Apple are (perhaps) beginning to group tracks into works
Recently, when viewing albums in the Apple Music app on my phone, I have started seeing tracks ("songs"!) being grouped into works. For example, when I open the Igor Levit Bach partitas album I see a heading in bold "Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major" followed by tracks simply named "I. Praeludium", "II. Allemande", etc. By contrast, when I open the album in the browser on my PC there is no heading for the work, the tracks are named "Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825:I. Praeludium", "Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825:II. Allemande", etc.
I think the grouping of tracks into works is new, and has possibly only been applied to recently added albums. For example, I see it on all the albums mentioned in the last 2 months in the "New Music Friday" thread (Levit's "On DSCH" album, Westhoff violin sonatas, "Bach before Bach", Attacca Quartet "Of All Joys" (the one with the rather disturbing album cover) ). I haven't browsed any further back in that thread but I have looked at several older albums in my library and have not found any others grouped like this.
I wonder if this is a sign of work in progress towards producing a catalogue like Primephonic's.
The work-in-progress (if that is what it is) is far from perfect. The Dunedin Consort's recording of Bach's Christmas Oratorio is one of the few that I've seen with tracks grouped into works. However, in the album view the individual cantatas all have the same heading: "Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248,". There may be more, but I can't scroll so that is all I can see. If I click on one of the headings the cantata starts to play at the first of its tracks, but the "Now Playing" view then shows all the remaining tracks in the album without any headings or grouping. So, it all seems a bit pointless at the moment. In particular, it doesn't seem to be possible (without adding tracks one by one to a playlist) to play just one "work" then stop.
The Zelenka and Pisendel Concerti album by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra also has tracks grouped, but the result is that it seems to be impossible to tell who composed what, and one of the tracks seems to have disappeared altogether.
In the phone app I see:
a heading "Concerto in D Major"
followed by tracks headed "Vivace", "Andante" and "Allegro"
then the heading "Concerto à 8 in G Major, ZWV"
followed by tracks "Allegro", "Largo" and "Allegro"
and so on.
When I play the album the Now Playing view lists the tracks as "Concerto in D Major: Vivace", etc. (In fact all I can see is "Concerto in D Major: Viva", etc. but if I'm patient and watch the scrolling display for the current track I see the whole title.) Similarly, for the second concerto I can eventually see "Concerto à 8 in G Major, ZWV 186: Allegro" and so on. But there are still no composers' names, only the hint that ZWV might indicate Zelenka!
When I look at the same album in the browser on my PC I see the same track titles as in the app's now playing screen. There are still no composers' names. However, I also notice track 1 "Hipocondrie à 7 in A Major, ZWV 187: I Allegro" which doesn't appear at all in the app.
And there’s not even JunP numbers for the Pisendel tracks on the IOS app 🤷🏻♀️
I’m grateful that Idagio works so well on IOS but also aware that, by all accounts, it is a much poorer experience on Android 😕
Here’s to the Primephonic/Apple dedicated app, as early as possible in the new year!
It is possible that Primephonic as we knew and loved it, will be simply loaded into a folder with some Apple related title, and Apple related logo. It will exist as a sub-branch in the root directory. It will either open when you select "classical" in the Apple Music table of contents, or it will exist as a secondary branch to Apple Music as a stand-apart streaming service that will cost more. Sadly, this scenario will likely require a basic subscription to Apple Music so you can have the privilege of paying more for the addition Primephonic-based Classical streaming service. I would not abandon Idagio any time soon.
Here's to a Happy New Year for all, and hoping for a quick return to Primephonic as we knew it, in its new mantle.
I first noticed tracks grouped under work headings for recent releases, but I'm now noticing it applied to some older albums. For example, last night I saw it on both the Cuarteto Casals 2009 album of Haydn Op 33 quartets and on Glenn Gould's (much older) album of Bach's 48.
This still only seems to happen in the app, not on the website.
Sorting out the necessary metadata for the whole catalogue must be a huge task.