End-of-Year Report

As 2023 draws to its close, I thought I'd trawl through my Giocoso music player's database and work out what I've spent the past twelve months doing, as far as listening to classical music goes.

The headline news is that I've played 3,007 unique recordings this year which, cumulatively, lasted for about 69 days (68.93 if you want to be accurate about it!).

Those 3,007 'plays' were of music composed by 295 different composers and were performed by a grand total of 967 different performers (or 'distinguishing artists' as we call them around here: it is usually the conductor, but might be the cellist, pianist or lead soprano, depending on context).

We can break down the statistics in a little more detail than that, though!

Here, for example, are the different genres I played this year, and their cumulative play durations in days:

 Genre Days
Ballet 1.85
Cantata 1.12
Chamber 3.81
Choral 9.72
Concerto 6.50
Documentary 0.10
Film - Theatre - Radio 1.20
Keyboard 4.75
Opera 7.92
Oratorio 1.80
Orchestral 7.95
Quartet 2.05
Symphonic 18.03
Vocal 2.13

So: lots of symphonies and choral works, quite a few operas and concertos and the usual smattering of ballets, cantatas, chamber pieces, string quartets and solo voice works.

Who were my top 15 composers this year? Actually, it was a fairly even spread (the top 15 account for only 27 days'-worth of play, out of the 69 days' total):

Composer Days
Ludwig van Beethoven 3.04
Anton Bruckner 2.33
Joseph Haydn 2.31
Johann Sebastian Bach 2.21
Benjamin Britten 2.18
Dmitri Shostakovich 1.99
Gustav Mahler 1.69
Franz Schubert 1.68
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1.62
George Frideric Handel 1.54
Antonín Dvořák 1.44
Johannes Brahms 1.41
Jean Sibelius 1.35
Ralph Vaughan Williams 1.29
Antonio Vivaldi 1.10

Beethoven seems to be the big winner this year, with the usual classical music giants trailing closely behind him, but each having no more than a couple of days' cumulative play-time. I guess you could legitimately say that I spent about 1% of the year listening to Beethoven 🙂

As ever, Benjamin Britten appears reasonably high-up in the listings because of the Benjamin Britten Listening Day that happens every 22nd November in these parts!

The equivalent list of 'top 15 distinguishing artists', ordered by the number of times anything attributed to them got played, looks as follows:

Distinguishing Artists  Number of Plays
The King's Consort 62
Masaaki Suzuki 50
Antal Dorati 47
Richard Hickox 42
Adam Fischer 42
Frans Brüggen 33
Benjamin Britten 33
L'École d'Orphée 28
Scott Ross (harpsichord) 27
Charles Mackerras 25
Neeme Järvi 23
Masaaku Suzuki 22
Evgeny Svetlanov 20
Leonard Bernstein 18
Trevor Pinnock 17

Antal Dorati does well in this listing, because I've slowly been wandering my way through his complete cycle of Haydn symphonies this year. The King's Consort appears top of the list because of all the small Henry Purcell works they are associated with in my collection; Suzuki also appears high in the list because of all the Bach cantatas he recorded!

The real take away from all these numbers, however, is that (thanks to Giocoso!) I've had a very diverse listening year, featuring music from hundreds of different composers, performed by even more hundreds of different performing artists, and spanning a wide gamut of genres and 'types'.

As midnight draws on (4.5 hours to go at the time of writing!), I wish you a happy and peaceful New Year, and a similarly diverse and rewarding listening experience for 2024.

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