the new label launches with an electrifying verdi requiem performance from gianandrea noseda and the verbier festival orchestra, followed by exceptional releases from yuja wang, bryn terfel, and kristóf baráti
11 March 2022 – VERBIER (Switzerland) – The Verbier Festival and Deutsche Grammophon are delighted to announce the launch of Verbier Festival Gold – a joint venture between the two classical music powerhouses. Boasting a vast archive overflowing with precious gems captured in the Festival’s concert halls in the Swiss Alps, this new record label will make the Verbier Festival experience more accessible to audiences around the world and showcase eminent classical artists, many of them with a close affiliation to the Yellow Label, in unusual formations and repertoire.
Verbier Festival Gold aims to release a new recording every month. The exclusive licensing and distribution partnership marks a special moment between the Verbier Festival and Deutsche Grammophon, solidifying a relationship between organisations that has already enjoyed many successful collaborations over the years, including audio releases of marquee performances, film offerings from the Virtual Festival in 2020, and a ‘25 Years of Excellence’ anniversary edition in 2018.
The Festival has always been a pioneer in media, capturing special moments on stage through both audio and visual recordings. When the Festival was forced to reimagine its summer offering in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Virtual Verbier Festival, in partnership with medici.tv and Deutsche Grammophon, launched a journey of discovery and celebration into its impressive and extensive archive. This paved the way for the significant project that is currently underway, which seeks to digitise all of the Festival’s archive. The launch of Verbier Festival Gold is one of the first concrete steps in the Verbier Festival’s efforts to establish a legacy and impact beyond the physical festival.
The vast collection of recordings allows audiences to be transported to any point in the Festival’s history and, in partnering with Deutsche Grammophon, will make them available to its loyal following and to a new public.
“It is with great pride that we announce the Verbier Festival Gold label with our friends at Deutsche Grammophon. We have created many iconic memories with our community of artists in Verbier over the last 29 years, and we are honoured to share them now together with such a prestigious partner.” – Martin T:son Engstroem, Founder & Director
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, highlights the outstanding efforts of the Verbier Festival in promoting emerging artists and enabling them to work alongside today’s established performers. “Verbier Festival Gold is the latest chapter in a remarkable story of innovation and musical excellence at two renowned arts institutions,” he observes. “The new label’s launch releases and those to follow encapsulate the spirit of Verbier, where musicians gather in ideal conditions every summer to create unforgettable performances. It is a particular pleasure to see the prominent role played by members of Deutsche Grammophon’s family of artists in so many landmark concerts from the Verbier Festival. We’re delighted to help bring this wonderful resource of recordings to new audiences around the world.”
Gianandrea Noseda’s account of Verdi’s transcendent Requiem from 2013 marks one of the most electrifying moments in Verbier Festival history, and as the first release on Verbier Festival Gold, perfectly exemplifies the legendary calibre of performance that the label seeks to present. Soloists Maria Agresta, Daniela Barcellona, Piotr Beczala, and Ildar Abdrazakov deliver spellbinding performances, as do the singers of the Coro Teatro Regio Torino, and musicians of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. Joining together – from the hushed tones of the ‘Introit’ to the radiant cadence of the ‘Libera me’ – these forcesconjure a journey of monumental power under Noseda’s expert direction. The HD audio recording will be available on 25 March, followed by a film release on 16 April available through Deutsche Grammophon’s video music service for classical concert streams, DG Stage.
Superstar pianist Yuja Wang excels as a recording artist, yet it is in front of a live audience where she truly comes alive; the second release on Verbier Festival Gold features Wang’s 2009 performance alongside an all-star ensemble of Kirill Troussov, David Aaron Carpenter, Maxim Rysanov, Sol Gabetta, and Leigh Mesh. Available from 22 April 2022, the release also features Wang’s exhilarating performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1, together with Kurt Masur and the Verbier Festial Orchestra.
Bryn Terfel’s 2011 recital with pianist Llyr Williams marks the highly anticipated third release on 20 May 2022. The charismatic bass-baritone stages a performance that perfectly matches the delicacy and depth of this brilliant, poetry-inspired programme, which pairs Schubert’s magnificent Liebesbotschaft (“Message of Love”) and Litanei with Schumann’s Liederkreis, a pinnacle of Romantic composition. The Schubert song was based on a poem by Ludwig Rellstab and excerpted from the posthumously published Schwanengesang, the composer’s collection of fourteen Lieder. Himself a writer and music critic, the literary-minded Schumann, in turn, drew inspiration from the poetry of Joseph von Eichendorff. The release is rounded out with Ibert’s ‘Chansons de Don Quichotte’, Roger Quilter’s ‘3 Shakespeare Songs’, and concludes with a handful of charming encores.
24 June marks a release featuring Kristóf Baráti, a violinist now increasingly recognised across the globe as a musician of extraordinary quality with a vast expressive range and impeccable technique. In this release, Baráti gives an impassioned interpretation of the complete solo Sonatas and Partitas of Bach, from his recital in 2016. A treasure of the violin repertoire, Baráti takes advantage of the extraordinary sound of his 1703 “Lady Harmsworth” Stradivarius, in a recording that will be one to remember.