This has been in the air for weeks, and the deal’s been done just before the Easter break. It’s a game-changer for all three parties.
Nelsons moves off niche labels into mainstream, DG climbs back into the US market and Boston leapfrog their Big Five rivals in world media.
press release, just in:
The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a new partnership that will feature a series of live recordings under the direction ofBSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. This new recording initiative will launch with a project entitled Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow, focusing on works composed during the period of Shostakovich’s difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime—starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s and the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony, and through the premiere of the composer’s Tenth Symphony, one of the composer’s finest, most characteristic orchestral works, purportedly written as a response to Stalin’s death
in 1953. In addition to Symphonies 5-10, the project will also include performances and recordings of the incidental music from King Learand Hamlet and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The recordings of these works will take place at Symphony Hall—one of the world’s most renowned halls for acoustical excellence—during performances scheduled in the BSO’s 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons, all under the direction of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. This announcement about a new relationship and recording project between the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, and Deutsche Grammophon is being released in conjunction with the 2015-16 Boston Symphony Orchestra season announcement, details of which are available here.
The first of the BSO’s five live recorded albums—to be released by Deutsche Grammophon in three installments between summer 2015 and summer 2017—will feature the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the opera that appalled Stalin and propelled Shostakovich out of the dictator’s favor, and Symphony No. 10. The album will be recorded during the BSO’s upcoming concerts at Symphony Hall, April 2, 3 & 4, under the direction of Mr. Nelsons.
Andris Nelsons—born in Riga, Latvia in 1978, when it was still a part of the Soviet Union—is certain to bring a unique perspective to the performances and recordings of Shostakovich’s music. One of the last conductors trained under the Soviet music tradition, and having studied extensively in St. Petersburg, Andris Nelsons now represents the last of a distinct musical voice that is influenced heavily by both those great Russian masters and later by Western European masters of the core Germanic repertoire.
QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS
“I am completely thrilled and honored to be leading this very exciting collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon. It is an immense privilege to focus on the music of Shostakovich, a composer of such great personal courage and virtue, whose extraordinary work transcends even the circumstances in which it was written, and is timeless on many levels. At the same time, with my formative years spent in Soviet Latvia, the music of Shostakovich in particular speaks to me personally in a distinctive way and I’m sure that special affinity will be communicated in these recordings.”