Friday, April 29, 2011

Podcast #4 – Digital Vinyl

(UPDATE 2011-07-11 - Commentaire français au

I had fun this past week preparing a montage of my old vinyl. This took me back to the old days… 

My first purchase was a 45 RPM single (for $1.08, tax included) of “I Think I Love You" by David Cassidy and the Partridge Family (Hate to admit to that…) I must have been 10 or 11 years old. I bought this at “Beaulieu Musique”, the long-gone record store on Beaubien ave. in Montreal, next door to the barber shop where I had my mop done up, just around the corner from St-Hubert st., La Plaza St-Hubert as I think it is still known today, the set of shops covering essentially 4 blocks between Beaubien avenue and Jean-Talon boulevard.

I own well over 200 LP records, collected during the 10-year period between 1978 and 1987 (or so). The first “serious” LP I purchased was André Gagnon’s Saga. I attended one of his concerts with my brother, and was completely taken by his music. I own most of his vinyl releases, and have transferred all of them to my digital collection. The first track from that album “Le grand repos” opens our playlist.

As a Montrealer, I was caught in the whole Dutoit-mania of the late 70’s to early 80’s. Dutoit and the MSO made nearly 100 recordings between 1979 and the early 2000’s, and most of their early recordings I have vinyl copies of. The first Dutoit/MSO recording ever made (I believe) was made not for London-Decca but for Deutche Grammophon in 1979. It was sponsored by the CBC and featured two CBC commissions by the Ottawa-born composer François Dompierre: his piano concerto in A major and the track I chose, Harmonica Flash. In addition to having been recorded on a different label, the venue for the recording was NOT the famed Church in St-Eustache, but rather the Claude-Champagne concert hall, today part of the the University of Montreal. I also selected Dutoit’s “reference” recording of Ravel’s ballet Daphnic et Chloé, which won the Charles-Cros award at the time and was the first MSO/Dutoit recording in the long series with London-Decca to garner attention and acclaim.

For a few years in the early 1980’s, I was a member of the “Columbia Record and Tape Club”. I must have about 30 or 40 LPs in my collection dating from that period, and I selected some of them featuring Sarah Vaughan and Robert Johnson.

Looking back at this week’s montage, I have quite a few “non-classical” and jazz-leaning selections. In addition to the Robert Johnson, I also included a few personal favourites: I love Lorraine Desmarais’ stuff, and I made sure to digitize the two albums I have of hers. The Aaron Copland piano concerto recording I have added not only because I think it’s under-rated (when compared to, say, the Gershwin jazz-inspired pieces) but also because I am particularly proud of the digital transfer itself.

I own Mahler’s First,Second, Fourth and Fifth from the early 60’s cycle put together by Rafael Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His Fourth is in my permanent digital collection, as I prefer it to the Chailly/Concertgebouw version that is part of the Decca re-issue CD box that I own.

Finally, here is a rare occurrence of both a vintage vinyl re-issue of a “reference” performance of the Beethoven violin concerto that I own and finding the file on the Internet. I bought a set of vinyl LP’s from the old “Discus” store on St-Hubert st. that were discounted because the jackets were in Italian (part of some anthology series called “I Grandi Concerti”. This one features “Orchestra Filarmonica di Berlino” under Karl Bohm. In spite of recording technology (1950’s MONO), Christian Ferras offers an intelligent rendition of the concerto, well supported by the Berlin Philharmonic.

(The Podcast features only the third movement - below is the complete performance.)

I could have come up with dozens of playlists for this podcast, but I think that this one provides a good mix of genres, styles and transfer methods I have made use of over the years.

I think you will love this music too.

This montage is no longer available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address

Feel free to share your own experiences with transferring vinyl to digital form by commenting against my blog or e-mailing me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Digitizing Your Old Vinyl Records (and Tapes)

(UPDATE 2011-07-11 - Versio française de ce billet

When I began collecting music in the late 70’s and early 80’s, vinyl was the “technology du jour”. Everything was available on 33 RPM records. You got one “pristine” playback, and then dust and micro-scratches meant pops and assorted surface noise (what we liked to refer to back in the day as “bacon”). As a collector, you learned to keep your vinyl clean, and would invariably “upgrade” your collection by buying another version of the same piece (by a different artist, on a different label).

