The Legacy of Claudio Abbado on Deutsche Grammophon

As the world mourns Claudio Abbado, one of the greatest conductors and most inspiring musical figures of our time, we at Deutsche Grammophon are proud to announce that, as a fitting tribute to this irreplaceable artist, the long-scheduled release of his latest recording will go ahead in February 2014. He was joined by Martha Argerich and his hand-picked ensemble, the superb Orchestra Mozart, at the 2013 Lucerne Festival to perform and record two of Mozart’s finest piano concertos, No. 25 in C major and No. 20 in D minor.

This release takes on another layer of significance in that it marks the closing of a circle. When he made his very first recording for Deutsche Grammophon nearly half a century earlier, the young Claudio Abbado was also joined by Martha Argerich. That album of Prokofiev and Ravel with the Berlin Philharmonic was the pianist’s first concerto project for the Yellow Label and instantly became a benchmark for the two works. It has remained one to this day, never out of print. Now their new Mozart album promises to become another icon of the DG catalogue.

Speaking for the company, Deutsche Grammophon producer Sid McLauchlan, who has worked closely with Abbado over the past 25 years and treasured not only the conductor’s musical vision and enthusiasm but also his warmth, humanity and the steadfastness of their friendship, explains: “As guardians of Claudio’s recorded legacy, one of the richest and broadest of any conductor in history, we are aware of our responsibility and will strive to live up to the trust he placed in our collaboration. The recording of the Mozart concertos he performed last March with Martha Argerich and his Orchestra Mozart, due out shortly, marks the latest, but not the final musical statement from this unique conductor. As he was always one to be looking forward, planning new projects, discovering or re-discovering new works, there remain several interpretations yet to be released. Still grieving his loss, we proudly look forward to further preserving and publishing the achievements of this incomparable musician.”

That renewed effort will begin immediately:

Returning to the catalogue at the end of January is the 2-CD Berlin Album originally released in 2002 (and not currently available). Charting his long partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic in a wide range of favourite works, it represents one of the very few approved Abbado compilations.

In June comes the release of four box sets, each devoted to one of the composers featured in the recently issued Claudio Abbado Symphony Edition, celebrating his 80th birthday in 2013. The 8-CD Mozart box will bring together for the first time his symphony and violin and wind concerto recordings with the Orchestra Mozart. The Bruckner set will include the revelatory recording of the First Symphony from Lucerne and the Mahler will make the Berlin Philharmonic cycle available in a single box for the first time. The Brahms recordings, meanwhile, remain the critics’ top recommendation for the complete cycle of four symphonies.

The months to follow will then bring new treasures, including a previously unpublished concert. Detailed information on these releases will be announced shortly.