The Fourth Decade (1930–1939)

Ravel’s Boléro is recorded by the company’s new French subsidiary Société phonographique française Polydor S.A. in 1930, with the composer himself conducting the Lamoureux Orchestra. The worldwide “great depression” precipitates a decline in record sales and in 1932 the company merges with Polyphon and moves its headquarters back to Hanover. In 1937, after further years of falling production, Deutsche Grammophon AG goes into liquidation and in its place Deutsche Grammophon GmbH is founded, co-financed by the Deutsche Bank and Telefunken Gesellschaft. In spite of increasing Third Reich restrictions, some important recordings continue to be made. In December 1938 the first record by Herbert von Karajan (the Zauberflöte Overture with the Berlin Staatskapelle) is released. Other DG artists in this period included conductors Paul van Kempen, Carl Schuricht, and Victor de Sabata; pianist Elly Ney; violinist Georg Kulenkampff; and singers Erna Berger, Tiana Lemnitz, Walther Ludwig, and Julius Patzak.

Artists Joining

  • Claudio Arrau
  • Erna Berger
  • Alexander Brailowsky
  • Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender
  • Dresdner Kreuzchor
  • Samuel Dushkin
  • Eduard Erdmann
  • Max Fiedler
  • Galimir String Quartet
  • Leopold Godowsky
  • Manfred Gurlitt
  • Robert Heger
  • Jascha Horenstein
  • Bronislaw Huberman
  • Adele Kern
  • Bruno Kittel / Bruno Kittel-Chor
  • Hans Knappertsbusch
  • Tiana Lemnitz
  • Enrico Mainardi
  • Pietro Mascagni
  • Alois Melichar
  • Elly Ney
  • Julius Patzak
  • Julius Prüwer
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Wilhelm Rode
  • Helge Roswaenge
  • Chorus of the Staatsoper, Berlin