The Playgoer: Napster saves Classical?

Custom Search

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Napster saves Classical?

The BBC Beethoven downloads continue, with stunning implications. Herewith, read Norman Lebrecht on La Scena. Check out his lede paragraphs:

...When the first five symphonies of Beethoven went on-line in the opening week of this month, the Radio 3 website registered 657,399 individual downloads, a figure so immense it exceeded the annual sales of any classical record label and should, by rights, have qualified each of the symphonies for a slot in Top of the Pops.
Last night the BBC let loose the second tranche – from Pastoral to Choral symphonies – amid growing confidence that the demand for free Beethoven will cross the million mark, transforming the future of musical dissemination.

Could classical downloading possibly be less "evil" than pop-napstering, simply because there are fewer (yes, some) rights issues? Who will be the enterprising and forward-looking imressarios to seize on this?

The downloads themselves are here. (Warning: it's so popular it takes a while...)

No comments: