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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Is it only me or has anyone else noticed that the actual number of new classical music releases (as opposed to re-releases) from the record companies has slowed to a tiny trickle during the past year or so?

In the face of all the nay-sayers, I've always been an optimist about the health of the market for classical music but now even I'm worried.

The only thing good about the dearth of new releases is that it goads me to discover long forgotten gems off the dusty shelves of my CD collection.
 
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Is it only me or has anyone else noticed that the actual number of new classical music releases (as opposed to re-releases) from the record companies has slowed to a tiny trickle during the past year or so?

In the face of all the nay-sayers, I've always been an optimist about the health of the market for classical music but now even I'm worried.

The only thing good about the dearth of new releases is that it goads me to discover long forgotten gems off the dusty shelves of my CD collection.
I've pretty much only been buying new releases from new composers this year. And there's way too many that I want to buy but can't afford.
 

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I agree with Nereffid. The number of new (recorded within the past couple years) discs I'd like are in the hundreds. I simply can't afford to buy them nor have time to listen to them all. It's quite possible that 20 years ago this number would have been much higher but I have no evidence to support that.
 

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Is it only me or has anyone else noticed that the actual number of new classical music releases (as opposed to re-releases) from the record companies has slowed to a tiny trickle during the past year or so?
Quite frankly, I have long been rather dismayed at the great number of new releases available, whether it be old familiar music in new artist interpretations or "new" 20th and 21st century music or even pre-20th century music that has never before been recorded. Because, you see, I actually scour through the record catalogs, visiting the websites at places like Presto Classical, Archive Music, H&B Direct, importcds.com ... there are dozens of such firms ... and what dismays me is that, as a record collector and a person of non-limitless means (and as a person with limited home storage area for records and CDs), there is so much out there! So much that I have not yet heard and yet so much long to hear! It's frustrating!

I can handle re-issues. Chances are 50-50 I've heard the work and interpretation and may even have the original release in my collection. Or it's a re-issue of something I didn't have much interest in at the point of original release. As well, many of the re-issues are put out in large box sets, which I favor, and prove rather affordable, especially when one considers what it would have cost to acquire all of the issues in the box as separate entities. I've collected the complete Masaaki Suzuki Bach Cantata recordings as they were released in the multi-set boxes and saved a mint over getting the original releases. Of course, the box set issues are not SACD, but my playback equipment is fairly sophisticated enough that the few grains of added detail I might garner from the SACD is not worth the added expense.

And still ... even if there were not any more new releases of classical music, there would still be enough of the old releases (remember that 50-50 statistic) that I have never accessed that I could be happy for another half century of music listening and collecting.

At least that's how I see it. If you don't believe me, go over to the CD Universe website and check out the recent releases on just the cpo label. ( http://www.cduniverse.com/sresult.a...&page=1&ShowSort=1&style=music&SortOrder=Year ) How much of that music do you know?

And you have yet to check out the Hyperion label, or BIS, or Chandos, or DUX, or Berlin Classics, or ....
 

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It's hard to figure out how much of the revenue for classical music represents new recordings (and how much of that represents new repertoire) on a yearly basis. One might have to laboriously consult data provided by individual labels. Anyways, I'd be interested if someone could find a good link.

*p.s.* As an aside, there are new developments that don't fit into old ideas about the health of the industry, such as high-quality streaming provided by major orchestras.
 

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Even if it has slowed down this year (which I've no idea; I don't keep track) one year is not a long time frame in the recording industry to give a fair impression. I think you'd need a sample of at least 3-5 years really.
 

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If you think that classical recordings have dried up please PayPal me $3500 and I promise that I can deliver you a zillion new classical releases straight off iTunes easily.

In other words, I am going broke finding new recordings...
 
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The classical music recording industry is certainly on its last legs, for some quite obvious reasons. Here's a recent article that suggests why new recordings may be rare.

http://slippedisc.com/2015/04/classical-record-sales-just-keep-on-falling/

The industry is also being hurt by the ongoing change in the way people listen to music. CM accounted for 2.8% of albums and album downloads in 2013, but only 0.5% of digital streams.
 

