• Joy of Music – Over 250 years of quality, innovation, and tradition

History

When the WERGO label released its first recording – Schoenberg’s “Pierrot lunaire” with the Domaine musicale under Pierre Boulez – in 1962, it was a risky venture whose outcome could not have been predicted. Werner Goldschmidt laid the cornerstone for the label that has, for over 50 years, been a leading label for the music of our time.

More than thirty LPs (designed with red and black type against a white background) were released in Goldschmidt's series before the undertaking became too much for one person. Beginning in 1967, the music publisher SCHOTT became increasingly involved in the label, finally taking it entirely under its wing in 1970. Since then, more than six hundred productions have been published (including one of the first DualDiscs on the European continent), which have won countless awards and which represent an important archive for the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The standard that Goldschmidt originally established has not been abandoned. WERGO strives to stimulate interest in the listening and reading of new music; to ensure its engagment with academic specialists, and to feature it in productions with outstanding performers.

There is hardly a successful contemporary composer who is not found in WERGO's catalog. Since 1986, the catalog has been supplemented by the Edition of Contemporary Music of the German Music Council, which has grown to include more than eighty portrait CDs with works by young German composers. In addition to this collaboration, there are also cooperative efforts with the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe (“Edition ZKM”) and the Studio of Acoustic Art of the West German Radio (“Ars Acustica”). Regarding world music, WERGO works closely with both the House of the World's Cultures and the Ethnological Museum's Music Department in Berlin. Among others, WERGO's series include the “Jewish Music Series”, which presents the variety of jewish musical traditions in different continents and the "Digital Music Digital" series, which is the first of its kind dedicated to avant-garde computer music.  

The diversification that WERGO’s program has experienced over the fifty-odd years of its existence is as much a consequence of an increased contemporary musical consciousness as it is a contribution to it – an attribute that Wergo will remain committed to in the future.

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