A New, Nonprofit Record Label

May 10, 2012

Their own opening statement tells the remarkable story:

Odradek Records is not just a new record label. Odradek Records is the first wedge of a larger project, proposing a new way to produce and enjoy classical music. We think that the current model undermines the true essence and significance of music. We think that a model centered on just a few big names, the great concert halls, a limited repertoire that is necessarily restricted by the bonds of popularity a model that makes its selection of new young performers from the anti-musical system of competitions, the success of which is often obtained through extravagant histrionics rather than the correctness or subtlety of interpretation and finally, a model that is subject to the exploitation of the marketplace, and which obliges the majority of musicians to pay enormous sums to record CDs, for which the profits then go largely to the record company, thus depriving many very worthy but not wealthy musicians from the possibility of recording is not only a model that is far from art, but is a model that even itself is in crisis. Ideally, music just as other primary goods, should not fall subject to the markets. We know that in a strict sense, this is utopian, but it is precisely this tension towards an unreachable utopia that guides our project.Odradek Records is a non-profit seeking label. Once production and distribution expenses are recuperated, all of our proceeds go directly to the artist.

Odradek Records selects its artists solely through the criterion of utmost quality of the recording and the interest of the proposed program. We don’t want to exclude, but rather include: we are not interested if you have won important competitions or not, neither if you have performed in important halls or signed with major labels. We are not interested in your age or where you come from. The only thing that interests us is whether you play your instrument to a very high and professional level. With us you can record Chopin, but you can also record: Berio, Scelsi, Copland, Carter, Webern, Schönberg, Ligeti, Kurtag, Ives, and many others.

The first four releases flesh out exactly what they mean by all that.

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