The Sixth Decade (1950–1959)

In 1950 78-rpm records with up to nine minutes playing time per side are introduced, based on the DG invention of variable grooves, and the next year the company releases its first 33-rpm long-playing records (also known as LPs). Wilhelm Kempff begins a new Beethoven piano-sonata cycle in 1950 and records the Beethoven Concertos in 1953 (he re-records both in stereo in the ’60s).

Furtwängler resumes his association with Deutsche Grammophon in 1951. The Amadeus Quartet and the violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan make their first DG recordings in 1951 and 1952 respectively. In 1959, having already recorded Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert, the Amadeus Quartet embarks on a complete stereo recording of the Beethoven Quartets. Also that year, Karajan returns to the company from EMI – he will make some 330 records for DG over the next thirty years, including three Beethoven cycles and the complete Ring. Two other conductors play a significant part in establishing Deutsche Grammophon’s strong postwar position in the Classical and Romantic repertoire: Karl Böhm (most notably in Mozart and the conductor’s friend Richard Strauss) and Rafael Kubelik (most ­notably in Dvorˇák and Smetana, Lohengrin, and a complete Mahler cycle). The versatile American conductor Lorin Maazel is signed in 1957. Archiv Produktion makes some pioneering recordings of medieval and Renaissance music during its first decades; however the focus is on Baroque, above all the complete Bach organ works with Walcha and German and Italian repertoire directed by Rudolf Baumgartner, Fritz Lehmann, August Wenzinger, and Karl Richter, who after Lehmann’s death becomes the label’s chief Bach interpreter. In 1956 the company transfers its headquarters to Hamburg, while the production plants remain in Hanover. In the following year, the new Deutsche Grammophon trademark, the “cartouche”, is introduced.

Artists Joining

  • Amadeus Quartet
  • Karel An?erl
  • Peter Anders
  • Stefan Askenase
  • Bamberger Symphoniker
  • Karl Böhm
  • Kurt Böhme
  • Kim Borg
  • Shura Cherkassky
  • Jörg Demus
  • Anton Dermota
  • Christoph von Dohnányi
  • Don-Kosaken-Chor /
  • Serge Jaroff
  • Lorenz Fehenberger
  • Festival Strings
  • Lucerne/Rudolf
  • Baumgartner
  • Annie Fischer
  • Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
  • Andor Foldes
  • Maureen Forrester
  • Ferdinand Frantz
  • Gottlob Frick
  • Ferenc Fricsay
  • Monique Haas
  • Ernst Haefliger
  • Paul Hindemith
  • Ludwig Hoelscher
  • Richard Holm
  • Janá?ek Quartet
  • Eugen Jochum
  • Julian von Karolyi
  • Margarete Klose
  • Koeckert-Quartett
  • Franz Konwitschny
  • Paul Kuen
  • Fritz Lehmann
  • Ferdinand Leitner
  • Leningrad Philharmonic
  • Hans-Martin Linde
  • Lorin Maazel
  • Igor Markevitch
  • Johanna Martzy
  • Josef Metternich
  • Evgeny Mravinsky
  • Gustav Neidlinger
  • Aurèle Nicolet
  • David Oistrakh
  • Igor Oistrakh
  • Sviatoslav Richter
  • Helmut Roloff
  • Hans Rosbaud
  • Leonie Rysanek