Do Re Me

The amount of flux in the world of music and the businesses of marketing and selling creativity continues to be absolutely amazing. In nearly 25 years of writing about music I’m seeing things I almost don't believe.

Latest example: a flood of promotional pieces from Universal classical labels, DG, and Decca. That's right, from classical labels, albeit very proud ones, but still classical labels, a breed that's supposed to be going broke. Well if the book they’ve released first in Europe and now here for the new release by the red hot vocal marriage of convenience of soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Rolando Villazon, is going broke then we should all be so lucky. We're talking lush here folks. Perfect bound, the works! The paper costs alone have to be staggering. Add to that the gorgeous, wonderful press kits for pianist Helene Grimaud (every page is doubled), fiddle player Valim Repin (wondrous coated paper stock) and Cecilia Bartoli (again absolutely astonishingly stupenderific design and printing and paper…) and you are talking thousands and thousands of dollars. Make no mistake: these are all truly great artists who deserve this kind of treatment. I'm just marveling at how many different opinions and realities exist in a world where there used to be many, always many realities, but never this many. The classical music business is going broke yet they're going out winning design awards for promo pieces. Ahh, no, don't think so.

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