Purchase log, 2021-11-16

[Electric Light Orchestra - Time]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.


  • Claude Debussy, Piano Works (Alexis Weissenberg)
  • Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way
  • Electric Light Orchestra, Time
  • Frédéric Chopin, Nocturnes (Daniel Barenboim)
  • Frédéric Chopin, Polonaises (Shura Cherkassky)
  • Hesperion XX, Vingt Ans
  • John Coltrane, The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings
  • Miles Davis, Bitches Brew
  • Samuel Barber, Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 / Overture to A School of Scandal / Adagio for Strings (Neeme Järvi, Detroit Symphony Orchestra)
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 3 / Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (Vladimir Feltsen, Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic)
  • Styx, Kilroy Was Here

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Purchase log, 2020-03-30

[Penzias and Wilson - Rescue the Fly]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

  • MONO, Beyond the Past: Live with the Platinum Anniversary Orchestra
  • Penzias and Wilson, “Rescue the Fly” / Empty Ensemble, “String Quartet Song No. 6 (Reiwa 3 Remix)”


  • ABC, Abracadabra
  • Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited
  • Einojuhani Rautavarra, Angels and Visitations / Violin Concerto / Isle of Bliss
  • fIREHOSE, “if’n”
  • Guided By Voices, Hold on Hope EP
  • Hiroshima, Ongaku
  • Huey Lewis and the News, Huey Lewis and the News
  • Huey Lewis and the News, Small World
  • Jonathan Elias, Requiem for the Americas
  • Kelela, Take Me Apart
  • Milla, The Divine Comedy
  • Peter Gabriel, Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats
  • Richard Wagner, Die Walküre (Vienna Philharmonic, Georg Solti)
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 2 / Rhapsody on a Theme By Paganini (Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Spice Girls, Forever
  • Wolfgang Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro (James Levine, Metropolitan Opera)
  • Yo Majesty, Futuristically Speaking … Never Be Afraid
  • Soundtrack, The Saint


  • Robert Palmer, Collected

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The ones that nearly got away: Sergei Rachmaninoff, Preludes (Complete)

[Sergei Rachmaninov - Preludes (Alexis Weissenberg)]

My piano teacher wanted me to learn Sergei Rachmaninoff’s prelude in C-sharp minor. I didn’t get past the first page. I bought a tape of Rachmaninoff’s complete preludes, and it sufficiently scared me off from trying any of those pieces at tempo.

At the time, my knowledge of classical music was scant. I knew the usual dead Germans — Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Schumann — from piano exercises, but it was all just a monolith to my junior high self. Then my piano teacher introduced to some 20th century Russians — Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Rachmaninoff. These composers started to break down traditional harmony, and I became intrigued by the dissonance of their works.

Except Rachmaninoff, of course. His music was firmly planted in the 19th century, but I hadn’t yet developed an ear to distinguish the various eras. I figured if Rachmaninoff lived in the early 20th century, that made him a “20th Century Composer”.

The more I explored music of the modern era, the more I found Rachmaninoff wanting, and the tape I bought with all of his preludes would get sold for cash to make way for composers who aligned more with my tastes.

But I had already played it so many times that they actually sunk into my subconscious. When I retook my undergraduate music classes some 25 years later, a classmate would rehearse one of Rachmaninoff’s preludes, and I could hum along in my mind’s ear.

I don’t remember much about that tape. I kept a barebones catalog of my collection, but I didn’t note who performed those preludes. I just remember it was an RCA recording.

The Alexis Weissenberg compilation I picked up at the thrift store seemed to fit the bill. Playing it felt familiar, as if it made an exact mental match to what I remember. The first recording you hear of any classical work becomes a litmus, and if you internalize it, you can tell when someone else’s interpretation rubs against that perception.

The Weissenberg recordings felt like I had come home.

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Purchase log, 2020-01-28

[Change - The Glow of Love]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.


  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, Song and Dance: The Songs (Original Broadway Cast)
  • Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Cee-Lo Green, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections
  • Michael Jackson, Bad (Special Edition)
  • Musical Youth, Anthology
  • Olivier Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time (Tashi)
  • Philip Glass, North Star
  • Rage Against the Machine, Renegades
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff, Preludes (Complete) (Alexis Weissenberg)
  • The Flaming Lips, Fight Test
  • World Saxophone Quartet, Dances and Ballads
  • Soundtrack, Friday Night Lights
  • Soundtrack, Kill Bill, Vol. 1
  • Soundtrack, Strictly Ballroom
  • Change, The Glow of Love
  • Lounge Lizards, No Pain for Cakes
  • William Orbit, Strange Cargo

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