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Naxos music streaming service

Maxos music library

“Who hears music….

… feels his solitude peopled at once” (Browning). The history of recorded music is a fascinating one, not only as a way of accessing historical performances and performance practices (e.g. the string portamenti in recordings of Elgar’s music conducted by Elgar) but also technologically, including the way that technology has, in its turn, affected performances. The Lit & Phil has an impressive collection of recorded music of CDs, vinyl LPs and shellac 78 and there are even rumours of a couple of Edison wax cylinders “somewhere in the archive”! The collection continues to grow with new CDs added every month and it amply demonstrates that the Lit & Phil has kept up with the technology. Most recently it has been able to offer  the Naxos Streaming service to its music library members. So even in those times when the Lit & Phil’s collection is unavailable, members can still access a huge range of music online.

Naxos began life as a CD label in 1987 and I remember it well as a source of unusual, interesting, and most interestingly of all, cheap classical CDs.  

Since then its repertoire has grown considerably to include new recordings of many kinds of music including jazz and world music as well as historical recordings of performers such as Enrico Caruso.

Since 2003 a streaming service has been available upon payment of a subscription and although there are quite a few streaming services, the Naxos offering is particularly impressive and wide-ranging with more than 150,000 recordings which means well over 2 million tracks available, with many of the albums having downloadable booklets.

Now that access to the streaming service is available to Lit & Phil music library members, it’s worth pointing out what a very good deal this is! The annual subscription for the Lit & Phil music library, which includes not only Naxos streaming but also full library and music library access, is less than the cost of Naxos streaming alone were you to make a direct subscription.

If you don’t already know about Naxos have a look at their website (here) and start to explore and discover many hours of interesting music and performances.

Meanwhile, a few suggestions of some entertaining pieces that I particularly enjoy (but you will need to join to be able to access them): 

Rossini - String Sonatas (extraordinary considering he was 12 when he wrote these unfailingly optimistic pieces)

Poulenc - L'embarquement pour Cythère (Poulenc’s sense of fun and ability to write archetypically French and engaging tunes is here in spades - or pelletée)

Shchedrin - Concerto No.1 for orchestra (Naughty Limericks) (one of the silliest, funniest and most amazingly orchestrated short pieces I know of and this is a stunning recording).

Naxos also have some interesting podcasts here: https://blog.naxos.com/category/podcast/

If you would like to join the library or upgrade your membership to include the music library, or if you are already a member and would like access to Naxos streaming, then please contact us either via the usual Lit & Phil email address or the contact form (click here).




About the author

Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey is a composer and arranger, is a member of the Board of the Lit & Phil and chair of the Music Committee.

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