National Association Of Recording Merchandisers To Issue Classical CD

NARM released similar set in 1999.

Violinsts Kennedy and Giuliano Carmignola, pianists Naida Cole and Arcadi Volodos and singers Andreas Scholl, Susan Graham and Natalie Dessay will contribute to a new compilation classical CD being assembled by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM). The as-yet-untitled album is scheduled to be released in March with a price tag of $1.98.

"Today there are so many areas of classics being fully exploited and excellent artists representing them and it's incumbent on us to give a really good snapshot of what's out there to the person who may be interested in classics," said Mark Forlow, Angel Records vice president of sales and co-chair of NARM's jazz and classics forum.

The forum is made of retailers and wholesalers, distributors, labels and other suppliers who get together four or so times a year to discuss specific industry-related issues. "In terms of classical music, any opportunity to get these folks in a room together and discuss the issues, generate interest — not just to sell records, but to think what they can do to improve it — that's where NARM sees its role to bring various segments together and address the challenges that are affecting that part of the marketplace," said Holly Rosum, director of membership and public affairs for NARM.

This is the second classical sampler NARM has released. The first was issued in 1999 and featured a range of recordings, from both major and independent labels, including Chatham Baroque performing Sanz's Canaries and Marcelo Alvarez's recording of Verdi's Le Donna e Mobile. According to Rosum, that first sampler topped the budget classical charts.

"We haven't decided on a title yet or a definite cover art concept, but we're trying to make the cover bold but friendly, accessible, and appeal to the younger artists," Forlow said. "I think the last time, we went with a cover that had some classic images like pearls and wine glasses and we're going to try to not go with that kind of image. We're going to try to do something slightly left of Carnegie Hall."

Proceeds from the recording will be donated to NARM's scholarship foundation which helps needy students pursue studies at the school of their choice.