The audite label was founded by Friedrich Mauermann in Stuttgart in 1973. From the outset, our policy of making available to a broad public outstanding interpretations of noteworthy repertoire at the highest possible quality has been central to our work and public perception. Initially, we predominantly issued live recordings of the Symphonies by Gustav Mahler with Rafael Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: even today these recordings rate amongst the most exceptional interpretations of these works.
Alongside his responsibilities of selecting artists and repertoire, audite's director Ludger Böckenhoff is also still active as producer and Tonmeister. Based in Detmold, audite operates with a team of committed and highly qualified, permanent staff:
- artists and repertoire, Tonmeister: Ludger Böckenhoff
- press, promotion and PR: Sabine Wiedemann
- archive, database, research: Wencke Wallbaum-v. Kloeden
- graphic design and video, administration: Agnes Böckenhoff
- production and distribution manager: Maria Hennewig
- website content management and communication, Tonmeister, digital distribution: Simon Böckenhoff
In addition to our permanent team, we employ freelance specialists in the fields of production, editing, mixing, mastering, project management, booklet note writing and translation, archive research, EDP and programming.CATALOGUE
The label's active catalogue comprises around 300 titles: each month, we present one to two new releases. audite issues product in SACD (5.1.surround), CD and LP formats; downloads and video trailers are also integral components of our releases. This diversity of formats is typical of the label, as is the focus on two principal areas of activity: historic archive productions and new releases, the latter normally on SACD format. These two strands cross-fertilise each other, for interpretations become perceptible in the context of their development. Many years of experience and the sheer number, as well as the quality, of our releases in both areas make this combination unique, not only within Germany but also internationally.HISTORIC RECORDINGS
audite's historic archive releases enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide. The high quality of their content is due to our long-term cooperation with radio archives, permitting a continuous exploration of archive collections. The high sound quality of the releases is achieved by using only original tapes from the archives. audite acquires licences from the broadcasting companies even for public domain archive recordings. This responsible use of historic recordings may seem paradoxical within a market place where competitors release radio broadcasts, often based on private recordings. However, it is only via this musically driven and legally sound method that original masters may be used and that radio archives can be evaluated on a long-term basis. In addition, there is the process of re-mastering using numerous new technological post-production possibilities to achieve optimal sound quality whilst, at all times, remaining faithful to the principles of historical documentation. Only those productions which fulfil all these criteria are labelled with audite's seal of quality, "1st Master Release - Original Tapes".
audite's tradition in the field of historic recordings was initiated with live recordings of the Mahler Symphonies with Rafael Kubelik. Recent successful historic releases include numerous boxed sets of musicians' portraits and series which have included editions of: Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic, Sergiu Celibidache, Hans Knappertsbusch, Otto Klemperer, Friedrich Gulda and Géza Anda, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (including the recording of his first Winterreise, made in 1948), Herbert von Karajan, Ferenc Fricsay as musical director of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Karl Böhm, as well as releases featuring Clara Haskil, Wilhelm Backhaus, Yehudi Menuhin, Kirsten Flagstadt, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Fritz Wunderlich and more.NEW RELEASES
In the field of new recordings, audite is committed to an individual approach. Every recording is instigated with the considered selection of artists as well as repertoire. Alongside interpretation, musical and technological quality, phonographic criteria also require careful planning. Recording venue and equipment, as well as (where relevant) the instrument, are especially selected for each recording. A meticulous and painstaking approach by the producer - a task which is often realised by the label's director, Ludger Böckenhoff - is as crucial to the success of the recording as is post-production (editing, mixing and mastering), all the while keeping at the forefront the work and its interpreters.
The recording equipment also has to meet high standards in order to provide the best possible prerequisites for the work of the musicians and the Tonmeister in all aspects of a recording. audite therefore only uses microphones by Bruel&Kjaer (dpa), Neumann, Schoeps and Sennheiser, and recordings are monitored on speakers by ME Geithain and Dynaudio. For recording, editing and mixing, audite works with RME-Peripherie. In this, the sound quality of "Micstasy" pre-amplifiers and converters are particularly convincing, optico-digitally connected via MADI and thus unsusceptible to signal disruptions such as interference or high frequency loss. At audite, recording technology is no raison d'être - it provides the basis for the actual musical work, ensuring that production is an uninterrupted process.
Recent new releases include numerous successful new recordings, as for instance the complete Shostakovich String Quartets with the Mandelring Quartett and the complete Symphonic Works of Edvard Grieg with the WDR Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eivind Aadland. New discoveries include the works of Mendelssohn's pupil Eduard Franck and his son, Richard Franck (this series now comprises more than ten discs), and Janáček's String Quartets in the original scoring with viola d'amore in the string quartet "Intimate Letters".POST-PRODUCTION
Common to all audite releases is the path they take after the actual production: the work of the label by no means ends at the master tape. At audite, booklet texts are intended to offer relevant background information to the interested layman. By providing our authors with a copy of the master and involving them in the production process, we ensure that they are able to refer to the characteristics of every single release - the work, interpretation, sound production, phonographic situation and so on.
The graphic design of the cover and the form of presentation also depend on the type of release - whether an elegant historical LP edition with a gold edge, or a modern photo on a digipack: the packaging is indicative of the content - the design suggests what can be heard.
Once the physical disc has been produced, press and PR work forms another important phase of the production process at audite. Apart from providing sample copies and extensive information packs to radio, press, customers and distributors, audite also works as a separate PR agency. To us, press and PR work not only encompasses the provision of informative material and sample copies, but also careful analysis of public reach. This includes maintaining a database of reviews on our website, www.audite.de, as well as sustaining a constructive dialogue with editors, journalists and distribution partners. The combination of content, sound quality and PR work at audite frequently leads to acclaimed results, whilst our artists welcome the fact that, at audite, the entire process, from recording via distribution through to PR work, is handled under one roof.DISTRIBUTION
Thanks to active distribution through audite's partners, our discs are available across the world. They can be bought in the traditional way at local CD shops or via internet outlets. Should a disc be unavailable at local retailers or online, it can be ordered via the audite webshop which ships CDs, SACDs and LPs to all countries worldwide. audite is also present in the digital world of music: our recordings can be found at all relevant download and streaming platforms. This close cooperation with international distribution partners serves all our artists and ensures wide international recognition.OBJECTIVE AND QUALITY
audite is, in every aspect, oriented towards high quality. Repertoire, interpretation, choice of venue, sound design, superior packaging and booklet note - the successful synthesis of all these factors results in the individual, extraordinary recordings which are so characteristic of audite. This success is reflected, not least of all, in the positive echo of international reviews, numerous recording prizes as well as the interest of the musical public.
All aspirations towards quality always have one aim: to create the basis for a musical and emotional experience in its best possible form, to make music of the highest quality available as a personal, creative listening experience.