Courtesy of Saturday’s AFR (the gist is here) I learned of Alex Ross’s classical music blog ‘The Rest is Noise’ – the title is also that of his first book, which provides a guide to classical music of the twentieth century. He claims there has been a revival of interest in classical music has been driven by internet browsing. The classical music business he claims is also experiencing a bit of a boom.
I am not sure of either of these claims – the costs of operating a symphony orchestra are huge - but Ross has accumulated a lot of information on the role of the web and that is of interest. His blog is certainly something I’ll watch. He provides a great list of links in this area also. Here is a sample:
· ArkivMusic – a site selling classical music. To test I searched for conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and got 216 recordings. It really is very useful and comprehensive even if you don’t buy from this site.
· Arts & Letters Daily – a great general site provided by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It has links to all sorts of secondary newspaper sites. As an example, this is an interesting article on Arnold Schoenberg.
· ArtsJournal – an interesting miscellany of excerpts from the press on music and the arts. As an example, on Brahms: ‘I greet his appearance as you would the entrance of a person at a party whom you're not all that eager to talk to, even though you may have had intense and intermittently rewarding conversations over the years’.
· Classical Domain New York City’s classical music website. Great voyeurism – it is a rich scene.
· Critics and Music Sites – a page from Ross’s site given an amazing range of critical views on a wide range of music. Includes serious academic sites such as the Library of Congress music archives. The latter an amazing resource.
· Music Blogs – a page from Ross’s site given an amazing range of classical music blogs.
· New Music Links – a page from Ross’s website listing sites devoted to modern classical composers and performers.
· Opus 1 Classical – a directory of concerts in most major world classical music centres. Includes Sydney but not the cultural and sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne!
· PlaybillArts – information plus sales of an amazing ranger of merchandise. For example 120 operas on DVD.
· The Gramophone – stingy taste of material from the world’s leading source of information on classical music. You can get the lot by subscribing but, yes. It is expensive.
By the way ignoring issues of sound quality you can subscribe to the NAXOS library of 5000 classical CDs online with 50 new recordings per month from less than $20US annually. It is an good real. Or listen for free to any one of 144 classical radio stations around the world here.