Arcana was founded in 1992 in Nantes by the renowned Michel Bernstein and is considered one of France’s finest classical music labels. Arcana thrives on rediscovering and exploring the more remote composers from the middle ages to the beginning of the twentieth-century, mainly focussed on Italian repertoire.


The name Arcana comes from the Latin word arcanus, meaning hidden, concealed. Michel Bernstein, born in 1930 in Paris, was one of the most esteemed characters in European musical life and next to being the founder of several labels, he was also a composer. One of the trademarks of the label is the quality of the recordings. Each release is conscientiously studied and the sleeve notes feature input from renowned specialists in each field.

Hidden, secret, mysterious...


To help Arcana get started, celebrated artists such as Rinaldo Alessandrini and Fabio Biondi initially assisted Bernstein with recordings of their work free of cost.

Andrea De Carlo and his ensemble Mare Nostrum explore the Roman repertoire and have released an outstanding new series recorded in Nepi, the birthplace of the Italian baroque composer Alessandro Stradella, La forza delle stelle (The Power of the Stars), featuring works by the famous Roman poet Sebastiano Baldini on the subject of love. This recording, next to other releases from Andrea De Carlo and Mare Nostrum are included in Arcana’s repertoire.

The label has also recorded the most prized gems of the Viennese repertoire. Noteworthy are the first recordings of Haydn’s string quartets, performed by Festetics Quartet and Schubert’s piano sonatas by Paul Badura-Skoda. Arcana’s collection also includes Vivaldi, Telemann and other lesser-known baroque composers and notable artists such as Enrico Gatti and La Reverdi ensemble