111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon: a great collection!

 

There are not a lot of companies with the prestige of Deutsce Grammophon. In its more than 100 years life, the German company became almost synonymous to recorded classical music, pasting in Vinyl, CD or just bits the greatest names of classical stardom. The well-known yellow badge was always a proof of quality, for many the main reason for purchasing and rarely if ever a source of dissapointment.

I’m very happy to read that a new collection has just came out from its vast catalogue. There is the «small» yellow with the basics, but the really good staff in the «big» red (55 cds in total). There you’re going to find the things we grew-up with: Karajan, Bernstein, Barenboim, Argerich, κτλ. This box-set contains the history of classical recording and worths acquiring without a second thought!

Review

«With 111 years of history behind it, Deutsche Grammophon remains the world’s largest and proudest classical music label. Since its 100th anniversary eleven years ago, it has continued to thrive in an especially challenging global environment for recorded music. For me, in nearly two decades of leading the worldwide classical-music business for Universal, it has been a huge but rewarding challenge to help guide this great label into the future. Deutsche Grammophon continues to flourish because it has never lost sight of its underlying philosophy: Support the artist with the means to make great music and deliver this great music to the public in a beautiful package with creative ideas.» Christopher Roberts President Classics and Jazz Universal Music Group InternationalFor me, Deutsche Grammophon’s anniversary also represents an exceptionally fruitful collabo-ration between artist and record label. I congratulate Deutsche Grammophon’s great team on this unique anniversary – may they continue to bring unprecedented beauty to the ears of the world. Anne-Sophie Mutter

In the world of classical music, Deutsche Grammophon’s Yellow Label has long been acknowl-edged as a symbol of high quality, and it still is today. My own relationship with the company, although not exclusive, has been an extremely productive one, and it has been going on for about forty percent of Deutsche Grammo­phon’s 111-year history! Plácido Domingo

My earliest musical memories are my mother playing the piano and the sounds from my parents’ record collection. Those records, mainly Deutsche Grammophon LPs, were both my conserva-tory and the gates to a magic world of possibility in sound and drama. When listening to them as a child growing up in a small town in Argentina in the 1960s, I was in the house, in the world, but in another world as well. This form of ritual listening has changed with the new technologies, but I will cherish it forever, as a key experience of my early life and one that also shaped me as an adult. I feel profoundly grateful for those memories, and honoured to have my music now part of the DG world. Osvaldo Golijov

What makes DG such a special record company? It’s much more than an impressive history, tradition and catalogue. It’s the people at the label who carry the torch into the future and make up a real family and creative home for so many of today’s musicians. Everyone in this team im-plements a strong and courageous vision with total dedication and energy – not only physical and mental, but often emotional as well. For that is truly what makes the difference: they engage their hearts to create a fertile and inspiring environment for us musicians. Congratulations on this remarkable anniversary and many happy returns. Hélène Grimaud

It is a great honour for me to join DG’s family of exceptional musicians and singers, and to be part of a label which has an extremely rich history and tradition. For me, DG is also a testimony of past and future generations and I would like to carry on this tradition. Patricia Petibon

Since I came to Deutsche Grammophon, my life has been one exciting musical challenge after another. And my record company is always by my side to capture every moment for listeners and viewers everywhere. Thank you, DG, and Happy Birthday! Anna Netrebko

Deutsche Grammophon has given me and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela incredible opportunities and encouragement. Thank you, DG, and congratulations on another milestone anniversary. Gustavo Dudamel

Deutsche Grammophon represents a wonderful tradition of making timeless music accessible to many people and preserving great interpretations for future generations. I admire DG because both of these things are of paramount importance to me as a musician and as a human being. In its 111 years Deutsche Grammophon managed to find unique synergy between the traditional and the new. I felt this very strongly in all our col­laborations. I salute this amazing label and wish its team continued success and inspiration. Lang Lang

I have recorded for Deutsche Grammophon for nearly 40 years. During this time we have docu­mented a large part of my repertoire, including major works of contemporary music. I have always found the greatest professionalism in the people who collaborate with me – from executives to recording producers and technicians. I shall always be grateful to Deutsche Grammophon for enabling me to work under the best imaginable conditions. Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft in all these years has played a highly important role in producing discs which, along with the most famous titles, also include important works that are not so popular – with a strong presence in chamber and early as well as contemporary music. In the difficult current situation, nearly all the recording companies and concert organizations find themselves confronted with an awkward decision: should they take the easier, more com-mercial path, based on easily marketable works? In my view, that would be a great mistake. My wish is that the all-important role of these institutions in making all music available will con-tinue in the future. I am convinced that despite the difficulties in the long run that would be the more fortunate choice. Maurizio Pollini

