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    The first crisis was brought on by the impending recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kurt Masur conducting the New York Philharmonic. Aside from the high costs of hiring the Philharmonic and its expensive hall, we had to get Masur released from his exclusive Teldec contract. This is usually done by offering the other record company the services of an exclusive artist on your label. Because of these issues, DGG's management was reluctant to honor its contractual commitment to Mutter. My colleagues preferred to either cancel or to insist that she record the Brahms with a less expensive European orchestra. Postponement to an indefinite date was a common solution to these pressing issues. The other way out was to fail to reach agreement with the Philharmonic, Avery Fischer Hall, or Teldec. While the management was deliberating, we were receiving frantic calls from our distribution companies fearful that we would lose the recording: Mutter is the company's best selling artist and a household name in Germany.

    Two weeks before the recording was scheduled (and seven days before we could cancel without having to pay the New York Philharmonic), our attorney and President - Mutter's nominal producer at that time - both went on scheduled holidays. A call then came from the production center in Hannover: should the crew and crates of recording equipment leave for New York? I made my first executive decision at DGG: Send the crew and gear. This recording will happen.

    With the help of the excellent attorney from our sister label Philips, we were able to conclude negotiations with the New York Philharmonic and the hall with a day to spare. It was only because of DGG's sterling reputation for paying its bills that Avery Fischer Hall allowed our crew to set up its equipment before having a check in hand. Little issues - union teamsters to unload equipment - sorted themselves out more easily. I told our crew head in New York to do whatever was necessary.