Founded in 2013
Audax Records is an innovative, artist driven, independent European classical label devoted to presenting high quality recordings of neglected masterworks. Audax Records combines ambitious programmes with thorough musicological research and compelling music making and wants to offer unique and refined recordings of the highest artistic calibre.
Every project is re-invented from scratch in order to grant the music its befitting artistic context. In six years, Audax Records has established an impressive family of artists with some of the most sought-after young instrumentalists and singers. Great critical acclaim, commercial success, numerous nominations and multiple awards confirm and fuel the audacious undertaking.
“I believe in the creative power of my Audax family and try to guide our artists through the process of making records that are important additions to the repertoire, that complement our understanding of music history and that carefully help establish their careers.”
Johannes Pramsohler, executive producer and artistic director
What is the purpose of the Audax label?
Johannes Pramsohler: Audax Records is an artists’ label. An artistic platform for the musicians of Ensemble Diderot and associated artists. Our principal purpose is to enrich the musical landscape with recordings of little-known or unpublished works. Our projects are the fruit of our exacting musical and musicological standards and take our listeners off the beaten track, but are not aimed at a “niche” audience. They are aimed at the broadest possible range of listeners, whom we wish to guide on journeys into new territories: voyages of discovery and understanding of the entourage of a familiar composer such as Bach or Handel; a sojourn in the musical life of a particular city, country or period; the exploration of a particular musical genre.
I feel it is important to provide historical, geographical and biographical context as an integral part of listening to music. Audax proposes a rich and immersive experience which is enhanced by the “didactic” element inherent in our projects. By learning and accumulating background information, the listener becomes more involved.
I also want Audax Records to help uphold a multi-format industry in which physical albums are as important as digital material. We take particular trouble with our CD booklets - writing the notes, translating them in several languages and designing the cover and packaging. For me each CD is a unique objet d’art.
Why found your own label?
JP: The crisis in the record industry has completely changed the relationship between labels and artists. Long-term projects with a commitment to record several albums have become a rarity, and in addition, the artist is now expected to bear the lion’s share of the cost of the recording. In general, artists make recordings in order to leave their mark, or as a “calling-card”. In my case, there is also a desire to enrich the repertoire and to record previously unrecorded/unpublished material. This desire does not carry much weight with record companies’ directors, who are motivated by immediate profitability. With Audax Records I have total freedom of choice, from the programme itself to the booklet and the marketing. Working closely with our artists’ management teams and applying a 360° vision gives us maximum flexibility to link the label’s editorial policy to our artists’ development strategies.
How to describe the Audax family?
JP: The Audax family grew around a close circle of musicians with strong artistic personalities. They were brought together by an insatiable appetite for discovery, and a desire to offer the public something both new and fascinating. This demanding choice is not without its risks. We are all closely involved with the research for these projects, as well as the production of the booklets and programme notes, striving to produce a truly coherent luxury object.
“Typically it is a smart independent label that has spotted the market opportunity. When independent thinkers lead, establishment dinosaurs follow.”
ON AN OVERGROWN PATH
“Superb engineering which has the musician’s personalities bristling out in glorious technicolour. It’ll really have you appreciating what your sound systems can do.”
“Echte Entdeckungen auf einem Markt, der den Begriff der Entdeckung eigentlich längst verschlissen hat.”
PREIS DER DEUTSCHEN SCHALLPLATTENKRITIK
“Immer wieder programmatisch ambitionierte, in der Ausführung leidenschaftliche Platten.” KLASSIK.COM
“Like many others who review the recordings that seem to flow unendingly from Audax
Records, I really struggle to find words to match not only the super-stylish performances
(which are worth paragraph after paragraph on their own) but also the immaculate recorded sound, the casually informative booklet notes inside the instantly recognisable fold-out covers, and the admirable (and rewarding) desire to seek out truly worthwhile works by composers thus far relegated to the footnotes of musical history that deserve to be better known.” EARLY MUSIC REVIEW
“Beau, élégant, raffiné, un objet comme on les aime.”