BEST CD STORE (CLASSICAL) - 2002
If you're a classical-music snob with the moxie to weather the metronome-like clicking of used-CD shoppers rifling through bins and bins of last Wednesday's arrivals, then heaven might look a lot like Cheapo. The store is physically divided, much like pre-Reagan Berlin, between the east side--which is full of commoners lapping up pop and rock--and the west side, Applause, which has its own staff, plays ambient music, and features row after row of classical beauty. (After all, no one wants to buy an operatic recording from a pimply-faced body-piercing enthusiast who thinks that Kathy Battle is an "old-school" soprano.) These guys know their Tebaldi from their Callas. They also know that 1961 was a good year for Moffo. You can search either by performer or composer, and if you should come up empty, don't worry: The store has the speediest special orders this side of the Internet. When you're done dusting off your new copy of Krzysztof Penderecki or La Bohème, you'll be able to take a whiff of your low-fat latte, smile, shake your head, and sigh, "Ich bin ein Applause-ster."
Correction published May 15, 2002:
As originally published, this item asserted that the guys at Applause "know their Tibaldi from their Callas." That was slightly off the mark. Although Giovanni Battista Tibaldi is indeed a classical composer, it was actually Renata Tebaldi--like Maria Callas, an opera singer--we were looking for. The above version of the item reflects the corrected text. City Pages regrets the error.