In the early 80’s, “digital recordings” began popping up, and there would be vinyl releases (dubbed “DDA” for Digitally recorded, Digitally mastered, Analog playback) as the new technology, the Compact Disc, was not affordable (CD players were expensive and the CD’s themselves were double the price of vinyl back then). Also, nobody thought that the vinyl albums would disappear, as there had been a good 30-40 years invested in the technology.

Were we wrong, or what?

As digital media took its place in the market, we all were faced with the dilemma: what to do with all that vinyl? Today, some 25+ years later, mainstream computer technology allows us to affordably transfer our vinyl (and cassette tape) favourites to digital format through several different means. Let me give you an overview of the strategy that I have adopted in addressing this.

Find digital copies
The simplest way of digitizing vinyl is to not digitize it at all. There is a multitude of sources where your vinyl favourites can be found in digital form. This means buying digital media, ripping media from CDs at your local library, or downloading digital media off the Internet. In my mind, there is no ethical dilemma: if I bought the vinyl, I feel entitled to digital copies of that same track, as I already paid the artist. I have no shame in using every/any means possible to secure the media.

Computer-Based digitization
Your computer comes standard with a sound card and a “Line In” jack. There are free tools on the Internet (as well as commercially available tools) that allow you to acquire, and convert analog signals and render them digitally. One such tool is AUDACITY – it is a mainstay on my machines as it provides the ability to capture, edit, and render the files (as WAV or MP3).

The trick is coming up with the right “strategy” to bring in the audio signal (either using the standard baseband “OUT” from your amplifier or the standard baseband “OUT” from your cassette player.) At a reasonable price, there are several RCA jack to headphone jack or USB connector cables that will make the connection possible. (Note that connecting your turntable directly to the PC is unlikely to work, as the signal strength coming out of the turntable needs amplification to register on most sound cards. There are USB-based turntables that are available, however – see below)

I obtained my best results by transferring the vinyl to cassette first (and using the native noise reduction of my cassette player) and then feeding the cassette output to my PC. Yes, it is more time consuming, but the results are surprisingly good. This approach also allowed me to “revive” some vinyl I backed up through the years – as a collector, I loathe not keeping copies of material as I “rotate out” the albums from my collection. This meant that I backed up “older” vinyl as I replaced it. I also have a number of music cassettes that I bought and have transferred this way. Same goes for some “radio airplay” captures of concerts I made in the early days of my music collection.

Vinyl to CD appliances
I made the purchase of an all-in-one turntable/CD recorder a couple of years back, and have been using that to do my vinyl transfers.

As I take stock of the results, I feel that using a tape recording worked better – as I find that the analog filtering of the cassette recordings is far superior to the digital filtering provided by the editing software I use. On the positive side, this means that I do not need to tether my PC to my stereo equipment and can do the transfer while I listen to the vinyl.

I would caution that using this approach to create a “clean” CD of the vinyl is hit and miss (mostly miss). You have to view the CD as a “disposable” transfer medium, as the final digital tracks need post-processing to yield the best listening experience. Also, with the unit I own, I have found some quirks with the digitizing to CD, introducing spontaneous bursts of silence, or sometimes “failing” to do the transfer, costing me a blank CD.

USB-connected turntable
This is an approach I have not used personally, but intuitively it is a variation on the tape deck approach, using the PC sound card to digitize the vinyl. Without having tried it, I can’t provide a first-hand opinion. However, based on my experience with direct vinyl transfers, I expect the need to use “digital filtering” to clean up the files, with the mixed results I encountered with my CD recorder. The benefit here is that there is no “transfer CD”, as the raw file is save directly to your PC without the need to rip it off your transfer medium.

All approaches hinge on one thing: for best results, your vinyl needs to be clean. I personally use a 50% isopropyl alcohol/water combination to do the cleaning, and wipe the dry vinyl with a household “duster sheet”.

UPDATE 2011-06-27: Here's a more aggressive cleaning approach, which seems to be gathering acceptance:

My next montage and post are dedicated to "digital vinyl". This will allow you to see for yourself what a "decent amateur" can do with his old analog turntable...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Music for an Easter Vigil

En français:

In addition to my recent podcast on Agnus Dei, I wanted to share a few selections you can sample off the Web that are particularly meaningful to me, and that I routinely make a point to reflect to this time of year.

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

The Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler, known as the Resurrection, was written between 1888 and 1894, and first performed in 1895. Apart from the Eighth Symphony (his Symphony of A Thousand), this symphony was Mahler's most popular and successful work during his lifetime. It is his first major work that would eventually mark his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection.

Mahler was, no doubt, a very spiritual; man, and his music often reflects tragedy (as is the case of the “three hammer blows” of this Sixth Symphony emblematic of the death of his young daughter), hope and love. The story goes that Mahler chose to base the finale of this Symphony on Kloppstock’s “Resurrection Hymn” – to which he added his own words – after hearing it at the funeral of legendary conductor Hans von Bülow. The fourth movement (Urlicht) the “U” my musical alphabet podcast, and the fifth movement, the setting of the Resurrection Hymn, is powerful and moving.  Legendary Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester (who passed away last year) has been involved in nearly a dozen recordings of this work.Here is a LINK to the words of the Hymn. 

I own several versions of this symphony – my favourite is one by Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia (1950’s). Klemperer was involved in the premiere, I believe, as an assistant conductor. Here's another version by Klemperer, this time from a live recording from the Holland Festival, Amsterdam, July 12, 1951, with the Concertgebouw orchestra and soloists Jo Vincent, soprano and Kathleen Ferrier, contralto:

Verdi’s Missa Da Requiem

I don't think that it's coincidence that Mozart and Verdi's Requiem masses are so popular - they are both opera composers, and have a flair for the dramatic. Verdi's Requiem is a particularly strong work, mainly due to its intensity. In a recent review of a concert performance, Claude Gingras of La Presse wrote:

Disparaged by purists as being too close to opera, Verdi's Requiem is nevertheless an extremely rich and compelling work, a real stroke of genius. A confident conductor can make the audience vibrate to the highest levels of emotion [...] 

The version in my collection is a 2001 recording marking the centenary of Verdi's death, conducted by Caudio Abbado featuring soprano Angela Gheorgiu, tenor Roberto Alagna, the Swedish Radio Chorus, the Eric Ericsson Chamber Choir and the Berlin Philharmonic. Abbado, like most conductors of his generation, has a strong track record as a Verdi operatic conductor, and it shows – letting himself get carried away by Verdi’s fiery music. It is a very dynamic performance, well worth the purchase if you like that sort of stuff.

I chose to share with you the performance commemorating the 50th anniversary of Verdi’s death, conducted by Arturo Toscanini in Carnegie Hall (before a capacity crowd and a nationwide radio audience which heard it via the NBC network).  Verdi is definitely a composer in Toscanini’s wheel house, and the performance is brisk and clear. Unlike Abbado’s Requiem, Toscanini stays painstakingly within the indications of the composer, which makes it different but no less enjoyable and moving. It is said that Toscanini probably performed the Requiem 30 times between 1902 and 1951, and that the 1951 Carnegie Hall performance wasn't his finest (most people point to his 1940 broadcast performance at the same venue with different soloists as being his finest recording of the work) but this is not too shabby nonetheless.

Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms

Let’s make one thing clear – I am a HUGE Stravinsky fan. The name evokes neo-modern, minimalistic, hard to listen to music. I would suggest that there’s nothing further from the truth: Stravinsky was trained by some of the great names of the late romantic movement in Russian (Rimsky-Korsakiv comes to mind) and although his language is modern and (at times) dry, he is capable of very lyrical work. This 1930 symphony is a great example of that.

The Symphony incorporates choral settings of three psalms, and the final movement, woven around the words Laudate Dominum (Praise God) is pure genius. The version I have in my collection is one conducted by Stravinsky himself and the CBC Symphony (a re-branding of the Toronto Symphony) and the Elmer Iseler Singers in a version that was part of an ambitious Columbia Records initiative to record the “complete Stravinsky” for the composer’s 80th birthday in the early 1960’s. By his own admission, Stravinsky wasn’t a great conductor, but he was a great communicator, and a constant “tinkerer” – which drove the orchestra musicians bonkers! Stravinsky made several recordings with the CBC Symphony as part of this initiative, largely because of the high standards of the orchestra and their willingness to put up with his unique approach to music making.

The performance I chose is by Riccardo Muti at La Scala

I think you will love this music too… And Happy Easter!

