Monday, December 1, 2014

Some Improvements

1) No playlist and no regret.

2) Classical composer/artist names have been normalised. I counted 284 different spellings of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and 23 names of Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Thousands of duplicate classical artist pages have been merged. You can search for Rachmaninov and still find Sergei Rachmaninoff (also try CPE Bach, DSCH).

3) Composers' pages start to make sense. The Popular section (which used to be playground for spammers) now becomes a nice introduction for casual listeners. See Robert Schumann:

And the discography is easier to browse now without all the "Tender Classical For Study" stuff. Leonard Bernstein and Benjamin Britten are good examples.

Can you guess which composer page was this?

It was Gabriel Faure. But it could just as well be any other composer, since they all looked like that.

Now the page is slightly more useful, with the wonderful Stephen Cleobury – Fauré: Requiem & Messe Basse at the top.

There's still so much to improve, but the below 50 composer pages are already great starting points for people who want to get into classical music or explore a bit more. Comparing to these changes, all the playlists I've done before are really nothing.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Béla Bartók
Ludwig van Beethoven
Hector Berlioz
Georges Bizet
Johannes Brahms
Benjamin Britten
William Byrd
John Cage
Frederic Chopin
Aaron Copland
François Couperin
Claude Debussy
Guillaume Dufay
Antonín Dvořák
Gabriel Faure
Giovanni Gabrieli
George Frideric Handel
Franz Joseph Haydn
Unknown Artist
Orlande de Lassus
Franz Liszt
Guillaume de Machaut
Gustav Mahler
Felix Mendelssohn
Claudio Monteverdi
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Johannes Ockeghem
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Sergei Prokofiev
Giacomo Puccini
Henry Purcell
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Maurice Ravel
Gioachino Rossini
Domenico Scarlatti
Arnold Schoenberg
Franz Schubert
Robert Schumann
Dmitri Shostakovich
Jean Sibelius
Johann Strauss II
Richard Strauss
Igor Stravinsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Giuseppe Verdi
Antonio Vivaldi
Richard Wagner

Enjoy and share the music.


  1. Glad to see Unknown Artist back !

    Seriously, i think that what's is missing on classical spotify music section is your "spotifyclassical" work.
    Something about user experience, like subtitles on opera, some explanations about a master piece, heritage, its contemporary influence. In two words, more than a wikipedia fetch.

  2. Wikipedia would not be useful as they do not have pages on individual albums, and the Wikipedia community would probably delete such pages as "advertising". Why not set up a "spotifyclassicalwiki" and get Spotify to do a fetch on that?! You could encourage contributions - and make money yourself (!) - by allowing associate links to Amazon and Spotify.

    Something I'd like to see improved - Spotify can't seem to decide if the "artist" to list by is the composer, orchestra, conductor, or lead player. It should allow listing by each of these; or, if this is too hard, at least be consistent in choosing one (probably the conductor; or, if no conductor the lead player... or if a SQ the name of the SQ.... or... OK it's not easy but it could be better than now!)

  3. You are doing amazing work! I just checked out some artist pages and they are gorgeous. The spam albums seem to be gone.

  4. Why take off those compilations? My 17 year old daughter used to play them when she did her homework. I cannot imagine she will get too excited about the new 'serious' classical music. I used to love hearing Bach coming out of her bedroom. Now it's back to Ed Sheeran. That is shame. Classical Music needs new young people.

    1. They are still there and anyone can find them by simply search for "classical", "mozart" etc., or browse the classical page in Browse (which is almost tailored only for those use cases). In another word, it's always and still very easy for a young, non-classical fan to find something to study to. It's never easy for true classical fans to browse new Bach releases of the year, and that's what we are trying to fix here.

  5. Great work, Ulysses. It's really getting better. What are the chances to have improperly encoded albums finally fixed? I reported some of them very long time ago, and many have never been fixed.

    Also, fo you know if there is any chance for a lossless option in near future? TIDAL/WIMP already offers lossless. I tried TIDAL, their catalogue did not seem to be substantially different from Spotify. They do not have gapless yet (which is very disappointing in 2014), or maybe they have it at the level of sound buffers, but their stupid application does not pre-buffer the next track. So once a track ends, the playback stops while the application downloads the begginning of the next track. It's pretty terrible, but once they fix it (and I am sure they will) I will be tempted to switch, if Spotify does not offer lossless.

  6. Thank you for all your hard work on all this! You've made this classical music lover very, very happy!

  7. Hey, just a quick thank you for all your hard work. I don't think I could handle Spotify for classical without you!

    And --- will be there a 2015 version of the New Releases playlists?

  8. For all the wonderful improvements, I 'm really missing a 2015 new releases playlist. Hardly use Spotify now. Your new releases playlist was the reason for me to take Spotify Premium. Now I can't find the new releases anymore between all the popular music. So this will problably be my goodbye to Premium...

  9. Seconded! Bring on the 2015 playlist! I sometimes find useful stuff on the NY Times Classical playlist ( but its not nearly as comprehensive as what you were doing.