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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era - 1948-1957'
Artist - Various

Everything we now take for granted about Deutsche Grammophon today the famous cartouche, the attention to editorial and technical detail, the perfect alignment of artist and repertoire - can be traced back to these beautifully-recorded albums from the pre-stereo era.

For those not in the classical know, Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical record label that was the foundation of the future corporation to be known as PolyGram. It is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the MCA family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.

And so, and with regard this incredible 51 CD Box-Set here today, Deutsche Grammophon: Gesellschaft, The Mono Era - 1948-1957, 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 had links with the U.S. Victor Talking Machine Company and the British Gramophone Company, but those links were severed at the onset of World War I. Early labels bore the legend Grammophon and the painting "His Master's Voice" featuring the dog Nipper.

It should also be known that, as this 51 CD Box-Set so rightfully showcases, 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 was Richard Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie.

Deutsche Grammophon: Gesellschaft, The Mono Era - 1948-1957 presents the first 11 albums ever produced on the 33rpm LP format by Deutsche Grammophon, while 17 of the albums here are on CD for the first time ever. Beautiful photography across the 150-page color booklet, replete with photos of the artists and the post-war era is also included. So, as you can guess for yourself now, this delightful, nay uber comprehensive 51 CD Box-Set explores the DG post-war success story just perfectly.

CD 9 ANDOR FOLDES - Liszt: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto no. 2
CD 13 JOSEF GREINDL - Schubert: Die Winterreise
CD 15 CONRAD HANSEN - Mozart: Piano Sonatas KV 310, 331, 332, 545
CD 18 LUDWIG HOELSCHER - Brahms: Cello Sonata no. 1 / Grieg: Cello Sonata op.36/Richard Strauss: Cello Sonata op.6
CD 22 23 ELINOR JUNKER-GIESEN - Lortzing: Zar und Zimmermann [DGs first opera recording on LP]
CD 24 ADRIAN AESCHBACHER / PAUL VAN KEMPEN - Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 2 / Hungarian Dances 1, 3, 5, 6, 17-21
CD 28 KOECKERT-QUARTETT - Dvorak: String Quartet in F major op.96 American; Bruckner: String Quintet
CD 30 FERDINAND LEITNER - Haydn: Symphonies nos. 100 & 102; Brahms: Haydn Variations op.56a
CD 31 FERDINAND LEITNER - Mendelssohn; Symphony no. 3 Scottish, Ruy Blas Overture; Schumann: Symphony no. 3
CD 32 TIANA LEMNITZ - Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier highlights
CD 33 LOEWENGUTH QUARTETT - Debussy/Ravel: String Quartets / Roussel: String Quartet op.45
CD 35 ENRICO MAINARDI, FRITZ LEHMANN - Haydn: Cello Concerto in D (orch. Gevaert)/ Schumann: Cello Concerto
CD 40 ELLY NEY - Beethoven: Piano Sonatas nos. 8 Pathetique, 14 Moonlight, 23 Appassionata, 31
CD 43 BRONISLAW GIMPEL / FRITZ RIEGER - Lalo: Symphonie espagnole
CD 50 JOSEF ZIMMERMANN - Bach/Schroeder/Langlais: OrOrgan Music from Cologne Cathdedral
CD 51 BONUS CD -Loves Troubadour: Rudi Schuricke sings his best-loved songs

The history of the original LP and its development are all carefully delineated in excellent liner notes by Tully Potter in English, French and German. A who's-who of recording from the 1950s and 1960s including Fricsay, Furtwängler, Kempff, Oistrakh, Richter, Cherkassky, Ancerl, Fischer-Dieskau (his debut recording), Haskil, Hindemith, Jochum, van Kempen, Markevitch, Martzy, Wolfgang Windgassen and Astrid Varnay, Deutsche Grammophon: Gesellschaft, The Mono Era - 1948-1957 is a MUST for all serious collectors of truly classical music.

In closing, I honestly, truly believe that this box set is a very worthwhile addition to anyone's collection of heritage classical performances. A list of the contents of this set will illustrate my point. There are many excellent performances by some of the greatest classical performers, conductors and orchestras of times past. The mono sound is excellent in my opinion. If you have a curiosity for heritage classical music and an appreciation for the older mono recordings do not hesitate to acquire this box set.