First Volume of Pittsburgh Symphony's New Brahms Cycle Released Early

Classic Arts News   First Volume of Pittsburgh Symphony's New Brahms Cycle Released Early
The Pittsburgh Symphony, which earlier this year announced its return to commercial recording on the PentaTone label with an upcoming Brahms Symphony cycle, is seeing its efforts go on sale ahead of schedule. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that PentaTone has decided to release the first volume in the set on August 28 rather than wait until the complete cycle is recorded during the coming season.

The CD, of Brahms's Symphony No. 1 and Variations on a Theme by J. Haydn, is already available at Curtain Call, the Pittsburgh Symphony store, because the orchestra "couldn't wait until [August 28] to sell it and got permission from the label to offer the disc," the newspaper said. The recording will also be available on iTunes the week before its official release date.

The remaining three symphonies in the set will be recorded in November at Heinz Hall. All THE performances are led by PSO principal guest conductor Marek Janowski.

The PSO will own the rights to the recordings, but PentaTone, a audiophile label, will supply the engineers.

The recording was made possible by the agreement signed by several major orchestras and the American Federation of Musicians in August 2006, which greatly reduced recording costs by diminishing upfront payments to musicians for any live recordings sold as CDs or downloads.

Under the agreement, which is based on a new revenue-sharing model, musicians will receive an agreed-upon percentage of sales income from live performances recorded and sold as CDs or downloads. Ownership and copyright will be retained by the orchestras, although third parties (such as a record company) may be awarded temporary distribution licenses. Musicians will also have veto rights over which performances are distributed this way.

Earlier this year, the PSO announced the appointment of Manfred Honeck as music director, effective with the 2008-09 season.

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