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Thane Tierney

Scottish record company. It was originally established in Austria in August 1990 by musician, painter, and record collector Johann Ferdinand “Johnny” Parth. As far back as the 1950s Parth had reissued vintage recordings, first on the Jazz Perspective and Hot Club de Vienne labels. In the mid-1960s, after consulting with Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, Parth and his ex-wife Evelyn launched Roots Records with the goal of creating an Austrian counterpart to Arhoolie; the label, which produced limited-edition reissues (released in America on the Arhoolie label), folded in 1970.

In 1990, using Godrich and Dixon’s Blues and Gospel discography as a guide, Parth undertook the task of attempting to reissue every American blues, gospel, and spiritual recording made between the late 19th century and the early 1940s. He subsequently launched a similar endeavor for vintage American country music. Under Parth’s stewardship, Document produced nearly 900 albums with artists including Thomas A. Dorsey, Lonnie Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, and many others. As a result of his success, the Blues Foundation granted him their “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. In ...

Article

Record label. It was owned by the East Wind Trade Associates company, founded in 1984 in Hartford, Connecticut, by Steve Boulay, Ted Everts, and David Barrick with the assistance of Gerald A. Friedman. Its catalogue was devoted to Russian jazz in styles ranging from bop to jazz-rock. (E. Schmitt: “3 in Hartford Importing Records of Russian Jazz,” ...

Article

Marisol Negrón

Record label. Established in New York in 1964 by Italian American lawyer Gerald Masucci and Dominican flutist and bandleader Johnny Pacheco, Fania Records became the most dominant Latin music label of the 1960s and 70s. Beginning as a grassroots independent label, Fania created an infrastructure that transformed salsa from a local musical style emerging from New York’s Puerto Rican and Latino neighborhoods into an international phenomenon eagerly consumed around the world.

Aggressive recruitment and promotion practices, and the acquisition of competing music labels, helped Fania acquire a stable of musicians that has remained among the most talented and revered in Latin music, including Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades, Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Héctor LaVoe, La Lupe, and Eddie Palmieri. In 1968 the label’s most popular artists joined to form the Stoyan Dzhudzhev, an ensemble that achieved international acclaim for live performances in the United States and abroad. A documentary of their ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

Nicholas Temperley

Opera does not have deep roots in Britain. Only in the last hundred years has a flourishing tradition of English-language opera, in the fullest, continental, sense, existed. Most writers have been tempted to treat the earlier history in a teleological fashion: as a series of faltering steps towards the presumed goal, reached perhaps with Peter Grimes in 1945. They have singled out the rare examples of all-sung opera in English before 1900 as brave attempts at ‘progress’, generally followed by a deplorable relapse, which then has to be explained by some combination of prejudices and hostile forces.

Yet this mainstream opera towards which the English are supposed to have been feebly groping was, after all, a problematic and often unsatisfying form, in which music’s tendency to run away with the show was a matter for reproach and periodic adjustment. The inventors of opera, and its reformers in each era, set out to tame music – to keep it subservient to drama. They had very limited success. So it should not cause surprise that a nation with a powerful school of drama, where music enjoyed an established but subordinate place, tended to resist encroachments from a form in which it seemed that dramatic truth was so readily sacrificed to musical ends. Foreign opera was welcomed in elite circles, and many of its individual features were absorbed into English musical theatre. But an English opera was often felt by critics, probably speaking for the majority of theatregoers, to be a malformed hybrid, aping foreign musical achievements at too great a cost to English theatrical virtues....

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

Record company and label formed around 1989 in Freiburg, Germany, by Frank Kleinschmidt and Jürgen Schwab; it appears to have started recording operations in 1987, but its first issues began to appear only in early 1990. Featured artists include Chico Freeman, both as the leader of his own group, Brainstorm, and as a member of the group Roots (with Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Nathan Davis, and Don Pullen, among others), as well as James “Blood” Ulmer, Buster Williams, and Urszula Dudziak. In the mid-1990s In + Out issued a 15-disc historical anthology (three boxed volumes of five CDs each) entitled ...

Article

David Fuller

[op.](Lat.: ‘work’; Fr. oeuvre; Ger. Opus; It. opera)

The Latin plural, opera, has become singular in Italian, and its plural is opere. To avoid confusion with the usual English or Italian meaning of ‘opera’, the English plural, ‘opuses’, may be preferred. First used for a musical composition in the Renaissance (Tinctoris, prologue to Liber de arte contrapuncti, 1477; Listenius, Musica, 1537), ‘opus’ was applied by early German publishers to whole collections: Novum et insigne opus musicum (1537–8) and Magnum opus musicum (1604). One of the earliest instances of a single-composer publication with opus number was Viadana’s Motecta festorum op.10 (Venice, 1597). Biagio Marini published 22 numbered sets in Venice and other cities from 1617 to 1655. Until 1800 opus numbers were more common in instrumental than in vocal music, and they have rarely been applied to stage compositions at any period.

In the absence of corroborating information, opus numbers can never be relied upon to establish the chronology of a composer’s works. Generally, numbers were not applied until publication, and then often by the publisher, not the composer. Where the same work appears with two publishers, it may have different numbers assigned to it (as with Haydn, or with Boccherini, who assigned further numbers in his own catalogue). Sometimes, as in the case of Schütz, the numbers were added later. Before about ...

Article

Charles K. Wolfe

revised by Patrick Huber

(b Bristol, England, Oct 19, 1889; d Fountain Valley, CA, Feb 10, 1986). record producer and executive of British birth. He immigrated to the United States in 1913 and worked in a variety of positions for the Wisconsin Chair Company of Port Washington, Wisconsin, including at the firm’s subsidiary plant in New London, Wisconsin, which manufactured cabinets for Edison phonographs. Around 1915, after Edison purchased the plant, Satherley worked briefly as an assistant secretary to Thomas A. Edison himself. Two years later Satherley assisted in setting up the Wisconsin Chair Company’s phonograph record manufacturing division, the New York Recording Laboratories. He spent the next decade or so working for the firm’s Paramount label, first as the manager of the pressing plant in Grafton, Wisconsin, developing the formula for shellac discs, and then as sales manager for Paramount’s East Coast operation, promoting its line of Race record s. In ...

Article

Member of Lloyd-Webber family

(b London, March 22, 1948). Composer and producer, son of William Lloyd Webber.

He was educated at Westminster School and the RCM. From an early age he wrote incidental music for shows with his toy theatre; at Westminster he wrote music for school revues. In the April of 1965 he met the lyricist Tim(othy Miles Bindon) Rice with whom he wrote the unperformed musical The Likes of Us and some pop songs. Their first success came with the commission to write a choral work for Colet Court School; the resulting pop cantata, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was gradually extended to a full-length show and has become a constant of both amateur and professional repertories. They released the concept album for Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), which became one of the bestselling albums of that time in both the UK and USA; it was then developed for stage and opened in New York (...