I (Alex) have received a variety of responses to my statistical provocation below, ranging from “Way to go, amigo” to “Dude, are you kidding?” One astute reader questioned my comparison of CD sales in 1990 to CD sales in 2005, saying that cassettes were a huge part of the market back in 1990. (LPs were largely out of the picture.) Indeed, when you factor in 442 million cassettes shipped that year, my proposed increase disappears, although, when you look at all media, including downloads, it comes back. The same reader queried the citation of “units shipped,” pointing out that record companies ship more — sometimes far more — than they sell. In fact, the quoted figures are said to be “net after returns,” but it’s good to be wary of RIAA’s accounting. My aim in all this is not to promote utopian notions of a "boom" but simply to test the claim that there has been a recent and dramatic decline both in the number of classical recordings released and in the quantity sold. I don’t see evidence of such a drop. Instead, I hear rumors of a rise. The math is very simple: major labels have shrunk, but independents have amply compensated. Some of our British friends have romantic relationships with places such as EMI and Decca that Americans do not necessarily share. For a lot of us, the majors are the likes of Nonesuch, ECM, BIS, Hyperion, and Harmonia Mundi. When their new releases arrive, I put them straight into the CD player, expecting to hear something good, and I am disappointed less often than not. There's a business model for you: making good records.