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From the most influential musician of all time
J.S. BACH - THE NEW COMPLETE EDITION
THE LARGEST COMPOSER PROJECT IN RECORDING HISTORY
32 Labels, 222CDs, 750+ Performers & Ensembles, 280 Hours of Music, 10 Hours of New Recordings including 7 World Premieres, 2 luxury hardback books, advance presentation of BWV3 Catalogue, plus digital product suite
Deutsche Grammophon and Decca proudly announce the release of the largest and most complete box set ever devoted to the work of a single composer. The 222 CD Complete Edition is the result of two years of curation and scholarship and has been developed with the cooperation of 32 labels and a team of scholars at the Leipzig Bach Archive, with an introductory DVD documentary and written welcome by its President Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with editorial consultant Nicholas Kenyon presiding over work-by-work musical commentary.
The set marks 333 years since the birth of J.S. Bach. We can confidently say that certain numbers and numerical proportions had a special structural and sometimes religious significance for Bach. References to the number three reflect the important doctrine of God’s Tri-unity which lies at the core of Bach’s Lutheran faith. Nicholas Kenyon says: “333 is important, because one of the key Bach numbers is 3 representing the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The symbolism of three, and three times three, is everywhere in the collection of organ works Clavier-Übung III (1739). We often sense these underlying features in Bach’s work; while I don’t think he ever let them dominate his thinking, it was clearly a way in which he was expressing the harmony of the universe as he saw it.” The set is thus known as ‘Bach 333’.
Across 16,926 minutes of music over 5,533 tracks, Bach 333 presents every known note from the great master and opens up his world – and his impact on our world – in a uniquely immersive way: through audio, visual, printed and online materials. The set, the largest ever devoted to a single composer and exceeding in size even the massively-successful ‘Mozart 225’ Edition of two years ago, presents Bach’s complete oeuvre from 750 hand-picked performers and ensembles across 32 labels including Sony, Warner, BIS, SDG, Denon and Harmonia Mundi.
Two handsomely illustrated hardback books are included. The first book, entitled LIFE, presents a lavishly illustrated biography by leading Bach scholar Dorothea Schröder plus thirteen essays of the latest thinking from leading scholars from the Leipzig Bach Archive. The second book, MUSIC presents a new essay by doyen of Bach scholarship Christoph Wolff followed by work-by-work commentary by Nicholas Kenyon (author of The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach). Also included are complete sung texts and English translations, facsimile reproductions of key scores and a guide to further online resources including the Bach Archive’s ground-breaking Bach Digital initiative. Meanwhile, the set also conforms to the very latest research from the Leipzig Bach Archive and their new BWV3 catalogue due to be published in 2019-20. The life of Bach is further explored on DVD in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s 90-minute BBC film ‘Bach: A Passionate Life’. The colour-coded layout of Bach 333 presents the works chronologically within one of four genres – Vocal Music, Keyboard Music, Orchestral Music and Instrumental Music. The consumer can navigate with ease across the enormous and rich array of content.
Best-in-class historically-informed performancesinclude a handpicked set of the complete Cantatas led by outstanding contributions from Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki, plus strong showings from Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt, Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Sigiswald Kuijken and more; other leading names featured across the Edition include Reinhard Goebel, Christopher Hogwood, Paul McCreesh, Franz Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Christophe Coin, Christophe Rousset and Rinaldo Alessandrini.
The set also presents over 50 CDs of alternative recordings including modern piano performances of all the key works from András Schiff, Murray Perahia, Angela Hewitt, Martha Argerich, Alfred Brendel and many more. 90 years of evolving Bach performance traditions in vocal and instrumental practice can be heard in legendary performances from a plethora of artists from Alfred Deller to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Adolf Busch to Claudio Abbado, Willem Mengelberg to Karl Richter, Edwin Fischer to Glenn Gould, Albert Schweitzer to Marie-Claire Alain, Wanda Landowska to Zuzana Růžičková, Pablo Casals to Pierre Fournier, Arthur Grumiaux to Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Highlights among 10 hours of entirely new recordings include a new recording of the Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin by period specialist Giuliano Carmignola, as well as 7 premieres of works never recorded before - 6 alternative Chorale versions and Beethoven’s only completed arrangement of a Bach work.
