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Corwin Slack


February 2, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Several months ago I bought an iPod. I bought the one with the most capacity, 160Gb, I have a large collection of CDs and I was determined to put as much of it as possible on my computer and on the iPod. It only required 25Gb. (That is 19.1 days of continuous listening). I decided that the iPod would be the main playback medium and I connected it to my stereo system but I (poor me) had to walk across the room to make my selection. Periodically I had to carry it upstairs (again poor me) to sync it to my computer for new downloads and newly ripped CDs.

Then I found out about Apple TV. It is essentially an iPod that connects to your TV and stereo system and allows you to wirelessly sync to your computer, directly connect to the Internet for Youtube, and playback videos, podcasts, etc. all using a remote control from your couch. Apple TV is about the same price as the iPod I bought.

Now my entire CD collection is available at my finger tips. I know for the first time, how many different versions of the Beethoven Violin Concerto I own. My wife is happy because there are no empty jewel boxes spread over the house waiting to be resynched with their CDs.

Regrettably it also shows big gaps in my collection. I am woefully short of Schumann, Chopin, and Schubert. I have very little Stravinsky, Bartok and Prokofieff. I have a lot of Bach but there are big gaps in keyboard works. I only have a couple of the cantatas. I don't have significant portions of the string quartet repertory.

But I have a lot of music that I will probably never listen to again and there is so much more to listen to that I don't own. I could kill a lot of time just listening.

When all is said and done I would trade it all for 6 nights a year of participation in playing chamber music in my home.

From Lawrence Price
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 3:54 PM
With all of the players in Houston, I would think that finding chamber music players would be a cinch. Have you looked at the ACMP directory?
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 10:29 PM
Corwin, I keep trying to reorganize my CD collection, and I have many of thesurpluses and lacks that you do. I certainly would not exchange my collection for playing chamber music in my home.
From Corwin Slack
Posted on February 3, 2008 at 5:40 AM
I have occasionally played with some Houston professionals but after being (justifiably) stood up a number of times in favor of paying gigs I made it a rule to never play with pros. Its not fair for amateurs to impose on professional musicians and I can't afford to buy musical companionship.

The amateur problem is finding a violist that plays at a reasonable level. They do exist but the few I happen to know are not all that interested. I'll probably take up the viola and try to convince another violinist to do the same and then rotate between violin and viola.

From Terry Hsu
Posted on February 4, 2008 at 3:34 PM
Rather than learn the viola (since you probably really prefer the violin) or give up all of your CDs, maybe you could ask the violists that you know what you could do for them that would make it attractive to them to get together and play. It can seem like bending over backwards, but it can also be worth the trouble, if your goal is to play some chamber music. Obviously I don't know your situation, but it's just a thought...

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