Among the large bodies of work in the classical music repertoire, Franz Schuberts songs, or lieder, is one that stands out not only by its scale – some 729 songs, written before the composer’s death at age 31 – bit also by its quality. Sure, there are some songs that aren’t masterpieces, notably from his […]
In the continuing Bootleg Series of Dylan releases, we’re now able to hear a very special collection of songs: The Complete Basement Tapes. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This six-disc set brings to disc – finally – the (more or less) complete Basement Tapes that Dylan and The Band recorded in West Saugerties, New York, near Woodstock, […]
I was reading a book of Leonard Bernstein’s letters recently. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This book contains letters both to and from Bernstein and a variety of people: friends, family, and other musicians, composers and conductors. In many occasions, one of the correspondents mentions having listened to a record or a live performance on the radio. […]
Whether the rot set in with the arrival of iTunes, or the earlier availability of music through illegal file-sharing sites, isn’t clear, but it seems that a whole generation now has the belief that music is essentially a free commodity, rather than something for which one should pay.
Part of the problem is that the very forces held up to be the saviours of the music industry sometimes do themselves no favours, for example by treating music as nothing more than a promotional tool.
Andrew Everard makes some good points here, though I disagree that iTunes is to blame. Quiet the contrary; the iTunes Store is what got people to buy digital music. But the commodification of music, and its overabundance, have certainly made it seem that music has little or no value any more. But even more than that: most people just don’t care about music; it’s just wallpaper for them.
Music Review: Franz Schubert Complete Songs
40 CDs plus book containing song texts, 2005. List price GBP 180.
In 1987, Hyperion Records began what turned out to be a colossal project: the recording of all of Franz Schubert’s songs (or lieder), a total of 729 songs performed by over 60 soloists. Some of these songs are for male voice, others for female voice, and others for several singers together. (In comparison, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s landmark recording of all the lieder for solo male voice includes 463 songs on 21 CDs.) Originally released on 37 CDs, over a period of 18 years (the amount of time it took Schubert to compose all these songs, before his early death), this new set presents the songs in chronological order.
Recent reports show that iTunes Store music sales have dropped around 13%. Overall album sales dropped 8% in 2013. Fewer people are buying music, and more are streaming it. Yet most people using streaming services aren’t paying for their music; only 28 million people worldwide were paying a subscription fee for their music in 2013. […]
Classical music is proving to withstand the tests of time, so you might be wondering how an app can help get you more in touch with this rich, inspiring art form. Sure, you may already consider yourself a classical music buff, but there’s always more you can learn about how orchestras work, or how certain […]