Mstation Classical Reviews

Valid RSS pre Dec 04 reviews are here

Fri, 04 May 2007

View from a dark tunnel

Some years back the tour manager for Tori Amos wore a t-shirt with the inscription "I'd like to see your point of view but I can't get my head far enough up my ass". heh heh, ggl

And here at Mstation we feel like wearing exactly that t-shirt when confronted with classical music label people. Our recent move across two countries has completely confounded them. It would seem straightforward enough - contact the appropriate people in the country we're now in and all would be roses. And you would expect that the people we have been dealing with would arrange this. In fact the different countries are different medieval style fiefdoms and as our international website is not even in their language, you can imagine the result.

And then there's the case of Hyperion who turned out to be a thoroughly nasty lot without a shred of loyalty and not much in the way of business sense. It took a new PR person for us to discover all this. Nice work! We felt so strongly about this company that we were going to delete all their reviews but felt in the end that the efforts of the reviewers and the musicians themselves should remain.

Truth to tell, we had been thinking about the classical review situation just as we rethought the pop side of things some months back and the classical situation is much more of a problem in that there is a finite repertoire which keeps getting reissued under one excuse or another. In the past we have tried to skip by this by mostly concentrating on things the average listener might not have been exposed to. We have done this quite successfully I think and have been especially helped by extraordinarily learned people such as Peter Wells.

Other aspects that have disquieted us have included the practice of some symphony orchestras of hiring in temps to do recording work and then issuing the result under their name -- orchestra outsourcing! It's dishonest, plain and simple. And don't get us started on cut-price labels that record in countries you haven't heard of and where the profits stay well and truly at home.

So, making virtue of necessity (we don't have "staff" to deal with this sort of corporate bullshit) what we will do in the future is to have some reviews and some commentary as and when we see fit. While the business might not be beautiful, a lot of the music certainly is. (the editor)

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