The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: With Borders gone, what is the best way to find and buy classical music CDs?

July 24, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

Now that Borders bookstores have gone out of business (below), what is the best way to find and go buy classical music CDs?

Especially new releases.

And especially in Madison, Wisconsin, where I live and where the nearby Borders used to be pretty good.

First, some background:

Of course, there is always Barnes and Noble, though they have cut back drastically ont heir stock.

I tend to favor the Exclusive Company on State Street (bel0w). The manager David has proven very helpful in ordering classical CDs and getting them in quickly for a good competitive price. But their in-store stock has also been cut way back.

There are used stores, like Strictly Discs on Monroe Street, for older releases or out-of-print CDs.

And then there are on-line companies like Amazon, Tower and Arkiv, though I feel bad about doing business with some of the very places that put Borders outy of business.

But maybe I’m overareacting.

After all, you could say that what the big-box, national chain Borders did to local independent booksellers, the on-line sellers have to Borders. As always, it seems what goes round comes round.

Anyway, I would love any advice about the best way and best place to keep up with new classical music releases.

With one exception.

I don’t want to hear  iTunes as a solutions because I don’t like what earphones or earbuds to to my inner ear (experts say it is unhealthy) and if I burn a CD I like all the cover stuff.  I just like it as “hardware” software and I just like to hear the music through a good speaker system, not just a pod or MP3. 

So readers: What advice do you have?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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