16 CDs entitled “Bach Interactive” and “Bach after Bach” form the basis of a major offering to enrich our experience and understanding of Bach’s unique impact on composers and composition ever since; from Mozart and Beethoven to today’s masters such as Arvo Pärt and György Kurtág. Included are albums devoted to Bach à la Jazz (Stéphane Grappelli, Stan Getz, Jacques Loussier, Bill Evans and more) and New Colours of Bach - remixers, composers and artists of our own time.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, President, Leipzig Bach Archive: “This superb array of recordings is to be welcomed and valued on different levels simultaneously. First, it displays the colossal range and sheer variety of Bach's output; then the challenges of performing it and how these have evolved - exemplified by the multiplicity of recorded interpretations assembled here for the first time. Listening to any of these CDs will surely induce in you a heightened sense of consciousness – of the role of music which Bach enriched and extended so brilliantly. For him music was pure necessity. It occupied his whole being: to compose it and perform it demanded multiple skills, a capacity to solve puzzles and challenges, and a way of making sense of the world in which he lived. In our day the music of J.S. Bach continues to affect and change people’s lives in the most profound way. It has the power to reflect our innermost concerns and even to mitigate the way we respond to contemporary events.”
“Bach is regularly singled by composers across all traditions from jazz, pop, world and classical for his unique importance,” says Paul Moseley, Universal Music Group’s Director of Bach 333. “We have set out to do him, his life, his world, full justice, taking in current and past performance practice, fresh scholarship and the latest media, to produce something that will educate, entertain and deepen our relationship with probably the most influential composer of all time.”
Peter Wollny, Executive Director, Leipzig Bach Archive: “Deutsche Grammophon’s invitation to collaborate on the Bach 333 Edition was both a challenge and a welcome opportunity to bring the Archive’s research to the attention of the musical world through the recorded medium. We sincerely hope this Edition opens eyes and ears around the world to the universal relevance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s creative oeuvre both today and in the future.
Bach 333 is released worldwide on October 26th in two language versions – English and German. The flagship Edition is accompanied by a 2CD entry level product Peaceful Bach and a suite of 13 digital products including Bach à la Jazz and New Colours of Bach, all aimed at achieving the widest possible awareness and engagement.
THE LARGEST, MOST COMPLETE, MOST AUTHORITATIVE
& ENRICHED COMPOSER SET OF ALL TIME ON 222 CDs + 1 DVD
Deutsche Grammophon, in association with Google Arts & Culture, restores great recordings from its archive to vibrant life with The Shellac Project
· Advanced digital transfer technology brings unprecedented sound quality to recordings made a century ago.
· Latest highlights include Verdi performances from Mattia Battistini, Fritz Kreisler playing his Tambourin chinois in an early recording from 1911, outstanding Wagner interpretations from the Staatskapelle Berlin (then the orchestra of the Staatsoper Berlin), and the project’s first complete orchestral work, featuring the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
· Remastered tracks reflect Yellow Label’s repertoire variety and the bold musical personalities of its historic artists.
· Landmark collaborative restoration project, created in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, opens online access to one of the world’s oldest and most important sound archives.
· All digitally remastered tracks available through DG’s own channels and on partner platforms including Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.
The Shellac Project took wing with the release of 75 tracks in August 2018, gathered momentum with a second selection soon after, and is set to deliver a third batch of titles on 21 September 2018. The latest instalment of 39 tracks, transferred from 42 metal sources, spans everything from Neapolitan songs and salon pieces to excerpts from the operas of Verdi and Wagner. Fritz Kreisler makes his Shellac Project debut with a joyful 1911 recording of his Tambourin chinois. The Austrian violinist joins a list of star performers from the gramophone’s early years, among them Italian baritones Mattia Battistini and Umberto Urbano, Franco-German contralto Sigrid Onégin, and artists from a younger generation such as the tenors Julius Patzak and Helge Rosvaenge.
