In the early 1970s I spent a year or so in Naples, Italy. While there I acquired a lot of lovely Italian LPs, but I had also brought some music with me from home to play on my portable cassette player. I would listen to these albums endlessly, and they became inextricably associated with my time there.
But time moved on, I moved back to the states, and over the years the two cassettes either wore out or were lost, and ultimately they faded from memory, leaving only an echo. Every now and then I would hear one of the pieces on the radio, but never had enough musical skill to identify them; it took me decades to locate all the pieces I had become so fond of, but finally the list came together and I could find the old track listings and identify the albums, with the additional bit of help that I recalled the albums were released by RCA.
I can no longer find images of the cassettes themselves, but the same albums were released either on LP or 8-track:
Thanks to the miracle of music streaming websites like Pandora and Grooveshark, I was finally able to re-assemble the albums in virtual format, and once again listen to these compilations; music being a powerful memory elicitor, these glorious pieces transport me back to the Naples of the early 70s.
Smetana – The Bartered Bride
Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1
Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Dvorak – Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”
The more time goes on, the more the Internet manages to capture and archive. While Google Books and Newspapers have been more or less given up on as projects, private enterprises are stepping in to pick up the slack; it is to be hoped that a compromise can be worked out between the exigencies of copyright and the importance of digital archival.
The Old Wolf has spoken.