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Smart Buys
March / April 1998
Joseph E. Romero
Inspector in Chief

K L A S S I K N E T 'S FS M A R TFB U Y S

Klassiknet and Operanet critics put aside "full-price" classical CD releases to investigate the best "smart buys" in the market. Treasures from archive collections often prove a far better purchase than the latest releases.

PARIS - Multinational record houses, such as Polygram or EMI, desperately seeking formulas to boost stagnating sales figures and a frozen consumer base, reacted to the low-cost disc offensive by Naxos with a number of cut-priced product lines.

T H E EC O N C E P T - launched in the late 80s by EMI France - and known as the "twofer" was simple: two CDs for the price of one. Since then, competition has heated up between the major players such as EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Philips Classics and BMG leading to the occasional "mega" bargain of "5 CDs for the price of 1". The winner is clearly the consumer.

Prospective purchasers should have no hesitation about acquiring selected titles from these "twofer" (or more) offers. Several, such as Pierre Fournier's interpretation of Bach's Cello Suites, already figure on the Klassiknet 101 Best List. Others are historically significant: i.e. important studio or live performances which would figure in any comparative discography of a given work or competent survey of a major performing artist's career. All are excellent value for money, make wonderful gifts, and in some instances are clearly superior to recent contemporary issues of the same composition. One caveat: each of the record companies has not had any second thoughts about giving new life to performances which were of a dubious nature when first released.

To avoid the duds, stay abreast of our investigations and bookmark this page for future updates of Klassiknet's "Smart Buys"!


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