Deutsche Grammophon's Online Shop
Bob Burnett: As reported on Alex Ross' site (fyi--bookmark it and read it! Great range of classical/contemporary information, sound files, etc. and a video that shows his enviable music and book collection) Deutsche Grammophon has opened up a download shop. For roughly $1.29 per movement (or $10-$12 for the whole piece) you can download high quality 320 kb/second files. I haven't looked too closely at the available selections, but given some of the Karlheinz Stockhausen DG prices I've seen for CDs (upwards of $40 at times for two disc sets) I'd say this site is a great way to explore the DG catalog at a reasonable price. Plus, they tout the digital re-release of 600 albums from their back catalog that were OOP. Hopefully Stockhausen's DG version of Hymnen will make an appearance as a download too. My maiden voyage found me downloading Gyorgy Kurtag's composition Stele---terrific sound quality and performance.
Speaking of Alex Ross, I spent the better part of the day travelling on airplanes reading his excellent (and just released) book The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. The title speaks for itself. I found myself skipping all around it today too impatient to read it in a linear manner. I did read the first 50 pages or so about Richard Strauss and Gustave Mahler before jumping around to Cage, Stockhausen, Schoenberg, Webern, Reich, Copland, Berg, Stravinsky.....etc. Highly recommended.