Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Naxos Guitar Collections on Spotify

"In 1994, NAXOS undertook to create the world's largest catalogue of recordings of the classical guitar. Produced under the artistic supervision of renowned guitarist, Norbert Kraft, with co-producer Bonnie Silver, the collection today numbers more than 70 titles, a clear realization of the company's aim.

Using the finest microphones in a magical acoustic, perfectly suited to the guitar's subtle nuances, and the latest digital technology, the recordings capture all the intimate detail and dynamic depth of the guitar's voice.

The Guitar Collection focuses on three repertoire streams:    

* The 'Complete Works' editions include the entire output of the instrument's important composers from the 19th and 20th Centuries. The works of Sor, Giuliani, Rodrigo, Torroba, Lauro, Ponce, Brouwer, and Barrios are among the many represented here.    
* The 'Laureate Series' features recent competition winners - stars of the future - in recital programmes displaying the artistry of these exciting young players.     
* Our 'National Series' presents music indigenous to various countries, mostly Latin American, in which the guitar is an integral part of the cultural fabric.  " - Naxos page for this series.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Naxos Guitar Collection (850 tracks, total time: 2 days) Press Ctrl (CMD on Macs) + G to browse in album view.

P.S. I updated my personal appeal post,  put the books that are cheaper in the UK store into a UK store wishlist.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Naïve Vivaldi Edition + Open Vivaldi Playlist

"The Vivaldi Edition, a recording venture conceived by the Italian musicologist Alberto Basso and the independent label Naïve, is one of the most ambitious recording projects of the twentyfirst century. Its principal objective is to record the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph manuscripts preserved today in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin, some 450 works. Incredibly, this is the private library of scores Vivaldi had at home at the time of his death in Vienna in 1741 and includes his extant operas, hundreds of concertos, sacred compositions and cantatas. Much of this music has not been heard since the 18th century. The release of more than 100 CDs, which began in 2000, will extend over the next ten years.

The Vivaldi Edition's goal is to make this extraordinary wealth of music available to the public and at the same time to reveal the full genius of Vivaldi, not only as a composer of instrumental music, for which he was already known, but as the creator of some of the 18th-century’s most exhilarating vocal music. " Naïve official site

Click thumbnail for full size image (2.7 MB)
All titles released so far are available on Spotify, except for Vol. 8, the most over-recorded classical works ever, The Four Seasons. I compiled a playlist for all titles with TDP (Tesori del piemonte, Treasures of Piedmont) volume numbers, in reverse order. So it goes like Vol.47, 46... Vol.10, Vol,7. Vol.1-6 and Vol.9 are not Vivaldi works, therefor not included here. And I also made a separate playlist for Naïve's Vivaldi recordings without TDP numbers, like opera highlights, sacred arias and new discoveries (one track per album, to keep this one neat). The latter one also function as a Vivaldi Edition appreciation playlist, and I will keep adding standout tracks that grab me when I listen to this Edition. You are welcome to add in your favourite tracks. For such a gigantic Edition, I am desperately in need for good recommendations like this.

Here are the Spotify playlists: Naïve: Vivaldi Edition (1521 tracks, 39 out of 40 released volumes) And Listen to Naïve Vivaldi Edition (open playlist, 11 tracks as of 2010, Jan. 16th) Enjoy. Everybody needs sunny Vivaldi, especially in this cold winter.

The official site doesn't list all titles, for complete discography, check out Presto and Arkivmusic. Press Ctrl (CMD on Macs) + G to browse in album view.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hidden David Zinman Mahler Cycle on Spotify

"David Zinman's Mahler cycle has been among the most significant recording achievements of the last few years, if not without its controversies."  - Guardian Music

Just like the hidden Michael Gielen recordings, David Zinman's complete Mahler cycle is available on Spotify, but all tagged wrong (mostly as Barenboim). I hope Spotify would add a simple feedback function so users can report problems inside the client.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Mahler: 10 Symphonies - David Zinman (68 tracks, total time: 13 hours) Some albums might be unavailable in the UK or Sweden at this moment, but I believe soon enough the archaic digital copyright laws will die off, geographic restrictions in the age of cloud computing is a sick joke that no one finds funny anymore. Press Ctrl (CMD on Macs) + G to browse in album view.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Open Playlist: 2011 New Classical Releases

Since Spotify still doesn't offer an iTunes store-like interface that you can browse the new recordings easily, I think it would be handy to have all new classical releases in one open playlist.

Here's the Spotify playlist: 2011 New Classical Releases (As of 2011, Jan. 10th, 114 tracks, 10 hours) You are welcome to add in any new classical release you found. Please note: only newly recorded or never before released archive recordings that are released in 2011, are qualified. Reissues and repackaged box-sets don't belong here. As for the definition of classical... well, I hate to drew the line, but in order to keep it simple, I'd say that Ludovico Einaudi and "String Quartet Tribute to Metallica" don't belong here either. I may listen to Einaudi under certain circumstance, but not in this playlist. And if I'm going to give Metallica a spin, which I do occasionally, give me the real thing instead of a string quartet.

You can also check out new releases on Afront's New on Spotify page.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

John Cage: Number Pieces

Happy New Year everyone. Hope you all had wonderful holidays. I've been doing a lot of reading recently, and, I found myself listening to one particular playlist the most when reading modern literature: John Cage's number pieces. I found these music has a cleansing effect on the mind, as if it paints the walls of the room I'm sitting in with soothing colors, sometime in amusing shapes, but never to the point of freezing your mind, or distraction. The music always stay where they are, hanging in the air, on the walls, and leave the listeners to their own devices. Sometime it sounds even more quiet than silence.

Here's the Spotify playlist: John Cage: Number Pieces (20 tracks, total time: 6 hours)  Program notes on some pieces can be found here.