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Thread: Breadth or Depth

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Default Breadth or Depth

    This may have been discussed before, but I can't remember if it has.

    If you could describe your collecting strategy, would it be "broad" (i.e. few recordings from each composer but many composers represented) or "deep" (i.e. many recordings form each composer but few composers represented). Of course, it is ideal to do both, but $ constraints often make collectors choose one of the other.

    My strategy, for example, is definitely "broad". I have many different composers in my collection, but my "deeper" composers are only represented by 5 or 6 discs.

    So how do you folks collect?
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhaBandit View Post
    This may have been discussed before, but I can't remember if it has.

    If you could describe your collecting strategy, would it be "broad" (i.e. few recordings from each composer but many composers represented) or "deep" (i.e. many recordings form each composer but few composers represented). Of course, it is ideal to do both, but $ constraints often make collectors choose one of the other.

    My strategy, for example, is definitely "broad". I have many different composers in my collection, but my "deeper" composers are only represented by 5 or 6 discs.

    So how do you folks collect?
    I try and do both, but because some of the more obscure composers have hardly any recordings available, and the ones that are available are way too expensive, I try and stick to the composers that have many recordings and try and get as many interpretations as I can, but sometimes I don't follow through with this strategy.

    For me, it depends on the composer and whether or not I want to pursue any further recordings.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I think that I am definitely broad. I think that, with most composers, I get a bit tired of listening to too many works by the same composer. Inevitably I learn their stylistic traits & can expect what to hear. That's why I don't own any symphonic cycles. There are exceptions to this, particularly I find with some C20th composers, like Varese, Walton, Bartok, but generally, I limit my collection of a particular composer's works to 2-3 cd's. There's always the radio if I want to be more comprehensive, they offer things from the general repertoire anyway...

    & I especially like 2 cd sets like the EMI Gemini series, which give you a sampling of a particular composers works across a few genres. For me, this type of thing make it uneccessary to really collect much more than that...

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I am definitely broad in scope. I want to collect as many styles and composers as I can. I am only a completest with the few composers in my very upper echelon, such as Beethoven and -- well, Beethoven.

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    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
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    My collecting has definetely become deeper and I find that I am more interested in aquiring different versions of works that I already know than discovering new composers / works - I like trying to get to know a composers work(s) well/better and feel that at the moment I have enough (favourite) composers to work with .

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    I tangentially enumerate styles, periods, nationalities, instrumentation, artists, ensembles, composers, and contrafacta.

    Collecting is breadth. Depth is sorting out a collection.

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    My approach to music in general is very broad. Sometimes though I might wish to look at someone in more depth, so in classical music I thought it worthwhile to listen to as much of Beethoven, Mozart, JS Bach, Haydn and Schubert as was available (with at least three of them there are complete editions available). In 20th/21st century classical music I've concentrated on looking at as many composers as possible, I might be approaching the 1000 mark.

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    Senior Member JoeGreen's Avatar
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    Generally I have a broad collection, with a couple of composers that I go in depth with.
    I adore art...when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhaBandit View Post
    If you could describe your collecting strategy, would it be "broad" (i.e. few recordings from each composer but many composers represented) or "deep" (i.e. many recordings form each composer but few composers represented). Of course, it is ideal to do both, but $ constraints often make collectors choose one of the other.
    I suppose there could be money constraints, but really the one constraint that everyone faces is TIME. Unless someone gets stuff but never listens to it I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by vavaving View Post
    I tangentially enumerate styles, periods, nationalities, instrumentation, artists, ensembles, composers, and contrafacta.

    Collecting is breadth. Depth is sorting out a collection.
    I'd say depth is exploring more of a composer's works, it's impossible to do that with every composer as nobody would have the time.

    Apart from composer the next most important classification for me would be period. Style somewhat goes in line with period anyway. Even where it doesn't like sometimes in twentieth century music I would still put classical pieces together (by decade in this period) even where the styles vary. There can be connections between styles anyway, there can be a link between 'romanticism' and modern music for instance.

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    My approach is to explore outwards, and when I find composers that really strike a chord with me I delve as deep as I can with those. I'd say this is probably true for most people.

    Of course there's always the chance you may miss someone using this approach, if you just skim over them without studying them in a bit more depth, maybe the one or two pieces you try aren't truly representative of their best - but there just isn't enough time to do this!
    Last edited by bassClef; Jun-29-2009 at 20:56.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Mine is definitely deep at the expense of breadth. Once I get interested in a particular composer or style, I dig and dig and dig to the point of exhaustion (my exhaustion, not its). But it's not just music. I do pretty well the same with everything: skim around the surface until something interests me, then dive in and stay in. The exploration can take weeks, months, or years, depending on what it is. My CD collection can make no claim to 'balance' at all. Not that I particularly want it to.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    For me, broad. I only get "deep" with composers I really, really like. For example, I will never need more than one recording of the Turangalila Symphony, as the one I have does its job just fine and I am not necessarily interested in hearing another reading of a work I am already lukewarm on.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    For me, broad. I only get "deep" with composers I really, really like. For example, I will never need more than one recording of the Turangalila Symphony, as the one I have does its job just fine and I am not necessarily interested in hearing another reading of a work I am already lukewarm on.
    I don't own any versions of "Turangalila Symphony," because well....I don't like the piece. I only buy what I like. I don't own one recording that I don't like. Of course there will be some I don't like as good as others, but my CD collection is solid from top to bottom. I can pick out a CD from my collection blindfolded, put in the CD player, turn it up, and it's going to be a great recording.
    Last edited by Mirror Image; Jun-30-2009 at 01:03.

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    As much as I try to have a library with a wide selection of composers, the majority of the purchases I've made in the past couple of years were by one of about 6 composers: Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovich (which has seen nothing less than exponential growth in the past six months alone), R. Strauss (thanks to some helpful contribution in this forum), Prokofiev and Khachaturian. Not very diverse, I know.

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    As much as I try to have a library with a wide selection of composers, the majority of the purchases I've made in the past couple of years were by one of about 6 composers: Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovich (which has seen nothing less than exponential growth in the past six months alone), R. Strauss (thanks to some helpful contribution in this forum), Prokofiev and Khachaturian. Not very diverse, I know.
    I've been like that in my popular music purchases- every non-classical CD I've bought recently has been by Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Otis Redding, or Louis Armstrong. And classically, I've been buying a lot of Haydn. I think that breadth/depth comes in waves- you experiment, then you specialize.
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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