The Shellac Project NEW RELEASE

DG and Leo Tolstoy: the History Makers

Deutsche Grammophon’s revelatory Shellac Project unlocks historic treasures from the label’s archives. This fifth instalment includes uplifting readings by Tolstoy, great examples of bel canto and exquisite pianism from a Viennese master.

  • Leo Tolstoy reflects on nature of life in readings in German, French, English and Russian
  • Shellac Project time travels to St Petersburg in the age of the last Tsar to explore landmark recordings by stars of the Mariinsky Opera
  • Art of bel canto comes to life in great recordings by Mattia Battistini, Titta Ruffo, John McCormack and Hermann Jadlowker
  • Recordings by Austrian pianist Alfred Grünfeld, made between 1905 and 1913, evoke the lost world of Habsburg Vienna

Set for release on 1 February 2019, the fifth batch of titles in The Shellac Project – Deutsche Grammophon’s landmark restoration project, created in partnership with Google Arts & Culture – connects contemporary minds with the thoughts of one of the nineteenth century’s greatest writers: Leo Tolstoy can be heard reading short extracts from his extensive collection of philosophical and spiritual reflections. Other highlights include Russian songs and arias recorded in St Petersburg before the Russian Revolution by stars of the Mariinsky Theatre, a selection of recordings made between 1907 and 1913 during the golden era of operatic singing, and examples of the refined artistry of Austrian pianist Alfred Grünfeld. All tracks from The Shellac Project can be accessed as part of an exhibition on the Google Arts & Culture Mobile app for iOS and Android, and online on the Google Arts & Culture platform at g.co/deutschegrammophon.

Just over a year before his death, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) recorded extracts from his anthology Wise Thoughts for Every Day, otherwise known as A Calendar of Wisdom. Four of these – in German, French, English and Russian – have been specially restored and digitised for The Shellac Project. The writer’s universalist creed reverberates through the recordings, his subjects including the power of spiritual enlightenment, the imperative of personal responsibility and development, the folly of striving for material gain, and the cultivation of perpetual freedom. His thought-provoking insights, delivered in his expressive voice, emerge more clearly than ever before thanks to DG’s pioneering use of advanced digital transfer technology, which brings unprecedented sound quality to recordings made over a century ago.

 

Continuing the Russian theme, the titles in this fifth instalment also include recordings made at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre during the closing years of the Russian Empire. The Shellac Project trains the spotlight on the artistry of bass Lev Sibiryakov (1869-1942), for example, whose enormous vocal mastery can be heard in Gremin’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, recorded in St Petersburg in 1912. The quality of the Mariinsky ensemble, meanwhile, registers in a sensational performance of the Quartet from Act 3 of Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar, recorded in 1909 by Sibiryakov with soprano Maria Michailova, mezzo-soprano Galina Nikitina and tenor Andrey Labinsky.

 

 

Students of past singing styles will also enjoy a fascinating selection of bel canto performances from, among others, legendary Italian baritones Mattia Battistini and Titta Ruffo; Irish tenor John McCormack, a star on both sides of the Atlantic by the time he recorded “Questa o quella” from Verdi’s Rigoletto in 1913; and the less well-known Latvian-born tenor Hermann Jadlowker, who joined the Royal Opera company in Berlin in 1909 and later became chief cantor of Riga’s Great Synagogue, migrating to Palestine before the Second World War. A further treat is provided by the scales, arpeggios and vocal exercises recorded in Vienna in 1909 by Richard Mayr (1877-1935), an Austrian bass-baritone who was convinced by Mahler to abandon his medical studies for a career in opera. Mayr, who sang Ochs in the Vienna premiere of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, here demonstrates his consummate technical agility in excerpts from “Professor Fischer’s New Method of Singing”.

 

 

Echoes of Old Vienna sound in 17 Shellac Project tracks recorded by Austrian pianist Alfred Grünfeld (1852-1924). He studied at the Prague Conservatory and in Berlin, became pianist to the German imperial court, and was appointed professor at the Vienna Conservatory in 1897. Grünfeld’s sophisticated touch and immaculate technique grace the recordings he made in the early 1900s of his own compositions, including the Etude à la tarentelle and Paraphrase on J. Strauss II’s Cinderella Waltz. The Shellac Project also features his fleet-fingered reading of Schubert’s Impromptu No.2 in E flat major D.899 and wonderfully fluid interpretations of pieces by Bach, Chopin, Grieg and Schumann.

Two new videos are available to accompany this fifth release – an archive recording of Tolstoy and a look back at some of the technical difficulties involved in the early days of acoustic recordings by producer and sound engineer Rainer Maillard of Emil Berliner Studios.

All digitally remastered tracks available through DG’s own channels
and on partner platforms including
YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.

 

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/cwLSla_BJlVMJg

 

https://dg120.info/the-shellac-project-trailer-2018/

 

Did you know that this is the Chinese year of the pig?

Be one of 50 lucky winners of our new myDG prize draw. Listen to any recording made in previous years of the pig and like your favourite in order to win a high quality Deutsche Grammophon Jute Bag! You will need to log in to this site with your myDG access to participate.

