- After 43 years of illustrious recording history, the renowned classical label Hyperion Records finally opens its cornucopia of musical treasures to streaming audiences
- Hyperion Records makes 200 albums from its celebrated catalogue available for streaming for the first time from today
- All 2000+ albums from the label’s catalogue to stream by spring 2024
- Major milestone for label founded in 1980 by Ted Perry, who drove a mini-cab at nights to fund the early recordings
LONDON, 28 July 2023 – Four months after its acquisition by Universal Music Group (UMG), multi-award-winning label Hyperion Records is making the treasures from its celebrated 43-year-old catalogue of recordings available on all streaming platforms for the first time from today.
Hyperion has set an ambitious goal to release the entire catalogue of over 2000 recordings for streaming by spring 2024. The first 200 albums were released today, with subsequent collections to follow every fortnight from 15 September 2023.
Opening its treasures to streaming is an eagerly-awaited milestone for a label that was founded in South London in 1980 by Ted Perry – who drove a mini-cab at nights to fund the early recordings – and which became one the best-loved classical music labels in the world.
Sir Stephen Hough, renowned pianist and long-standing Hyperion recording artist, welcomed the news: “I am enormously excited to be part of this moment in Hyperion’s history. I’ve made over 40 albums for the company, pouring my heart, soul and fingers into each one, and now, thirty years after my first, they are to be made available through streaming to a much wider, indeed Universal, audience. It delights and touches me to be able to reach a vast new family of music lovers in this way.”
Angela Hewitt OBE, another a celebrated Hyperion pianist, commented: “I have always been thrilled to be part of the Hyperion family. The recordings I have made for the label over the past thirty years have been highlights of my life and career and I am happy that my albums will be enjoyed by even more music lovers around the world.”
In addition to the initial release of 200 catalogue albums, three of Hyperion’s newest releases are also available for streaming from today. These include the latest Dvořák album from the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet; a dazzling selection of choral anthems from Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir Cambridge, and a new issue in The Orlando Consort’s acclaimed survey of France’s great poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut.
In future, all new Hyperion titles will be simultaneously available for streaming, physical purchase and download.
The first 200 catalogue albums released today were selected to represent the story of the label, celebrating the qualities that have made British label Hyperion a beacon of classical excellence over the past four decades. There are key recordings from many of Hyperion’s formidable roster of artists, including Arcangelo, Mahan Esfahani, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Sir Stephen Hough, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Steven Osborne, Polyphony, Howard Shelley, Takács Quartet among many others.
The choices demonstrate the label’s unparalleled reputation for exploring wide-ranging repertoire, spanning 900 years of Western art music from the 12th century to today, across sacred and secular, choral and solo vocal to orchestral, chamber and instrumental, much of it unique to Hyperion.
Notable among the selection are 45 Gramophone Award-winning albums, exemplifying Hyperion’s dedication to the creation of recordings of immense cultural value. Highlights include Gothic Voices’ hugely successful and groundbreaking Hildegard of Bingen recording, A feather on the breath of God,which remains one of the best-selling early music albums of all time; The Cardinall’s Musick’s celebrated recording of music by William Byrd, Infelix ego; Stephen Hough’s piano works by Federico Mompou, and Arcangelo’s collaboration with Iestyn Davies on Cantatas by J.S. Bach, to name but a few.
These albums also offer a glimpse into Hyperion’s vision, courage and long-term approach to Artists & Repertoire, which has led to such projects as the world’s first Complete Schubert Song Edition on 40 albums; the world’s first Complete Liszt Piano Music across 100 albums; and over 200 Romantic Piano Concertos across 87 individual albums.
Hyperion’s high editorial standards will be maintained in the streaming world, with its recognisable cover artwork, detailed and well-researched digital booklets, usually in English, French and German, being made available within streaming platforms that carry the option. Sung texts for choral and vocal music will also be available to streaming platforms with the functionality.
The second phase of catalogue releases, scheduled for 15 September 2023, will showcase some of Hyperion’s great piano and keyboard stars, including pianists Danny Driver, Stephen Hough, Pavel Kolesnikov, Steven Osborne, and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani among others across more than 70 albums. This ‘release chapter’ will ensure that each featured artist’s complete discography becomes available on all streaming platforms.
Subsequent ‘release chapters’ of various sizes will focus on genres such as choral music, string quartets, Baroque, early music and solo vocal, with new chapters released every fortnight until the entire catalogue is available for streaming by spring 2024.
This move to streaming follows Universal Music Group’s acquisition of Hyperion in March 2023, which saw the label join UMG’s portfolio of world-renowned classical labels, including Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. The acquisition strengthens UMG’s position as the definitive home of classical music globally and enables it to preserve Hyperion’s distinctive identity and build its future by ensuring wider-than-ever exposure for both its impressive back catalogue and its continuing future work.
Simon Perry, Managing Director of Hyperion and son of label founder Ted Perry said: “We searched for and found a long-term home that is committed to our values, artists, recordings and editorial style and we are delighted that our entire back catalogue as well as new and future releases will be available on streaming platforms in the coming months. These first 200 albums tell our story, and we look forward to presenting all our work from the past four decades to a new global streaming audience artist-by-artist, series-by-series. Each had their challenges and now they come together to tell a narrative, hopefully a powerful one, of what can happen when you make space for musicians to thrive: it’s why Hyperion has worked.”
Dickon Stainer, UMG’s President of Global Classics & Jazz said: “The arrival of Hyperion on the world’s streaming platforms offers a special moment of discovery for this precious and pioneering label.”