The return of the classical LP – at a price

From the blog of Tim Wong, Telegraph Culture writer:-

I'm in Hong Kong, where a visit to a small record store yielded a few surprises. First of all they actually have a whole room dedicated to classical music – as opposed to a corner, like the new Oxford Street HMV flagship. Then I saw these, stashed away:

Yes, vinyl LPs – not vintage objectes but freshly pressed new releases (and re-releases). A search on Deutsche Grammophon's website reveals that they have been trickling them out since 2010. There are 10 releases in total and this year alone there are five, including a boxed set called "Wagner on Vinyl" of six LPs, consisting of highlights and recitals rather than any complete opera. Decca have four in their catalogue.

The limited editions probably explain why they're not too visible in the UK, where high street record stores have in any case all but disappeared. We increasingly rely on downloads and online streaming services. LP and CD enthusiasts alike are having to make do with second-hand exchanges (such as the world-famous Gramex) or special deliveries from online shops.

A final surprise – the price: in this Hong Kong shop, the Netrebko Verdi LP retails at £50. The UK Amazon sells it for £30 – that’s still more than double the price of a CD. Presumably the production costs of LPs are considerably higher, especially if it's high quality vinyl. Even so, would you pay £30 for an LP? And does anyone know how the sound compares to the top-class vinyl of the LP era?


If you are searching for back catalogue Classical Records, look no further…

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