The American Symphony Orchestra has announced that its inaugural digital recordings are now available for sale, documenting performances archived since the orchestra’s formation in 1962. The first 60 recordings were released last week and are being sold at iTunes, Amazon, and other online retailers, with another eighteen titles scheduled for release on July 23 and additional releases coming in August. The releases were made possible by an agreement with ASO’s musicians, who forewent the traditional advance payment for recordings in exchange for the lion’s share of the royalties. “The orchestra as an institution does not expect to profit with money from this initiative but with recognition for our performances and for these rare masterpieces,” said executive director Lynne Meloccaro. “Income will go straight to the musicians or to offset expenses. Our intention is to preserve and make available what in some cases are the only existing recordings of these works.” Among the summer’s scheduled releases, all led by Music Director Leon Botstein, are four for which the ASO says no other recording is available: Still’s Africa, Marx’s Eine Herbstsymphonie, Achron’s Epitaph to Scriabin, and Braunfels’s Don Juan.

Posted July 13, 2010