In an attempt to cheat the system, I signed up for a netflix.com account last summer, hoping to find a budget-friendly, hassle-free way to watch some of the more popular recordings of important concerts, operas, and documentaries (at least the ones that made it to dvd). What I found on netflix was disappointing. An handful of operas mostly filmed in the 80’s and a scattered array of Mozart and Bach’s “life and works”-type specials, all put in a “will release” category that didn’t seem encouraging. I decided then to give up on netflix.com as a research medium and focus my attention on audio recordings.
On a fleeting whim, I decided to give netflix another try, and I’m glad I gave them some time to catch up. Ballet, opera, great symphonic concerts, even an entire series devoted to the late and great Pavarotti, is now available through this exploding medium. My queue has doubled with the sheer volume of available concerts, and if you are not a Macintosh snob like me, you can watch some of these as an instant download (apparently, the price I pay for not dealing with viruses!).
Netflix is a cheap investment, I only pay 7.99 a month, and I’m sure that copycat companies charge less. Anyone else living on a budget who isn’t looking for the rarest recordings should check it out. My next great adventure is a new release of a 1973 Arthur Rubenstein concert at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Rubenstein (in addition to being my hero when I first began playing piano in middle school) gives a revealing interview from his home in Paris called “Rubenstein at 90”. Hopefully, this venture will pay off with some wholesome musical exposure.