[ITYWLTMT wishes to remind that embedded links and their content are provided here for musical enjoyment, and can be experienced on your PC without downloading required if you have access to the Internet. (Downloading files for use on your personal digital companion is generally possible, depending on the site.) Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. Please enjoy!]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Places to Find Free Music on the Internet

I am putting the finishing touches on my blog post for Friday on “Music for an Easter Vigil”. In doing so, I am not planning to create a music montage/podcast, but rather provide you with links to Internet resources that provide music off your web browser, which you can download if you so choose.

One such resource is “Public Domain Classic”, a Japanese-hosted web site:

The site provides a large selection of music from Bach to Weber. The recordings date anywhere between early acoustic recordings to the early days of stereo (roughly the 50-years between 1910 and 1960), and feature renowned performances for recognizable soloists, conductors and orchestras.

I plan, from time to time, to use links to this site in lieu of putting together a montage. In other cases, I may simply point you to that site for additional selections or to compare performances.

In general, I have found the quality of the digital files to be more “hit” than “miss”, generally anywhere from good to excellent, though you must remember that sometimes the track quality is limited by the recording technology of the time and the source (studio Vs. radio broadcast). In more than one instance, the performance outshines the technology, making it well worth sampling, or even keeping as part of your own music collection.

Mining this site has allowed me to rediscover the likes of Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony, Bruno Walter and the New-York Philharmonic, only to name a few. Some recordings dating form early stereo between, say, 1950 and 1960 are in fact so good that they compare favourably to contemporary releases in my opinion.

Another resource I like to mine for classical music is, believe it or not, YouTube. If you use your favourite search engine to find specific works on the web, more often than not, the engine will suggest “video results”. What I have found when sampling those “hits” is that you get the expected amateur performances, but also “TV broadcast performances”, as well as the odd video-montage that uses commercially available tracks as background music. You would be surprised what you can find when you least expect it!

There are many free resources on the Internet that allow you to “convert” YouTube videos to MP3 format. Here is one such resource:

The process yields often good to very good quality digital tracks, and only takes a few minutes (if that…). The types of tracks I have added to my collection have included a couple of “Golden Age of Television” broadcast performances – one that comes to mind is the legendary Leonard Bernstein lecture on Beethoven’s Fifth he gave in the 19050’s on the ABC-TV anthology series “Omnibus”, pristine-sounding copies of studio recordings by Maria Callas and Erich Kunzel, and many others.

I have more sites that I have mined for free music on the Internet – and I plan to bring those to your attention from time to time.

More blogging on Friday!

[Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. Enjoy!]

Friday, April 15, 2011

Podcast #3 – Agnus Dei

This weekend is Palm Sunday, and launches Holy Week, fast approaching the high point of the liturgical calendar, and an appropriate time to dig into the sacred music I have in my collection.

Music helps provide the right atmosphere, as we use this time for introspection and reflection on the events of Holy Week and Easter, what they mean and what we all need to do personally to prepare ourselves spiritually.

I can’t think of a more appropriate set of words to reflect to than to the words attached to”Lamb of God” (in Latin Agnus Dei). The words appear in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus. In Christian teachings, Lamb of God refers to Jesus Christ in his role of the perfect sacrificial offering.

In the Mass of the Roman Rite and also in the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church, and the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church the Agnus Dei is sung or recited during the fraction of the Host. Agnus Dei has been set to music by many composers, usually as part of a Mass:

Based upon John the Baptist's reference, the text in Latin is:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. [Lamb of God, you who take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.]
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem. [Lamb of God, you who take away the sin of the world, grant us Peace]

Our podcast this week provides a series of musical settings for the Agnus Dei, most of them taken from masses and Requiem masses penned by several composers, from the Renaissance to the 20th Century – the exception is the setting by Samuel Barber to the melody of his “Adagio for Strings”.

This montage is no longer available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address

Next week, I will post some links to additional material (sacred and secular in nature) that are especially relevant to the Easter vigil (at least, for me…).

I think you will love this music too…

Let me know what you think either by commenting on the blog or by e-mailing me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

*** NEW *** ITYWLTMT on PodOmatic

In an effort to promote the blog and podcast and establish a Web Feed, I will now post the podcast on PodOmaticYou will be able to download the podcast or enjoy it on-line. To make the listening easier, I will be posting the playlist on Docstoc which will allow you to download or simply view the playlist on-line.

As my space runs out on my PodOmatic account, I intend to “archive” my podcasts at FileSonic, if you need to get access to an old podcast.