The new offerings include a selection of orchestral music from Wagner’s operas recorded in 1926 and 1927 by the orchestra of the Berlin Staatsoper (today’s Staatskapelle Berlin) conducted by its then director Max von Schillings, whose understanding of Wagner’s style is clear in every bar of the “Good Friday Music” from Parsifal and the Overture toThe Flying Dutchman. The new batch also contains The Shellac Project’s first complete performance of an orchestral composition, a wonderful 1943 performance of Reger’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart from the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Eduard van Beinum. Vocal highlights include Sigrid Onégin’s reading of Brahms’s “Sapphische Ode”, recorded in 1919 with Deutsche Grammophon’s artistic director, Bruno Seidler-Winkler, at the piano. Fans of great singing can also compare Mattia Battistini’sbel canto delivery of “Eri tu che macchiavi” from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, recorded in 1907, with Umberto Urbano’s more expansive performance of the same aria from the late 1920s. And The Shellac Project continues to raise Koloman von Pataky from the ranks of unjustly neglected tenors with tracks of the highest quality, none better than “Donna non vidi mai” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.
The Shellac Project takes its name from a product of nature, the unlikely raw material from which records were made between the mid-1890s and the mid-1940s. Shellac, a resin secreted by the female lac insect, native to India, had been used as a varnish long before it became the standard material for gramophone records. Many fine violins, for instance, were polished to perfection with shellac. Although fragile, shellac records were affordable and easy to produce because of the inventive brilliance of Deutsche Grammophon’s founder, Emil Berliner.
While it was Thomas Edison who pioneered sound recording and reproduction, it was Berliner who created a viable system for the mass duplication of the sounds recorded. During the mid-1890s he worked with his fellow engineers to overcome the limitations of Edison’s method of recording on wax cylinders. Instead of cylinders, Berliner cut recordings into wax-covered rotating discs; he then used a galvanoplastic process to make a copper master for the archive and robust metal “mothers” and “fathers” from which multiple copies of the original recording could be pressed.
The contents of Deutsche Grammophon’s early archives were depleted, often by accident, sometimes by design. Many early “mother” discs, however, survived wartime damage and peacetime clear-outs. Those chosen for The Shellac Project are converted to digital form via state-of-the-art turntables and remastering software. Several tracks have been recovered following a rerun of the galvanoplasty method to create new “mothers” from their surviving “father” counterparts. The thrill of discovering strikingly individual artistry from a lost world of music-making, once open only to a small band of record connoisseurs, has become accessible to all thanks to the Yellow Label’s project to restore its buried archive treasures.
Generous extracts from The Shellac Project can be found as part of an online exhibition on the Google Arts & Culture platform (g.co/deutschegrammophon).
Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music mark launch of new dedicated audio and audio-visual destination for classical music with special media event at Salzburg Festival
In Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th-anniversary year, the label’s artists to curate Apple Music’s Beethoven, Mozart and Bach radio stations
Daniil Trifonov leads way creating Apple Music’s first Video Essential Playlist by a classical performer and Rolando Villazón launches first opera visual album with his performance in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette”
Berlin, August 10, 2018: Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music announce long-term collaboration designed to enhance the experience of classical music for a global music audience.
Central to the new experience with Apple Music are “The DG Playlist” – a regularly updated classical musical experience to highlight the very best recordings from the iconic 120-year-old classical music label – a selection of visual albums featuring legendary performances by DG superstar artists and special video performances from Daniil Trifonov and Ildar Abdrazakov. For the launch, artists Daniil Trifonov, Rolando Villazón and Peter Gregson curate Apple Music’s three main composer radio stations: Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.
