Hyperion Records to stream for the first time
Two-hundred acclaimed recordings by the likes of Stephen Hough, the Takács Quartet and Westminster Abbey Choir to be made available from today
Hyperion Records has announced plans to make all of its recordings available by early next year.
As of today (Friday 28 July), the acclaimed British label will be streaming an initial batch of 200 from its catalogue of over 2,000 recordings dating back to 1980 – among them are best-selling albums by pianists Stephen Hough and Angela Hewitt, the Takács Quartet and Westminster Abbey Choir.
Long renowned not just for the quality of its artists but also its exceptional recorded sound and a staunchly independent approach to repertoire that allows it to tread where other labels have feared to go, Hyperion has until now resisted temptation to join the streaming party, concentrating instead on CDs and downloads.
However, as Hyperion’s managing director Simon Perry explains, times have changed. ‘The world is moving very quickly towards a different way of accessing music,’ he says. ‘This seems to be the way forward, as it’s what people want. It also became clear to us that we needed to make sure that our artists had representation on streaming platforms, so we decided it was time to get involved.’
After the initial launch of 200 titles, albums will be streamed in fortnightly groups from mid-September onwards, until the whole back-catalogue is available by spring 2024. As Perry explains, choosing which albums to prioritise for that launch was quite a challenge: ‘We wanted to show the depth of Hyperion’s catalogue as much as we could, and we also optend for our higher-profile artists, the recordings that have won awards over the years, and the important albums that have really made Hyperion what it is. It was a very difficult list to create, as the catalogue has a lot of depth and has some fascinating items.’
Recently acquired by the Universal Music Group, Hyperion was founded in 1980 by Simon Perry’s father Ted, who funded its earliest recordings by driving a mini-cab in the evenings. Though many of its recordings have won awards, perhaps the most famous of them is soprano Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices’ A Feather on the Breath of God from 1982 – as well as introducing countless listeners to the music of 12th-century composer Hildegard of Bingen, it also enjoyed a wider audience still when sampled on songs such as The Beloved’s ‘The Sun Rising’. ‘This is probably the most important recording we ever made,’ says Perry. ‘Hildegard has always been regarded by us as the patron saint of Hyperion and, as my father used to say, she has paid for all our mistakes over the years!’