World-Renowned Conductor-Pianist Signs Major Recording Agreement
BERLIN, November 2, 2010--Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics are delighted to announce the signing of a wide-ranging recording agreement with conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim. Music director of Berlin's Staatsoper and Staatskapelle and Maestro Scaligero at Milan's Teatro alla Scala, with projects including a new Ring production at both houses, Barenboim has been called by The Times (London) "one of the few musicians in the world today who could accurately be described as legendary."
Among the many important releases in extensive plans stretching beyond 2012 – when the artist celebrates his 70th birthday--are Barenboim's first-ever recordings of the Chopin and Liszt piano concertos, a new Beethoven symphony cycle with his inspiring West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and a new Bruckner recording with the Staatskapelle, as well as several solo piano recordings. Many of these recordings are co-produced by Daniel Barenboim's long-term partner UNITEL.
The first releases on Deutsche Grammophon--early in 2011, to mark the 60th (!) anniversary of Barenboim's performing debut--will be devoted to Chopin: a solo recital recorded in Warsaw as well as the two concertos with Barenboim accompanied by the Berlin Staatskapelle under Andris Nelsons. Later in the year, a new recording with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will appear on Decca Classics to coincide with their annual tour: Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" Symphony and Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra.
2011 is also the Liszt bicentenary year, and Deutsche Grammophon will release Barenboim's first recording of the two concertos, with Pierre Boulez conducting the Berlin Staatskapelle, together with solo piano works, some of them debut recordings for Maestro Barenboim.
"I am very happy and grateful to be beginning a strong partnership with these two great recording companies, Deutsche Grammophon and Decca", says Daniel Barenboim. "I made my very first recording in the 1950s for Philips, so in a way, this marks a homecoming for me.What makes me particularly happy is that this unique collaboration allows me to prioritise my work with the Staatskapelle and the West-Eastern Divan in equal measure. The Staatskapelle has played an extremely important role in the formation of the Divan and in this new partnership with Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, our musical community is represented beautifully. I am looking forward to our future together, and to many exciting recordings."
Max Hole, Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Group International, comments: "We are honoured that Daniel Barenboim has decided to make Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics the homes for his new recordings and new projects, to add to his already extraordinary body of work. We fully appreciate and share his vision of the future of classical music, to reinvigorate and strengthen it, and to reach for new audiences. Daniel is one of the world's most inspiring individuals. There is no better ambassador for music."
Michael Lang, President, Deutsche Grammophon, and Paul Moseley, General Manager, Decca Classics, will lead their respective labels' association with Barenboim, preparing initially for the release of the first recordings under the agreement. Deutsche Grammophon renews a collaboration with the artist which previously yielded landmark recordings of solo music by Beethoven, Chopin and Mendelssohn, and of orchestral works by Bruckner, Debussy and Ravel. For Decca Classics, this brand new collaboration with Maestro Barenboim marks an exciting chapter in its programme of expansion as a world-class core classical label.
Olga Makrias, Decca Label Group
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer
Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.
Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer
For more than 20 years I was the editor ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.
For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst
I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.
Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.
It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.
When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.
So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job. --John J. Puccio
Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to email@example.com.