Monday 23 September 2013

New Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra app

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra logo
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is celebrating its 125th birthday at the moment and last week the orchestra launched a new app, a video magazine which will be published six times per year as an app for iPad, RCO Editions. The new app will provide in depth insights into musical tops with the intention of offering a great diversity of interdisciplinary approaches making it attractive for a wide range of people. The first issue, Mozart: on the Road features John Eliot Gardiner's musical analysis of the Prague Symphony, a documentary on Mozart in Prague, and promises everything from historical performance practice to present day tour experiences of the orchestra. If they can get it right, it should be fascinating.

The second edition Tod und Verklarung will explore Richard Strauss's work in the context of other works such as Mahler's Resurrection Symphony and Strauss's Four Last Songs and Also Sprach Zarathustra, plus conductor Marin Alsop on how Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey fits into this, the cult film alongside music and philosophy.

RCO Editions is intended to be self-sufficient in four years, and will be regarded as a success if there are 22,000 subscribers by 2015, given the orchestra's huge international following that at least sounds possible. You'll have access to the content on iTunes until at least 2020. Currently the app is only available on iPhones. As I don't have access to an iPhone, I'd be interested in hearing from people who have tried the app.

RCO Editions is available from and the first release Mozart: on the Road is free. Following that single releases cost 4.49 euros, or a subscription of 6.99 euros per month or 74.99 euros per year. A single release will contain a complete concert recording, with extra commentary plus articles, interviews, essays, poems and photos plus theme-related iTunes listening tips. If you subscribe you get at least three additional concert recordings per year as well as other goodies. There is an introductory video on YouTube.

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