, Piotr Beczala, Ewa Podles, Christine Stotijn, Sara Mingardo, Peter Mattei, Alice Coote. Just this past week I've discovered a fantastic soprano that I previously have never heard: Christiane Karg.

Guess, I'm doomed :)

barney
Posts: 4079
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by barney » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:52 am

Len_Z wrote:Guess, I'm doomed :)
"Fated" might be apter, as it can have positive connotations. You are fated to enjoy the most magnificent music till you die... :)

Auntie Lynn
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:42 pm

Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by Auntie Lynn » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:15 pm

Ahem, learning to do it yourself helps...or rely on your local library...

Yes, I do it myself, so hold your fire...

SONNET CLV
Posts: 628
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Re: Where/when does the collecting cease?

Post by SONNET CLV » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:29 pm

Tiger wrote:For me, the only line I draw is financial. Collecting, whether it's a new composer/work or number 200 of a particular work, is a great hobby.
You poor fellow, letting money stand in the way of a good time!
Consider recycling the famous Desiderius Erasmus quote (which I am reminded of daily since it graces a bookmark I tend to use): "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."
The words "records/CDs" works well as a substitute for "books".
When you're committed*, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven sound just as good when you're hungry and naked. Believe me. I know.

__________________
* I realize a few of you will likely misinterpret my use of that word.

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