Apple and classical music

The thing with crossover artists is that I do not listen to much crossover music.

Artists that fit into this category (some more than others) and I have listened to in the past are:

  • David Garrett
  • Vanessa-Mae
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Sarah Brightman
  • The Three Tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras) with some of their albums

One impressive album that has nothing to do with “Classical Music”, but which is quite impressive in the category of Rock Music performed by an orchestra (some have mentioned other examples above): Bat Out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Meat Loaf)

I am listening to a lot of music and I am open to most genres, from Blues, most Jazz categories, Rock, Pop, “World” and “Classical”.

When I am listening to “Classical” I prefer instrumental music most of the time. I am not that much into opera, either.

Some “artists” I really like (a selection of artists who do a very good job “bringing real classical music to everybody”):

  • Albrecht Mayer
  • Sarah Willis
  • Yo-Yo Ma

And being an hobby organ player (not a very good one) I adore Bach Organ Works. Helmut Walcha was a marvel in the world of organists and it is still a joy to listen to his recordings.

To get back to this topic: There is no way that anybody would discover Helmut Walcha on Apple Music when browsing “Classical”. And there are hundreds if not thousands “Walchas” out there.

That was a helluva of a
powerful voice Meatloaf had.

Amazing stuff. Thanks ever so much

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Speaking of metadata, I hope “Apple Classical” develops schema specifically catering to classical music; the current schema works for pop music but poorly for classical music - songs and artists, really? Some useful fields would be:

  • Work - Genre; period; geography (country/region); catalogue number; edition/revision (inc. cadenzas); language (if any)
  • Roles - Composer; arranger (if any); accompanists (orchestra/choir); soloists
  • Tracks - Movement title/tempo; accompanying lyrics and English translations would be useful

Authority control would be essential (Rachmaninoff or Rachmaninov?) to finding anything useful, quickly. Some guides/talks would be great. Apple can probably take some cues from libraries (disclosure: I am a librarian) and programme created by orchestras.

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Primephonic, which Apple acquired, enabled search at least by genre, period, composer, name, catalogue number, orchestra, conductor, artist, year, and label. Search results could be sorted on fields like recording date and popularity. I presume they will be building on that metadata and functionality.

They also included biographies similar to that found in programmes and liner notes. There were also discovery features, such as preselected playlists and ‘radio’. They did have courses - I think for an extra charge.