Naxos to Distribute Chicago-based Cedille Records

Naxos announces a new partnership to distribute releases from award-winning, Chicago-based Cedille Records, to launch with three new releases in May 2009. The three May 2009 recordings all reflect the label’s commitment to a mission that promotes Chicago based artists, advances diversity in classical music, and disseminates and preserves new and rare classical repertory.

Cedille Records’ titles are produced through its parent organization, the non-profit Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, founded in 1989 by James Ginsburg (son of US Supreme court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Mr. Ginsburg’s vision was to produce and promote recordings by Chicago musicians, performing important repertoire, overlooked by the major labels. With several prestigious awards and numerous award nominations to its credit, Cedille’s roster of artists includes violinists Rachel Barton Pine and Jennifer Koh; cellist Wendy Warner; mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore; conductor Carlos Kalmar; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; the Chicago Baroque Ensemble; the Vermeer Quartet; contemporary music ensemble, eighth blackbird; and the choral group, the William Ferris Chorale, among many others. Celebrating its partnership with Naxos, Cedille proudly announces the release of three diverse new discs in May 2009.

Under the direction of conductor and music director Paul French, the William Ferris Chorale leads the May releases with an album of World Premiere recordings of nine sacred works by diverse contemporary American composers. The disc, entitled American Choral Premieres, introduces the first recordings of settings of Biblical, liturgical, and poetic texts by Alan Hovhaness, Egon Cohen, Paul Nicholson, Paul French, Easley Blackwood, Robert Kreutz, William Ferris, William C. White, and Robert Rochberg. 

The William Ferris Chorale was founded in 1971 by its namesake, late composer William Ferris (1937-2000) and tenor John Vorrasi. Under the direction of Maestro Ferris, the Chorale was frequently invited to international festivals and presented over 160 world, American, and Chicago premieres of new repertoire. Since 2005, the chorale has been directed by composer and conductor Paul French, whom had a close collegial relationship with the founder as his mentor, and whose continued excellence with the ensemble underscores continuity of purpose and style. As an important voice in contemporary American music, Mr. French has written more than 200 instrumental and choral works, psalm settings, and acclamations in a variety of media including works for choir, voice, organ, brass, and orchestra.

The second new recording from Cedille’s trio of May releases is a significant treatise on music from the early and mid-20th century Jewish diaspora, Jewish Cabaret in Exile by the New Budapest Orpheum. Under the direction of artistic director Phillip V. Bohlman, the ensemble has recorded a collection of songs composed from exile poetry by collaborators Hanns Eisler and Kurt Tucholsky, solo compositions by Eisler, and Viktor Ullmann’s 1944 set of Three Yiddish Songs (Březulinka), op. 53. The group also includes cabaret songs set to texts that reflect a wide spectrum on the human condition of exile and the meaning of survival, written by Edmund Nick and Erich Kästner, and Georg Kreisler. Finally, the disc captures the essence of some of the finest songs lifted from the scores of Yiddish and postwar stage and screen of the period, by Moses Milner, Mordechai Gebirtig, Abraham Ellstein, and Friedrich Holländer.

The New Budapest Orpheum Society is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Chicago and draws upon a wide range of repertories, all poignantly revealing the stories, beliefs, and feelings behind the music from the great tradition of Jewish cabaret.

 Dating from 1978 and 1985, Romantic Music for Piano Four Hands is a May 2009 compilation reissue of two well-received recordings by the Buccheri/Boldrey Piano Duet. The duo made their debut at North Park University in Chicago during the early 1970s, when both members, Elizabeth Buccheri and Richard Boldrey were faculty members. Their residency resulted in continuous sold-out concerts at North Park and launched the team into wider performance, as they appeared regularly on “Live from WFMT” broadcasts and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in downtown Chicago. From 1978, the duo recorded over half of the works reissued on this disc (the first Onslow Sonata, and works by Balakirev, Liszt, and Wagner). A second set of masters were captured in 1985 (Onslow Sonata No. 2, and works by Reger and Grieg). About the first original LP of Romantic Music for Two Pianos, Fan fare magazine wrote, “This record is a winner…. Boldrey and Buccheri don’t just play the notes. They enjoy the music, and convey that enjoyment tangibly….”

1 Comment

  • Justice says:

    “Mr. Ginsburg’s vision was to produce and promote recordings by Chicago musicians, performing important repertoire, overlooked by the major labels.” the vision is very inspiring, tis guy did a great job.