Our Web Feed:

Keep an eye out for my April 15 Posting!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ITYWLTMT On The Road and Podcast #2 – Musical Alphabet, Part 2

[Aberdeen, MD] ITYWLTMT is coming to you from the Marriott Courtyard in Aberdeen (Maryland,). I am on business travel this week, supporting the Canadian Army on some experiments they are conducting with the US Army at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Ripken Stadium (left) and Marriott hotel (building at centre)

Aberdeen is about 30 minutes North East of Baltimore, and is home to Aberdeen IronBirds, the Single-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The team is owned by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr -an Aberdeen native – and plays out of Ripken Stadium, literally across the parking lot from my hotel (as shown on the above picture).  Minor league ball hasn’t started yet, but we do see lots of Little League kids hovering around the facility.

Blogging-wise, I have been using my free time to build up some material. I also have Googled the blog a few times, and most of the keywords don’t pick-up the blog yet. So far, no hits (other than mine) that I can see, no followers, no comments and no downloads of our first musical alphabet collage.

Oh well…

I have to come up with ways to “promote” the site! Because I have not created a web feed for it, I can’t publish it on Podcast directories. Maybe I need to do that, but what about Copyright rules I am (surely) violating. I’d rather get some traction by word of mouth…

I will try and get something done about this next week.

Enough banter - let’s get on to the music!

(UPDATE 2011-07-02 - Commentaire français:

Continuing our musical alphabet, we will explore the letters N to Z.

This montage is no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / Ce montage n'est plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

Detailed Playlist:

Podcast play list (details enclosed in the posted archive):
N.  Nocturne-Andante from Borodin’s second string quartet
O.  “O Souverain, juge, père” from “Le Cid”
P.   Perdido
Q.  Copland’s Quiet City
R.  Overture to Wagner’s Rienzi
S.   Nielsen’s Saga Dream
T.   The Typewriter
U.  Mahler’s lieder Urlicht
V.  "Vissi d’arte", from Tosca
W. Bach’s Wachet Auf
X.  Largo for Organ from “Xerxes”
Y.  Yesterday, by the Beatles
Z.   Berlioz’s Zaide

I have included three transcriptions in the list: an orchestration of a Borodin string quartet movement, and two adaptations of orchestral pieces for wind band. The band featured is the Eastman Wind Ensemble, conducted in the 50’s by Frederick Fennell, and in later years by Donald Hunsbeger.

A few opera excerpts: French (Le Cid) and Italian (Tosca). Zaïde by Berlioz and Urlicht by Mahler are settings of songs with orchestra. The Typewriter is a cute ditty from Leroy Anderson, so is Perdido, a jazz standard performed here by Duke Ellington. I chose the Beatle’s Yesterday for the letter Y – I thought it appropriate, as this is indeed a “classic”

I think you will love this music too…

Next week, I am planning to blog  the first of two posts on Holy Week and Easter.
Let me know what you think either by commenting on the blog or by e-mail.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Podcast #1 – Musical Alphabet, Part 1

(UPDATE 2011-07-02 - Commentaire français:

As an ice-breaker, I thought I would start off by offering you a taste of my collection under the theme of a “musical alphabet”. This week’s podcast is brought to you by the letters A through M.
This montage is no longer available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address

Detailed Playlist:

Podcast play list (details enclosed in the posted archive):
A. Albinoni Adagio
B. Blue Rondo a la Turk
C. Chanson” from the Coppelia suite
D. Donna Diana
E. Etude-Tableau by Rachmaninoff
F. Bernstein’s Fancy Free
G. Adam’s overture to Giralda
H. Hesitation, by Durieux
I. I Loves you Porgy”
J. Jupiter” from “The Planets”
K. Kaleidoscope
L. Kreisler’s Liebeslied
M. Méditation from Thais

In putting this play list together I wanted to provide a cross-section of musical genres, highlight some personal favourites and break the ice on our series of podcasts.
My target was to string together thirteen 5-minute tracks. Some of them are shorter, others are longer. There’s no set agenda or rhyme or reason here, and I’m sure you may have applied a different set of tracks to represents the letters of the alphabet…

In preparing this set of selections, I learned something new: did you know that Albinoni probably didn’t write the famous Adagio? Apparently, the musicologist who compiled his works used a section from an Albinoni sonata to concoct this gem, and attributed it to Albinoni.

