Friday, November 25, 2005

A Most Pleasant Use of Technology

I'm the kind of person who gets easily frustrated when technology doesn't behave properly, and for me, that is quite often. And yet this morning I was able to do something my grandparents could never have conceived. I noticed that there was a glaring omission in my cd collection. I had never bothered to upgrade my old Brandenburg Concertos from vinyl/cassette to cd. I awoke in the mood for some Brandenburg, and alas, none was to be found. I could have gotten into my car, driven to the mall, braved the Black Friday crowds, and plopped down $20 or more for said concerti. I think not!

Instead, I did the 21st century thing and perused iTunes. This presented a problem - a plethora of choices. Did I want the sturdy old Neville Marriner or the feisty Musica Antiqua Koln? Finding classical cd reviews can be quite difficult using Google, so I went to, and looked up most of the choices I found on iTunes. There I found great reviews and details about the performances which informed my choices. From iTunes I downloaded Trevor Pinnock's version with the English Consort. Very nice, leisurely paced, with period instruments (a must for me). Then to reward Amazon for being so helpful, I ordered the complete six concerti from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment ($10.98, not bad!).

This was a most pleasant use of technology. I was able to rectify a glaring omission in my musical library, spend less than $20, and get two fine versions. The best part is that I was able to combine both instant and delayed gratification. I have the English Consort already on my iMac and iPod, and I eagerly await my order from Amazon. The only downside to all of this was the offer of free shipping made to me by the good folks at Amazon. If I only spent a little I ended up with two more Naxos cds by Machaut and Obrecht ($6.99 ea.). Ain't life grand?


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