Barenboim launches new digital label

Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim has teamed up with Universal Music to create a new digital-only label.

The first release from Peral Music, Bruckner’s Symphonies 1-3, will be available exclusively through iTunes for an initial two months. Releases will be offered in Mastered for iTunes format.

Barenboim aims to introduce younger listeners to classical music through the venture. ‘I’m fascinated by young people who have such a dominion of everything that is digital,’ he said. ‘I like the purity of it. I like the fact that you don’t need all the clutter – there’s something incredibly direct about it.

‘…What I would like to get across to the younger generation is that they have to have the curiosity to really concentrate and listen: to basically really hang on to the first note and stay with it. Digital is a wonderful means because you don’t have to do anything like putting a needle onto an LP, or putting a CD into the player. And the recorded quality is superior.’

Recordings of Barenboim playing piano studies will also be released on the label, and will include spoken instructions to assist young players.

‘I would like to have a kind of ‘educational department’…on this label,’ he said. ‘Maybe get some of my distinguished colleagues who play other instruments to do the same thing, so that the students who are real beginners can hear the pieces they are learning, and maybe having difficulties with, properly played.’

Image: L-R: Frank Briegmann, president of Central Europe & chairman and CEO Universal Music Germany; tenor Rolando Villazón; Judith Neuhoff, Centre Stage Artist Management; Daniel Barenboim; Max Hole, chairman and CEO Universal Music Group International; Paul Moseley, managing director of Decca Classics; Mark Wilkinson, president of Deutsche Grammophon © Adam Berry