Tasteless classical music marketing, part 2,178

Given the state of the classical music market you can’t blame people for trying to be inventive.

But we are still recovering from the design of one of EMI’s latest releases, a Chopin disc by the Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter. Donald Manildi raved about it in International Record Review this month and I picked up a copy as part of our CD shopping binge a few weeks ago.

I’m starting to think the disc is really pretty good. But I’ve found that to get there, we’ve had to purge the effect of possibly the weirdest bit of marketing design I’ve seen in a serious classical release. The packaging features numerous pictures of the pianist, all of them subtly but unmistakably drawing attention to cleavage. OK, so sex sells. But then the overall theme of the design is this soft-focus ultrafeminine garden wedding fantasy theme in pink and green. So we’ve covered both halves of the market (or at least the heterosexual portion thereof), but meanwhile poor Chopin, not to mention the considerable musical merits of Ms. Fliter’s playing, get buried in some weird combination of Maxim lite and Martha Stewart Weddings.

It’s an interesting example of how packaging can affect the view of the product, at least until the packaging effect wears off.