Recommended Website – ArkivSong.com

 

I am always pleased to stumble across new theatre websites, especially when they offer something that doesn’t really exist elsewhere. About a month ago, I wrote about a fantastic website – CastAlbums.org. It’s an amazing database resource for musical theatre recordings…

Via an advert on that website, I’ve discovered another site that complements CastAlbums perfectly – ArkivSong.com. It’s an American website where you can buy soundtracks, including ones that you’d struggle to find on Amazon!

But as with CastAlbums, the thing that makes this site so special is it’s search capability. You can search for recordings on 4 different criteria – singers, songs, shows and songwriters. Pretty cool if you’re browsing for CDs, or trying to find out what recordings your favourite artist has been on.

To check how good it is, I decided to see what entries exist for favourite actresses (see my previous post on them here!)…

  1. Lauren Kennedy: Has 2 albums, including her fabulous Songs of Jason Robert Brown. No sign of her newest solo album, Here I am – perhaps it’s just too new?
  2. Idina Menzel: 6 albums, from the mainstream (Wicked and Rent), to the lesser-known, but better (!) new musicals (The Wild Party and See What I Wanna See)
  3. Lara Pulver: No knowledge of her unfortunately – the new recording of the Donmar Warehouse production of Parade hasn’t made it onto the site yet…
  4. Ruthie Henshall: A magnificent 7 recordings for the lovely Ruthie, including ‘The Divas Collection’, a 2001 release by female performers including Ruthie, Patti LuPone and Petula Clark’
  5. Sally Ann Triplett: 3 recordings including the magnificent National Theatre production of Anything Goes in 2003. By coicidence, both she and Ruthie Henshall are on a 2005 recording called Musicality of Strouse

Based on this very quick check, it looks like the site is pretty comprehensive, even if hasn’t got all of this year’s releases (I’m sure they’ll come in due course). To get another sense of its completeness, I searched by songwriter for Stephen Sondheim – a quite remarkable 242 albums!! It’s amazing to see quite how many artists have recorded his songs over the years, from Barbara Streisand to Andy Williams, and Sarah Brightman to Sarah Vaughan.

So, if you’re looking to buy a musical theatre CD, this may well be the place to look. Unfortunately, there’s a small problem – the website is US-based, so I imagine the cost of getting deliveries to the UK might be a little higher than ordering from amazon UK… But if it helps you find a CD not otherwise available, I suspect you won’t be complaining…

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1 Response to “Recommended Website – ArkivSong.com”


  1. 1 Singing Librarian May 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    ArkivSong offers quite a number of otherwise out-of-print CDs due to some sort of arrangement with the labels that have deleted them from the catalogue – I think they may well “print” them to order. I was able to get hold of the London cast of Windy City and the out of print Showstoppers album conducted by John McGlinn. Shipping is surprisingly fast from US to UK, and the cost isn’t too bad due to the exchange rate. However, as our economy appears to be slipping down the drain like America’s, that may change.

    It’s probably not worth it for the mainstream stuff, but for those deleted items, it’s absolutely fantastic!


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