Deutsche Grammophon’s Apple Music destination brings together audio and visual content in one platform and will highlight major classical music events, iconic releases, featured composers and performers and significant anniversaries alongside curated playlists and outstanding audio-visual content on which Apple Music’s specialist classical team will work closely with DG’s in-house and guest curators.
In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon became the first classical label to establish a curator channel on Apple Music. The partnership has continued to develop, delivering over two dozen successful playlists and creating the foundations for the future curatorial collaboration with Apple Music.
The DG destination www.applemusic.com/dg launched today with a high-profile media conference at Mozart’s birthplace. DG artists Daniil Trifonov, Rolando Villazón, Ildar Abdrazakov and Peter Gregson performed and appeared on a panel discussion about music curation in the digital age. They were joined by Michael Bladerer, CEO of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Together they offered an overview of their personal curatorial approach, conveying their passion, energy and enthusiasm for classical music in the digital era.
“The curatorial power of the Yellow Label and our vibrant artist community has always been exceptional, in record stores and in the digital space,” comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “In a world where attention spans have become shorter and classical music content more ubiquitous, people must think wisely before spending their limited time and resources. Together with our partner Apple Music, we aim to enable discovery and provide orientation to everything that is essential in classical music. We also embrace the opportunity to present short-form and long-form video productions in a significant way, making the service a cornerstone of DG’s global audio-visual strategy.”
Jonathan Gruber, Apple Music, welcomes this launch, “Classical music is all about the joy of exploration, and we are thrilled to welcome the amazing artists of Deutsche Grammophon to join our worldwide team of trusted guides,” he said.
Daniil Trifonov’s performance at Mozart’s birthplace was recorded and will be added to his inaugural Video Essential Playlist immediately, along with other newly recorded and specially curated material. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my work on Apple Music, thanks to my label’s new space there allowing artists like myself to share their music with the classical community,” observes Daniil Trifonov. “I feel privileged to be the first classical artist to present an audio-visual playlist of my performance videos; I have dear memories of conceiving and creating them over the past few years, and I’m excited for them to be available widely on Apple Music.”
Other audio-visual highlights include the first ever full opera to be offered by Apple Music in the form of a visual album – a critically acclaimed account of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette from the 2008 Salzburg Festival, starring Rolando Villazón and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin – along with a Salzburg video playlist, including the Mozart Gala given to mark the composer’s 250th-anniversary year, featuring Anna Netrebko, Magdalena Kožená, Thomas Hampson, Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic.
“Mozart has been one of my long-time passions and Salzburg has always been a central place in my life, both as a performer and as artistic director of Mozartwoche,” notes Rolando Villazón. “I am thrilled, therefore, to be able to share some of my favourite Mozart pieces on Apple Music’s Mozart radio station. I’m fully aware of how important it is to provide context and orientation to listeners of classical music and am committed to making its richness accessible to everyone. I feel the new DG space on Apple Music is an excellent forum for discovery.”
Michael Bladerer comments: “Approximately one third of Vienna Philharmonic’s over 175 years of musical history have been documented in a partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, among others outstanding recordings with Maestri Abbado, Bernstein, Böhm, Boulez, Furtwängler, Karajan, Kleiber und Sinopoli and more recently with Barenboim, Dudamel, Gardiner, Muti, Nelsons, Previn und Thielemann. We are delighted that this discographic oeuvre can be rediscovered through a prominent, expert-curated playlist on Apple Music and that a new global audience can become familiar with it.”
Ildar Abdrazakov is certain of Apple Music’s relevance as a means to reach both new and existing classical fans. “I love engaging with my audience,” he says. “For the campaign around my recent album with Rolando Villazón and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Apple Music’s social media feature proved a great interactive communication tool. That’s why I am so happy to share, via Connect, a video of a Mozart aria, recorded today.”
