DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ANNOUNCES RENAISSANCE FOR EARLY MUSIC LABEL
In April 2013, at a special event at the Villa Elisabeth in Berlin, leading classical record label Deutsche Grammophon reaffirmed its commitment to early music by revealing new plans and signings for its specialist label, Archiv Produktion.
Staged to celebrate 66 years since the foundation of the historic Archiv label, over 200 guests from the classical artist community, and the worlds of media, retail and digital, alongside former label producers and researchers, enjoyed stunning performances from British-Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, Italian violinist Giuliano Carmignola and Vittorio Ghielmi, the Italian conductor/composer and distinguished Viola da Gamba player. Both Anna Prohaska and Giuliano Carmignola have recently released new albums on the Archiv label.
Enjoying sales of over 70 million albums since its founding in 1947, the “Silver Label”, as it is known, has been the home of some of the great pioneers of the early music and authentic performance movements of the last six decades. From artists such as Helmut Walcha – whose recordings of Bach organ works were among the label’s first releases, in 1948 – through names such as Karl Richter, Reinhard Goebel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Magdalena Kožená, Andrea Marcon, Anne Sofie von Otter, Trevor Pinnock, Alan Curtis, Simone Kermes, Paul McCreesh and Marc Minkowski – the label has always prided itself on its unique combination of artistic excellence and repertoire development and discovery, which from the beginning has been supported by the highest level of scholarly yet accessible information and presentation.
Hosting the evening, Deutsche Grammophon’s Mark Wilkinson announced a series of new products and initiatives, including the new deluxe Archiv Produktion boxed set – a 55-CD set featuring award-winning albums from the last 66 years – and extensive reissues of choral and Christmas repertoire for the autumn, as well as a special album celebrating 50 years of The Monteverdi Choir for 2014. In addition, he welcomed Pablo Heras-Casado to the label as one of a new generation of “Archiv Ambassadors”, with the dynamic Spanish conductor leading a unique Farinelli project, as well as recording a Gluck opera for the label in 2014 – a first recording of Orfeo ed Euridice for Archiv in the original Italian version. New albums celebrating future Monteverdi and Shakespeare anniversaries were also announced, along with a Handel opera project from René Jacobs, and a rejuvenated presence for the label in the digital and social network space.
“As classical music encounters all of the opportunities of the digital era, we want to ensure that Archiv grows from strength to strength as a vibrant, relevant and distinct label of excellence,” Mark Wilkinson said. “Early music is the perfect place to discover the unusual, the daring, and very often the exotic, and we look forward to working with all of our artists to spread the true ‘spirit of Archiv’ in the future.”
Releases in celebration of 66 years Archiv: