Here’s what they are telling us:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2013
THE ORCHARD AND MELODIYA ANNOUNCE THE DIGITAL RELEASE
OF 750 RECORDINGS FROM THE HISTORIC MELODIYA ARCHIVE ON iTUNES
The first titles to be released exclusively on iTunes beginning September 17, 2013
NEW YORK, NY; MOSCOW, RS – The Orchard, a pioneering music, film and video distribution company and the iconic Russian record label Melodiya (Russian: Мелодия) announce the digital release of 750 titles from Melodiya’s historic catalogue to be made available exclusively on iTunes. The first albums will be released on iTunes beginning on September 17 with a second group scheduled for early November. iTunes is also hand-selecting titles to feature in a dedicatedMelodiya section of the store. Other digital service providers will begin offering Melodiya titles after the New Year. This announcement celebrates the result of a long-term initiative to digitize Melodiya’s catalogue and the first time Melodiya’s classical catalog has ever been available for download.
Since Melodiya gained ownership of its catalogue from the former Soviet Union, it has reinvigorated its imprint, which began with a strategic move in June 2013 to re-release some of their popular recordings on the vinyl format. In addition to the reintroduction of vinyl releases, Melodiya has invested significant resources in re-mastering the original recordings, digitizing them and making them available for sale globally.
Andrey Krichevsky, CEO for Melodiya, says “Digitizing the catalogue for download was a natural step forward in making Melodiya’s repertoire widely available. Over time, the tape archive has become less protected from the environment, and we realized that it was critical to try and revitalize this recorded legacy for future generations.”
The newly available digital collection will feature recordings from Melodiya’s historic classical catalogue, including notable artists such as conductors Evgeny Svetlanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Kirill Kondrashin, Yevgeny Mravinsky; pianists Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, Maria Grinberg, Glenn Gould, Yevgeny Kissin, Maria Yudina, and Van Cliburn; violinists David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan; violist Yuri Bashmet; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, and Daniil Shafran; the Borodin and Beethoven string quartets; and opera singers Feodor Chaliapin, Galina Vishnevskaya, and Irina Arkhipova.
Brad Navin, CEO for The Orchard, says, “Melodiya represents a wealth of the most authentic Soviet era recordings featuring the works of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and other greats. We are proud to work with this historic label and happy that many of the recorded masters were able to be preserved to be available to the world digitally.”
Highlights from the classical releases will include a complete set of Mahler symphonies with Kirill Kondrashin; Symphony Nos. 4 & 6 by Mieczysław Weinberg, also with Kondrashin; the complete Sibelius and Prokofiev symphonies with Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the USSR State Radio and TV Orchestra; Bruckner’s 8th and 9th symphonies with Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic; the complete string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich with the Borodin Quartet as well as select Shostakovich quartets featuring the Beethoven Quartet (the quartet who premiered 13 out of Shostakovich’s 15 string quartets); Shostakovich violin and viola sonatas featuring David Oistrakh, Yuri Bashmet, and Sviatoslav Richter. Other highlights include Schnittke’s Faust Concerto and Concerto Grosso with Natalia Gutman, Oleg Kagan, and Raisa Kotova, led by Gennady Rozhdestvensky; the complete Beethoven sonatas with pianist Maria Grinberg; and many rare recordings by David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Elizaveta Gilels, Leonid Kogan, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Yevgeny Kissin and others.
Non-classical titles will include popular Soviet bands such as Zemlyane, Pesnyary, Samotsvety; the Azerbaijani vocal jazz quartet “Gaya”, instrumental ensemble Melodiya, series such as Sdelano V Sssr and Musical Cocktail; Kamarinskaya / Russian Balalaika, and representatives of Soviet funk and jazz. Melodiya also plans to release recordings of the iconic Russian artist Vladimir Vysotsky.