So I was returning some books to the Music Library at the University of Toronto, and I espied a sign that said "the Naxos Music Libary is now available to students".
My thoughts turned - does that mean what I think it does? After coffee with my chums, I settled down to my work computer, and after finding the proper link (they make it nice and difficult to find), I found myself logged into this.
Good freaking Lord! Holy Mary Mother, Mother of the Sweet, Sweet Baby Jesus!
Since discovering this er, yesterday afternoon, I've listened to Iranian Classical Music, the Ramayana monkey chant, operatic overtures by Franz Schreker, the First book of Madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi, as well as his Ballo Delle Ingrate and Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Right now, I'm listening to the Preludes of Charles Valentin Alkan.
This is serious. It will change my relationship with my family and friends - there will never be a lack of new, obscure music playing in my head or my house.
Now I know there are some of you out there, lurking, saying, "Naxos is the Wal-Mart of classical music! Your love of this is condoning the very things you despise in other spheres of cultural life!"
The availability of this kind of knowledge, where I can sit my toddler son down and teach him more about classical music aurally than I could have dreamed of doing myself in all my years as a student is exactly the kind of thing I wish there was more of in our capitalist society - this is precisely the place where, if capitalism works, more power to it. If dumping the riches of western civilization onto the Internet is profitable to Naxos, hey, who am I to complain? If classical musicians, some of whom I know, make some money by recording for Naxos, hey, all the better - it's not like they're whipping Indonesians children into finishing up that last batch of porcelain nativity scenes.
This is really all a meandering way of saying that if you have institutional access to this service, use it, and if you don't, the monthly cost is fairly reasonable for what you get in return.
And to completely scare the last of you off, this also means there's going to be a lot more music talk on this site!!