Cellist Peter Gregson has attracted an international following to his genre-crossing, neo-classical compositions and thrilling creative collaborations. “Bach has always played a central role in my life, as a cello student and performer at the Royal Academy, as composer with my Recomposed project with the Cello Suites – and now as curator of Apple Music’s Bach radio station,” reflects Gregson. “With a footing in the classical and the non-classical world, it’s important to open up new ways to access classical music. On streaming platforms, the barriers are lower than ever. And I believe that the Yellow Label – a brand well known beyond the core-classical community – can enable discovery together with DG’s artist community that I am proud to be a part of,” he adds.
Deutsche Grammophon’s curators and artists are passionate about creating innovative ways of sharing classical music and building the global audience: partnering with Apple Music delivers reach, expertise and a commitment to music fans around the world.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON – THE WORLD’S OLDEST AND MOST RENOWNED RECORD LABEL – LAUNCHES DG120
A CURATED GLOBAL PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE ITS HISTORIC 120TH ANNIVERSARY
Berlin, 11 June 2018 – Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the world’s oldest and most renowned classical music label, will celebrate its 120th anniversary this year with an unprecedented, wide-ranging and ambitious international programme of activities to celebrate the Yellow Label’s illustrious past, dynamic present and prosperous future.
Throughout its unique history, Deutsche Grammophon has been a committed and long-term investor in culture, innovation, music and the arts, and during the 2018/2019 season DG120 will present a celebration of the cultural importance of classical music and the extraordinary artists who help bring it to life.
“These are exciting times for classical music,” observes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon: “Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary is about sharing classical music’s emotional force and expressive beauty with as many people as possible around the world. The Yellow Label’s founders used new technology to inspire millions and – together with our family of artists – we are determined to continue what they started as we engage established and future audiences with our DG120 campaign. We are delighted to welcome Google Arts & Culture, Volkswagen Group and our other international partners who are supporting this ambitious global initiative.”
The carefully curated programme features multi-disciplinary activities, events, rare archival treasures and an exciting new product suite that will captivate music fans around the world. DG120 will include:
GLOBAL SERIES OF DG120 GALA CONCERTS WITH LEADING DG ARTISTS, INCLUDING A HISTORIC LAUNCH CONCERT IN BEIJING’S LEGENDARY FORBIDDEN CITY AREA
One of the defining characteristics of DG is its long-lasting relationships with the world’s greatest musicians. Today’s community of DG artists will play a central role in the DG120 celebrations with a programme of worldwide concerts that will take place in Beijing, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, with further events to be scheduled – Click here for full details of DG120 events.
The DG120 live festivities will begin on October 10, 2018 with a spectacular launch concert at the site of Beijing’s historic Imperial Ancestral Temple (Taimiao), which stands just outside the Forbidden City. The concert will feature the globally renowned Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Long Yu, who will perform Orff’s Carmina Burana with Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence and Ludovic Tézier, before being joined by Hélène Grimaud for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.
The Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an imperial palace complex that served as the home of emperors as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government for almost 500 years, until the end of the Qing Dynasty. The Imperial Ancestral Temple, whose layout echoes that of the Forbidden City, was used by the imperial family on important occasions as a place in which to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The DG120 concert will be a celebration of both Chinese classical music excellence and the global cultural resonance of Deutsche Grammophon. It will be the first classical music event to be held at the site since 2001, when it hosted a legendary performance by the Three Tenors: José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
Other key DG120 events include performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts by the Berlin Staatskapelle and the inimitable Maestro Barenboim, and further concerts throughout the anniversary year featuring performances from DG’s unbeatable roster of artists: Anne-Sophie Mutter, considered one of the greatest violinists of all time; Lang Lang, pioneering pianist and global cultural icon; Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition; and Max Richter, influential ground-breaking post-minimalist composer.
SPECIAL DG120 EDITIONS OF CULT YELLOW LOUNGE CLUB NIGHTS PLANNED FOR BEIJING, HONG KONG, SEOUL, SHANGHAI, TAIPEI AND TOKYO
Special DG120 editions of the label’s highly successful Yellow Lounge classical club nights are planned to take place throughout the year in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo. The innovative club nights will be live strea