Hello Tom,

if I recall correctly, DG has been recording digitally for release 
before that time with the LSO in London. The three last Tchaikovsky 
Symphonies under Karl Böhm come to my mind, of which at least one must 
have been digital and recorded in 1979 or 1980. I'll dig out the LPs and 
post the details tomorrow.

Best wishes,
Ulrich Sieveking

Tom Fine wrote:
> Hello All:
> I am trying to track down the first digital recordings by all the major 
> European classical labels.
> For my ARSC Journal article, I confirmed Decca as being first to make a 
> for-release digital
> recording, the New Year's Day 1979 concert in Vienna. Philips followed 
> the next day with Marinner
> recording Handel's Opus 3 concerti grossi (although another listmember 
> has pointed out that Philips
> lists a different recording date on the CD issue; I will take the word 
> of former Philips executive
> Franz van Dongen).  Decca developed their own digital recording system 
> (described in an AES
> convention presentation by F.A. (Tony) Griffiths), and Philips used a 
> Sony 1600 system for their
> first sessions.
> EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" reissue of Andre Previn's July 
> 2-3, 1979 recording of
> Debussy works states in the booklet this was EMI's first digital 
> for-release recording.  The booklet
> talks about a videotape-based system sampling at 50khz. Does anyone know 
> any details -- was it a
> modified Sony or JVC system or an EMI in-house development? Or was the 
> booklet author wrong about
> the sampling rate?
> DGG's website:
> states:
> "Deutsche Grammophon was the first to enter the (CD) market, when 
> Herbert von Karajan recorded
> Richard Strauss's "Eine Alpensinfonie" with the Berlin Philharmonic in 
> 1981 - the first classical
> work to find its way on to compact disc."
> So was this 1981 Karajan recording DGG's first for-release digital 
> session? And, what equipment did
> DGG use in the early days?
> Thanks in advance for any/all facts/answers.
> -- Tom Fine