|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
The purpose of the Release Artist field is to assign releases to specific artists. Crediting performers is done by linking artists and recordings with an Advanced Relationship.
For releases of physical media, the release artist will be sourced from the front cover. When a physical cover is not available, find the featured composers and artists at a reliable online source.
- The spine can be used if it should happen to contain more detail than the front cover
Preferably from the label's page or other official source. Avoid using information from resellers.
Featured Release Artists
The Release Artist of a classical Release should include the composer(s) and performers featured on the front cover (except when "Various Artists" is used, see below). Use only composers and performers who are featured on the front cover (or the spine); don't add artists from the back cover or the inside of the booklet or other places.
If there is only one name on the front cover. This is uncommon for classical releases, usually the composer and a couple of performers will be listed.
Use a comma to separate names. If the credits contain both composers and performers, begin with the composers. Use a semicolon to separate composers from performers.
Names that are not prominently featured
If there is a long list of names on the cover, only the most prominently featured names need to be included. For example when a single performer (or group) performs works from many different composers, or vice-versa. See below for information about when to use "Various Artists".
There are some releases that don't really have any featured artists. For example there are classical "samplers", often released by record labels or newspapers. Other examples include compilation albums with names like "Classics for Relaxing": these often have no artist credits at all. In these cases, use the special artist Various Artists.
Will in many cases have the same name and artists as the release. If the featured artists differs between different releases in the same release group, try to find the most used version. If that fails, use the earliest release.
Début Recital Martha Argerich
Best of Neujahrskonzert, Volume 2 Wiener Philharmoniker
The Very Best of Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven
Brandenburgische Konzerte 2, 3, 5 / Ouverüre (Suite) Nr. 3 Johann Sebastian Bach; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Dvořák: "American" Quartet / Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 1 / Borodin: Quartet No. 2 Antonín Dvořák, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin; Emerson String Quartet
Bach - Buxtehude - Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra / Quatre derniers Lieder Richard Strauss; Montserrat Caballé
Copland Conducts Copland Aaron Copland; Aaron Copland, London Symphony Orchestra, William Warfield, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Ten Years of Success Various Artists
Stabat Mater / Petite Messe Solennelle Gioachino Rossini; Ricardo Muti, Stephen Clebury
When editing a classic release one often faces quite a few tracks sharing the the same composer, performer, and performance date. Here are some tips on how to perform several edits on the recordings and their relationships without opening every recording individually and performing the edits there:
Working on releases
1. release - Edit relationships In the toolbar on the right hand side, select "Edit relationships". This will give you a batch editor. Just tick the recordings you want to edit, then click one of the "Batch-add ..." links in the top. Mind saving your changes be clicking "Enter Edit" at the bottom.
Working on recordings
1. recording - artist relationships - adding attributes --- This is easy with the new relationship editor though the function is somewhat hidden. (You must re-add the the existing relationship with the attributes added.)
2. recording - work relationships - adding attributes --- AFAIK not possible without userscripts. Bitmap's MusicBrainz: Relate recordings to works from a release helpes a lot. With the userscript you are able to open the recording - work relationships on a single page then you can for example add performance dates.
3. artist credits of the recordings --- At the moment there seams to be no solution. Do you have any idea? IMHO this type of batch edit is very important with the new classical style guide where recordings should be credited to performers though existing recordings are credited to composers and newly created recordings (from the release editor) too. I think that also these edits should be available in the relationship editor.