My father worked in a recording company when I was a boy, and he used to bring a lot of LPs to our house. He brought mostly recordings from the label he was working with (CBS), but some-times also some from other labels and whenever he brought home a DG album, it somehow seemed to me that it «weighed» more. What made it heavier? Tradition, quality, art – and some¬thing else that I was not able to explain then. I felt that what I held in my hands (and heard in my ears) was not only an LP, but an artistic object, a little treasure. The same elements that gave weight to LPs then continue to be present in the CD of today, but DG has also been alert and dynamic, and reacted to the challenges of modernity. It remains the label with the oldest and best tradition, but is also the most modern classical label. Being part of DG is a big responsibil-ity and has allowed me to understand that other element I could not explain as a child: What makes DG the label it is, are the people working there. All of them are knowledgeable, passion-ate, adventurous and full of enthusiasm. To all of those who have built the great yellow label in these 111 years I say «Congratulations», and to all of you whom I am lucky to work with I say, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you! Rolando Villazón

To me, Deutsche Grammophon represents a record company that is the reference standard for classical music, so it meant a great deal to me when at the age of 40 I first signed with them. To be accepted by that family of musicians gave me a very good feeling. My best reminiscences of DG have to include recording the Schumann Concerto with Claudio Ab-bado. That was very special. Another special moment was when I signed my first contract in the old Vienna office with Aman Pedersen, and I still think very fondly of the first meeting I ever had with Dr. Andreas Holschneider, and how he impressed me with his culture and vast knowledge. The quality of the recordings on the DG label is always very high indeed. The expertise of the recording teams I have worked with has always been of the very highest order, and I have had the good fortune of working with the same Tonmeister (Helmut Burk) on most of my records. DG has always provided excellent conditions in which to work (something not always found in the recording business), and I am most appre­ciative for the support and understanding I have received from the company during the many years of our collaboration. Maria João Pires

Deutsche Grammophon for me has always meant a guarantee of quality. Now it’s also a musical family I feel very close to, with the finest artists and the top professionals in the recording busi-ness. If you work with only the best, then the results are bound to be the best. Elīna Garanča

Deutsche Grammophon and I have had a wonderful working relationship for close to two dec-ades. No label could be more open to its artists’ wishes, and for me that’s meant doing a huge variety of repertoire. When I was keen to make a Wagner disc with Claudio [Abbado] and the Berlin Phil, DG was only too happy to make that possible. And when I wanted to do an album of Lerner and Loewe, they were with me all the way. One couldn’t ask for more. I look forward to many more years of this rewarding collabora­tion and wish Deutsche Grammophon all the best on its anniversary. Bryn Terfel

With Deutsche Grammophon I have at my disposal the finest recording engineers and an artistic team that perfectly understands my musical intentions – in short, Deutsche Grammophon and I speak the same language. Herbert von Karajan (1968)

Deutsche Grammophon represents to me – and to the music industry – an ideal platform for «re-cording» in the classical sense of the word as well as a constant source of fresh ideas in new pro-ductions. May these qualities continue to distinguish the label and ensure its illustrious reputation! Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Deutsche Grammophon for me has always been the outstanding label in classical music. So it was a dream come true when, after recording Mahler’s «Des Knaben Wunderhorn» with Claudio Ab-bado and the Berliner Philharmoniker, I was offered an exclusive contract. Ten years have passed since then. During this time I’ve even had the opportunity to make a jazz album for the classical label Deutsche Grammophon, and that’s been a special source of joy and great pride. Thomas Quasthoff

It has been a pleasure to have collaborated with Deutsche Grammophon since 1967. From the start, this experience has been enjoyable: imagine what it’s like to begin one’s relationship by recording the Prokofiev and Ravel piano con­certos with Martha Argerich and the Berliner Philharmoniker! And now, for more than forty years, we have maintained this outstanding rela-tionship – based on common aesthetic, artistic, and technical aims. During these four decades, Deutsche Grammophon committed itself to make great recordings with Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, and Schubert cycles – as well as Mozart’s major operas. It is a wonderful opportunity for an artist to record for DG, not only because of its unparalleled history but for its artistic ex-cellence. I’ve witnessed its continual support for both musicians and for outstanding orchestras like the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as for new orchestras such as the Mozart Orchestra with which we have recently recorded Mozart’s late symphonies and Pergolesi’s sacred master-works — I have deeply enjoyed working with such passionate professionals, devoted to their cause and sharing common ambitions to serve music, musicians, and repertoire. Happy anniversary, Deutsche Grammophon, Claudio Abbado

