From 25 years of recording, Cedille founder picks his favorites

Highlights of Cedille Records’ 25-year history, as chosen by James Ginsburg, the label’s founder and company president, in an interview with Kyle MacMillan.

Cedille Medium 3001. Dmitry Paperno Plays Russian Piano Music, Dmitry Paperno, pianist. Released: 1989. “It’s the first CD we ever released, and 25 years later, I would still say that one of the best and most important things I did was coax that wonderful pianist into the studio.”

2. Gian Carlo Menotti: The MediumChicago Opera TheaterLawrence Rapchak, conductor. Released: 1997. “It was the opera’s first appearance on CD, and, at the time, its first appearance in any (recording) format in over a quarter century. It’s based on a Chicago Opera Theater production.”

3. African Heritage Symphonic Series, Volume I, Chicago SinfoniettaPaul Freeman, conductor. Released: 2000. “Championing the work of composers of color has been one of the hallmarks of the label, and that is one of the seminal discs in that effort.”

4. Brahms & Joachim Violin Concertos, Rachel Barton Pine, violinist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Kalmar, conductor. Released: 2003. “It is one of our two recordings with the Chicago Symphony and our best-selling disc ever, and it was nominated for a Grammy (Award) in the best-engineered classical recording category.”

5. La vie est une parade, Patrice Michaels, soprano, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor. Released: 2003. “This is a personal favorite. Patrice Michaels was an artist on the label for close to 20 years before she and I hooked up and got married.”

6. Piano Español, Jorge Federico Osorio, pianist. Released: 2004. “I had to pick one with our sort of current piano-in-residence, Jorge Federico Osorio, and this is his first album for the label, and it is a really lovely program.”

7. The Pulitzer ProjectGrant Park Orchestra and ChorusCarlos Kalmar, conductor. Released: 2011. “It was a brilliant idea that came from the Grant Park Music Festival. It features  three of the first four Pulitzer Prize winners in music, and, amazingly, it’s the first-ever recording of two of them.”

meanwhile by eighth blackbird on Cedille8. meanwhile, eighth blackbird. Released: 2012. “This is the latest from eighth blackbird, and their third Grammy winner in a row for us.”

9. The Soviet Experience, Volume III, Pacifica Quartet. Released: 2013. “That’s three out of four (volumes) in our cycle of Shostakovich quartets, plus quartets by other Soviet composers, and I chose Vol. 3, because it has my personal favorite of the Shostakovich cycle, the Ninth Quartet.”

10. Violin Lullabies, Rachel Barton Pine, violin, Matthew Hagle, pianist. Released: 2013. “You’ve got the brilliant concept with a real story behind it. You’ve got really great selections from composers well known and totally obscure, but all the pieces are extremely high quality. Then, of course, there is the playing itself.”