History of SupraphonPrint
Supraphon is the most significant Czech record label, and has a distinguished history. The Supraphon name, (originally used for an electric record player, a technical marvel of its day), was first registered as a trademark in
In the years that followed, Supraphon became an export firm (1949), a manufacturing company (Supraphon Record Manufacturing, 1961), an independent publisher (Supraphon n. p., 1969) and, thanks to its continually increasing influence, a synonym for the Czech recording industry. Its carefully planned presentation of Czech music and the renown of Czech artists have earned Supraphon its place among the respected recording companies of Europe, and indeed, of the world. It is currently a joint stock company whose assets include a recording archive which is the subject of great interest, and which is so rich and unique that it has been declared a national cultural monument.
In spite of the political and cultural trends of the years before the Velvet Revolution, the Supraphon archive contains not only countless music recordings, but also spoken-word recordings which constitute an irreplaceable documentation of the development of Czech dramatic art and acting skill.
Recording technology and recording media have also undergone remarkable development. Although in the days of Czechoslovakia the available recording technology was relatively primitive, the quality of Supraphon albums was comparable to the production of major Western European firms. Supraphon released its first compact disc of classical music (Smetana´s My Country) in 1987, becoming one of the first producers in the world to offer this revolutionary new sound medium, and in the following year it became the first European publisher to release a classical music DVD (Dreams and Journeys).
Today, Supraphon Music Publishing continues to build on the best of the company´s tradition. Its publishing activities center on the classical music which made it famous, as evidenced by the major prizes and awards of recent years, including the Grand Prix du Disque de L´Europe de L´Académie du Disque, the Golden Disc Prize of Nippon Columbia, Wiener Flötenuhr Preis der Mozartgemeinde Wien, Cannes Classical Awards, and nominations for Grammy awards, among others.
The Supraphon catalogue is continually expanding, adding new recordings by the best Czech artists as well as digitally remastered re-editions of historic recordings, primarily in the popular SUPRAPHON ARCHIVE series. The Ančerl Gold series (42 CD´s) has been extraordinarily well received worldwide, and the first albums of a further series, the Talich Special Edition (17 CD´s planned for 2005-07), were released in June of 2005.
The spoken word also forms an integral part of Supraphon´s production. In the last few years Supraphon has been the unchallenged domestic leader in this field, thanks in particular to its outstanding children´s albums (including fairytales and the Spejbl and Hurvínek Theater) and its rereleases of classic Czech titles from the archive (including Voskovec and Werich).
Today, Supraphon is the only former Eastern Bloc music publisher which has maintained its number one position in its domestic market as well as measured up successfully to the ever more competitive international environment.