Is Germany Trying to Balance Its Budget By Seizing Instruments?
It seems musicians who travel through Germany’s airports on their way to engagements not only risk having nothing to play, but seem to be part of Europe’s financial recovery plan.
Now German customs officials have seized the 1736 Stradivarius of a member of one of their own orchestras…violinist Yuki Manuela Janke, concertmaster at the Staatskapelle Dresden. Five years ago, she won the Third Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the First Prize at the Sarasate Competition in Pamplona.
Though the instrument has since been returned, the possibility of having an instrument seized while traveling through Germany and held until large duty payments are made hangs like a Sword of Damocles over the heads of many musicians with a solo career.
Read Flat Note for Violinists as German Customs Seize Instruments (The Asahi Shimbun)
Naxos Records Leading the Way Into Classical Digital Downloads
While downloading recordings is old hat for those whose main musical diet is pop, rock, jazz, or country, the classical consumer has been hard-pressed to find a large volume of content online.
Classical music IS available online and many files can be purchased for download. The problem is, if you reduce recordings to mp3 files, the first thing that suffers is quality.
With an audience accustomed to the sound of a full orchestra and radio stations which broadcast with minimal processing, the difference is quite noticeable…and unpalatable for many listeners. Granted, if you are going to use an iPod, iPhone, etc. to listen to music, you are going to be using some sort of compressed file. For those who want their audio experience as true to the original as possible, Naxos Records is making full use of broadband capabilities, inexpensive storage media, and a worldwide consumer base.
Read Full Stream Ahead: Can Naxos Download the Future? (San Francisco Classical Voice)