The Originals


Marking 20 years of the music industry’s most successful catalogue series

Deutsche Grammophon celebrates the 20th anniversary of its acclaimed reissue series with a 50-CD box set. The inspirational line-up of artists includes Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Karl Böhm, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Emil Gilels, Gundula Janowitz, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Anne-Sophie Mutter, David Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich

In March 1995, Deutsche Grammophon launched a flagship project that set new standards for the reissue of great recordings from the age of the LP. The Originals, with its elegant logo, evocative artwork, peerless content and affordable price, became an instant hit with music-lovers worldwide. The pioneering series has grown over the past two decades to include more than 230 landmark recordings, creating a library of talismanic titles that have sold a remarkable 13 million copies around the world.

Deutsche Grammophon marks the anniversary with the release of a 50-CD box set containing the series’ best-selling items, as well as two classic albums being made available as part of the series for the very first time – Pollini’s iconic Chopin Studies, and Rostropovich performing the Brahms Sonatas. 

The Originals – Legendary Recordings offers listeners the opportunity to explore key releases from the Yellow Label’s LP era and experience the power and passion of performances by a host of visionary artists. It contains complete versions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, together with works from the mainstream of the classical symphonic and instrumental repertoire. 

In addition to such famous recordings as Herbert von Karajan’s intense reading of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Rafael Kubelík’s evocative survey of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Carlos Kleiber’s legendary interpretations of Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, The Originals – Legendary Recordings also includes Anne-Sophie Mutter’s first recording of Mozart violin concertos, which she made at the age of 15 with Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as Martha Argerich’s debut recital album.

Other highlights of the box set are Eugen Jochum’s revelatory 1967 recording of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, the finest of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s many recordings of Schubert’s Winterreise, Wilhelm Kempff’s majestic account of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto and popular piano sonatas, and David and Igor Oistrakh’s best-selling recordings of the Bach Violin Concertos. 

In short, the list of artists featured in The Originals – Legendary Recordings reads like a “Who’s Who” of the world’s greatest musicians. 

Each album is packaged in a sleeve bearing the distinctive series design, based on the original LP artwork, and all 50 are housed within a stylish, lidded cardboard cube. The box also contains a richly illustrated 100-page booklet, complete with an introductory essay by Hugh Canning, Chief Music Critic of The Sunday Times (London). 

Additional releases include a 6-LP set of classic recordings, a digital collection of 50 Greatest Originals Tracks and five new Originals releases.

New Releases

Legendary Recordings from the Deutsche Grammophon Catalogue

In February 1995 Deutsche Grammophon released a batch of 25 historic CDs called The Originals, launching a mid-price reissue project whose scope and depth would gradually change the face of classical record collecting. The concept was simple: trawling DG's huge archives for treasures from every phase of the vinyl LP era - many long unavailable or never before released on the silver disc - representing all the company's major artists and most of its landmark recordings from 1949 to 1986, one of the richest periods in the medium's entire history.

Now you´ll find a list of 230 The Originals albums in our catalogue. Choose your own selection from this formidable list of great recordings or listen to one of our recommendations:

A significant aspect of the series is the use of DG's special remastering technology, Original-Image Bit-Processing. According to the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs: "In almost every case the transfers show a distinct improvement over previous incarnations of these recordings on CD: the remastering more naturally reflects the ambient warmth and fullness of the analogue LP pressings, though the focus is firmer."

Full Discography