DG make a blooper on Pollini’s birthday box

January 8, 2017 by norman lebrecht


A conscientious editor has sent us the booklet cover of DG’s 75th birthday compendium for the 75th birthday of the celebrated pianist.

Ah well, at least they got the right number of ls in his surname.



Celebrating his 75th birthday in 2017, this luxurious 55CD set presents Pollini’s complete recordings on Deutsche Grammophon with their original covers, including the first ever release of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich (recorded in Tokyo in 1974).

Comments (38)

  1. Peter says:

    ouch. expensive mistake.

  2. Luk Vaes says:

    There are some serious mistakes made by the sound editor in the recordings of the late Beethoven sonates, the cover of which is shown here.

  3. erich says:

    …like the famous Giulini cover which had to be withdrawn and reprinted after an undiscovered work by Verdi – Four Scared Pieces – was to be released!

    1. David Osborne says:

      Oh dear, is nothing sacred?

  4. Bruce says:

    I have a double CD of Uto Ughi playing Bach’s unaccompanied “Sonatas and PARITAS” from RCA :/

    1. Sixtus says:

      I love chicken paritas with guacamole.

      1. stefan verbeek says:


    2. Steinway Fanatic says:

      The incompetence of the RCA/BMG era (1987-2005) was without parallel in the history of recorded music. Volumes could be written about their idiot staff members and their endless stream of bloopers.

  5. John Cooledge says:

    My favorite was the Columbia recording of Rudolf Serkin playing the Mendelssohn G minor concerto. The label on the LP listed the first movement as Molto allegro con fucco.

    1. Cyril Blair says:

      Sometimes you have to play it that way.

  6. chris says:

    I have a Dover-edition score where on the spine it reads: Holtz – The Planets

  7. J. says:

    Fortunately, Mr. Lebrecht never mispells a name, right? Ever.

    1. Max Grimm says:

      Never. And even on the off chance that he did, he would correct it most expediently I’m sure.

    2. John says:

      I don’t think he’s ever misspelled a name on a major label’s album cover.

      1. J. says:

        When you’re a journalist, you should never mispell. Check, re-check. And again. I’m a journalist, I know what I mean.

        1. John says:

          Sniff, sniff . . . .

  8. Carlos Solare says:

    How is “DG’s 75th birthday compendium for the 75th birthday of the celebrated pianist” any better?

    1. Alexander says:

      Probably because it’s on a blog and not printed in something which will set you back £131.37 on Amazon.

  9. Allan Lewis says:

    The cover of RCA Victor LSC-2327 states that Jean Morel conducts the “Royal Opera House Orchestra, Convent Garden”.

  10. Emil says:

    Pretty sure I have a CD of Beethoven’s “Erotica” symphony somewhere.

    1. Ilio says:

      Dreamlife in Japan had a Mahler 9th with the Barbarian Radio Symphony listed on the cover.

  11. pianoronald says:

    I have a CD box of “La Cenerentra” with Lucia Valentina-Terrani and a CD with “Wilhelm Futwängler” conducting. Bought in Japan.

    1. pianoronald says:

      Sorry, it’s Valentini-Terrani, not Valentina-Terrani.

      1. Pete says:

        It is indeed easy to misspell, isn’t it?

  12. John says:

    I once worked in a music store where the lady typed up an order for “How Lovely are thy Swellings” (Brahms)

  13. Cubs Fan says:

    Then there’s the CBS recording of the Tchaikovsky 6th with Lorin Maazel conducting the CLEVERLAND Symphony Orchestra.
    A Mahler 7th with Herrmann Scherchen and the Tronto Symphony.

    1. Ilio says:

      RCA once had a LP set with the Convent Garden Orchestra.

  14. Steven Holloway says:

    So many to choose from, but I’m particularly fond of Mitsuko Uchida’s two-disc ‘Perspectives’ set. It would seem from the booklet that Beethoven’s Thirty-Two Variations on an Original Theme in C minor is accompanied by the Bayerischen Rundfunks Symphonieorchester under Sanderling. Mighty unlikely unless someone’s been doing some odd arranging and, no, it is not.

  15. Ungeheuer says:

    The Metropolitan Opera/Levine/Pavarotti/Chernov/Studer recording of Rigoletto for DGG contains the typo Guiseppe (instead of Giuseppe) Verdi on the CD spine. Inexplicable and embarrassing mistakes from a once highly respected, serious and venerable record label.

  16. Jonathan Dunsby says:

    And of course Stockhausen’s Hymnen mispelled without the ‘n’ !

  17. Alasdair Munro says:

    The Guardian review of Doris Godunov. The record shop assistant taking an order for VD Requim.

  18. jaypee says:

    Had a cheap reissue on EMI/Angel of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with Barenboim and “Klemperor”.
    Loved it!

  19. CounterTenor says:

    And no-one’s yet mentioned Kodaly’s “Buttocks Pressing Song”…

  20. Alistair Hinton says:

    Pollini seems to be a particularly unfortunate victim of this; I recall years ago his being recorded on the list of Steinway Artists as “Maurizio Pollino” at a time when another of them was listed as “Yonti Solomon”

  21. Kirk says:

    These sorts of mistakes were rare on DG product in the period from the 60’s through the early 90’s. Then something happened to that company. They were taken over by mindless bean counters, few with any real interest in what DG was actually recording or even what its role in the world of recorded music was, is or should be. They are lost and here is a symptom of what symbolises the type of work that DG does today. How a design with such a glaring misspelling of one of their legendary artist’s names could have slipped past the many eyes who should have seen the product speaks volumes about the incompetence that runs DG today. I lost interest in most of what they produce around ten years ago. They are no longer a reference, just a logo that once meant something, but today means very little.

    1. David Ward says:

      Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to make very silly mistakes when typing and then to see what you think you typed when proofing. I’ve done it in a notice about a piece of my own, which was then exactly copied by a couple of reputable journals.

      1. Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

        I agree. In German, there is the word “Betriebsblindheit” – being so engrossed in one’s writing that, even after several readings of the finished text, spelling mistakes go unnoticed. Better to have another, fresh pair of eyes look carefully. Obviously, no such pair of eyes are found at Deutsche Grammophon. I stop writing now, for fear of making lost of silly mistakes due to tears welling up in y eyes as I remember the long gone greatness of the yellow label…

  22. Paul Davis says:

    I loved the many examples cited here. Not a major blunder but one i loved for its irony; the sleeve of an early Brendel LP on Vanguard of Chopin(!) declared that he, (AB)……”in his spare time looks for unintentional humour…” The last piece listed: Polonaise no. 6 in F flat. Did AB himself have a hand (or even just a finger) in that one, or did he just find the piece too E-sy?

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