The Eighth Decade (1970–1979)

A restructuring of the DGG/PPI group in 1971 is followed by the formation of PolyGram, with headquarters in Baarn (Netherlands) and Hamburg. In 1973, to mark its 75th anniversary, Deutsche Grammophon releases The Symphony on ninety-three LPs. Also in this decade, DG continues to expand its international horizons as Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli makes a series of distinguished recordings beginning in 1971. In 1972, three conductors begin long-term associations: Daniel Barenboim (also as a pianist), Seiji Ozawa and, most prominently, Leonard Bernstein, who in 1981 becomes an exclusive DG artist. Bernstein begins recording the Austro-German symphonic repertoire, largely from live concerts with the Wiener Philharmoniker, as well as many of his own and other American works (his 1985 recording of West Side Story becomes one of the bestselling releases in the company’s history). Carlo Maria Giulini makes his first recordings for DG in 1976 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During the coming years the company documents his return to opera after a long absence to record Rigoletto in Vienna, Falstaff in Los Angeles, and Il trovatore in Rome. Carlos Kleiber’s first recording, Der Freischütz in 1973, is followed over the next decade by La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, Tristan – and symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert. In 1978 a brilliant career begins as 14-year old violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter makes her debut recording of Mozart with the Berliner Philharmoniker under her mentor Karajan. Also Gidon Kremer records the first of many lauded projects for Deutsche Grammophon. The LaSalle Quartet’s recordings of the Second Viennese School win numerous prizes. Archiv Produktion signs exclusive contracts with the violinist Reinhard Goebel and his Musica Antiqua Köln in 1977 and with the harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock and his English Concert the next year. These represent the company’s first period-instrument ensembles since Wenzinger’s Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in the 1950s. Also in 1978, John Eliot Gardiner makes his first recording for Archiv with the English Baroque Soloists. In 1980, PolyGram takes over Decca Records.

Artists Joining

  • Salvatore Accardo
  • Theo Adam
  • Arleen Augér
  • Agnes Baltsa
  • Daniel Barenboim
  • Arturo Benedetti
  • Michelangeli
  • Teresa Berganza
  • Lazar Berman
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Pierre Boulez
  • Alfred Brendel
  • Leo Brouwer
  • Renato Bruson
  • Montserrat Caballé
  • José Carreras
  • Chicago Symphony
  • Orchestra
  • Dino Ciani
  • The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Ileana Cotrubas
  • Helga Dernesch
  • Plácido Domingo
  • English Chamber Orchestra
  • Zino Francescatti
  • Mirella Freni
  • Sir James Galway
  • Sir John Eliot Gardiner
  • Nicolai Gedda
  • Emil Gilels
  • Carlo Maria Giulini
  • Barbara Hendricks
  • Marilyn Horne
  • Israel Philharmonic
  • Orchestra
  • Carlos Kleiber
  • René Kollo
  • The London Sinfonietta
  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Loriot (Vicco von Bülow)
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Melos Quartett
  • Sir Yehudi Menuhin
  • Sherrill Milnes
  • Nathan Milstein
  • Kurt Moll
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter