About us


In 1982 Werner Unger initiated the Verein für musikalische Archiv-Forschung , a non-profit society for musicologists and serious collectors.

Five years later, in 1987, the Verein launched its own label, archiphon, with a series of LPs featuring live recordings by Otto Klemperer.

In 1989 we issued our first CD: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Brahms’ Symphony No.1 under the direction of Carl Schuricht, soon followed by other unissued Schuricht recordings. Since 1992 our catalog has been significantly enlarged with unpublished historical recordings by other artists.

Werner Unger

Werner Unger
  • born in 1941 
  • since the early 1960s avid collector of classical music on LP. 
  • since 1975 has been building up a Klemperer archive, supported since 1983 by Lotte Klemperer, the conductor’s daughter until her death in 2003. 
  • 1982: founder and president of the Verein für musikalische Archiv-Forschung. 
  • 1991-1999: lectures at the Faculty of Musicology, University of Strasbourg, on the history of recording and its technological, socio-economic and esthetic aspects
    (“ Phonographie ”). 
  • 2000: dissolution of the Verein . The label is continued by its former distributor, Note 1, Heidelberg with the support of individual ex-members of the Verein . 
  • 2004: When Note 1 decides to give up archiphon , Werner Unger takes over the rights and the remaining stock. He continues digitalizing the archive’s recordings and transferring them on CD. 
  • 2006: archiphon has a website on the internet. CDs of Werner Unger’s Private Edition are offered only individually on demand. 
  • 2012: Distribution via download at www.classicsonline.com/Archiphon/1/


The Verein’s archive now is owned by Werner Unger. Together with his private collection it consists of

  • c. 2500 LPs
  • c. 3000 CDs
  • c. 800 78rpm shellac records
  • c. 400 reel tapes
  • c. 1.000 cassettes


Core Repertoire

From the very beginning, Werner Unger's collecting activities were driven by his interest in and enthusiasm for live and radio recordings by Otto Klemperer. Today, this collection consists of more than 300 titles making it one of the most comprehensive Klemperer archives worldwide.

Thanks to the cooperation among the members of the Verein between 1981 and 2000 we were able to significantly enlarge the scope of our archive with many historical recordings of other musical performers. Special focus was given to artists like Carl Schuricht (archiphon was the first to publish his radio recordings), Rudolf Kolisch and Dinu Lipatti , but also to performers whose names may be less familiar today, e.g. Gerhard Taschner, Leo Blech, Otto Ackermann and Eugen Szenkár.

Technical Equipment

archiphon always searches to find a lively, dynamic and transparent sound rather than eliminating surface noise in order to imitate the taste of modern recordings. Therefore no reverb, denoise or artificial stereo is added. We use high quality technical equipment, both analog and digital:

  • Revox B77 (4 track)

  • AEG M 15A (2 track tape machine)

  • Thorens TD 124 (improved by Jürg Schopper) 

  • Swissonor valve pre-amp 

  • Sentec EQ10 for Mono and 78 transfers 

  • QUAD II valve amplifiers 

  • QUAD ESL 63 loudspeakers 

  • Cartridges: Ortofon Synergy , Shure M78S , EMT TSD80/OFD75/OFD90, Pierre Clément (for mono LPs and 78s)


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