So I was asked this past Monday if I could perform the solo in the Domine Fili movement of Caldara's Missa Dolorosa. They gave me the sheet music and told me I had a few hours to accept or not (the gig was this evening). Instead of reading the sheet music, I decided to go online and find a Youtube video or Naxos Music Library recording somewhere. Interestingly, I couldn't find anything. It was only then did I looked at the sheet music and accept the gig.
Only today have I realized that my generation of musicians has taken for granted the fact that we can access vast libraries of music by a click of a few buttons, and, in the case of NML, a small monthly fee. For the most part, most of us, including baroque bassoonists, have heard our instrument's entire repertoire without having to hear it performed live. We can also hear a repeat performance on command, just in case we didn't catch it all before hand.
In the words of Louis CK, "Everything is amazing right now and nobody's happy". Well, in this case, it's just amazing. Imagine being the last-minute addition to a concert without any help from recordings.
Check out the websites of the Ottawa Baroque Consort and the Seventeen Voyces who are jointly putting on the performance.
Take it easy