Where’s Sony Classical? Still alive…?

We haven’t heard from them in a while. It has been months since the last Lang Lang release, likewise Jonas Kaufmann.

No Sony adverts are appearing in any recording media.

The label’s US website lists just two releases for 2015, by 2Cellos and Simone Dinnerstein.

The German site has Sonya Yoncheva and three instrumentalists in February, nothing at all in March.

This was the label that was designed to ‘dominate’ classical music.

So what’s happened?

sonya yoncheva1

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  • Apparently Sony artist Igor Levit recorded a new album in the recent weeks. Maybe it’s just the time of the year, where traditionally sales are low, so why publish anything then?

  • Nothing is wrong here. The way releases go these days they bunch up at certain times of the year usually in late spring and the 4th quarter. These months are a fallow time for releases in general. I know of Sony Classical projects that are in the works for release in May and throughout the coming year.

  • Sony has long done a poor job of keeping its website up to date – at least the English/American site. But a quick perusal of a certain gigantic online retailer indicates a number of new releases on the way, in addition to Sony’s usual reissue of older recordings.

  • A recording of Verdi’s Requiem with Lorin Maazel and the Munich Philharmonic will be released very shortly.

  • I can’t fit any more CDs in my house anyway. Maybe they should release music in streaming format only, with the Naxos Music Library as the provider.

  • BMG/Sony’s classical web presence is a joke. But then, the same can be said for Universal: the much-awaited third Mercury Living Presence box is now available, but good luck finding a word about it on the Decca site. The majors are also missing huge sales/download/streaming/subscription opportunities and need to rethink their online strategy.

  • But the same question could be asked about Sony that is asked about DG:
    Why are they so pale, their artistic profiles unclear, no ambition for a great product felt in the product itself?
    Because they are cought in a corporate structure, and art and corporatism go together like a fish and a bicycle.
    Too bad the good old times where the Sony CEO Norio Ohga made classical music a prestige project in the company are over.
    Ohga-San was an accomplished classical musician himself.

  • This has been an especially lean period for interesting releases/reissues but RC1 is right: there are certain times in the year when titles bunch up and it’s a case of feast or famine. Last year in particular the record companies put out a huge quantity of retro release/collector’s edition type box sets and multi-disc compendiums, so I guess they’ve run out of steam for the time being. As far as reissues are concerned, DG for example have a lot of interesting back catalogue titles in the offing for early summer but, as I mentioned elsewhere on this site, its the brand new recordings that need a serious rethink.

  • Well you obviously haven’t looked very far, it’s number two on the new release panel (at the the top, you can fast forward with the arrows or it moves itself every 10 or so seconds.

  • Strange what you say. Seen from Qobuz (as a music service) we have the feeling that Sony Classical as a label is both active and quite dynamic with suche releases like teh Da Ponte cycle, Yontcheva, Igor Levit etc. Not a lot of releases but good stuff and good marketing work also most of the time. On top of that serious technical delivery work, lots of Hi-Res albums – not visible but very important. Best Y

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