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The classical music recording industry is certainly on its last legs, for some quite obvious reasons. Here's a recent article that suggests why new recordings may be rare.

http://slippedisc.com/2015/04/classical-record-sales-just-keep-on-falling/

The industry is also being hurt by the ongoing change in the way people listen to music. CM accounted for 2.8% of albums and album downloads in 2013, but only 0.5% of digital streams.
Interestingly enough I swear that I have seen more DG and small label releases this summer than last winter. People are busy recordings and I suspect that the U.S. Market is weaker than the European market.
 
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The classical music recording industry is certainly on its last legs, for some quite obvious reasons. Here's a recent article that suggests why new recordings may be rare.

http://slippedisc.com/2015/04/classical-record-sales-just-keep-on-falling/

The industry is also being hurt by the ongoing change in the way people listen to music. CM accounted for 2.8% of albums and album downloads in 2013, but only 0.5% of digital streams.
Sure, it's not as lucrative as pop music, but I don't think we can call it a "last leg" either. Some of the best labels around are extremely new labels, and more and more composers are finding outlets for getting their music recorded than ever before. The only way I can imagine things going downhill is if you're one of those people whose favorite composers AND favorite performers are all long dead.
 

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The classical music recording industry is certainly on its last legs, for some quite obvious reasons. Here's a recent article that suggests why new recordings may be rare.

http://slippedisc.com/2015/04/classical-record-sales-just-keep-on-falling/

The industry is also being hurt by the ongoing change in the way people listen to music. CM accounted for 2.8% of albums and album downloads in 2013, but only 0.5% of digital streams.
Something to bear in mind is that we have two independent pieces of information here. First, the best-selling classical album in the US has less than 400 sales in a week. Second, 2.8% of album sales are classical.
Of course we can't just combine the two facts and conclude that fewer than 15,000 albums of all genres are sold in the US each week! The figure is in fact closer to 4 million. So divide that by 2.8% and you get over 100,000 classical albums per week, which implies an extremely long tail to classical sales.
 

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Something to bear in mind is that we have two independent pieces of information here. First, the best-selling classical album in the US has less than 400 sales in a week. Second, 2.8% of album sales are classical.
Of course we can't just combine the two facts and conclude that fewer than 15,000 albums of all genres are sold in the US each week! The figure is in fact closer to 4 million. So divide that by 2.8% and you get over 100,000 classical albums per week, which implies an extremely long tail to classical sales.
Agree. Still, the difficulty of selling an economical quantity of any one album would tend to make publishing in the classical sector an unattractive prospect. Maybe my active catalog has 1,000 albums, but if I'm losing money on most then I'm not a happy capitalist.
 

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Agree. Still, the difficulty of selling an economical quantity of any one album would tend to make publishing in the classical sector an unattractive prospect. Maybe my active catalog has 1,000 albums, but if I'm losing money on most then I'm not a happy capitalist.
Woohoo I am not a capitalist so my collection doesn't mind losing its value LOL.
 

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I can't see why people want to keep buying new versions of the standard pieces. How many Beethoven, Mahler and Tchaikovsky cycles do we need? I mainly buy recordings of obscure works. I just got Malipiero Sinfonia degli eroi / Dai sepolcri / Ditirambo tragico. Never recorded works.
 
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I can't see why people want to keep buying new versions of the standard pieces. How many Beethoven, Mahler and Tchaikovsky cycles do we need? I mainly buy recordings of obscure works. I just got Malipiero Sinfonia degli eroi / Dai sepolcri / Ditirambo tragico. Never recorded works.
Most likely, they already own everything they think they'll be capable of liking.
 

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Agree. Still, the difficulty of selling an economical quantity of any one album would tend to make publishing in the classical sector an unattractive prospect. Maybe my active catalog has 1,000 albums, but if I'm losing money on most then I'm not a happy capitalist.
Yes... though when you look at the more successful labels these days (independents, mostly), it's clear they're doing it more for love than money. Plus they're in it for the long haul. I can't imagine projects like Hyperion's Romantic piano concerto series, or BIS's Sibelius edition, were ever conceived as instant money-spinners but as legacy projects. I guess that in general the labels are confident that over time things make their money back (or at worst, the successes compensate for the failures).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Perhaps my gripe is basically that so much of what is being released is not just re-releases but also almost entirely the standard repertoire "warhorses" or just bland and/or uninteresting stuff. (Yes, I understand how totally subjective these complaints are.)
 
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