BH Music

Kalendarium zur Lebensgeschichte Johann Sebastian Bachs [Chronology of the Life of Johann Sebastian Bach]. Ed. Andreas Glöckner. Expanded new ed. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt; Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag, 2008. 117 p. ill. 19 cm. (Edition Bach-Archiv Leipzig). ISBN 978-3-374-02588-6 (Ev. Verl.-Anst.); ISBN 978-3-89948-094-8 (Carus): EUR 9.80 [08-1/2-227]

The first edition of the Kalendarium zur Lebensgeschichte Johann Sebastian Bachs was published in 1970 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bach Archive in Leipzig. The 1979 second edition has been sold out for years, so that this new edition, based on the most current research, is welcome.

The volume presents a chronology of Bach’s life and works in tabular form. The lefthand column on every page lists exact dates within each year, the right-hand column briefly presents events associated with each date, noting sources. In addition, a preface and a user guide provide information on important publications for further reference.

Six appendices offer coverage of selected events in the second half of the year 1750, after Bach’s death, and additional documented payment dates, as well as indexes of persons, Bach’s works, works of other composers, and places, with page numbers referring to places where Bach was active given in boldface type.

The Bach Kalendarium belongs in libraries with music collections. It is a useful supplement to the recently completed Neue Bach-Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke (NBA) [New Edition of Bach’s Complete Works] (Kassel, 1954-2007). [mr/nb]

Das Beethoven-Lexikon [Beethoven Lexicon]. Ed. Heinz von Loesch and Claus Raab. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2008. 890 p. ill. music. 26 cm. (Beethoven-Handbuch, 6). ISBN 978-3-89007-476-4: EUR 98 [08-1/2-228]

Although numbered volume six of the Beethoven-Handbuch, this Lexikon is the only one to have appeared to date. In some 600 articles (with bibliographic references) it provides a guide to a very wide spectrum of topics related to Beethoven: works (the same composition often addressed under different rubrics, e.g., the Sonata, opus 106 under both Piano Sonatas and Hammerklavier Sonata), performers (from contemporaries of Beethoven to, for example, Anne-Sophie Mutter), writers (e.g., Adorno), composers (again, from Beethoven’s contemporaries to John Cage), overview articles (Beethoven’s library), institutions (academies), subjects of biographical interest (anecdotes, friendships with women), performance practice, reception (films, “Für Elise” in popular music), etc.

The examples above should make it evident that we are not dealing here with a dry accumulation of data. Indeed, the volume offers some surprises. (Which is not to say that everything that is included is absolutely indispensable, that nothing is missing (e.g., the organ–Beethoven’s first job was as a court organist in Bonn), or that one necessarily agrees with every judgment rendered. Desiderata: a better index and more cross-references.

The remaining volumes, still to be published: (1) Orchestral Music, (2) Piano Music, (3) Chamber Music, (4) Compositions for the Stage and Vocal Music, and (5) Beethoven’s World. The Lexikon, however, can stand on its own. [ar/sl]

Hugo-Wolf-Enzyklopädie: 518 Einzelartikel zu Leben und Werk, Umfeld und Rezeption [Hugo Wolf Encyclopedia: 518 Entries on His Life and Work, Environment, and Reception]. Ernst Hilmar and Margret Jestremski. Tutzing: Schneider, 2007. xxv, 593 p. ill. music. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-7952-1241-4: EUR 82 [08-1/2-230]

Having previously worked together on the Schubert-Lexikon (see RREA 3:190) and the Schubert-Enzyklopädie (see RREA 11:132), Hilmar again teams up with Margret Jestremski to produce a comprehensive work focusing on Hugo Wolf. Jestremski took on the task of compiling the list of works, while Hilmar assumed responsibility for producing an encyclopedia to complement this listing.

Taken together these two publications are meant to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the sources related to Wolf and his work. The result is intended to fill a research gap by creating a scholarly basis for examining Wolf ’s life and oeuvre and providing a rigorous underpinning for the publication of Wolf ’s complete works. Consequently, documentation of the information in this encyclopedia was a major focus.

The 518 articles are divided into three sections: (1) a general section; (2) a section devoted to Wolf; and (3) a chronologically arranged list of references. The general section and the list of references are set in a smaller typeface. Additional materials include a chronology, a list of abbreviations, an alphabetical listing of articles and references, a list of illustrations, and a list of works arranged chronologically within genre. Rounding out the Hugo-Wolf-Enzyklopädie, three indexes provide access to persons, places, and works. [mr/jb]

Bibliografie über die Lieder des Evangelischen Gesangbuchs [Bibliography concerning the Songs in the Lutheran Hymnal]. Karl Christian Thust. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006. 493 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-525-50336-2: EUR 98 [08-1/2-231]

Earlier reference and research sources on the Lutheran Hymnal cited in Reference Reviews Europe include Ernst Lippold and Günter Vogelsang’s Konkordanz zum Evangelischen Gesangbuch (see RREA 6:203) and Wolfgang Herbst’s Komponisten und Liederdichter des Evangelischen Gesangbuchs (see RREA 6:204).

Decades of collecting by Emeritus pastor and choir master Karl Christian Thust resulted in this bibliography of 22,500 citations to material concerning the 535 songs in the German Lutheran Hymnal, taken mainly from relevant German-language publications that appeared after 1945. Some “influential primary and secondary literature on solo, choir, and instrumental treatments of hymnal melodies” is also included, although it is not clear which items refer to primary literature (i.e., scores). The bibliography is useful for other denominations, as well, since numerous songs of the Lutheran Hymnal have found their way into Catholic and other hymnals, and literature on Catholic hymnals is included.

