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A refuge for EMI artists? You read it here first…

For months they have been looking disconsolate, not knowing what future they have on record, if any.

Warner had bought EMI and Virgin Classics, but not the names which remain the brand property of Universal.

Now, at last, a chink of light has appeared.

Philippe Jarousky. star counter-tenor on Virgin, has a record coming out in France in September.

It’s on Erato, a label bought by Warner in the early 1990s and discontinued a few years later.

It is being brought back to life to house EMI/Virgin product.


UPDATE: This story is still developing. Apparently Virgin artists, most of them French, will be absorbed by Erato. The EMI artists, led by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, will feature on hitherto all-but-defunct Warner Classics.

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  1. Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic’s new Rahmaninov disc is being issued under the Warner Classics brand:

    • The recorded sound on EMI was much better than here. It is a plastic sounding muddle which sounds over-cooked. For example the close miked timps are thinn dry and too loud in the balance at the beginning of the first movement. There are better versions in the catalogue with more believable honest sound.

  2. Alvaro Mendizabal says:

    I am a bit confused. Guitarist Xuefei Yang just released a compilatory album, with some previously unreleased tracks for EMI Classics – which is by all means now defunct.

    However, it looks like this release is just for Asia.

  3. David Naden says:

    If Warner Classics had ANY business sense, they would keep the EMI label, and allow EMI artists to continue releasing under EMI. Warner Classics is a has-been, and is NOT a major label, and by absorbing EMI, will diminish the value of key artists, such as Simon Rattle and the Berliin Philharmonic Orchestra. That does NOT mean that the real value of Simon Rattle or the Berlin Philharmonic will diminish…just the value of recording released under the Warner Classics label. The best solution for Key EMI artists would be for them to sign NEW contracts with other labels, and back away from Warner…

  4. Perhaps a little off topic. I used to ‘love’ the ERATO label. I am glad to hear of it returning. As a young, hopeful trumpeter in the 70s/80s, I would rush out to ‘Discurio’ (Shepherds’ Market) to get the latest Maurice Andre releases, of which there were many. I hope the quality of the new Erato is as good as the quality they issued with Andre’s stuff…

  5. love the album cover design

  6. Gustavo Guerra says:

    If Warner doesn’t keeps the EMI name nor the artists, what they bought? The parking lot?

  7. Patrick Latimer says:

    I bought a recent EMI re release of Carmen with Angela Gheorghiu on double cd. I split open the cellophane wrap and the case fell apart immediately . I took it back to the shop ( Blackwells Book Shop Edinburgh) and swapped it for the DGG equivalent. I bought another recent EMI re release of Khachaturian historic performances. Mono and stereo renditions were mixed together seemingly willy nilly and the booklet detail was quite poor as well apart from not mentioning how performances were recorded. The consequence of this is that I am not going to buy any more recent EMI releases. Anyway my question if anyone can answer it is If Universal have go the name and Warner have got the company who exactly has been releasing EMI & Virgin Classics up till now because the poorly packaged Carmen I took back was dated 2013?

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