Friday, January 26, 2007


Berkshire Record Outlet - Bargain Classical Music

Y'all know how much I love a bargain, right? I revel in buying $60.00 shirts for $9.50 after Christmas, stocking up on sale items at the grocery store while ignoring the full-price ones, and waiting a few months to buy major-label CDs that are likely to come to for $6.99. My discovery of the site above, therefore, was a revelation.

Berkshire deals in classical and jazz closeouts and overruns. While this makes for a quixotic selection, the prices are remarkable! Last night my order arrived; 22 albums for $111 including shipping. (They cleverly charge a flat $6.00 plus 10 cents extra per disc, encouraging big orders like mine.)

For that price, I'd have been happy with eight, maybe nine albums. Instead, I was able to get:
  • A complete cycle of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen
  • A complete cycle of the symphonies of Bohuslav Martinu
  • A complete cycle of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms
  • Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and Concerto for Orchestra
  • Five discs of Haydn string quartets, including an SACD
  • Three discs of Haydn symphonies, including an SACD
  • A disc of Haydn piano concertos
  • Two discs of Mozart piano concertos, one of which includes Bach piano sonatas
  • A fabulous recording of the first two symphonies by Beethoven
  • Hartmann's first and sixth symphonies
  • A recording of Mahler 10 in one of the less-known performing versions
  • Two Bruckner symphonies
Not bad, right? Some of the cases had a tiny hole drilled into a corner or a slice out of the spine to indicate that they were cutouts, but otherwise they were as good as the brand-new CDs that they are. And my home and office are filled with music! If you're in the market, check Berkshire Record Outlet out.


Zach Carstensen said...

They aren't bad deals at all. I don't really like how long it takes to receive your order. Makes me wonder if Berkshire is being run out of someone's garage.

However, for my money, I prefer e-music. For $19.99 a month receive 90 downloads from one of the best classical libraries on the net. On average this works out to 11 cd's worth of music.

Richard said...

I've seen a picture of Berkshire Record Outlet, so I know it isn't run out of someone's garage. But they do seem to know that they're the only game in town in terms of cheap, physical media. Still, my delivery only took a week and two days, not much worse than Amazon when you're not signed up for Prime.

As for e-music, it does me no good. I don't have an iPod, and despite all the advantages of them, I don't really want one (though I know the day is coming when I'll buy a cheap knockoff and use it to bring music with me on business trips). At home I'd rather listen to the best possible quality, which means at least a CD if not an SACD.