Thanks to the wealth of music streaming apps available, anyone can listen to thousands of hours of classical music from the golden age of vinyl to the latest releases with their smartphones. The major music streaming platforms feature vast libraries of classical music, but navigating can be a frustrating experience for classical music enthusiasts. While listeners can navigate pop music with ease by searching for song name, artist or album, classical music listeners may wish to search for things like conductor, orchestra, soloist, composer, record label or opus number – and single works that span multiple movements (a Beethoven symphony will usually have four separate tracks) make navigation even more complex. To create a better experience for those listeners, here are two apps designed especially for classical music fans.
Classical record label Naxos was a pioneer of music streaming, launching the Naxos Music Library in 2002. Now available as a smartphone app, the Naxos Music Library boasts complete catalogues and selected recordings from over 940 record labels – as well as pronunciation guides, articles by scholars and critics, an interactive music dictionary and more than 40,000 composer and artist biographies. Subscriptions can be set to standard or premium sound quality. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
IDAGIO launched its classical music streaming app at the Salzburg Festival in 2015 and went on to be named one of Time Magazine’s 2019 Best Inventions. The app features CD-quality audio and offers tailored recommendations, playlists, and pre-concert talks from world- renowned artists, musicologists and critics. In 2020, IDAGIO also launched its Global Concert Hall, offering access to live and pre-recorded concerts from around the world – artists to appear on the platform so far include soprano Kristine Opolais, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the London Symphony Orchestra, The King’s Singers, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and more. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
Of course, major streaming platforms like Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Spotify offer more variety if your listening tastes extend beyond classical music. For audiophiles who listen widely, TIDAL and Qobuz – which launched in Australia earlier this year – boast higher than CD-quality audio streaming, and Spotify HiFi is set to launch later this year with CD-quality audio.