Named after Handel’s opera, Acis and Galatea, Acis is a boutique label with a roster that boasts both emerging and Grammy-nominated classical artists. Acis receives consistent praise for capturing these artists with all the energy and flair of a live performance.
“…I am struck, as in recent years, by how much the small independent labels, including new ones, have been breaking through with exciting recordings.”
ANTHONY TOMMASINI, The New York Times
“2014 Critics’ Choice” (Acis: Bach, Louprette)
Acis is committed to design excellence and believes the CD format essential to the classical market – particularly in connecting artists with audiences – and to successful digital social promotion and distribution channels. Physical distribution is through Albany, digital downloads are managed through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, iTunes and CDBaby.
Specializing in early music, vocal and keyboard, Acis has received praise for its “brilliantly balanced” (Organ Canada) recordings and its natural sound. “The tone is warm but very clear and with excellent presence…the perfect recording for listeners who really want to hear every detail of these pieces,” said the American Record Guide. The recordings have been called “quietly mesmerizing” (New York Times); “superbly produced,” (Fanfare); “a special treat,” (WSHU’s Sunday Baroque); and “recommended” (Alex Ross on his blog The Rest Is Noise.com).
Performances include the “breathtaking recital” (Huffington Post) of early music ensemble, Quicksilver. Their recordings have been cited for “outlandish virtuosity…all the panache and thrilling technical flair we’ve come to expect,” (CDHotlist); “technically expert, flexible in phrasing, and stylish in ornamentation, fully aware of this music’s rich sense of theatre” (Fanfare); and “convincing…terrific” (Early Music – Oxford Journal). Fantasticus was singled out by critic Alex Ross, and was one of the New Yorker’s “Ten Notable Recordings of 2014”.
Other accolade-winning artists include the ethereal Antioch Chamber Ensemble, “chorus sings gloriously throughout, with a faultless sense of style” (Fanfare); the “complete master” of the fortepiano, Sylvia Berry, “a wonderful debut” (Early Music America); and double bass player, Logan Coale and Grammy-winning bass-baritone, Dashon Burton, “it is their chemistry as a duo that ensures the success of the cycle…one worth owning” (American Record Guide).
Some of the finest organists appear on Acis, including Renée Anne Louprette, lauded for her “well-schooled musicality” (Choir & Organ) her Bach chosen by music critics of the New York Times to represent recordings of 2014; Christian Wilson, organist of the Tower of London, received high praise from Oscar-winning sound designer and editor, Walter S. Murch, “…it is expertly and artistically played, and beautifully recorded”; Margaret Lacy, “A revelation…” (Jack Bethards, CEO of Schoenstein & Co.), and and the “exciting, expressive and successful” (Church Music Quarterly) Isabelle Demers. Pipedreams presenter Michael Barone described her performance of Reger’s op.73 as “a masterful score, here masterfully played,” and WQXR as “the most exciting performance…in a generation…” Fanfare called it “A dizzying display, but spellbinding…a brilliantly played program,” and Choir & Organ said it was “thoroughly convincing … virtuosic.” Of her second CD, of works by organist-composer Rachel Laurin, Choir & Organ said it “cements the promise of last year’s debut.”
Acis works with some of the most talented audio engineers in the business:
Marlan Barry (Eggar: Bach cello suites, Hubbell: Bawd Ballads, Woods: Corelli’s influence, Trinity Wall St: The Choral works of Trevor Weston, Trinity Wall Street: Spirituals);
Jim Curtis New Orchestra of Washington: Mahler 4);
Simon Eadon (Demers: the old and the new, Demers: Rachel Laurin Oeuvres pour orgue);
Christoph Frommen (Ryan: Fusion);
Steve Garnett (Wilson: Commotio);
Leonard Manchess (Trinity Wall Street: The Choral works of Trevor Weston)
Dongsok Shin (Quicksilver: Stile Moderno);
Loren Stata (Demers: Chorale Fantasias of Max Reger, Lacy: Phoenix Rising, Quicksilver: Fantasticus, Burton/Coale: Holocaust 1944, Antioch: though love be a day, Berry: Haydn London Sonatas, Rideout: Britten and Finzi Song Cycles, Pacoe: Crossroads.
Founder and lead producer Geoffrey Silver also produces recordings for other labels: for the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street (Messiah), The Clarion Music Society (Handel), twice Grammy-nominated ensemble New York Polyphony (Devices & Desires), The Sebastians (night scenes from the ospedale) and Isabelle Demers at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.