The DIY Symphony

At a time when worldwide music sales are suffering — they dropped 5% in 2001 — classical music is feeling the pinch. It now accounts for under 6% of the total audio market. But fans remember a golden age. From the 1960s through the '80s, the major labels regularly recorded the central repertoire with top conductors and orchestras. Vinyl and tapes wore out, so people bought new performances since at that time reissues were less common. When new recording techniques like digital came along, consumers acquired their favorite works with better sound quality. But the durability of CDs — and the...

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