Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical and secular music. While a more precise term is used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods; the central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows: the ancient music period, before 500 AD the early music period, which includes the Medieval including the ars antiqua the ars nova the ars subtilior the Renaissance eras. Baroque the galant music period the common-practice period, which includes Baroque the galant music period Classical Romantic eras the 20th and 21st centuries which includes: the modern that overlaps from the late-19th century, impressionism that overlaps from the late-19th century neoclassicism, predominantly in the inter-war period the high modern the postmodern eras the experimental contemporary European art music is distinguished from many other non-European classical and some popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 11th century.
Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. Western staff notation is used by composers to indicate to the performer the pitches, tempo and rhythms for a piece of music; this can leave less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, which are heard in non-European art music and in popular-music styles such as jazz and blues. Another difference is that whereas most popular styles adopt the song form or a derivation of this form, classical music has been noted for its development of sophisticated forms of instrumental music such as the symphony, fugue and mixed vocal and instrumental styles such as opera and mass; the term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1829.
Given the wide range of styles in European classical music, from Medieval plainchant sung by monks to Classical and Romantic symphonies for orchestra from the 1700s and 1800s to avant-garde atonal compositions for solo piano from the 1900s, it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. However, there are characteristics that classical music contains that few or no other genres of music contain, such as the use of music notation and the performance of complex forms of solo instrumental works. Furthermore, while the symphony did not exist prior to the late 18th century, the symphony ensemble—and the works written for it—have become a defining feature of classical music; the key characteristic of European classical music that distinguishes it from popular music and folk music is that the repertoire tends to be written down in musical notation, creating a musical part or score. This score determines details of rhythm, and, where two or more musicians are involved, how the various parts are coordinated.
The written quality of the music has enabled a high level of complexity within them: fugues, for instance, achieve a remarkable marriage of boldly distinctive melodic lines weaving in counterpoint yet creating a coherent harmonic logic that would be difficult to achieve in the heat of live improvisation. The use of written notation preserves a record of the works and enables Classical musicians to perform music from many centuries ago. Musical notation enables 2000s-era performers to sing a choral work from the 1300s Renaissance era or a 1700s Baroque concerto with many of the features of the music being reproduced; that said, the score does allow the interpreter to make choices on. For example, if the tempo is written with an Italian instruction, it is not known how fast the piece should be played; as well, in the Baroque era, many works that were designed for basso continuo accompaniment do not specify which instruments should play the accompaniment or how the chordal instrument should play the chords, which are not notated in the part.
The performer and the conductor have a range of options for musical expression and interpretation of a scored piece, including the phrasing of melodies, the time taken during fermatas or pauses, the use of effects such as vibrato or glissando. Although Classical music in the 2000s has lost most of its tradition for musical improvisation, from the Baroque era to the Romantic era, there are examples of performers who could improvise in the style of their era. In the Baroque era, organ performers would improvise preludes, keyboard performers playing harpsichord would improvise chords from the figured bass symbols beneath the bass notes of the basso continuo part and b
Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin, PAU was a Soviet and Russian conductor. Kondrashin was born in Moscow to a family of orchestral musicians. Having spent many hours at rehearsals, he made a firm decision at the age of 14 to become a conductor, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory from 1931 to 1936 under the conductor Boris Khaykin. Kondrashin began conducting in the Young People's Theatre in Moscow in 1931, continuing in the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre three years later, he conducted at the Maliy Opera Theatre in Leningrad from 1938 to 1942 and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow from 1943. His performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No.1 attracted the composer's attention and led to the formation of a firm friendship. In 1947, he was awarded the Stalin Medal. In the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, Kondrashin was the conductor for Van Cliburn, who won the first prize. After the competition he toured the United States with Cliburn, being the first Russian conductor to visit America since the Cold War began.
