History:Classical Release Artist Style

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Style Guideline > Classical Style Guide > Classical Release Artist Style

Style for determining Release Artists on *classical* Releases

Alert.png This is work in progress and not official.

This page contains the latest (but not always official) evolutions of the Classical Release Artist Style. The currently official version of Classical Release Artist Style is located at http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Classical_Release_Artist_Style.

Attention.png This style guideline applies to classical music only. For popular music see the release artist style.

The ClassicalStyleGuide states that the ReleaseArtist of a classical Release should always be either the composer or (in releases with multiple composers) VariousArtists, never the performer. However, we make the following exceptions:

  • Mixed recitals by a performer or group
  • Classical "Covers"
    • No exception is made for Classical Arrangements that are not "Covers"

This is an official style guideline.

Mixed recitals by a performer or group

In cases where a release features a single performer or group and contains works from multiple composers, that performer or group may be designated the ReleaseArtist, with each TrackArtist assigned to the appropriate composer.

Favorite Encores (feat. piano: Vladimir Horowitz)
Black Angels (Kronos Quartet)
Passion of Callas (disc 1)
However, on a release like 3 Masses of the 20th Century (Mikaeli Kammarkör, Anders Eby) there is no clear choice for primary performer. It must remain under various artists.

Important notes:

  1. Do not create new Artists for performer collaborations (such as "Herbert von Karajan & The Berlin Philharmonic.")
  2. Also, do not use this style for conductors who are also composers (such as Leonard Bernstein or Pierre Boulez.)
  3. This recital style does not apply to releases with works by only one composer (such as Sole e Amore (Kiri Te Kanawa)), however much they might emphasize the performer.

Classical "Covers"

In releases where classical works are arranged, remixed, or otherwise substantially modified by the primary performer, that performer should be designated as ReleaseArtist. The composer(s) should be attributed only by AdvancedRelationships of the ComposerRelationshipType either to the whole album (if there is only one composer), or the individual tracks (if there are several composers).

Béla Fleck: Perpetual Motion
Jacques Loussier: Play Bach No. 1
William Orbit: Pieces in a Modern Style

Classical Arrangements that are not "Covers"

In the above examples the artists consistently transform works into their own style. However, Classical performers also occasionally arrange or "transcribe" a work so that they may perform it in a straightforward manner, possibly alongside other works that have not been arranged. An example would be

J.S. Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suites Performed on Double Bass (Edgar Meyer). Here Bach is credited as the Artist and Edgar Meyer's transcriptions are indicated with an ArrangerRelationshipType.

Also, when one composer has arranged a work by another, one would use the same plan:

Franz Schubert's German Dances, D. 820 as arranged by Anton Webern should be entered with Schubert as the TrackArtist, and connected to Webern via the ArrangerRelationshipType. Benjamin Britten's arrangement of the tune "Tom Bowling" should be entered with [trad.] as the TrackArtist and connected to Britten via the ArrangerRelationshipType. Beethoven Symphonies 5, 6 in Piano Transcription by Franz Liszt (feat. piano: Glenn Gould).