BH-94-1 - Music


Lexikon der Interpreten klassischer Musik im 20. Jahrhundert [Lexikon of Twentieth-Century Interpreters of Classical Music in the 20th Century] / Alain Paris. Translated and edited by Rudolf Kimmig. - München : Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag ; Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1992. - XX, 1032 p. ; 19 cm. - (dtv ; 3291). - Uniform title: Dictionnaire des interpretes et de l'interpretation musicale au XXe siècle. - ISBN 3-423-03291-X (dtv). - ISBN 3-7618-3291-5 (Bärenreiter) : DM 39.80


Dizionario degli interpreti musicali : musica classica e operistica [Dictionary of Interpreters of Music : Classical Music and Opera]. - Milano : Editori Associati, 1993. - XVIII, 656 p. - (I dizionari). - ISBN 88-7819-195-7 : Lit. 39.000

The Lexikon is an augmented translation of Dictionnaire des interpretes et de l'interpretation musicale au xxe siècle, now in its third edition (Paris: Laffont, 1989). With some 400 entries contributed for German readers, Kimmig supplies 2352 biographies of singers and other performers (part 1) as well as 615 institutional and ensemble entries (part 2). Among numerous shortcomings should be noted the listing of orchestras only by their city of residence (so one must know that the Halle is in Manchester in order to find it), the failure to update articles from the 1982 French original (so Ivo Pogorelich appears to be just starting his career), and a too casual regard for dates and facts.

The Dizionario, an offshoot of the multivolume Dizionario enciclopedico universale della musica e dei musicisti (Turin: Utet, 1983-1990), is similar in intent if slightly smaller in scope than the Lexikon. Although not all of the performer entries in the Dizionario enciclopedico are here, there is still better coverage of Italian musicians, and also an attempt to enhance the dictionary's timeless by including entries for younger performers of international standing. Despite lacking an index, the Italian title is a solid, concentrated work. [rn/mg]


Großngerlexikon [Great Dictionary of Singers] / K.J. Kutsch, Leo Riemens ; with Suppl. [1]. Bern : Saur. - 25 cm.- ISBN 3-907820-67-3. Suppl. 2, with Hansjorg Rost. - 1994. VII p., 1598 columns. - ISBN 3-907820-69-X : DM 278.00 ; 248.00 (subscr.)


Großngerlexikon / K.J. Kutsch, Leo Riemens. - Unaltered 1987 edition, softcover in boxed set. - Bern : Saur, 1993. v. 1-2 + suppl. vol. ; 24 cm. - ISBN 3-907820-70-3 : DM 98.00

The original publication, a two-volume edition by Francke-Verlag of 1987, was itself based on several incarnations with varying titles dating back to 1962. Previous reviews have remarked on the Lexikon's inclusion of singers from the late 1500s to the present as having less to do with objective criteria than with the authors' zeal. The volumes have characteristically declined to disclose the sources of the authors' information and supply citations to other literature only in certain cases. It is worth noting that the supplemental volumes are not necessarily devoted to more recent names, and contain a very considerable number of addenda and corrigenda. Presumably the boxed paperbound edition of the original edition with first supplement is intended for libraries unable to afford Saur's principal offering. [sh/mg]


Metzler-Musik-Chronik : vom frühen Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart [Metzler Chronological Dictionary of Music: From the Early Middle Ages to the Present] / Arnold Feil. - Stuttgart [etc.] : Metzler, 1993. - XXIV, 836 p. ; 25 cm.- ISBN 3-476-00929-7 : DM 78.00

This is essentially a compilation of data ordered according to the conventional breakdown of epochs signaled by the subtitle, learned but not informed by any particular interpretive vision. Intended for lay readers, it depends heavily on the encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. That volume's surveys of European music history offer more in the way of intellectual engagement, and so render this title redundant. [rn/mg]


Musikwissenschaftliches Arbeiten : Hilfsmittel, Techniken, Aufgaben [Working in Musicology: Aids, Techniques, Questions] / Nicole Schwindt-Gross. - Kassel [etc.] : Bärenreiter, 1992. - 211 p. ; 21 cm. - (Bärenreiter-Studienbücher Musik ; 1). - ISBN 3-7618-1052-0 : DM 34.00

Announced as the first elementary introduction to the practical issues and concerns faced by students, musicologists and professional musicians, this volume addresses those likely to be daunted by such specialist treatises as, say, Heinrich Husmann's Einführung in die Musikwissenschaft (Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen, 1975). After a brief general discussion of the field's theoretical and aesthetic areas of investigation, there follow several chapters on the evaluation of primary source materials. Further sections cover library literacy, university programs, and some of the issues involved in the study of ethnomusicology, music psychology, and related subdisciplines. The book is readable and well indexed, and altogether a reliable, competent, and instructive work. [rn/mg]


Herder-Handbuch des Musiktheaters: Oper, Operette, Musical, Ballett [Herder Handbook of the Musical Theater: Opera, Operetta, Musical, Ballet] / [based on the text by Renate Wagner ; conceived and edited by Christian Scholz]. - Freiburg [etc.] : Herder, 1992. v. 1- 2. ISBN 3-451-22593-X (set) : DM 198.00

So rich is the reference literature for music of the theater that new works should expect to be held to high standards with respect to substance and originality of conception. The two volumes of the Handbuch ("From the beginnings to 1900" and "From 1900 to the present") present competently constructed discussions encompassing issues from staging to historical influence. But much of the content is merely received opinion easily available elsewhere (some very similarly elsewhere); too frequently the prose is tortured; inappropriate comments and other embarrassments abound. In short: not recommended. [rn/mg]

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