They performed and recorded the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, which they had played in the competition. Millions of the recordings were sold in America, and their Tchaikovsky recording for RCA Victor was the first classical LP to go platinum. In 1972, a live performance of Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 reunited Cliburn and Kondrashin with the Moscow Philharmonic in Moscow. He was the artistic director of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra from 1960 to 1975. During this period he premiered Shostakovich's Symphony No.4 in December 1961 and No.13 the following year. He gave several performances in Europe and America with other famous Russian musicians like Rostropovich and Sviatoslav Richter. Kondrashin defected from the Soviet Union in December 1978 while touring in the Netherlands and sought political asylum there, whereupon the Soviet regime banned all his previous recordings, he took the post of Permanent Guest Conductor of Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1978 and remained in that position until his death.
He established a brief but fruitful collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic. In the Netherlands, he married his interpreter, musicologist Nolda Broekstra; when they first met around 1975, Broekstra spoke no Russian. Yet they fell in love, tried to be together when they could, exchanged letters. Broekstra diligently started studying Russian and English and mastered both languages, their family life in the Netherlands was short, as Kondrashin died in Amsterdam from a heart attack in early 1981, on the same day he conducted Mahler's First Symphony with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. Philips Records issued recordings of some of Kondrashin's live concerts with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on LP and CD, including energetic performances of symphonies by Shostakovich. On the recording of Shostakovich's sixth symphony Kondrashin can be heard tapping or pounding his foot as he conducts the lively final movement, he was a supporter of controversial American communist figure Angela Davis. Stalin Prize, first class – for conducting opera "Evil Force" AN Serov Bolshoi stage Stalin Prize, second class – for conducting opera "The Bartered Bride" by Smetana Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR – Concert and People's Artist of the USSR Honored Artist of the RSFSR Order of the Red Banner of Labour
Baron Arthur Grumiaux was a Belgian violinist. Born in the Belgian town of Villers-Perwin, on 21 March 1921, Grumiaux was only three years old when his grandfather urged him to begin music studies, he entered the conservatoire in Charleroi at the age of six. He studied violin and piano there until the age of eleven, when he graduated and moved to the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels to study violin, he variously has been described as having made his debut in Brussels at the age of 14, or in 1935, although his debut is more said to have occurred in 1940. This performance was made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic playing Mendelssohn's concerto. Due to the German invasion of his homeland, he next played publicly after liberation in 1945 with the Allied military entertainment organisation, making his London debut that year. In 1949 he was appointed professor of violin at the Brussels Conservatoire where he had once studied, he debuted in the United States in Boston, in 1951, toured the United States in the following year.
In 1973 he was created a baron by King Baudouin of Belgium for his services to music. He died of a sudden stroke in Brussels in 1986 at the age of 65. Grumiaux had a long-standing relationship with Philips Records, lasting more than 20 years, recordings are available from them of him performing works by Handel, Vivaldi, Michael Haydn, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Henryk Wieniawski, Johan Svendsen. A recording of Grumiaux's performance of one movement from Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin, the "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3, is included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft, as a sample of the culture of Earth. He owned both a Guarneri, the "Rose", made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1744, a Stradivarius, the "General Dupont", made in 1727; the International Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists is held annually and takes place at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in Belgium. It was first held in 2008 under the name of "Bravo", In 2015, the competition was renamed in honour of Arthur Grumiaux, is now called Concours International Grumiaux pour Jeunes Violonistes.
The competition was created in 2008 by Igor Tkatchouk, a violin professor at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur under the name of "Bravo!" competition. It took place each year since 2017 in the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. In 2015, the competition was supported by the foundation Baron Arthur Grumiaux and was renamed International Arthur Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists; the same year, Princess Léa of Belgium rewarded the winners at the Royal Theater of Namur. The competition is international and was represented in 2016 by 27 different nationalities Since 2016 edition, Musiq'3 became the official partner of the project and in the same year, the Belgian TV news RTBF show a spot on television There are four categories of prizes, based on the age of the performer: category A: through 10 years old, category B ages 11–13, category C ages 14–17, category D ages 18–21. Arthur Grumiaux on Violin Channel 2018 finalists on Violin Channel 2018 prizes of Grumiaux Competition on Violin Channel Article and video on Canal C Un prestigieux concours international pour jeunes violonistes a lieu à Namur on RTBF website, Sonia Boulanger Grumiaux competition on lavenir.net Article in Turkey Grumiaux competition on crescendo-magazine.be The way they played: Arthur Grumiaux, The Strad Bach's Chaconne on film: Arthur Grumiaux, The Strad Competition site, Arthur Grumiaux Violin Competition
Verve Records known as The Verve Music Group, founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue and includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz and Billie Holiday, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier labels, Clef Records, founded in 1946, Norgran Records, founded in 1953, material licensed to Mercury Records. Verve served as the original home of rock music acts such as The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention; the restructured Verve Records is now part of the Verve Label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. This company is home to historic imprints including Verve Forecast Records, Impulse! Records and Decca Records. Norman Granz created Verve to produce new recordings by Ella Fitzgerald; the catalog grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s to include Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Lester Young. By 1960, Granz neared retirement. Milton Rudin, his attorney, knew that Sinatra wanted his own label.
