Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Though anniversaries and birthdays have occasionally been celebrated too often, the history of Deutsche Grammophon and the landmark recordings the label has produced warrant not only celebration but also intense scrutiny. The more one searches and listens the more one finds. Deutsche Grammophon is Universal’s oldest active label and for over 111 years has been a market leader and innovator with a roster of the world’s greatest musicians. With the purpose of recording great artists performing great music, DG records Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart as well as Boulez, Gubaidulina, Nono and Stockhausen.
It has not only been with artists and repertoire that DG has excelled but also in the technical demands of recording. DG pressed the first test-CD ever produced (Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie with the Berlin Philharmonic led by Karajan) and has continued with such projects as the development of the DG Web Shop and by offering the first full-length classical music video for sale via iTunes. Since Emil Berliner began pressing gramophone records in 1888 Deutsche Grammophon has never stopped pursuing perfection in both performance and production.
Deutsche Grammophon has compiled two new sets: The Collector’s Edition 2 and 111 More Classic Tracks. The 56-CD Collector’s Edition 2 compliments the 55-CD set from 2009 and combined the two have a total of, fittingly enough, 111 CDs. The 6-CD set of 111 More Classic Tracks is a counterpart to 2009’s edition and includes completely different tracks and extends back in time to 1911 (Chaliapin with R. Strauss on the piano) thus presenting a span of 100 years in just one set.
The list of artists represented in the sets is a roll call for the great musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. Highlights include Argerich performing Prokofiev and Ravel Concertos; Kathleen Battle and Itzakh Perlman in Bach duets; Victor de Sabata conducting Brahms and Strauss; Emil Giles playing Brahms’ First Piano Concerto; Dawn Upshaw in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre; Herbert von Karajan leading Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem; Gidon Kremer performing Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto; James Levine conducting a program of Gershwin; Evgeny Mravinsky leading the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony; David Munrow in Music of the Gothic Era; Maurizio Pollini in his DG debut recital; Gil Shaham and Gran Söllscher have fun with Paganini for Two; Bryn Terfel sings opera arias; and Krystian Zimerman gives a Chopin recital. These are just a few of the many unforgettable performances featured as DG ends its 111th year and proudly embarks on year 112.
Deutsche Grammophon ends its year-long 111th birthday celebrations with a new selection of releases to celebrate the Yellow Label’s long and illustrious past as well as the vibrant and healthy present and future. Though DG will turn 112 years-old on December 6, 2010, the popularity of last year’s celebration (the 55-CD set sold-out in mere weeks) has prompted the new box sets. This new, 2nd edition features more artists than before and stretches back even further in time to 1911 and then right up to the newest albums today. The entire selection, including all sets from 2009, will be available on November 9, 2010.
Visit http://www.DG-111.com/ for more complete information and interactive features!