The online retailer ArkivMusic will release out-of-print classical recordings from EMI Classics' extensive catalog as "production-on-demand" CDs.
EMI Classics is the third of the four major music distributors to participate in ArkivMusic's ArkivCD on-demand program. The deal includes Angel recordings and those of EMI's Paris-based label Virgin Classics.
"EMI Classics is very happy to partner with ArkivMusic to make some of our classic recordings available again," said Thomas Evered, general manager and senior vice president of EMI Classics/Angel Records in a statement.
Evered told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the out-of-print releases in the ArkivCD program were initially discontinued "because they had run their course, because they had sold what they were going to sell ... But even I was taken aback at realizing how many of these wonderful recordings had been deleted. Now they're back — and in their original program."
ArkivMusic, continuing to fill the gap left by the recent demise of Tower Records, is launching the EMI Classics partnership with over 200 ArkivCD titles. Some of the conductors featured in this initial release include Adrian Boult, Sergiu Celibidache, Neville Marriner, Riccardo Muti, Roger Norrington, Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Leopold Stokowski. The list of performers features (among others) soprano Beverly Sills, baritone Thomas Hampson, violinist Nigel Kennedy, pianists Stephen Kovacevich and André Watts, trumpeter Maurice André, composer Thomas Adès and the King's Singers.
"Contrary to what appears to be the imminent demise of the physical disc in the world of popular music," said Eric Feidner, Arkiv's president and CEO, "we have found — and our customers have quite clearly told us — that the physical CD in the classical music world is still the overwhelmingly preferred medium for purchase. We plan to continue to deliver on that demand both with our in-print catalog and by rescuing as much as we possibly can from the vaults."
ArkivMusic opened its online store in February 2002. Its ArkivCD program currently offers over 2,700 recordings rescued from the vaults of Sony BMG, the Universal labels Decca, Philips, and Deutsche Grammophon, and a number of independent labels.
The company has no warehouses; an order chosen from its catalog is placed through the Arkiv website and filled with a package shipped directly from the distributor. ArkivMusic manufactures the ArkivCDs using its production-on-demand system for producing, packaging and shipping recordings. All music and packaging elements, including liner notes for select titles, are produced within 24 hours of the time a customer places an online order.
ArkivMusic offers these previously unavailable recordings alongside a complete selection of most classical recordings currently in print. Its database of available unique titles currently lists over 87,000 CDs, DVDs, DVD-Audios and SACDs.