In the new issue of The Critic magazine, out today, I write about my recent conversion from hard disc to no disc in the rapid advance of classical streaming subscriptions.
Here’s how it all began:
One summer’s evening in the early 1990s, I met a student called Till at a festival in Schleswig-Holstein where major soloists were making music in cleaned-up cowsheds amid the lowing of displaced Friesians in nearby fields. Among the cowpats, I found some serious blue-sky dreamers. Till, for instance, had a vision that one day the whole of recorded music — from Caruso’s first aria to Decca’s latest release — would be available at the touch of a button. These were the heady days between the end of history and the internet dawn when anything seemed possible. Still, knowing the vexatious nature of the record industry, I could not imagine it might ever pool its closely-guarded treasures in a single virtual pot.
Fast forward 25 years. The classical record industry is now almost defunct and Till Janczukowicz is sitting in Berlin as chief executive of a streaming service that has raised ten million dollars from willing banks to bring the whole of classical music instantly to your smartphone. Till’s empire is called Idagio.com and, once you enter, you can kiss your working day goodbye.
Tap in the most obscure name you remember from your teenage LP collection – Sebastian Peschko, say…..
Read on here.