Since the recording of my first «Parsifal», in 1970, DG has played a central role in the preser-vation, promotion and distribution of my interpretations. With all my best wishes for your con-tinued success. Pierre Boulez

It is so rewarding to collaborate artistically with a company that has such a legacy of mutual respect and understanding with its artists. I have enjoyed every minute of my part in that legacy, and I’m honoured to be connected with the company’s illustrious name. May Deutsche Gram-mophon flourish another 111 – or 222 or 333! – years to continue to make history. Hilary Hahn

There are not many of us lucky artists of my generation who were given the extraordi­nary chance to get married to a major recording label so young. Over the years making recordings has become an essential part of my work. I am grateful for any soul who – surely feeling from time to time like Don Quixote – cares and battles for classical ­music and its future. Thank you to every one who makes these unique and special experiences happen. Happy anniversary! Magdalena Kozená

Even before we became Deutsche Grammophon artists in 1987, and in the 22 years since, we have always thought of DG as the pinnacle of achievement in the classical recording industry. We were thrilled when we learned of the company’s interest in us; it was an honour to be in-cluded among the legendary musicians on its roster. Having recorded a great deal of the mag-nificent string quartet repertoire, and quintets with such artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Me-nahem Pressler and Leon Fleisher, we feel that our relationship with DG has represented a major part of our career and will form an even greater part of our legacy. Eugene Drucker, for the Emerson String Quartet

I have had a great 15 years working with Deutsche Grammophon, starting from «early» early music and ending up with many of the classics of the oratorio tradition. DG has always been an artistic family; and I was honoured and privileged to be a part of it and to follow such a great legacy of fantastic musicians in history. Paul McCreesh

Deutsche Grammophon represents to me a fine team of people which, despite turbulent market times, is committed to producing core classical music documents of uncompromised quality. Deutsche Grammophon is now a great partner in my musical life. Vadim Repin

I’ve been a professional musician for over three decades now, and I thought there were few dreams left unrealized, but when I saw the first Deutsche Grammophon release of my own works it felt like some kind of milestone. To have one’s own music alongside the old masters on a label committed to the best is an awesome and somewhat scary privilege. Esa-Pekka Salonen

I came to Deutsche Grammophon with totally different projects from anything I’d done before, and the DG team has always given me the freedom to realize them with complete confidence. I’m also honoured that my previous recital discs have all been reissued by this prestigious label and integrated into its catalogue for worldwide release. Deutsche Grammophon continues to re-spond to and support my aspirations. Roberto Alagna

It is so rewarding to collaborate artistically with a company that has such a legacy of mutual respect and understanding with its artists. I have enjoyed every minute of my part in that legacy, and I’m honoured to be connected with the company’s illustrious name. It is a surprising fact that the Amadeus Quartet, in its recording history from 1950 until 1987, encompassed, with the exception of course of the pre-electric period, the entire history of recording from the 78s (in-cluding the brief time DG had the 9-minute side) to 33s and finally CDs. I well remember Dr. Steinhausen, who was responsible for the excellent reputation of DG’s superb quality of recording and frequently had us to lunch while we were in Hannover for re-cordings. Now that my three colleagues have all died, and I alone am alive to see the latest celebration of DG, I would like to take this opportunity of wishing DG a further 50 years of success. Martin Lovett (cellist, Amadeus Quartet)

I am happy and grateful to be one of the Deutsche Grammophon artists celebrating 111 years of its history. This 3-digit number is a triple confirmation of the company’s fidelity to classical mu-sic, to its professionalism, and to its willingness to share the beauty of art with millions of music lovers all around the world. I also firmly believe that Deutsche Grammophon’s respect for tradi-tion and never-ending quest for perfection will ensure that these words are still true 111 years from now. Rafał Blechacz

Product Description

Jacketed in their original cover-art, the fifty-five albums that comprise The Collector’s Edition offer decade-spanning highlights of Deutsche Grammophon’s master musicians interpreting masterworks. These landmark albums offer their complete, original programs and, in some cases, additional music has been added. Thoughtfully chosen and unprecedented in scope, this 55-CD anthology of pivotal Deutsche Grammophon artists – from Claudio Abbado to Krystian Zimerman – covers centuries of music – from Monteverdi to Pärt – giving tangible testimony to our company’s commitment to audio quality equal to these musicians’ talents. While no collection surveying 111 years of Deutsche Grammophon can be comprehensive on (only!) fifty-five discs; as a «miniature musical reference library», The Collector’s Edition is the classical-music jukebox of one’s dreams – and is offered at an exceptional price.
 
 
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