The bibliography is organizeded according to the numbers of the songs in the Lutheran Hymnal. Entries are arranged chronologicall, and alphabetically within a specific year. They are composed chiefly of the symbol for the reference source, a notation indicating whether the piece is a book (B) or an article (A), year of publication, and page numbers.

The listing of reference sources (p. 438-493) presents complete information on each source along with its corresponding symbol. It is arranged in seven sections: articles and essays; books and multi-volume works; reference works; hymnals; encyclopedias; handbooks, workbooks, and listings of works; and periodicals. A separate section includes “less scholarly, very specialized works to provide easy access for those who are interested,” with symbols characterizing contents and subjects (hymnology, theology with sub-categories, linguistics and literary scholarship, musicology, pedagogy). There is also a list of abbreviations for references not represented by symbols. Although the use of symbols and abbreviations saves a good deal of space, it is not always easy to decipher the references using these listings, particularly for the reader who does not use the materials frequently.

Nonetheless, the Bibliografie über die Lieder des Evangelischen Gesangbuchs belongs in academic, music, and theological libraries. [mr/nb]

Pianisten-Profile: 600 Interpreten; ihre Biografie, ihr Stil, ihre Aufnahmen [Pianist Profiles: 600 Pianists; Their Lives, Performance Styles, and Recordings]. Ingo Harden and Gregor Willmes. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2008. 798 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-7618-1616-5: EUR 69 [08-1/2-233]

The authors—who are record critics rather than academics—provide an engagingly readable guide to a wide range of classical-music pianists spanning some 120 years, i.e., the era of recorded sound from Brahms to Lang Lang and Yundi Li. “Pianists” include also harpsichordists, “pioneers” (Fritz Neumeyer), players of historical keyboard instruments, accompanists, and chamber music players. The authors attempt to describe the intentions behind and execution of the musicians’ performances—an enterprise in which words get one only so far. Ideally, one would want to hear sound clips. Not all the judgments are necessarily sound (especially when they are made only on the basis of recordings rather than live performances, or from very faulty media like piano rolls), but the project is a courageous and largely successful one. The articles also include brief biographical information and discographies (often with only very rudimentary data). [ar/sl]

Das Expert-Orgel-Lexikon: Begriffe und Erläuterungen zur Orgel, der Königin der Musikinstrumente [The Expert Organ Dictionary: Concepts and Explications of the Organ, the Queen of Musical Instruments]. Eberhard Wadischat and Hagen Wadischat. Renningen: Expert-Verlag, 2008. 119 p. 19 cm. ISBN 978-3-8169-2809-6: EUR 29.80 [08-1/2-234]

This dictionary purports to be a helpful, illustrative, and informative reference work for organists, organ builders, organ experts, and organ cognoscenti. To achieve this in about 120 pages is no simple task, and in reviewing invites comparison with the 2007 Lexikon Orgelbau (see RREA 13:187).

In almost every instance, the LO contains between one-quarter and one-third more terms, with longer entries and more precise information, than does the EOL. Even more exact and much more voluminous is the Lexikon der Orgel (see RREA 13:186), which covers the entire spectrum of the organ: construction, composers and their works, and organ performers/interpreters.

The Expert-Orgel-Lexikon is not recommended for libraries and is useful only as a pocket dictionary, in case someone would need to have such a tool at hand. For libraries, Roland Eberlein’s Orgelregister (see RREA 14:117) and the two resources cited above are highly recommended. [ar/ga]

Orgelregister: ihre Namen und ihre Geschichte. [Organ Registers: Their Names and History] Roland Eberlein. Köln: Siebenquart-Verlag Eberlein, 2008. 768 p. 25 cm ISBN 978-3-941224-00-1: EUR 86 [08-1/2-235]

Until now, the only other major work on organ registers, or stops, is Christard Mahrenholz’s Die Orgelregister: ihre Geschichte und ihr Bau [Organ Registers: Their History and Construction] (Kassel, 1930; reprint Lauffen/Neckar, 1987). Mahrenholz hoped to establish a clear-cut nomenclature and unified model for future construction of organ stops, but his model could not be supported by historical evidence. Eberlein, on the other hand, intends to make the reader aware of the many different approaches and the historic diversity of organ stops.

The work begins with a three-page introduction on the historical development of organ stops.

The main body of the work is a dictionary of the names of the organ stops, in alphabetical order (p. 18-740). Each entry gives the history, sources, and special characteristics of the respective organ stop, along with local details, bibliographic references, and quotations. Many entries have an astonishing number of details. Also included are terms for “mixture stops” such as Plein jeu and Grand jeu.

The cross-reference structure of the print edition could have been fleshed out more, but Roland Eberlein’s CD-ROM database, Orgelregisterdatenbank (Köln, 2008, EUR 50; siebenquart@netcologne.de), compensates for this shortcoming. In addition, browsing through this work gives the reader a sense of registration practices, conventions, and organ-building practices during different epochs. This monumental work belongs in every music or research library’s collection, as well as in smaller collections. One hopes that the obscurity of the publisher’s name will not hinder the propagation of this work. [ar/ga]

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Last update: April 2011 [LC]
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