Sinatra and Granz made a handshake deal, but negotiations broke down over price and Sinatra's desire that Granz remain head of the label. Granz sold Verve to MGM in 1961. Sinatra hired Mo Ostin, an executive at Verve, to run it. At Verve, Creed Taylor was made head producer. Taylor adopted a more commercial approach, he brought bossa nova to America with the release of Jazz Samba by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, Getz/Gilberto, Rain Forest by Walter Wanderley. Verve's notable arrangers included Oliver Nelson. According to Ogerman in Jazzletter, he arranged 60–70 albums for Verve from 1963–1967. In 1964, Taylor supervised the creation of a folk music subsidiary named Verve Folkways renamed Verve Forecast. Taylor left Verve in 1967 to form CTI Records. Aside from jazz, Verve's catalogue included the Righteous Brothers, the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Rare Earth, the Blues Project, as well as a series of "Sound Impressions of an American on Tour" records, produced in cooperation with Esquire Magazine.
While the Velvet Underground's records did not sell well they went on to become a major influence in independent rock music. Their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, is hailed as one of the greatest records of all time while their second album, White Light/White Heat, has a major cult following for its bold, noisy sound and poetically provocative lyricism. In the 1970s, Verve became part of PolyGram, incorporating the Mercury/EmArcy jazz catalog, which Philips, part owners of PolyGram, had earlier acquired. Verve Records became the Verve Music Group after PolyGram was merged with Seagram's Universal Music Group in 1999; the jazz holdings from the merged companies were folded into this sub-group.in 1990, British group Talk Talk signed to Polydor after conflicts with their previous label EMI regarding a lack of commercial allure on their fourth album, Spirit of Eden. Their fifth and final album, Laughing Stock, was released through Verve on September 16, 1991 and, while being divisive at the time, has since been reconsidered by critics and fans as their masterpiece and a precursor to the post-rock movement.
In the 1990s, as part of PolyGram Classics and Jazz, Verve signed Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Roy Hargrove, John Scofield, Shirley Horn, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Chris Botti, Jeff Lorber, Gino Vannelli, Art Porter, Will Downing, Incognito. When Universal and Polygram merged in 1998, Verve's holdings were merged with Universal's GRP Recording Company to become Verve Music Group. After forays into Americana and adult contemporary music, Verve was corporately aligned with Universal Music Enterprises, was no longer a stand-alone label within UMG; the Verve imprint itself manages much of the jazz catalog that once belonged to PolyGram, while the Impulse! Records imprint manages the portion of Universal's catalog, acquired from ABC Records, which itself includes the jazz catalog of the Famous Music Group, once owned by Paramount Pictures/Gulf+Western, but, sold to ABC in 1974. Meanwhile, GRP manages the rest of MCA/Universal's jazz catalog, including releases once issued on the Decca and Chess labels.
The Verve Label Group has expanded its output beyond jazz to include crossover classical music, progressive pop and show tunes. In 2016, the newly-formed Verve Label Group appointed industry veteran Danny Bennett as its president and CEO. Official site Article about Creed Taylor
Sir Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson was a British presenter, comedian, singer and screenwriter whose career spanned more than 70 years. In 2012, Guinness World Records recognised Forsyth as having the longest television career for a male entertainer. Forsyth came to national attention from the mid-1950s through the ITV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium, he went on to host several game shows, including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and You Bet!. He co-presented Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2013. Forsyth was born on Victoria Road in Edmonton, Middlesex on 22 February 1928, the son of Florence Ada and John Thomas Forsyth-Johnson, his family owned a car repair garage, as members of the Salvation Army, his parents played brass instruments and his mother was a singer. His great-grandfather Joseph Forsyth Johnson was a landscape architect who worked in multiple countries, great-great-great-great-grandfather William Forsyth was a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society and the namesake of the plant genus Forsythia.
During World War II, his older brother John, a pilot in the Royal Air Force, was killed in 1943 during a training exercise at RAF Turnberry. Forsyth attended the Latymer School. After watching Fred Astaire in films at age eight, he trained in dance in Tottenham and Brixton. Forsyth started his live public performances aged 14, with a song and accordion act called "Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom", his first appearance was at the Theatre Royal in Bilston, with The Great Marzo at the top of the bill. He had made his television debut in 1939 as a child and dancing on BBC talent show Come and Be Televised, broadcast from Radiolympia, introduced by Jasmine Bligh. After the war, with the goal of joining Moss Empires theatres, he spent years on stage with little success and travelled the UK working seven days a week, doing summer seasons and circuses, where he became renowned for his strong-man act, his act was interrupted by call-up papers for National Service when he was conscripted into the Royal Air Force.
In 1958, an appearance with the comedian Dickie Henderson led to his being offered the job of compère of Val Parnell's weekly TV variety show, Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He hosted the show for two years, followed by a year's break returned for another year, his schedule of stage performances, which continued throughout the 1960s, forced him to give up the job of host. Forsyth appeared in the London production of Little Me, along with Avril Angers in 1964. In the musical film Star!, a biopic of stage actress Gertrude Lawrence, he played alongside lead performer Julie Andrews as Lawrence's father. In January 1968 Pye Records issued as a single "I'm Backing Britain", supporting the campaign of the same name, written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, sung by Forsyth; the chorus included "The feeling is growing, so let's keep it going, the good times are blowing our way". All involved in making the single took cuts in their fees or royalties so that the single sold for 5s. Instead of the going rate of 7s.
4½d. Forsyth endorsed the campaign, saying "The country has always done its best when it is up against the wall. If everyone realises what we are up against we can get out of trouble easily." The song did not make the charts. On 7 October 1968, he was top of the bill on the opening night of the Golden Garter nightclub, Wythenshawe. Two years he played Swinburne in the Disney fantasy film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. In 1976, he appeared on The Muppet Show, where he took on the famous duo of Waldorf. During his spell of hosting Sunday Night at the London Palladium as part of the show he hosted the 15-minute game show Beat the Clock. Forsyth's next success was The Generation Game, which proved popular and attracted huge Saturday evening audiences, it was on this show that Forsyth introduced his "The Thinker" pose, emulating Rodin's sculpture, appearing in silhouette each week after the opening titles. This pose, he wrote and sang the theme for the show "Life is the Name of the Game." Millions of viewers became familiar with the rasp of Forsyth's north London accented voice and his "distinctively pointy" chin that he emphasised in poses such as the "human question mark", with chin over raised knee.
He was replaced on The Generation Game by Larry Grayson. In 1977 he announced that he was leaving television to take the star role in a new musical, The Travelling Music Show, based on the songs of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse; the show did reasonably well in provincial theatre, but got bad reviews when it moved to London and closed after four months in July 1978. London Weekend Television persuaded him to return to the screen that year to present Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, a two-hour Saturday-night show on ITV encompassing a variety of different entertainment formats. However, the show was lasted for just one series. Forsyth remained with ITV, hosting the game show Play Your Cards Right, the UK version of the US original Card Sharks, from 1980 to 1987, 1994 to 1999, a brief period from 2002 to 2003, before the show was cancelled mid-run due to low ratings. In 1986, he went to the United States to host a game show on ABC, Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak, which ran for 65 episodes from January to April that year.
Forsyth starred in the Thames Television sitcom Slinger's Day in 1986 and 1987, a sequel to Tripper's Day which had starred Leonard Rossiter, whom Forsyth replaced in the new show. He was the original host of You Bet!, before the sh
Claudio Arrau León was a Chilean pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning the baroque to 20th-century composers Bach, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. He is considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. Arrau was a pupil of Martin Krause, a student of Franz Liszt. Arrau was born in Chillán, the son of Carlos Arrau, an ophthalmologist who died when Claudio was only a year old, Lucrecia León Bravo de Villalba, a piano teacher, he belonged to an old, prominent family of Southern Chile. His ancestor Lorenzo de Arrau, a Spanish engineer, was sent to Chile by King Carlos III of Spain. Through his great-grandmother, María del Carmen Daroch del Solar, Arrau was a descendant of the Campbells of Glenorchy, a Scottish noble family. Arrau was raised as a Catholic, but gave it up in his late teens. Arrau was a child prodigy and he could read music before he could read words, but unlike many virtuosos, there had never been a professional musician in his family, his mother was an amateur pianist and introduced him to the instrument.
At the age of 4 he was reading Beethoven sonatas, he gave his first concert a year later. When Arrau was 6 he auditioned in front of several congressmen and President Pedro Montt, so impressed that he began arrangements for Arrau's future education. At age 8, Arrau was sent on a ten-year-long grant from the Chilean government to study in Germany, travelling with his mother and sister Lucrecia, he was admitted to the Stern Conservatory of Berlin where he became a pupil of Martin Krause, who had studied under Franz Liszt. At the age of 11 Arrau could play Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, one of the most difficult works for piano, as well as Brahms's Paganini Variations. Arrau's first recordings were made on Aeolian Duo-Art player piano music rolls. Krause died in his fifth year of teaching Arrau, leaving the 15-year-old student devastated by the loss of his mentor. In 1935, Arrau gave a celebrated rendition of the entire keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach over 12 recitals. In 1936, Arrau gave a complete Mozart keyboard works over 5 recitals, followed with the complete Schubert and Weber cycles.
In 1938, for the first time, Arrau gave the complete Beethoven piano sonatas and concertos in Mexico City. Arrau repeated this several times in his lifetime, including in New York and London, he became one of the leading authorities on Beethoven in the 20th century. In 1937, Arrau married mezzo-soprano Ruth Schneider, a German national, they had three children: Carmen and Christopher. In 1941 the Arrau family emigrated from Germany to the United States settling in Douglaston, New York, where Arrau spent his remaining years, he became a dual U. S.-Chilean citizen in 1979. Arrau died on June 9, 1991, at the age of 88, in Mürzzuschlag, from complications of emergency surgery performed on June 8 to correct an intestinal blockage, his remains were interred in his native city of Chillán, Chile. Daniel Barenboim said that Claudio Arrau had a particular sound with two aspects: first a thickness, full-bodied and orchestral, second an utterly disembodied timbre, quite spellbinding. Sir Colin Davis said: "His sound is amazing, it is his own... no one else has it that way.
His devotion to Liszt is extraordinary. He ennobles that music in a way no one else in the world can." According to American critic Harold C. Schonberg, Arrau always put "a decidedly romantic piano tone in his interpretations". Arrau was an intellectual and a reflective interpreter, he read while travelling, he learned English, Italian and French in addition to his native Spanish. He became familiar with Jung's psychology in his twenties. Arrau's attitude toward music was serious, he preached fidelity to the score, but the use of imagination. Although he played with slower and more deliberate tempi from his middle age onward, he had a reputation as a fabulous virtuoso earlier in his career, a reputation supported by recordings he made at this time, such as Balakirev's Islamey and Liszt's Paganini études; however late in his career, he tended to play with less restraint in live concerts than in studio recordings. Arrau was a man of remarkable fortitude. Numerous pianists studied with Arrau, including Karlrobert Kreiten, Garrick Ohlsson, Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri, Roberto Szidon, Stephen Drury and Roberto Eyzaguirre among others.
He was a frequent recital performer: from age 40 to 60 he averaged 120 concerts a season, with a large repertoire. At one time or another, he performed the complete keyboard works of Bach, Mozart and Chopin, it has been estimated that Arrau's total repertoire would carry him through 76 recital evenings, not counting the 60-odd works with orchestra which he knew. Arrau recorded a considerable part of the piano music of Schumann and Liszt, he edited the complete Beethoven piano sonatas for the Peters Urtext edition and recorded all of them on the Philips label in 1962–1966. He recorded all of them once again after 1984 along with Mozart's complete piano sonatas, he is famous for his recordings of Schubert and Debussy. Notable recordings: Bach: Goldberg Variations, partitas 1,2,3 and 5 Beethoven: complete
Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U. S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U. S. Decca labels was broken for several decades; the British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France; the US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG. The name "Decca" was coined by Wilfred S. Samuel by merging the word "Mecca" with the initial D of their logo "Dulcet" or their trademark "Dulcephone". Samuel, a linguist, chose "Decca" as a brand name; the name dates back to a portable gramophone called the "Decca Dulcephone" patented in 1914 by musical instrument makers Barnett Samuel and Sons.
That company was renamed the Decca Gramophone Co. Ltd. and sold to former stockbroker Edward Lewis in 1929. Within years, Decca Records Ltd. was the second largest record label in the world, calling itself "The Supreme Record Company". Decca continued to run it under that name. In the 1950s the American Decca studios were located in the Pythian Temple in New York City. In classical music, Decca had a long way to go from its modest beginnings to catch up with the established HMV and Columbia labels; the pre-war classical repertoire on Decca was select. The 3-disc 1929 recording of Delius's Sea Drift, arising from the Delius Festival that year, suffered by being crammed onto six sides, being indifferently recorded and expensive. However, it won Decca the loyalty of the baritone Roy Henderson, who went on to record for them the first complete Dido and Aeneas of Purcell with Nancy Evans and the Boyd Neel ensemble. Heinrich Schlusnus made important pre-war lieder recordings for Decca. Decca's emergence as a major classical label may be attributed to three concurrent events: the emphasis on technical innovation, the introduction of the long-playing record, the recruitment of John Culshaw to Decca's London office.
Decca released the stereo recordings of Ernest Ansermet conducting L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, including, in 1959, the first stereo LP album of the complete Nutcracker, as well as Ansermet's only stereo version of Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat, which the conductor had led at its first performance in 1919. John Culshaw, who joined Decca in 1946 in a junior post became a senior producer of classical recordings, he revolutionised recording -- in particular. Hitherto, the practice had been to put microphones in front of the performers and record what they performed. Culshaw was determined to make recordings that would be'a theatre of the mind', making the listener's experience at home not second best to being in the opera house, but a wholly different experience. To that end he got the singers to move about in the studio as they would onstage, used discreet sound effects and different acoustics, recorded in long continuous takes, his skill, coupled with Decca engineering, took Decca into the first flight of recording companies.
His pioneering recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Georg Solti was a huge artistic and commercial success. Solti recorded throughout his career for Decca, made more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets. Among the international honours given Solti for his recordings were 31 Grammy awards – more than any other recording artist, whether classical or popular. In the wake of Decca's lead, artists such as Herbert von Karajan, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti were keen to join the company's roster. However, Culshaw was speaking, not the first to do this. In 1951, Columbia Records executive Goddard Lieberson partnered with Broadway conductor Lehman Engel to record a series of unrecorded Broadway musical scores for Columbia Masterworks, including what Engel, in his book The American Musical Theatre: A Consideration, termed "Broadway opera", in 1951, they released the most complete Porgy and Bess recorded up to that time. Far from being a mere rendering of the score, the 3-LP album set used sound effects to realistically recreate the production as if the listener were watching a stage performance of the work.
Until 1947, American Decca issued British Decca classical music recordings. Afterwards, British Decca took over distribution through its new American subsidiary London Records. American Decca re-entered the classical music field in 1950 with distribution deals from Deutsche Grammophon and Parlophone. American Decca began issuing its own classical music recordings in 1956 when Israel Horowitz joined Decca to head its classical music operations. To further American Decca's dedication to serious music, in August of 1950, Rackmill announced the release of a new series of disks to be known as the "Decca Gold Label Series", to be devoted to "symphonies, chamber music, opera and choral music." American and European arti