Remember when listening to music was almost always easy? Roberta X reports on a recent incident:

Yesterday, [WICR Indianapolis] were playing Night On Bald Mountain, perhaps best known from its use in Disney’s Fantasia, and I tuned in near the end, when the music has turned lovely and lyrical —

(Here’s a link. I’d embed it, but YouTube has removed or hidden the feature that let me shrink the window to fit my blog’s column-width.)

I duly trotted on over to YouTube, and there I found a recording I knew: Bernstein’s, with (of course) the New York Philharmonic, backed with (of course) Pictures at an Exhibition. CBS Masterworks (now Sony Classical) had reissued it on vinyl in the 1980s at a discount price. So I saw an opening: I could put up Pictures, completing the Mussorgsky double-play, and probably get the no-motion video to embed properly over here.

And foiled again. Whoever posted this put up each of the ten movements, plus the Promenade, as a separate video. This is absurd for a piece running only a little over half an hour.

So I’ll send you back to the Eighties a different way. In 1981, RCA introduced the Capacitance Electronic Disc, a videodisc that looked almost exactly like a phonograph record. It was sensitive to dust, so RCA designed the system with a disc caddy that kept dirt and fingerprints off the groove; you’d slide the whole thing into the slot, then withdraw the caddy. (And, no more than one hour later, get up and turn it over.) Nipper dropped something like half a billion dollars on the system before finally giving it up after five years. But the one thing I’ll always remember was the little fifteen-second fanfare RCA stuck at the beginning of Side One. Whoever it was at RCA who suggested the Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition wins my eternal gratitude.

Then they brought out stereo discs and messed everything up.

1 comment »

  1. In The Mailbox: 09.28.17 : The Other McCain »

    28 September 2017 · 7:22 pm

    […] Dustbury: Embedsores […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a comment