Sunday, April 22, 2007

A few more words on Naxos

Part of the reason I like Naxos so much is the steps the label has taken to make its music available to everyone.

Naxos' decision to license its recordings to Emusic is a wonderful development for listeners; it makes an enormous amount of classical music available for purchase for a modest price. (Emusic has many other independent labels which put out classical music, of course, but getting Naxos was a big deal). And I've noticed a few months ago that the Cleveland Public Library is offering downloads of classical music. The downloads expire after a certain amount of time, but they offer an alternative way to borrow music. And it turns out those downloads also are Naxos recordings.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I have been following the debate among Greg Sandow and Alex Ross and Norman Lebrecht about the financial health of the classical music industry, and it's interesting. We should all hope that classical musicians can make a living, and that the companies which issue classical music recordings can make money. But what I really care most about is how listeners are doing.

Because of downloading sites such as Emusic, and CD swapping sites such as, it's much easier for a person without much money to put together a pretty good classical music collection. Whatever is happening to the classical music industry, listeners are doing better than ever.


mberry said...

Thanks again for mentioning what Naxos is doing online for classical music.

As a distributor here in the US, Naxos of America is, of course, working hard with download stores such as eMusic and iTunes but we are also making sure that Naxos and its distributed labels have a high profile on online retailers of CDs and DVDs such as Amazon and We have so-called "Naxos stores" (designated pages for Naxos and Naxos of America-distributed products) on both sites.

You can look for more information on The Naxos Blog at Sequenza21 ( on e-retailing from Naxos of America within the next week or two.

Jeffrey Quick said...

And Naxos Music Library is awesome, and getting more so every day.

Lebrecht is sick. He can't complain about "great artist" fees and then talk up "great artist" culture. Everyone's a great artist nowadays. Every orchestra used by Naxos is as great as the majors were 50 years ago. Players are better trained, and can listen to dozens of interpretations of the great classics. And great artists aren't necessarily famous artists (and the Hatto Hoax doesn't invalidate that notion.)

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