With the reported demise of Telarc Records (see HP’s recent blog), the Tower Records bankruptcy, and classical music sales down some 30% in the past year, things were beginning to look pretty bleak for the future of classical recordings and for those companies who produce them. However, at least one record label has bucked the current trend, and continues to not only grow (with sales up 9% during the past year), but produce noteworthy recordings. Indeed, Harmonia Mundi recordings are well-represented on HP’s Super Disk and Super SACD lists. Its formula for success includes a commitment to musicians, recording quality, period instruments, and its audience. Moreover, Harmonia Mundi continues to reinvent itself in these turbulent times.
A few days ago, NPR's Frank Browning did a piece on All Things Considered featuring the Harmonia Mundi story, and its 83-year old founder, Bernard Coutaz and his wife, Eva (who is chief of production), in a broadcast entitled, “Harmonia Mundi Defies The Music Industry Blues.” If you missed it, don’t worry. You can hear it at: <font color="#800080">http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103216539</font> or read the companion text.
What’s more, you can also hear excerpts from a couple of Harmonia Mundi recordings on the NPR site, courtesy of the label: the “Inflammatus” from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (performed by Concerto Vocale) and Eric Satie’s “Avant-dernieres Pensees” (performed by Alexandre Tharaud). You can also see/hear Jean-Guihen Queyras perform a selection from Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello (No. 3 in C major). Here’s hoping you purchase the recordings and support this innovative label. Enjoy!