That's an interesting development! I've discovered that myself recently: the separate Ballades CD by DG doesn't have the audible watermarks so apparently they've reuploaded the content (most probably with a non-audible watermark), however the 17-CD Complete Chopin set that includes the same recording is still entirely messed up with the watermarks.
What's odd is that while the IDAGIO version used to be OK, it has apparently been replaced with the bad one! I canceled my IDAGIO subscription long ago due to it being buggy, the interface not intuitive and the still widespread lack of "album" notion seriously preventing me from liking it but it's disappointing that they were given the bad-watermarked DG-releases :(
Seems like I will stick to Apple Music and might un-ban UMG releases.
This whole "crisis" actually opened my ears a lot to so many rather unknown musicians and labels and taught me there's probably too much big-name prejudice in the classical music world.
BTW, I am really impressed by the Harmonia Mundi label it is now my favorite. It would be hard for me to point a single record by that label which isn't excellent.
What a coincidence! I've also started with the Beethoven/Berg and Isabelle Faust. It's not surprising she now happens to be my favorite violin player! Everything she recorded is fantastic. Her Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart and the recent Mendelssohn concertos are my reference records for those concertos.
I'm so glad that I'm not alone on this. For me the issue has been most noticable on Decca recordings. And no, you don't have to be a audiophool to hear it. Dedicated listening in a quiet space or with headphones, reveals it clearly, particularly in sustained strings passages.
At the other end of the music spectrum, just started playing Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter “1 + 1” on my iPhone speakers (Apple Music) and since it begins with an introspective piano improvisation I could immediately hear even through the iPhone speakers the nasty sound trembling. Looking at the album info what a “surprise”: The Verve Music Group, a division of UMG.
FWIW the issue seems to be mostly fixed on Google Play Music, unfortunately it still exists on Youtube Music which is supposed to replace GPM at some point... but we at least have proof that it can be done, come on Spotify!