A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Classy deal


If you own an iPad, iPod, or iPhone, and occasionally enjoy classical music, I thought I'd tell you about a great bargain that's currently available. I just picked up a set of all nine Beethoven symphonies, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Josef Krips, for a mere $5.99 in the iTunes store.

Now, this set has been around for about a million years (well, since around 1960, anyway), and for whatever reason has always been priced very affordably, at least during the past 20 years or so. Maybe the recordings fell into the public domain some time ago, making them cheap to manufacture and release, I don't know. So why didn't I buy these performances before now?

Well, the set's always had a reputation for featuring, at best, marginal sound quality, which kept me from purchasing previous versions of the Krips recordings on cassette or CD in years past, despite the cheap prices always in evidence. However, I never saw the set priced as low as $5.99, the current iTunes price. So, what the heck, I took the plunge last week.

Any you know what? The recording quality is quite good. Maybe not the sonic perfection routinely delivered in this digial age, but solid and crisp with little or no background noise. Maybe Apple's engineers had something to do with that, making the sound quality better than it was in previous iterations of this set. But whatever the reason, I have no complaints on the aural front. And- oh, yes- the performances are just fine, too: sensitive, nuanced, dramatic... in short, everything you want in these symphonies.

So, anyway, for a lousy $5.99, I can't imagine passing up the chance to have all nine Beethoven symphonies sitting on your Apple device, as well as on your home computer, for whenever you're in the mood for a dose of the classics. So get to it! I don't know how long this $5.99 deal will last. Remember, complete sets of the Beethoven symphonies routinely cost $40 to $80.

The accompanying artwork (classy and elegant in my opinion) is the image Apple is using in the iTunes store to accompany its description of the set.

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