According to its owner, Warner Classics, apex (note the used-to-be-cool lack of capitalization) is, "The UK's fastest-growing budget range, Apex includes a wide selection of both familiar and less well-known repertoire, performed by some of our greatest artists. Apex offers the listener exceptional quality and outstanding value for money."
What does all this mean?
Regarding "budget range," we purchased two apex CD's in November, 2005. Each cost $7.99. I later found both CD's available at Amazon for $6.98 each, which would have made them an even better buy.
(As a side note, Amazon listed one of the CD's as being on the Finlandia label and one on the Erato label. Minor inaccuracies of no great importance; we'd gladly put up with such things to save an extra dollar per CD.)
Regarding familiar and less well-known repertoire, we would agree with the claim. Searching in chamber music, for example, one finds the usual Bach, Beethoven, and Telemann, but also Bortkiewicz and Schmelzer.
Regarding the claim of offering recordings by "some of our greatest artists," this is obviously subjective. Going back to the two CD's we purchased, one was a recording of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas by Maria-João Pires. The other CD featured works by Bartók performed by The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sir Andrew Davis conducting), and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducting).
The liner notes are satisfactory and worthwhile.
Overall, we regard apex recordings quite highly. The sound quality is very good, the depth of the label's catalogue is excellent, and the pricing is also excellent. Were we the type to do such things, we might very well stand up, applaud, and call out, "Bravo, apex!" A worthy competitor to Naxos.
It appears that Warner Classics has discontinued the apex label, with the last recording under that label apparently issued back in 2013.
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