Cherie, I shrunk the record label

Prime minister Tony Blair’s choice of classical record label seems to be as unlucky as his choices of Home Secretary. Last Friday in Rome, as reported On An Overgrown Path, he gave worldwide publicity to Warner Classics by presenting Pope Benedict XVI with the label’s boxed set of the Mozart Piano Concertos played Daniel Barenboim who also directs the Berlin Philharmonic from the keyboard.

Meanwhile back in London on the same day, in a move that surprised both industry insiders and staff, the effective closure of the very same Warner Classics was announced. The label will make no more new recordings, and will be absorbed into Rhino, Warner's reissue division. Artists in the Warner catalogue include Barenboim, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Sakari Oramo, and their sub-labels include Erato and Teldec. Outstanding releases from Warner featured On An Overgrown Path recently have included Scott Ross' complete Scarlatti Sonatas and Chanticleer's Sound in Spirit.

Warner Classic's demise reduces the so-called majors in the classical record market to just EMI, Universal and Sony-BMG. And in a continuing story of industry musical chairs head honcho of Warner Classics Matthew Cosgrove is tipped as the new Vice President of A&R at Deutsche Grammophon. As regular readers will know Deutsche Grammophon’s recent artistic achievements include an album of Dowland lute songs by that well-known early music specialist Sting ...

* Follow this link for a video of Pope Benedict XVI receiving that soon-to-be limited edition Warner Classics boxed set.

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Pliable said…
Nice to see this story being picked up by leading political blogger Tim Worstall over at

A Classic with Warner Classic

On an Overgrown Path has a delightful little classic tale about the Warner Classic record label. Too, too sweet.
Anonymous said…
Esteemed Mr. Pliable:

Because I know you would probably like it to be accurate, it's

Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Pliable said…
ITC - well spotted and now corrected.

It was a very late night last night .....
Anonymous said…

Have a nice weekend and keep up the great work.
Pliable said…
Interestingly nobody spotted my major error in this post and an earlier one, both of which are now corrected.

I said that the Mozart Concertos were played by András Schiff. They weren't. Daniel Barenboim played them, and directed the Berlin Philharmonic from the keyboard.

The confusion arose because András Schiff (and Georg Solti)play the K242 Concerto for Three Pianos on the bonus DVD in the set.

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