Just three days after announcing the signing of Leif Ove Andsnes, Sony Classical has announced another prestigious addition to its roster: the Emerson String Quartet.
The signing brings to an end a prolific 30-disc relationship with Deutsche Grammophon for the ensemble, stretching back to 1987 and including three Gramophone Awards.
The new agreement will see the Emersons – violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, viola player Lawrence Dutton and cellist David Finckel – record exclusively for Sony.
Their first album for the label, to be released in November, will be Mozart’s last three string quartets – the 'Prussian' Quartets K 575, K 589 and K 590. This will be followed in 2012 by a recording of Schoenberg’s Verklaerte Nacht and Brahms’s String Quintet in G, Op 111.
“We have long admired Sony Classical’s roster of great artists and the breadth of music that they record,” said the Emersons, who formed in 1976, in a statement. “Our first two CDs will document widely diverse aspects of our repertoire, ranging from the crystalline elegance and sheer beauty of Mozart's last three quartets to the rich sonorities of Brahms's String Quintet in G and the brooding, erotically charged turbulence of Schoenberg’s Verklaerte Nacht.”
And so, to recite that ever-growing Sony list of recent signings once more, the Emersons join pianists Andsnes, Lang Lang and Khatia Buniatishvili, tenor Vittorio Grigolo, bass Erwin Schrott, violinist Ray Chen, soprano Nino Machaidze and conductor Kristjan Järvi.
From the Archive: read an interview with the Emersons from when they last signed to a major label, to DG over two decades ago.