Founded in 1992 by the legendary Michel Bernstein, Arcana is devoted to the exploration of lesser-known composers from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century mostly focusing on Italian repertoire and interpreters.

Hidden, secret, mysterious… the word Arcana, from Latin arcanus, clearly sums up the mission of the label: to broaden our knowledge of the repertoire and unearth what is still concealed and forgotten within it, from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, distinguishing masterpieces form trivial works, and involving some of the biggest names on the historically informed performance scene. 

But Arcana has also succeeded in making an important contribution to the standard repertoire, particularly Viennese, most notably the first complete recording on period instruments of Joseph Haydn’s string quartets (performed by Festetics Quartet) and Franz Schubert’s piano sonatas (Paul Badura-Skoda).

Often based on ground-breaking research, each release is meticulously studied, the liner notes feature contributions of leading experts in each field. Not to mention the sound quality, one of the trademarks of the label founded by Michel Bernstein.

Since the beginning, Arcana has also shown a clear focus on both Italy, with its huge and multifaceted musical heritage (still to be fully explored), and Italian performers: Fabio Biondi, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Bonizzoni yesterday; La Reverdie, Ensemble Zefiro, Gaetano Nasillo and an impressive line-up of new talents from the younger generation, today.

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