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”. “…commands attention…Fantasticus, indeed.” (Gramophone).
Other accolade-winning artists include Baroque violinist, Alex Woods – “his tone is beautiful and his intonation flawless” (EMAg) and “entirely exciting” (Österreichische Musikzeitschrift); 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) and for being “technically assured, highly articulate, and musical,” (The Diapason); her Bach chosen by music critics of the New York Times to represent recordings of the year; 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.”