Win one of 50 high quality DG Jute bags by participating in our prize draw.

Did you know that this is the Chinese year of the pig? Follow the link below into the “Discover” section of this website and listen to our selection of recordings representing our history, which were made in previous years of the pig. Then set a “like” (using the heart icon) against at least one.

Back
Special Terms and Conditions:

1. Anyone from any country may participate in this prize draw.

2. The prize draw is active as from 19 July 2019, 00:00 CET until 25 July 2019, 23:59 CET. All entries for this competition must be received within that time.

3. In order to take part in this prize draw, it is necessary to accept the terms and conditions and click on the heart shaped button of the selected track in the category of the zodiac sign of the Pig. To take part in the prize draw you must be a registered myDG user. No purchase is necessary.

4. The draw for the prize will take place as follows: within five working days after the end of the prize draw, the Label (or one of its affiliates or a company it has appointed for this purpose) shall randomly determine the main prize-winners and shall inform the winners by the email address given in the myDG registration process. Neither the Label nor its partners will publish the name of the winner on its website without the express permission of the winner.

5. The prize is one Deutsche Grammophon bag. 50 winners will be drawn at random among all participants.

Terms & Conditions for
Price Draws

Please note that this translation is for your information only. The legally binding text in German can be found here.

General Terms and Conditions for the prize draw promoted by:
Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH
Stralauer Allee 1
10245 Berlin, Deutschland (hereinafter "the Label")


1. These General Terms and Conditions apply to the prize draw promoted by the Label on the websites of the Label and/or its legal affiliates.

2. To participate in the competition individuals must be over the age of 18 with full legal capacity. Representatives and employees of the Label and its legal affiliates, their first or second-degree relatives and relatives by marriage are ineligible to participate. Invalid participation will not give rise to entitlement to any prize. Entries made via competition or input services cannot be taken into account.

3. Each Participant must submit his/her entry under his/her own name. Prizes cannot be transferred to third parties.

4. The provision of compulsory and voluntary information required for participation in the competition, such as first and last names, address, age and/or email address and/or telephone number shall be handled by the Label in accordance with its statement of data protection and any additional declarations of consent provided. Eligibility for participation in the competition requires that where information is requested, all information submitted must be truthful. Otherwise, the Participant may be excluded from the competition, even at a later date.

5. Where there is a change in the law or legal interpretation or if there is a legal ban, the Label retains the right to exchange the published prize and to replace the prize with other prizes, to amend the relevant competition or to cancel the competition in its entirety. In such circumstances, prize-winners who have already been determined shall have no recourse against the Label or its legal affiliates.

6. Determination of prize-winners is made by the Label, its employees and agents or appointed third parties. In this respect the Label is not liable for simple negligence of these individuals during the prize-winner determination process.

7. If a Participant has won a prize, he/she will be notified in writing (in particular by email) or by telephone. If notification is made in writing, the prize-winner is required to inform the Label in the requested format within five (5) working days (valid once postmarked within this time) after receiving the notification whether he/she will accept the prize. If notification is made by telephone and the Label is unable to reach the prize-winner it will attempt to leave a message insofar as this is technically possible. The prize-winner is required to inform the Label in the requested format within three (3) working days (valid once postmarked within this time) after receiving the notification whether he/she will accept the prize. If these deadlines are not met, the Participant is no longer entitled to the prize. The Label in such case shall be entitled at its sole discretion to either not give the prize to anyone or to determine a new prize-winner and to award the prize to another participant. Claims by the original prize-winner against the Label are invalid.

8. Prizes are limited to the published specifications. For non-cash prizes, the Label will also be responsible for the postage of prizes. Any other services, such as the equipment necessary to use the prizes awarded or, in the case of a specified travel prize, any equipment which the winner may need for the trip or any travel needed to reach the point of departure or any costs incurred during the travel which in the definition of the prize are not listed as being part of the prize, are not included unless otherwise expressly stated in the prize draw rules. Accordingly, the Participant expressly accepts that any costs, expenses or other services incurred by him/her with respect to the prize (particularly with respect to travel) that are not included as part of the prize shall be for his/her own account. The Label furthermore accepts no liability for damages caused by the Participant or due to use of the prize and is hereby indemnified against all such claims from third parties.

9. No equivalent value in cash will be paid out for non-cash prizes.

10. If the Participant is in breach of any special competition rules or these Terms and Conditions, the Label is entitled at any time to exclude the Participant from the competition without prior notice.

11. No legal recourse is permitted.

12. If any provision of these General Terms and Conditions shall be invalid, the remaining provisions shall remain unaffected. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany is applicable. Where the Participant is resident outside the Federal Republic of Germany, it is hereby agreed that the express place of jurisdiction shall be the registered office of the Label.

Thank you!

Thank you for entering our prize draw! You are now in the category of the zodiac sign of the Pig. All you have to do is to like your favourite track to be part of our raffle. Good luck!

Please visit this page on a desktop device to participate in our Prize Draw!