Sunday, March 14, 2010

Britten Conducts Britten, And The Silently Growing Classical Catalogue On Spotify

The first search I did in Spotify was The Beatles, as for every online music service I tried, just to check it's legal status, because the Fabs' music hasn't gone digital anywhere. Then, if memory serves me right, I searched "Britten Tenor Horn". I was looking for Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (background info), one of the most heartachingly beautiful pieces of the 20th century. I was glad that I found a couple of recordings, only a wee bit disappointed that the performance conducted by Britten himself and featuring his lifelong lover, tenor Peter Pears, was not available.

From last week on, I sensed that Spotify was adding a lot of classical albums into their library, according to the official blog, 300,000 tracks of all kinds of music were added last week, but the New On Spotify page seems only show a small portion of it. I guess that record labels now even don't bother to promote their newly added classical albums by tagging them '"new". What a shame. I found both Gilels and Arrau's Beethoven piano sonatas box-set appeared on Spotify this week, probably two of the best studio recordings of the New Testament of the piano literature, and the promising debut from the Chinese pianist Yujia Wang, previously not available to the UK listeners. Last month I searched for label:Deutsche-Grammophon, only some 200 albums. Right now, 1222 albums! It's unbelievable to me that neither of Spotify and DG is promoting this update.

OK the good news, and personally the best Spotify news in a long time, is that three out of the four volumes of Britten Conducts Britten are on Spotify now! Here's the Spotify playlist: Britten Conducts Britten (572 tracks, 1.5 days). I also put in Peter Grimes and Albert Herring conducted by Britten, and I will substitute them with Vol.1 when it's available.


  1. I get 2522 albums (61,887 songs) when I search for label:Deutsche-Grammophon (I'm using Spotify in Sweden). =)

  2. Just checked again, 1681 albums now;)

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