Cedille Records

By Daniel McAdam.

I am, and have been for some time, rather partial to Cedille Records, a classical music label based in Chicago. This partiality is due in no small part to the mission and organizational structure of Cedille Records. What was originally founded as a for-profit company in 1989 by James Ginsburg became, in 1994, a not-for-profit record label. The label's vision of recording classical music featuring Chicago-area musicians endures.

As a non-profit funded in part by donations, Cedille is not necessarily looking to issue classical recordings with guaranteed sales appeal. Instead, according to Cedille's website, "Cedille selects recording project from local artists and ensembles of distinction. Each project must be distinctly different from Cedille's existing body of work; and offer an interesting perspective on important, new, unusual, and/or seldom-recorded classical repertory. Recording projects are artist driven, generated from the artists' interests and aesthetic sensibilities."

I can personally attest to the high quality of the recordings. As for the label's eclectic selection, that is a matter of personal taste. Having said that, I think it's certainly very good that a classical label can offer such a wide variety of classical recordings. While commercial labels continue to issue classical workhorses like Beethoven's Violin Concerto by whoever happens to be the current star violinist de jour, Cedille puts out recordings as diverse as Eclipse: Chamber Music by Mischa Zupko and Mythology Symphony: Orchestral Works by Stacy Garrop.

This doesn't mean that everything offered is modern, or I'd have no interest in Cedille at all. Other recent (as of this writing) recordings include Vivaldi: The Complete Viola d’Amore Concertos and Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets.

Cedille also does a good job in marketing their recordings, including by direct mail, and I purchase CDs directly from their website at www.cedillerecords.org, where they occasionally offer free downloads.





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