Both recording companies and music publishers have a common goal – the dissemination of music. Karl Vötterle once said in an interview:
“Records actually represented the opposite extreme to my work for three decades. We looked down on records, as did many others, as ‘canned music’ and basically did not take them seriously.”
In the course of time this attitude changed. Making music remained important but listening to music also became important. And thus, “the record really became the gift of the century.” Karl Vötterle was attracted to the idea of publishing a music edition and at the same time to provide a ‘recording’ of it. The idea of issuing recordings to accompany the complete editions was even considered. One of the first projects where this went hand in hand was Ernst Krenek’s Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae. But such double editions remained the exception. Beginning in 1959, Bärenreiter was one of the first music publishers to include recordings in its publishing programme. In 1965 the “Vereinigte Schallplattenvertriebs-Gesellschaft Disco-Center mbH” was founded as a subsidiary of Bärenreiter. Its two own labels were Cantate and Musicaphon. In addition, it acted as a German distributor for recordings by other companies. In 1996 Dr. Rainer Kahleyss took over the company which had acquired the two Bärenreiter labels two years earlier.