PentaTone Music B.V. was founded in 2001 by three former executives of Philips Classics (one of the classical music labels of Universal) together with Polyhymnia International, the former recording centre of Philips Classics. The founders believe that five-channel surround sound will gradually replace today’s stereo sound, because surround sound provides an extra dimension to the musical experience. Hearing is believing. Not only the artists and the audiophiles are convinced; everybody who attends a demonstration confirms that the experience is more natural and superior compared to stereo sound.
PentaTone plans to create a new classical catalogue, at the rate of twenty albums per year, superbly recorded on hybrid Super Audio CD (SA-CD) by Polyhymnia International, starting with the most famous works, performed by top classical artists such as Kent Nagano, Yakov Kreizberg, Mikhail Pletnev, Alexander Vedernikov, Sir Neville Marriner, Paavo Järvi, Pepe Romero, Julia Fischer, Vesko Eschkenazy, Mari Kodama, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and Bolshoi Opera.
From the Decca Music Group, PentaTone has licensed the quadraphonic recordings made in the seventies by Philips Classics. The quadro system was not successful because of flaws in the playback equipment. However, today’s SA-CD equipment is capable of reproducing these spectacular recordings the way they were originally intended. Polyhymnia has remastered these recordings for release on SA-CD. This series is called RQR (Remastered Quadro Recordings). PentaTone will release ten to fifteen of these recordings per year.
Polyhymnia International is a recording studio specialising in high-resolution five-channel surround sound recordings of classical music. It has a stellar reputation for the quality of its recordings, having made many demonstration recordings for Sony and Philips, the inventors of the Super Audio CD format. All new recordings from PentaTone will be made by Polyhymnia.