|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Distributor(s)|| Decca Records |
Verve Records (US)
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Location||Stralauer Allee 1|
Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquartered in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.
Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft was founded in 1898 by German-born United States citizen Emile Berliner as the German branch of his Berliner Gramophone Company. Berliner sent his nephew Joseph Sanders from America to set up operations.Based in the city of Hanover (the founder's birthplace), the company was the German affiliate of the U.S. Victor Talking Machine Company and the British Gramophone Company, but that affiliation ended with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Though no longer connected to the British Gramophone Company, Deutsche Grammophon continued to use the "His Master's Voice" trademark featuring the dog Nipper in Germany until the late 1940s.
In 1941, Deutsche Grammophon was purchased by the Siemens & Halske electronics company.
In 1949, Deutsche Grammophon sold the German rights of the His Master's Voice trademark to the Electrola unit of EMI.The dog and gramophone were replaced by the crown of tulips, designed by Siemens advertising consultant Hans Domizlaff.
In 1962 Siemens formed a joint venture with Netherlands-based Philips to create the DGG/PPI Record Group, which became PolyGram Records in 1972. By this time, DGG had built a reputation for high-quality recording in the classical field as well as a notable roster of contracted singers, musicians, and conductors. Through its subsidiary label Archiv Produktion it also stimulated interest in Western medieval and renaissance music, 15th–16th century choral polyphony, Gregorian chant, and pioneering use of 'historical instruments' and performance practices in recordings.
DGG/Polydor's entrance into the US market in 1969 (DGG had distribution deals in the US with Decca Records and MGM Records beforehand) came at a time when the big US classical music labels RCA Victor Red Seal and Columbia Masterworks were dropping their unlucrative classical artists and pressing poor-quality records. The fine quality both of recording and of pressings helped DGG succeed in America and attract artists such as Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra (after a 35-year association with RCA Victor) to DGG/Polydor. In 1987 Siemens sold off its interest in PolyGram, and Philips became the majority shareholder. In 1998, the Seagram company of Canada purchased Deutsche Grammophon and PolyGram on behalf of its Universal Music Group subsidiary. Since then, UMG was sold and became a division of Vivendi.
Deutsche Grammophon pioneered the introduction of the compact disc to the mass market, debuting classical music performed by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic for sale in the new medium in 1983, the first recording being Richard Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie .
Deutsche Grammophon has a huge back catalogue of notable recordings. The company is reissuing a portion of it in its Originals series; compact disc releases are noted for their vinyl record stylized design. It is also releasing some of American Decca Records' albums from the 1940s and 1950s, such as those that Leonard Bernstein made for Decca in 1953, and the classic Christmas album that features Ronald Colman's starring in A Christmas Carol and Charles Laughton's narrating Mr. Pickwick's Christmas. Along with the American Decca Records classical music catalogue, Deutsche Grammophon also manages the classical music catalogue of ABC Records, including Westminster Records which, along with American Decca, were part of MCA Records.
Although Deutsche Grammophon acquired the reputation of releasing mainstream classical recordings, from the 1960s onwards it released an increasing number of avant-garde recordings (initially under the Avant-Garde imprint), including Bruno Maderna, David Bedford, Cornelius Cardew, Luigi Nono and improvisations. It also released the majority of the compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen until the composer bought the rights to the recordings and re-released them on his own label. Other German composers associated with the label included Paul Hindemith and Hans Werner Henze.
Contemporary composers whose works were released by Deutsche Grammophon include Sofia Gubaidulina, Oliver Knussen, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Mohammed Fairouz, Péter Eötvös, Luigi Nono, Sven Helbig, Jonny Greenwood, Bryce Dessner, Witold Lutosławski, Philip Glass and Max Richter.
The conductor most associated with the label is Herbert von Karajan. Other conductors under contract included Ferenc Fricsay, Carlos Kleiber, Karl Böhm, Karl Richter, Eugen Jochum, Rafael Kubelík, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado, and Christian Thielemann. Recent signings include Long Yu,Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, and Myung-whun Chung.
