Music: Good Things in Small Packages

Digital dexterity highlights the new crop of CDs

Faster than anyone had predicted, digital compact disks are revolutionizing the classical record industry. From nothing just two years ago, sales grew to 5.2 million disks last year; in recent months, the Polygram complex of classical labels (Deutsche Grammophon, Philips and London) took in about as much money in CD sales in the U.S. as it did from LPs and tapes combined. Superior in almost every respect to conventional records, CDs will send the LP the way of the 78 within the next decade, possibly sooner.

The first wave of CDs featured orchestral blockbusters to show off the digital sound's wide...

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