Monday 22 July 2013

Recording ups and downs

There have been a few ups and downs in the record industry. In a move which seems to be the way most ensembles are going, the Academy of Ancient Music has announced that it is developing its own record label, with four double albums promised for this year ranging from the birth of the symphony to Bach passions. But a number of distributors across the globe have been going into administration, reflecting the down turn in the sales of CD's.

The Academy of Ancient Music's new label AAM Records will start with the release of two albums this year, and a projected release of two further albums per year. The initial discs, all conducted by Richard Egarr, are AAM001, to be released in October, The Birth of the Symphony: Handel to Haydn, exploring the early development of the symphony. AAM002, due out in February, will be Bach’s St John Passion, to be followed by Bach’s Orchestral Suites and the St Matthew Passion (1727 version). Further ahead, the orchestra will record with a range of guest directors and soloists including Sarah Connolly and James Gilchrist. Future plans include further major choral works and orchestral repertoire as well as a range of smaller-scale recordings.

On a more depressing note, the distributor Harmonia Mundi Iberica (owned by Harmonia Mundi France) has gone into administration, though the company has announced that 'All labels distributed by Harmonia Mundi Iberica have found agreement with HM for unpaid invoices.' It is understood that Harmonia Mundi France is hoping to create a new distribution arrangements for Spain and Portugal.

And another distributor Codaex UK has called in the administrators. The company's parent, Codaex, based in Benelux went into administration in June but the the UK firm was assured to be profitable. Unfortunately several labels switched distributor, worried at the repercussions, and the company has cited this as the reason for going into administration. Distributors Qualiton have also gone into receivership in the US.

Which makes you wonder, with all these orchestras and ensembles producing their own records will there be anyone left to distribute them!

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