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Thread: What to do when a beloved recording seemingly drops off the face of the earth?

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    Senior Member John Zito's Avatar
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    Question What to do when a beloved recording seemingly drops off the face of the earth?

    The recording in question is this bad boy:

    kapustin_plays_kapustin.jpg

    As recently as this past July, I was listening to it on Spotify practically once a day. I took a break for a bit, and when I went to put it on yesterday, I saw that it was no longer available.

    “No problem,” I says. I ought to buy it anyway, since I like it so much. So I go to iTunes. Not there. Then I go to Amazon, Presto, Arkiv. Nothing. There is seemingly no way anymore to actually get ahold of this thing through the usual channels, either physically or digitally*.

    The repertoire on the disc is some of Kapustin’s most popular, so I can get it elsewhere, like on two awesome Hyperion discs by Steven Osborne and Marc-André Hamelin, or a recent Onyx release by Yeol Eum Son. But for me there’s no substitute for the composer’s own recordings. He simply “swings harder” than these other folks do.

    Anyhow, I said all of that to pose three questions:

    • Does anyone happen to know what is going on with this particular release? Why did it vanish, and can I expect it to return?
    • Has this ever happened to you before? If so, what was the recording, and what was the outcome?
    • I've been streaming or downloading all of my music for at least ten years now. I have no physical product anymore. But how worried should I be that this will happen again, and more frequently?


    * It's still illicitly available on YouTube, but that's another story.
    Last edited by mmsbls; Sep-11-2021 at 16:14. Reason: removed links to commercial sites

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    There are two for sale on Discogs (both in Japan)...

    https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/13843455

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    I've noticed that it is common for Japanese releases to go out of print relatively quickly. Then, the prices tend to go up, if you can even find what you're looking for. Exton/Triton is a good example. So, for future reference, if there's a CD that you particularly want from a Japanese label, or a Japanese issue, it's best to purchase the recording while you can still get it at a reasonable price.

    Unfortunately, I've also noticed that European labels are beginning to follow in this same path; although not exclusively, since it depends on the label, with some labels keeping their back catalogue in print longer than others. For example, the remastered Decca re-release of the Takacs Quartet's Beethoven cycle came and went faster than I thought possible, & I didn't buy it, thinking I had time. I was wrong...

    P.S. I've also found that Discogs a good place to track down hard to find, OOP recordings at the lowest price possible.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Back in the day, recordings stayed in print and available for years. Now, they are available only for months, sometimes weeks. Some are reissued, but many are not. BIS and Hyperion seem to be exceptions - their products generally remain available.

    It’s especially frustrating to listen to an OOP recording on Spotify, only to have it disappear without warning.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Sep-12-2021 at 13:55.

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    Apple Music has purchased Primephonic and I wonder if this going to translate into a better Classical Music streaming experience, at least for Apple users.

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    Senior Member John Zito's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies!

    I've used Discogs as a reference, but I didn't realize there was a merchant side to it, so that's a great tip. And I appreciate the insight about what to potentially expect from Japanese releases. Good to know. I know that the spotty availability of physical product is constantly bedeviling folks. But the release being yanked from digital platforms is what really threw me.

    It occurs to me that, since Kapustin recently passed, it's possible that they're teeing up for some sort of commemorative reissue, or perhaps a box of all 7 or so "Kapustin plays Kapustin" discs. That would be neat.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Yes it is frustrating. There are a few recordings that I love that are massively out of print and I've been forced to get hold of by any means.
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-13-2021 at 07:16.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    That's the risk of relying on streaming services, isn't it? A recording may get deleted, or a service may shut down, and then you may be stranded. This might not sound very compassionate: but isn't this a risk that people accept when they go 100% streaming?

    The OP did mention he also did download, so at least you don't lose everything when that happens, and I think that's a wise thing to do, as that will at least partially mitigate the risk.

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    Senior Member John Zito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post
    This might not sound very compassionate: but isn't this a risk that people accept when they go 100% streaming?
    Oh, totally. But that risk doesn’t feel real until something important to you actually goes poof overnight. This is my first experience with that, and it immediately reminded me of something I read Ted Gioia say; once the streaming services convert everyone over and lock them in, the catalogs will contract because they’re too costly to maintain, and fans of stuff off the beaten path will be the primary losers. Hopefully it doesn't get that bad...

    Anyhow, what do folks consider to be the ideal arrangement? You have a physical collection in storage someplace that you never actually use because it’s all digitized for ease of use?

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Zito View Post
    . . . .
    Anyhow, what do folks consider to be the ideal arrangement? You have a physical collection in storage someplace that you never actually use because it’s all digitized for ease of use?
    That’s what I have. Booklets are kept in a readily accessible location.

    I might add that Presto often has downloads of OOP physical discs, in most (all?) cases including a CD quality option, sometimes even hi-rez. Prices are all over the place, Some very good values though. Alas, I could not find the OP’s title on their website.

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