Classical Music in the Cloud

Yesterday I came across Melanie Spanswick’s blog post about Valentina Lisitsa by way of Twitter. I read the post and watched the first video at the bottom of the page. After one hearing I had fallen in love with Rachmaninoff’s G major Prelude and tweeted to Melanie that I was downloading the score from IMSLP. Well, I printed it out and spent last night preparing it for a future recording for my Go Play Project.

It’s hard to believe that not that long ago I may never have come across this particular prelude. And if I had heard it on a CD or on the radio, it would take at least a week to order it, that is, if I ever got around to it. With Twitter, YouTube, IMSLP and Soundcloud – the musicians’s world has changed in amazing ways.

I remember a conversation I had with Karl Ulrich Schnabel back in the late 80′s about the future of classical music. A friend and I were at his New York apartment for a coaching for our duo-piano team. As we were leaving we started talking about the state of the arts and I remember he was very optimistic. He was convinced that there would be a renewed appreciation for classical music in the early 21st century.

As of today IMSLP has 199,000 scores and 17,000 recordings available for download. There are 266 groups on Soundcloud devoted to classical music, many of which have well over 1000 members.  Valentina Lisitsa has over 53,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel where her 192 classical music videos have received 44,064,397 views.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking but it certainly seems like classical music is alive and well and has a new home in the cloud.

(Listen to Week 23: Debussy’s La fille au cheveux de lin)