I heard Dave Brubeck in concert at the Montreal Jazz Festival about 25 years ago, and hearing Bluie Rondo with full orchestra accompaniment was a special moment. I went and bought a CD copy of “Time Out” right away. I lent it to a friend, and it was lost when his appartment got broken into. In time, I re-acquired the CD, as well as the Brubeck anthology CD for the Ken Burns “Jazz” series on PBS – which featured Blie Rondo with the original quartet. A gem and a personal favoutite.

I have most of Rachmaninoff’s Etude-Tableaux in my collection (he has two sets). The one I chose is performed in recital by Murray Perahia. That recital CD also has some other great tracks, such as the Beethoven WoO 80 piano variations and Schumann’s “Vienna Carnival” I have lots of Perahia recordings in my collection, and I especially like his Beethoven concerto series (with Haitink and the Concertgebouw) and some of his Mozart concerto performances (most notably his series playing with and conducting the English Chamber Orchestra).

Hesitation is a find I made a few years ago on a CBC records CD entitled “Opportunity Knocks”. The CBC, in the 50’s, had an anthology radio series featuring short (3-minute or so) pieces by Canadian composers. At the time, many of them were starting out (such as Godfrey Ridout) or were in mid-career (such as Healy Willan and Murray Adaskin). This cute piece was written by a CBC Montreal-based arranger by the name of Maurice Durieux and is indicative of the pieces on the CD (which I think is, sadly, out of print though I did find an page for it). It features Symphony Nova Scotia. Maybe your local library has a copy?
Kaleidoscope is a standard piece of Canadian concert music, and is probably one of the few oft-recorded pieces by French-Canadian composer Pierre Mercure (I know of at least four recordings of it). The version I selected is the latest such recording, featuring Canada’s rising conducting star, Yannick Nezet-Seguin and his Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal.

Finally, I chose a flute and piano transcription of the Massenet Meditation from the opera Thais, to change from the violin and piano or orchestra version. Jean-Pierre Rampal (along with Sir James Galway) is the standard-bearer for the instrument in the latter half of the 20th Century, and this rendition does not disappoint. I have a few Rampal recordings in my collection, including some of the Jazz stuff he did with Claude Bolling.
Part 2 (N to Z) of the musical alphabet will be posted next week.

I think you will love this music too.

Let me know what you think either by commenting on the blog (please keep it clean!) or by e-mailing me (See my profile for the address).

Welcome to ITYWLTMT – A Blog Dedicated to Classical Music

Welcome to what I hope will be a regular (weekly?) set of postings on Classical Music.

I can hear the rumblings and mumblings in the Blogosphere now: here we go again, another classical music blog from another wannabe music expert.

Let me state up front: I am not a music expert, nor am I a trained musician. What I am, however, is a music collector and (in my own mind) a music enthusiast. I have been collecting music for well over 30 years – I own about 200 vinyl records, about an equal number of CDs and countless number of digital tracks that I have acquired during this time. Last time I checked, my music collection has over 7500 tracks spanning 1000 albums – not too shabby. The musical genres that I collect are mainly “classical fare” (from the early baroque to contemporary), jazz, blues and assorted eclectic styles (like musicals, new-age/instrumental, etc.).

As I am based out of Canada – where Canadian content on the radio is de rigueur – even at CBC Radio 2 – you will find a disproportionate amount of music by Canadian performers and composers in my collection. I am not apologetic about this; consider it my contribution to Canadian content on the Internet!

My cunning plan is to post a regular podcast (typically 60 to 90 minutes) where I allow my followers to “sample” some of my collection. I do this for my own amusement; as I do not have financial ambitions here… As I organize my music, I have found that looking for ways of grouping titles “programmatically” is not only a good way of organizing my collection, but also a nice “brain challenge”. In short, my postings will be “programmatic”. I will organize my samples either along “themes”, or by composer, or any which way that strikes my fancy. I hope that, as the weeks go by, you will better understand what I mean…

Finally, I don’t quite know if I will be “preaching to the desert” or if there are people who will come here and hear what I have for them. I will give this a 10-week go, and hopefully people will either post comments against the blog or send me e-mails, letting me know that they are “listening” and (hopefully) like this stuff.
This posting, therefore, is a bit of a warning shot, as I am still getting organized. As I write this, I have a good set of podcasts and postings planned in my brain for my 10-week trial period.

Stay tuned – as I think you will love this music too!