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									Label Focus - harmonia mundi
                                                       harmonia mundi - Best Sellers
                                                       Year To Date 2008
                                                                Artist                                Title
                                                       1        Paul Lewis                             Beethoven/Piano Sonatas - Vol 4
                                                       2        Stile Antico                           Byrd/Tallis/Heavenly Harmonies
                                                       3        Manze/Podger/Aam                       Js Bach/Solo & Double Violin
                                                       4        Scholl/Concerto Di Viole/Behr          Crystal Tears
                                                       5        Padmore/English Concert/Manze          Handel/As Steals The Morn
                                                       6        Manze/Egarr                            Handel/Complete Violin Sonatas
                                                       7        Paul Lewis                             Beethoven/Sonatas - Vol 3
Early history                                          8        Theatre Of Voices/Hillier              Stockhausen/Stimmung
                                                       9        Academy Of Ancient Music/Egarr         Handel/Organ Concertos
Described by the New York Times as “one
of Europe’s finest independent record                  10       Jean-Guihen Queyras                    Bach/Cello Suites
companies”, harmonia mundi’s origins date
back half a century when, in 1958, a
                             French                     All Time
                             journalist with
                                                                Artist                                Title
                             connections to
                             the book trade,           1        Manze/Podger/Aam                       Js Bach/Solo & Double Violin Concertos
                             Bernard Coutaz,           2        Scholl/Ensemble 415/Banchini           Vivaldi/Stabat Mater
                             decided to                3        Andreas Scholl                         Handel/Ombra Mai Fu
                             found his own
                                                       4        Aam/Manze                              Handel/Conerti Grossi Op 6
                             publishing
                                                       5        Rozario/Aam/Goodwin                    Tavener/Eternity's Sunrise
                             house for
                             music. A year             6        Scholl/Vocal Col Or/Herreweghe         Js Bach/Cantatas Pour Alto
      Bernard Coutaz
                             later the label           7        Academy Of Ancient Music/Manze         Vivaldi/Concert For The Prince Of Poland
had released its first recording, Chants               8        Scholl/Martin                          English Folksongs
From The Slavonic Liturgy.                             9        Anonymous 4                            The Lily And The Lamb
To begin with, the harmonia mundi                      10       Andreas Scholl                         The Voice
catalogue - steered by a lack of finance and
a natural direction provided by the help of
well-known organ buff Dr Pierre Rochas -
was based mostly on recordings of historic                                                       Expanding into distribution
organs. Works were written especially with
a particular model in mind, reviving interest   when the                                         By the middle of the decade, the label had
in sound and in timbre at a time when           exploration of                                   progressed from operating almost as a
many in the record business still thought       these genres                                     small record club to organising its own
essentially in terms of melody. In time the     was still largely                                distribution in France, after which it began
collection grew and began finding               confined to                                      to handle records by other French and
appreciative audiences in France, The           specialists. René                                foreign labels.      Today the company
Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Italy.         Jacobs, William                                  distributes about 50 foreign label
                                                Christie and                                     catalogues.

The Deller years                                                              Philippe           Key classical labels distributed
In the late sixties, Coutaz met the
                                                                              Herre-             in the UK
                                                                              weghe              • Alia Vox
countertenor Alfred Deller, who agreed to
                                                                              (above)
record for his label. Deller remained
                                                                              came to be         • Alpha
strongly associated with the company until                                                       • Delphian
                                                                              known
his death in 1979 and, thanks to him, the
catalogue became enriched with repertoire
                                                                              almost as          • Glossa
                                                                              ‘house             • LSO Live
from the Elizabethan and Baroque periods,
                                                                              artists’ for
music which is still being explored even
                                                Rene Jacobs and Alfred Deller the label,
                                                                                                 • Medici Arts
now.                                                                                             • Ondine
                                                                              and their
From the 1970s onwards, harmonia mundi          recordings became key in establishing            • Orfeo
began to produce recordings of                  harmonia mundi as a force in music from          • RCO Live
Renaissance and Baroque music, at a time        these periods.
                                                                                                 • Signum

