I too applaud Bis for making the commitment they do. However, Robert was making it sound like discs such as the Gubaidulina were answering the requests of members here and the sales results were disappointing. (And if I'm overstepping in saying this, please Robert set me straight.)
My point was that he was comparing apples to oranges.
No, you're not overstepping here.
I see the constant "demands", "wish-lists" or whatever one would like to call them, of, shall we say, less than standard repertoire (like Linde, Valen, little-known Liszt etc) from members of this Forum.
And I agree with them - let that be clear.
But, it is one thing to wish and demand, it is another to be the one that has to pay for it, and try to eke out a living doing so. As Seth also said, "the further you get away from the Brandenburgs...", the facts remain that we sell less and less of such repertoire, the further we get away. I find this regrettable and a testimony to the reluctance with many buyers to dare to venture out of the known box to see what else there is.
Shortly said, it is a stretch for us - without any subsidies - to record the modern repertoire at all, and it is true, most of those products are totally supported by our BCJ Cantata series, the Van Beethoven symphonies and some soloists' discs. If it is a stretch to record them at all, it is a far bigger stretch to record and publish them in SACD surround, since the extra costs for us necessitate AT LEAST some 600 extra copies to be sold (there is a very long thread dedicated to this question). It is my feeling that we basically never reach this goal (the 600), and so the correct economical solution is to stop making SACD:s. Bottom-line companies, like Naxos, Telarc and now Hyperion have made the same calculation and drawn the consenquences. BIS so far refuse.
But the general public should be aware that the only way you will get that not-totally-standard repertoire is to support what we SACD labels DO release. When we have gone through the standard repertoire, we have to turn to the non-standard, unless we want to start a second round with those same works.
I think you'll find, if you look at the repertoire offerings from the three biggest SACD labels (Exton excluded, as they aren't available) that BIS is, by a long shot, already now more adventurous (and yet we are so standard in the SACD products that I blush with embarrassment) when it comes to repertoire, and we will continue to be so, more and more, as we hack our way through the standard repertoire. We are now taking the steps to record more non-standard rep on SACD, like the Fitkin piano SACD, Lutoslavski/Dutilleux Cello Concertos, unknown Haydn, Barber/Bernstein/Bloch VC:s, etc.
That is, if we are supported by the buying public...