Warner Classics Das Alte Werk series
Das Alte Werk was inaugurated in 1958 with the release of 7” discs of Gregorian chant and music by Machaut, and quickly gained a reputation for historically informed, high-quality recordings. There soon followed LPs of harpsichord sonatas by Scarlatti, Concerti grossi by Handel and Partitas for unaccompanied violin by Bach.
The signing up of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen and Jaap Schröder ushered in a new era: the rediscovery of the authentic sound of period instruments, scholarly research into original sources and the obvious delight the label’s young artists had in their music-making combined to offer the listener new and fascinating musical experiences.
As the field of early music spread wider and wider and new paths were constantly broken, Das Alte Werk rapidly became the touchstone by which other labels were judged, not least for its epoch-making complete recording of Bach’s sacred cantatas. In 2008, Das Alte Werk celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by reissuing some of its finest recordings.
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