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A Swiss reference / An independant label
Claves is a Swiss record company, founded in 1968 in Thun by Marguerite Dütschler-Hüber. Since 2010, the musician and concert organizer Patrick Peikert is the director, succeeding Antonin Scherrer and Thierry Scherz.
Dedicated to all genres of classical music, Claves likes to give priority to young artists, rare repertoires, composers, performing, orchestras, Swiss festivals and historical reissues.
The label's reputation was first established by two Swiss performers: the pianist, harpsichordist and conductor Jörg Ewald Dähler and the flutist Peter-Lukas Graf, who have made numerous recordings that are always in demand.
Later, the label had the privilege of developing close relationships with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Teresa Berganza and Ernst Haefliger, among others. On the orchestral side, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra regularly record with Claves.
In the 1980s, Claves enjoyed a very active partnership with Swiss conductor Marcello Viotti - a rising star in the world of conducting, a guest of the greatest opera houses such as the MET, La Scala, the Wiener Staatsoper, and La Fenice - which resulted in a series of premieres of Rossini's one-act operas and a complete set of Schubert's Symphonies. The Crommelynck Duo also marked this period with an important series of recordings covering almost the entire piano duet repertoire.
The publishing of archives, in collaboration with Radio Télévision Suisse, is one of the strong points of the label, with a fabulous catalog: Haskil, Milstein, Michelangeli, Gilels, Kogan, Magaloff, Koopman, Francescati, Stern, Grumiaux or Van Cliburn.
A constantly expanding catalog
In the last decade, the label has returned to its historical production rhythm with 16 to 18 recordings per year. Collaborations with Swiss ensembles have been strengthened, notably with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Musikollegium de Winterthur, the Berner Symphonieorchester, the Académie vocale de Suisse Romande, the Orchestre de chambre de Genève and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. The repertoire has also been extended with a regular collaboration with the Swiss Chamber Soloists for the music of our time, the resumption of a jazz collection and an opening towards the popular repertoire of quality (La Chanson de Fribourg).
As for young artists, the label continues to pursue intense collaborations, notably in collaboration with the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, with artists such as Timothy Ridout, Anastasia Kobekina, Andryi Dragan or Jean-Paul Gasparian.
The catalog now includes nearly 600 recordings, all of which have been available since 2007 on the global online market (iTunes/Apple, Spotify, YouTube, Qobuz, etc.). Thanks to this, Claves' audience has grown impressively, with regular sales in over 180 countries. The physical market remains important, especially in Japan, Germany, France, Switzerland and the UK.