Gramophone or phonograph is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound.
Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.
Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label and company that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. Generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the mid-1950s until his death. Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records.
Mercury Records was an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. In the US, it operated through Island Records; in the UK, it was distributed by Virgin EMI Records.
Verve Records, also known as The Verve Music Group, founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue and includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans and Billie Holiday, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier labels, Clef Records, founded in 1946, Norgran Records, founded in 1953, and material previously licensed to Mercury Records.
PolyGram N.V. was a Dutch entertainment company and major music record label. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disk gramophone, Emil Berliner.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder performers of the post-war period, best known as a singer of Franz Schubert's Lieder, particularly "Winterreise" of which his recordings with accompanist Gerald Moore and Jörg Demus are still critically acclaimed half a century after their release.
Philips Records is a record label founded by the Dutch electronics company Philips. In 1946, Philips acquired the company which pressed records for British Decca's Dutch outlet in Amsterdam.
Phonogram Incorporated was started in 1970 as a successor to Philips Phonographic Industries, a unit of the Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG), a joint venture of Philips N.V. of the Netherlands and Siemens A.G. of Germany.
Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records, Mercury Nashville Records, Lost Highway Records, Capitol Records Nashville and EMI Records Nashville. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records.
Decca Gold is a United States-based record label focusing on classical repertoire. It falls under the umbrella of Verve Label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. The label has a new roster of classical artists and partnerships, and was inspired by the historic Decca Gold Label Series established in 1956 that featured artists such as Andrés Segovia, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Arrau and Dave Brubeck. The label's first album, Emerson String Quartet's Chaconnes and Fantasias: Music of Britten and Purcell, was released on April 21, 2017. Decca Gold partnered with the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition to release recordings of the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. That album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, CC is a Canadian conductor and pianist. He is currently music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was also principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2018.
Chronological – by no means complete – list of recordings of Richard Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder.
Archiv Produktion is a classical music record label of German origin. It originated in 1949 as a classical label for the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft (DGG), and in 1958 Archiv was established as a subsidiary of DGG, specialising in recordings of Early and Baroque music. It has since developed a particular focus on "historically informed performance" and the work of artists of the Early music revival movement of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Polyphon is a disc-playing music box, a mechanical device first manufactured by the Polyphon Musikwerke, located in Leipzig, Germany. Invented in 1870, full-scale production started around 1897 and continued into the early 1900s. Polyphons were exported all over world and music was supplied for the English, French and German markets, as well as further afield, with music cataloged for the Russian, Polish and Balkan regions. Polyphon is also a record label as registered by German Polyphon Musikwerke AG in 1908. Polyphon traded under the Polydor label since 1913 with their trademarks Polyphon Musik and Polyphon Record.
Oehms Classics is a German classical music label founded in 2003 by Dieter Oehms, a former manager for 35 years with DGG/Polygram and Arte Nova/BMG.
Karajan: Beethoven Symphonies (1963) is a set of studio recordings made in 1961 and 1962 by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan. It is the second of four cycles of Beethoven's nine symphonies that von Karajan conducted, and the first of three for the German record label Deutsche Grammophon.
The Emil Berliner Studios, named after the inventor of the grammophone and the record, is a sound studio in the heart of Berlin. The studio originated from the recording department of Deutsche Grammophon.
The recording career of Russian pianist and composer Daniil Trifonov initially focused on the music of Frédéric Chopin. His first three albums, recorded in 2010 and released in 2011, exclusively consisted of works of Chopin: the first album, Daniil Trifonov plays Frédéric Chopin, consisting of music performed live in recitals in Italy, was released by Decca Records in April; his second album, Chopin: Mazurki; Konzert, containing performances from the 16th Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, was released in May; and finally, his third album, Chopin, a studio recording, was released in July. Trifonov's next album, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, released in 2012, included a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.