With three distinct recording series to come
Daniel Barenboim, one of the world’s greatest classical artists and a staunch champion of music’s civilising power, has signed a new and exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The partnership was announced on 8 March 2018, just days after the first anniversary of the Pierre Boulez Saal, Barenboim’s pioneering project devoted to the promotion of cultural exchange and dialogue.
The Berlin connection will be significant throughout his new and future recordings for the yellow label – Barenboim will work with the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Boulez Ensemble and members of the Barenboim-Said Akademie. Many of his recordings will be made in the flexible space of the Boulez Saal, home to the Barenboim-Said Akademie, a centre for the cultivation of communication, listening and understanding.
‘I welcome this exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon and believe that it will introduce the philosophy of the Pierre Boulez Saal, with its vision of the “thinking ear” and of active, engaged listening, to a large new audience,’ says Daniel Barenboim. ‘We want to share what happens when performers explore music on all levels – emotional, sensory, spiritual, intellectual – and open minds to the understanding and insights that this can bring to our lives. There is so much that music can teach us about being human, about healing division and harmonising the rational and the irrational, the logical and the intuitive.’
Deutsche Grammophon intends to develop three distinct recording series: Barenboim, the Pianist and Conductor, Barenboim the Chamber Music Player and Barenboim, the Educator and Innovator. The latter will take the form of digital-only releases on Daniel Barenboim’s own label, Peral Music, and will be complemented by social media campaigns, a strong YouTube presence and programmes for children’s television. Barenboim’s YouTube channel has attracted around 40,000 subscribers since its launch in 2016, while his video postings have been viewed almost one million times. He will also reach young television viewers as a character in Max & Maestro, a 52-part cartoon series co-produced by RAI, France Television and ARD-HR, in which he introduces 11-year-old rapper Max to classical music.
Two physical albums are set for release this summer, marking the start of the ‘Summertime with Barenboim’ campaign. Barenboim’s mature reflections on the four symphonies of Brahms, recorded with the Staatskapelle Berlin, and his recording of Mozart’s two piano quartets with Michael Barenboim, Kian Soltani and Yulia Deyneka, will be issued in July.
Future albums will feature both established DG stars and newer members of the yellow label family. Projects include, for example, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with Kian Soltani and the Staatskapelle Berlin, and Smetana’s Má Vlast with the Wiener Philharmoniker. There are also plans to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary in 2020 with major releases featuring such leading artists as Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma.
Daniel Barenboim’s new all-Debussy solo piano album is reviewed inside the upcoming issue of Pianist, out on 30 March.