The Academy of Ancient Music has launched its own record label, AAM Records. Previously largely affiliated with Decca and Harmonia Mundi with over 300 discs to its name, the AAM will now control all its future recordings, continuing a commitment to historically-informed Baroque and Classical performance. The AAM will also produce in-house podcasts, liner notes and films, designed to enhance the listener’s understanding of the music. The period instrument ensemble plans to expand its global audience, too, developing its work in the Far East, America and Australia.
Initially, the group will release two discs per season. In the first year, ‘Birth of the Symphony: Handel to Haydn’ is planned for October 2013 and Bach’s St John Passion (1724 version) for February 2014. Releases in the second year are Bach’s Orchestral Suites (October 2014) and St Matthew Passion (1727 version) in February 2015. The AAM’s music director Richard Egarr will direct all four initial releases and will work with guests soloists including Sarah Connolly and James Gilchrist. The ensemble plans to record further large-scale choral works and orchestral repertoire alongside smaller works in the future.
‘I am so excited about AAM Records,’ said Egarr. ‘There are many things I would love to record with the AAM and having our own label will allow us the freedom to explore a wide range of repertoire over the coming years. Being in-house offers us the benefit of being able to take the utmost care and to attain the highest possible standards in both sound and performance. I am hugely proud of our new baby.’
Founded in 1973 by Christopher Hogwood, the AAM is an associate ensemble at London’s Barbican Centre and is also orchestra-in-residence at the University of Cambridge.