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Charting Their Own Paths: Top 5 Orchestral Albums Produced In-house

In these times of instability in the recording industry, more and more Symphony Orchestras (like the Cincinnati Symphony, photographed here) are making their own albums.
Cincinnati Symphony
In these times of instability in the recording industry, more and more Symphony Orchestras (like the Cincinnati Symphony, photographed here) are making their own albums.

It's old news that technological advances have rattled the grand old record labels. The golden era of companies like EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA and Columbia has come and (mostly) gone. It's been sobering for orchestras that once luxuriated in fancy recording contracts. But there's a silver lining, as the same advances in recording and distribution have enabled orchestras, chamber groups and even soloists to create in-house labels, gaining freedom rarely available when titanic companies set the rules. Below are five releases from American orchestras on their very own labels. Each one makes a distinctive statement, not by pandering to popular tastes, but by playing to each ensemble's strengths.

(Have your own favorite self-produced classical records of 2011? Let us know in the comments section.)

Brian McCreath is a radio host and producer for Classical New England, a service of WGBH Boston.

Copyright 2011 GBH

Brian McCreath