Google and top orchestras team up to release live recordings

June 17, 2015
By Aaron Keebaugh

Five leading orchestras have entered into a partnership with Google Play Music to release live recordings of their concerts.

As part of Classical Live, the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will release up to four live recordings each season for download and streaming exclusively on the new media mogul’s music websites: and

The first recordings are now available.

Releases by the New York Philharmonic feature Verdi’s Requiem and music from the orchestra’s 2014 Biennial program, both led by music director Alan Gilbert. Purchases will also feature a bonus track of the “Dies Irae” fromVerdi’s Requiem.

The two Boston Symphony Orchestra releases feature live recordings of works from Andris Nelsons’ first season as Music director, including the suite from Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, a  bonus track consisting of the theme and first variation from Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn.

Two releases by the Cleveland Orchestra feature conductor Franz Welser-Möst leading Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (recorded live at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami) and Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture (recorded at Severance Hall, Cleveland).

The music of Mendelssohn is the focus of the London Symphony Orchestra’s releases. Sir John Eliot Gardner leads performances of the composer’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies and the overtures Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and Ruy Blas.

Releases by the Royal Concertgebouw feature conductor Mariss Jansons in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. A bonus track of the “Great Gate of Kiev” from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is also included.

An online store stocked with millions of songs, TV shows, games, books, and apps, Google Play is one of the world’s fastest growing platforms for downloading and streaming music. Participating orchestras earn revenue from the purchases of tracks.

“We’re honored to bring new and updated recordings from the world-renowned members of Classical Live to Google Play Music,” said Ted Kartzman, Global Head of Independent Music Companies of Google Play, in a statement. “This program allows us to offer their music to their subscribers and existing fans, as well as offering new listeners access to the latest and most exciting performances happening today.”

“Through its highly successful platform of music dissemination and its impressive commitment to promote Classical Live to a multi-faceted worldwide audience, Google Play offers . . . leading orchestras a new paradigm for reaching ever-greater numbers of classical music fans and creating an entirely new audience for the field,” said Boston Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe in a statement. “We are most excited for the opportunity to bring the orchestra’s music to a wider audience and to expose more people to the power of great symphonic music and its potential to transform and enrich their lives.”

Recordings are available on Classical

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