                                                                                                                                                  14
Label Focus - harmonia mundi
 Encouraged by the success of this              was Vocal category winner at the BBC            news and enabling sign up for a regular
 distribution venture in France, the company    Music Magazine Awards 2008.                     newsletter (to date there are around 10,250
 opened new centres in London in 1981, in       The year ahead will see a great deal of         subscribers worldwide).
 Los Angeles and Heidelberg in 1982,            activity centred around the bicentenary of
 Barcelona in 1986 and in the Benelux in        Haydn’s death, including nine reissues, five
 1988. First and foremost they acted purely     significant new releases, a CD book and a
 as distributors, but more recently have        DVD documentary focussing on the new
 contributed regionally to the catalogue.       recordings.
                                                The rest of the label’s release schedule
 The move into retail                           looks impressive too, with new titles such
                                                as:
 The mid-eighties saw the company move to
 Arles (southern France) and subsequent         • Idomeneo
 years saw diversification into book            directed by René
 distribution as well as the taking of a        Jacobs (to be                                   50 years of harmonia mundi
 majority share in the music publisher and      released June
                                                                                                The label has
 record label Le Chant Du Monde.                2009)
                                                                                                been busy
 It was around this time that harmonia                                                          recently
 mundi began to create its own chain of                                  • Recital at           celebrating its
 record shops. There are currently 44 shops                              Ravinia from the       50th anniversary
 in France and three in Spain exclusively                                late Lorraine Hunt     with a number of
 selling recordings on harmonia mundi and                                Lieberson and          special editions
 the labels distributed in these two                                     Peter Sirkin (to be    (such as a
 countries. This proved a prescient decision:                            released March         luxurious box set
 in France at present the sales from these                               2009)                  covering highlights from the catalogue)
 boutiques represent 36% of their turnover.                                                     and the launch of the hmgold range, which
                                                • Brahms String                                 repackages classic titles at mid-price. A
                                                Quartet op 51
                                                                                                minisite has also been set up with the
                                                no.1 by Arcanto-
 The present day and beyond                     Quartett with Silke
                                                                                                specific purpose of publicising the
                                                                                                anniversary (link here).
 Harmonia mundi now employs over 300            Avenhaus (to be
 people worldwide and has a turnover of 63      released April                                  Harmonia mundi UK also has increasing
 million euros, releasing records from the      2009)                                           visibility in the World music field with its
 whole range of repertoires, from early                                                         own labels World Village and Chant Du
 music to the compositions of the twenty-                                                       Monde, and distributes 25 World and Jazz
 first century.
                                                                         • Bach Cantatas        labels, including ACT, CamJazz, High Note
                                                                         for Alto BWV35,
                                                                                                and HatArt.
 Today, the harmonia mundi group, under                                  169 & 170 by
 the artistic direction of Eva Coutaz,                                   Bernarda Fink (to      After half a century, the label still operates
 releases more than 60 new recordings                                    be released            by two abiding principles held firm since its
 every year, with best sellers from 2008                                 February 2009)         formation: to be financially independent by
 including:                                                                                     reinvesting all profits every year; and to
                                                                                                record repertoire they are passionate
 • all four volumes                             Online activity                                 about, with musicians who share this
 of Beethoven Piano                                                                             conviction. In the words of founder Coutaz,
                                                Around 450 titles are currently available in
 Sonatas from Paul                                                                              “to be fired with enthusiasm for a work, a
                                                digital form through over 100 legal
 Lewis, winner of                                                                               composer or a performer, and to wish to
                                                download platforms around the world
 Record of the Year                                                                             share your enthusiasm with others: that is
                                                including iTunes and eMusic. The United
 at the Classic FM                                                                              the essence of our trade, whether you’re
                                                Kingdom leads the digital sales field in
 Gramophone                                                                                     publishing records or books”.
                                                Europe, followed by France, Germany, the
 Awards 2008
                                                Netherlands and Belgium. The UK also tops
                                                the European list of sales through internet                 harmonia mundi (UK)
                                                retailers, with approximately one third of
                        • As Steals The         turnover generated through Amazon, MDT,                        45 Vyner Street
                        Morn, a collection      HMV.com, Presto, the Classical Music Shop,                         London
                        of solo arias and       Bath Compact Discs and Crotchet.                                   E2 9DQ
                        scenes for tenor
                        composed by             Harmonia mundi’s website was completely                For more information contact:
                        Handel. This            updated in 2005 and offers links to other              info.uk@harmoniamundi.com
                        acclaimed title was     minisites detailing current activities (a                    Tel: 020 8709 9509
                        performed by Mark       recent example centred on new Handel box                     Fax: 020 8709 9501
                        Padmore and The         sets (link here) as well as keeping site
                        English Concert and     visitors updated about artists on tour, label            www.harmoniamundi.com


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