By Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s first CD on its own label, ASO Media, became available in stores and online this week.
The inaugural release features music director Robert Spano leading the ASO in Jennifer Higdon’s new concerto “On a Wire,” including the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird. The recording also includes Michael Gandolfi’s “Q.E.D.: Engaging Richard Feynman,” highlighting the ASO Chorus.
Both works were commissioned by the ASO and given world-premiere performances at Symphony Hall in June 2010. Higdon and Gandolfi are members of the Atlanta School of Composers, an ASO program through which contemporary compositions are nurtured, commissioned and recorded.
Two more ASO Media recordings, also distributed by Tennessee-based Naxos of America, will be released in 2011: Christopher Theofanidis’s “Symphony” in spring, and a fall release that includes pianist Garrick Ohlsson playing Rachmaninov.
The ASO’s long-time label Telarc stopped making classical CDs last year. Other orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, have also launched their own labels as the classical music recording industry realigns itself.