CSG: release title: "Testament"

Would appreciate some feedback on the title I’ve made for this release on the Testament label:

An added factor is that all?/many? of that label’s releases would have the same name, “Testament”.

How say ye?

Wouldn’t that just be a series called Testament with a release “Horn Concertos Nos. 1–4”?


Why do you think that “Horn Concertos Nos. 1–4” would be better?

I now think that “Horn Concertos Nos. 1–4” would be better because going to the label’s overview page and seeing 60 releases all called “Testament” would be an obstacle to users finding their way around.

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That’s exactly why. And if Testament is already the series name, it doesn’t have to be added to the title. Of course you could make “Testament: Horn Concertos Nos. 1–4” the title but it looks a bit superfluous to me.

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“Testament: Horn Concertos Nos. 1–4” does have the advantage of being distinct from

Before that search above I was thinking that having an obvious distinction would be trivial.
But now I’m thinking it would be very helpful.

Though having the label name in the title still grates. But “Testament” can be similar to “Greatest Hits”.

I might even go with “Mozart: Horn Concertos nos. 1-4 / Mendelssohn / Rossini”. In any case though, the release artists being different should be enough of a distinction without adding the series title.

Testament is the record label, so why would it be part of the title? :confused:

If the label “Greatest Hits”, with an imprint of “GH”, put out a classical release with “Greatest Hits” on the front cover, could that release be called “Greatest Hits: …”?

I think it could be under current CSG.

Though whether it would be best called “Greatest Hits: …” I don’t know.

I am not trying to make a point by calling this release “Testament” but there seems a lot about release naming that is non-obvious, implicit and undocumented.

It definitely could be if “Greatest Hits” were the only thing on the cover :slight_smile:. Or if it were clearly a title (e.g., “Mahler’s Greatest Hits”).

CSG has to deal with a lot (most?) classical releases not really having titles in the normal sense. Instead the cover just lists composers, works, and performers.

I agree there are lots of things not written down in the style guidelines. But I think there is a limit to how much we should write guidelines to cover only a few releases, otherwise we’ll quickly wind up with guidelines so long people ask for the TL;DR version.

The best reason I can think of (at least that might be general enough) is that it’s a title. You give something a title to make it possible to refer to it, so that e.g., if I see a reviewer recommending it I can manage to buy it. Absent evidence to the contrary, that probably means Testament doesn’t intend “Testament” to be the title of dozens of different albums.

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Yes, if that ever happens you can name the release “Greatest Hits”. Just like when Deutsche Grammophon put out a compilation named “[Artist]: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon recordings”, the name of the label is part of the title.

This, however, is just what most Testament album covers look like. They put a logo on the cover like a lot of record labels do.

This album is not named “Deutsche Grammophon”, for example.

This case should be pretty clear:

There is no real title (Testament being the Series/Label name), but there is a single work on the front cover. So this single work goes to the release title and nothing else. Thus, the release title should be “Horn Concertos nos. 1–4” (note the typographic en-dash for the number range).

Note that label/series names should not go to the title if a title can be built from the front cover omitting the label/series name. (maybe not an official guideline, but I remember being told so several times, and I think it makes perfect sense.)

@reosarevok: I understand the reasoning behind “Mozart: Horn Concertos nos. 1–4 / Mendelssohn / Rossini” (there are other works than those horn concertos on this release), but I don’t see how this is covered by CSG.


I could see it as “A list of works by different composers” where some of the works have been cut out, so to say. Since it’s technically also not a “Single work release”. I’d be happy with both options, anyway.


I appreciate that this comment is slightly off-topic, but is there a reason for making the concerto no. 1 part of both the catch-all for unknown completions https://musicbrainz.org/work/008e3090-09e4-452a-b225-95fe732177a1 and the sussmayer completion https://musicbrainz.org/work/f4d0f8eb-f2cc-4d35-b8ac-a0e3bea88a65? Surely it is one or the other?

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I agree with your logic but seem to have unwittingly followed the crowd.
And don’t know what the situation is.

Work: Concerto for French Horn no. 1 in D major, K. 386b / KV 412: I. Allegro

From memory, the above work seemed the only catch-all K. 412 on offer.

Looking back I suspect I saw “catch-all for unknown completions”, had an “unknown completion” and selected https://musicbrainz.org/work/21fe0bf0-a040-387c-a39d-369d53c251fe

I think the only solution is to listen to it. I have another recording by Alan Civil of the same work, but the cd booklet does not say what version it is. My guess is that mostly the Sussmayer version is played. I’m away from home at the moment but will listen again when I return.


whoops “412” isn’t “417”.

post edited

It appears from Alan Civil’s ~1961 writings about these recording on sleeve notes, here, that the Süßmayr rondo was then still accepted as authentic and that was what they performed.

Though intricacies are escaping me today and I may be in error.

I have edited to remove (unknown completions) from this RG on the following basis:

The Sussmyr completions were the standard practice until the following book was published:
Alan Tyson, Mozart: Studies of the Autograph Scores, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.
As these recording were made in 1961, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we can safely assume that they followed standard practice for those times. And used the Sussmyr completions.

I suspect that this also explains why the (Sussmyr completions) and (unknown completions) are grouped in the same work - before 1987 (AIUI) everyone did the Sussmyr completions without being aware of it, and therefore made no comment or clarification.

And after the Sussmyr completions had been recognised it became accepted practice to state what completions were used.

However I think this reasoning (if indeed I am correct) needs to be made explicit on the “(Süßmayr completions) and (unknown completions)” and perhaps limited to ??pre-1990? recordings as I see the possibility of a poorly documented recent release using non-Sussmyr completions but being tagged with this Süßmayr/unknown work.

At Concerto for French Horn no. 1 in D major, K. 386b / KV 412: I. Allegro I have added the following annotation:
Caution with poorly documented recordings suggested.
This work is a (catch-all for unknown completions) and for the (Süßmayr completion).

The Süßmayr completions were the standard practice until the following book was published:
author:Alan Tyson, Mozart: Studies of the Autograph Scores, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.
For releases made prior to 1987, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we can safely assume that they followed standard practice for those times. And used the Sussmyr completions.

However for releases between 1987 and the date when Tyson’ discoveries became universally accepted, for releases whose date is unknown and possibly after 1987, and for poorly documented post-1987 releases there is the possibility that an unknown completion is not a Süßmayr completion.
Using this work for such releases could create erroneous data.

Good sleuthing! Added vote.

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There’s a good reason why 2 works are sharing the same movement. Only the second movement is incomplete. We can presume that future completitions wouldn’t try to complete something which is already complete :wink:

Fair comment. I wonder if it would be better to have two versions of the movement? Any solution seems a bit inelegant. What parallels can be drawn with The Requiem K626 Mass “Requiem in D minor, K. 626” - MusicBrainz? AFAIK the Introitus was finished by Mozart and does not differ between the editions, but in MB is listed separately under each edition, rather than being “shared” by the 12 editions.
It was rather inconsiderate of Mozart to die so young and leave us with these problems, let alone deprive us of so much more wonderful music :cry: