Isabelle Métrope, ICM managing editor
For the last 40 years the IFCM has been working together closely with organisations, musicians and music publishers. One of these publishers is Carus Verlag from Stuttgart, a faithful member of, and helpful partner to, the IFCM. And Carus, too, is celebrating a round birthday, namely a half century. Let’s look back …
In 1972 Stuttgart in southern Germany is already home to an active choral scene, hosting several professional and many amateur choirs. Among the active directors of church music is Günter Graulich, founder and conductor of the Stuttgart Motet Choir. When planning programmes for his choir he finds, time and again, that there isn’t enough choral music available in print. So, together with his wife Waltraud, he founds a small publishing house for choral music, at the time, of course, still without its own building: in that section of the basement of his parents’ house intended for the storage of coal. The first work to roll off the press is Vivaldi’s Gloria.
50 years further on we can’t imagine choral life without Carus Verlag – with about 45 000 primarily vocal works, a world-wide distribution network and around 50 staff. The firm’s list has long stopped limiting itself to sacred choral music, nor is sheet music its only product: nearly at the same time as the publishing house, the Carus CD label was launched, and digital products like the famous carus music choir app support choral life. But what links Carus to the IFCM? Well – a lot of shared history!
Right from the start of Carus we sought co-operations with choral directors from all over the world. (Dr Johannes Graulich, CEO of Carus Verlag)
Carus had always aimed at offering editions of sheet music that paid as much attention to practical usefulness as to being academically unassailable. That’s why co-operation with choral directors and organisations has always been important. Starting with the first World Symposium for Choral Music, Carus Verlag – together with many other publishers and promoters – takes part in the music exhibition. One of the reasons for that is the cultivation of direct contact with choral directors, choral singers and representatives of choral organisations from all over the world. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that this soon led to international co-operations in the area of music publishing. I would particularly like to recommend the series “Carmina Mundi”, consisting of traditional choral music – original version or arranged for equal or mixed voices – from different regions of the world. As editors we find long-serving, faithful partners of the IFCM like André de Quadros, María Guinand, Alberto Grau, Maya Shavit and many more. Carus also has a close relationship with the European Choral Association, manifesting itself – amongst other ways – in the shape of the publication of European choral anthologies like “European Folk Songs”, complete with CD, for equal or mixed voices, but also the superb book of “Lullabies from all the World”.
The World Youth Choir has visited Europe several times already, and the concerts in Slovenia in 1999 were recorded for the Carus label. In charge at the time (neither for the first nor for the last time) was another faithful companion of the IFCM, Frieder Bernius. As a long-standing artistic adviser to Carus, Mr Bernius will give a concert with his Stuttgart Chamber Choir in Stuttgart Music Academy in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publishing house.
The pandemic, the increase in the number of technical and technological options, the invention of streaming … in the last few years music publishers and labels have had to face many challenges. Referring to these, Giovanni Cestino wrote a fascinating article for the October 2021 edition of our choral magazine, then still called ICB: One click is (not) enough – Publishing in the Digital Age. Despite all these obstacles the international choral scene cherishes the further flowering of such collaborators – like publishers of sheet music – whom we are delighted to welcome at every symposium.
Happy birthday, Carus!
Translated by Irene Auerbach, UK
Isabelle Métrope is a singer, a conductor and the managing editor of the International Choral Bulletin. She studied applied languages and music management, as well as conducting, singing and pedagogy, which is the cause as well as the result of a compulsive curiousity naturally leading to a strong interest in systematic musicology. Apart from singing solo and in several professional choirs, her favorite activities includes page setting, translating, baking cakes, taking pictures and travelling around the Mediterranean. Email: email@example.com