March 21, 2008

At a time when pundits continue to predict the death of physical recordings, the always-against-the-grain Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) has launched a new CD label, BMOP/sound. Their initial release is the first complete recording of John Harbison’s 1984 ballet Ulysses. Nine additional releases are scheduled to come out a month at a time for the remainder of 2008.

According to Gil Rose, BMOP’s founding Artistic Director and the Executive Producer of BMOP/sound, “BMOP’s mission has always been to bring the classical music audience closer to the music of its own time by performing new works and rediscovering underappreciated, important works from the 20th Century. BMOP/sound gives us the opportunity to broaden that mission to a global audience.”

The remaining 2008 titles, which are almost exclusively single-composer discs of American music, are:

Michael Gandolfi, Y2K Compliant

Lee Hyla, Lives of the Saints (featuring mezzo-soprano, Marry Nessinger)

Gunther Schuller, Journey Into Jazz (featuring the composer narrating)

Charles Fussell, Wilde (featuring baritone Sanford Sylvan)

Lukas Foss, The Prairie (featuring the Providence Singers)

Louis Andriessen, La Passione (featuring mezzo-soprano Cristina Zavalloni and violinist Monica Germino)

David Rakowski, Winged Contraption (featuring pianist Marilyn Nonken)

John Cage, 16 Dances

John Harbison, Full Moon in March (featuring soprano Janna Baty, mezzo-soprano Lorraine DiSimone, and baritone James Maddalena)

Projects are additionally in the works for recordings of Steve Mackey’s Dreamhouse and Eric Sawyer’s opera Our American Cousin, as well as compositions by a broad range of American composers including George Antheil, Milton Babbitt, Arthur Berger, Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Martin Boykan, Henry Cowell, Anthony David, Jacob Druckman, Robert Erickson, Alan Hovhaness, Arthur Levering, Eric Moe, Paul Moravec, Elliott Schwartz, Ezra Sims, Virgil Thomson, Ken Ueno, and Reza Vali.

BMOP/sound discs come packaged in a slightly oversized by ecologically-friendly digipac which also contains an extensively annotated program booklet. And if the first release is a harbinger of what’s to come, the musical content promises to be extremely generous as well-- clocking in at an almost unprecented total of eighty minutes and thirty-two seconds, BMOP/sound’s recording of Ulysses is one of the longest commercially-issued CDs ever released.

BMOP/sound’s nine recordings significantly increase BMOP’s discography which already includes 13 commercially released CDs the orchestra has recorded for a variety of labels (Albany, Arsis, Cantaloupe, Chandos, Naxos, New World, and Oxingale). BMOP/sound CD recordings will be distributed by Albany Music Distributors, coupled with global online distribution. Plus, to service mp3 partisans, an interactive BMOP website with digital download capabilities is planned for later in 2008. For more information visit the label’s recently-launched website,