November 05, 2014

Erato named Classica Magazine's Label of the Year

Major accolade for a label reborn 50 years after it first shed new light on early music and French Baroque.

The French magazine Classica has crowned Erato 2014 ‘Label of the Year’ in its prestigious Chocs de l'année awards (‘Shocks of the Year’), announced in the November edition.

The revered French label Erato, named for one of the Greek muses of music, has been part of the Warner Music Group since 1992. After lying dormant for more than a decade, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 with a remarkable comeback, which integrated a rich collection of pioneering Baroque and early music recordings with what was formerly the Virgin Classics catalogue.

Under the direction of Warner Classics and Erato president Alain Lanceron, the label is enjoying a renaissance with its roster of exclusive artists – countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, sopranos Diana Damrau and Natalie Dessay, pianist Alexandre Tharaud, violinist Renaud Capuçon and the Ebène Quartet to name a few – joining a distinguished catalogue that includes pianists Maria João Pires, Daniel Barenboim and Hélène Grimaud, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, harpsichordist Scott Ross, organist Marie-Claire Alain and William Christie’s Les Arts florissants.

Erato continues to champion exciting new talent, with 23-year-old French harpsichord virtuoso Jean Rondeau, lyric-coloratura soprano Sabine Devieilhe and cello prodigy Edgar Moreau among the latest signings.

The label’s legacy and continued growth was celebrated this year with a series of 20 milestone reissues, The Erato Story, including the very first release under the green banner: the Pasdeloup Orchestra’s 1953 Charpentier Te Deum, an obscure rarity turned surprise hit that propelled Erato to the forefront of the burgeoning early music revival.

Classica magazine stated: “Last year we announced that with the release of Philippe Jaroussky’s Porpora, the company that for 50 years (1953-2001) proudly represented the legacy of French artists all over the world was reborn at the heart of the Warner group, taking the place of Virgin Classics.

“Under the leadership of Alain Lanceron, numerous Erato releases have graced these pages since last summer, including such exceptional additions to the catalogue as Stella di Napoli from the mezzo Joyce DiDonato, dedicated to Neapolitan repertoire, or the splendid Darius Milhaud boxed set. Well-deserved ‘Chocs’ and encouragement to this young label with a long history and a clairvoyant approach to spotting talent.”

The Classica awards ceremony will take place in Paris on 2 December. Warner Classics also claims a prestigious Choc de l’Année for its Maria Callas Remastered Edition.