Label news: Bayreuth rolls out new deal with DG

Label news: Bayreuth rolls out new deal with DG


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2016

The Wagner festival is renewing its association with the major German label. Makes sense, right?

First off this production line will be video of last year’s excellent Tristan, condcuted by Christian Thielemann, directed by Katharina Wagner.

Next, however, will be this summer’s Parsifal, the almost universally derided ‘bloodbath’ production by Uwe Eric Laufenberg. Maybe they’ll just release the audio…

Press release below.



Katharina Wagner, Artistic and Managing Director of
the Bayreuth Festival
© Enrico Nawrath

Many notable Bayreuth Festival productions have been released by Deutsche Grammophon, including Patrice Chéreau’s “Centenary Ring” and the legendary staging of Tristan und Isolde starring Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen. Today the Yellow Label is happy to announce that DG and Bayreuth will once again be joining forces in a long-term collaborative project.

Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, welcomes this new phase in a remarkable musical partnership: “By combining tradition-conscious interpretations of Wagner’s scores with an innovative workshop approach, the Bayreuth Festival has always played a central role in shaping the reception of his music. DG’s operatic repertoire will be tremendously enriched by its relationship with the Festival, which has already produced a series of inspired benchmark recordings. We are thrilled to be able to continue working with such a great institution, and look forward to building on what is already a significant musical legacy, following in the spirit of Wagner’s own exhortation: ‘Children, create something new!’”

Katharina Wagner, Artistic and Managing Director of the Bayreuth Festival, adds, “We are delighted and inspired at the prospect of resuming our association with Deutsche Grammophon and of strengthening and breathing new life into a longstanding partnership. We are very much looking forward to our upcoming joint projects with a label renowned for its rich tradition of quality and expertise.”

From 2016 onwards, a leading new production from the Festival will be recorded for exclusive video release on Deutsche Grammophon. First in line is last season’s critically-acclaimed, 150th-anniversary production of Tristan und Isolde, directed by Katharina Wagner and starring Stephen Gould and Evelyn Herlitzius under the baton of Christian Thielemann. The Süddeutsche Zeitung praised Herlitzius’s portrayal of Isolde as follows: “Evelyn Herlitzius makes this story of forced marriage very much her own. She both sings and acts with sensitivity, naturalness and radiance, bringing out the mysterious and erotic nuances of the role.” Deutschlandradio Kultur commended the production as a “feast of singing, crowned by Stephen Gould’s stunning presence as Tristan”, while Der Spiegel concluded that “conductor Thielemann was in top form”.

Next year, Deutsche Grammophon plans to release Uwe Eric Laufenberg’s new staging of Parsifal, premiered in the current festival season. The 2017 season will see Australian director Barrie Kosky’s Bayreuth debut with a production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the film of which is set to be released by DG in 2018.