BH - Music
Brahms-Handbuch [Brahms Handbook]. Wolfgang Sandberger. Stuttgart and Weimar: Metzler; Kassel [et al.]: Bärenreiter, 2009. xxx, 632 p. ill., music. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-476-02233-2 (Metzler); ISBN 978-3-7618-2036-0 (Bärenreiter): EUR 64.95
Another title in the excellent series of handbooks co-published by Metzler and Bärenreiter, this volume presents a compendium of the current thinking and research of a wide range of eminent specialists in Brahms studies. The volume‘s major sections are devoted to (1) the contexts in which Brahms‘s life unfolded, (2) aesthetic views, and (3) issues related to the composing itself, followed by descriptions of Brahms‘s compositions (vocal music, compositions for piano and organ, chamber music, orchestral music), with a concluding section on interpretation and reception. There is, strictly speaking, no biographical section in the book, which is not necessarily a plus, if only because it would have further helped tocontextualize Brahms‘s development as a composer. The structure of the handbook prevents the various facets of Brahms‘s working life— performer, editor, teacher, etc.—from vanishing into mere digressions. The articles are all highly informative, covering such areas as Brahms criticism in the 19th century, religion and art in Brahms‘s life and work, his relationship to the major musicologists of the time, and his relationship to writers and artists. The volume includes listings (compositions, illustrations, authors) and indexes (names, titles). Lacking are a selective discography and references to relevant Internet sites (e.g., digitized scores, such as the Petrucci Music Library).
This is a work that should be in every library that supports the study of music. [ar/sl]
An International Handel Bibliography (1959-2009) = Internationale Händel- Bibliographie (1959-2009). Ed. Hans Joachim Marx. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009. xxiv, 204 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-525-27824-6: EUR 24.90
G. F. Handel: A Guide to Research. Mary Ann Parker. 2d ed. New York and London: Routledge, 2005. xiii, 418 p. 24 cm. (Routledge Music Bibliographies). ISBN 978-0-415-94323-9: £65
Hans Joachim Marx justifies 1959 as the starting year of his bibliography, reasoning that little in Handel scholarship before then had proved to be of lasting value or influence. This a questionable assertion, as some of the titles listed in the foreword demonstrate. And the cutoff of 2009 (the 250th anniversary year of the composer‘s death) is also misleading, as the bibliography was published in the spring of that year, before most of the year‘s scholarship saw the light of day. There are 2,800 listings altogether, including titles cited more than once. The organization of the bibliography follows the classification of the Handel article in the second edition of Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, also written by Marx.
English-speaking users will generally choose Parker‘s work over Marx‘s. Its coverage is broader and more inclusive (2,041 separate titles, with listings from before 1959, though the emphasis is also on scholarship from the late 1950s onward, and the cutoff year in Parker is somewhat earlier). Parker provides many more (brief ) annotations than does Marx. On the other hand, Parker‘s presentation is not as user-friendly. One example: in Chapter 4, Section 4 (Oratorios) Parker lists the citations by author rather than by work, requiring the user to go back to the subject index for each reference pertaining to a given oratorio.
In his foreword, Marx claims the advantage for his bibliography over Parker‘s on the basis of the latter‘s emphasis on English-language scholarship—a claim that is, in fact, not really justified, as German titles abound in Parker‘s work (unlike in many U.S. bibliographies). In any case, the overlap between the two works is considerable. [sh/sl]
Händel und seine Zeitgenossen: Eine biographische Enzyklopädie; 682 Artikel ... sowie ein Kalendarium der Aufführungen Händels. [Handel and his Contemporaries: A Biographical Encyclopedia with 682 Articles … and a Calendar of Handel Performances]. Hans Joachim Marx. 2 vols. Laaber: LaaberVerlag, 2008. 1125 p. ill. 28 cm. (Das Händel-Handbuch, 1). ISBN 978-3-89007-685-0: EUR 178
This is the first in the Laaber composer-handbook series in which biographies of the composer‘s contemporaries are published in a separate volume. The editor, Germany‘s preeminent Handel scholar Hans Joachim Marx, casts a very wide net to include members of the English court and lower nobility, wealthy non-nobles, musicians, theater managers and agents, librettists, translators, copyists, printers, and publishers, as well as close friends (of which Handel had few) and other composers who were important to Handel, even if he hadn‘t actually met them (most famously J. S. Bach). The articles are organized alphabetically by name, include bibliographical references and, when possible, reproductions of portraits, usually in color and often of poor quality. Appendices include among other features an index to the textual references to Handel‘s compositions (by genre) as well as an extensive calendar of performances of Handel‘s compositions from 1711 to 1759 that lists repeat performances as well as the first. [sh/sl]
Edvard Grieg, thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis (1843-1907) [Thematic-Bibliographic Catalog of the Works of Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)]. Ed. Dan Fog, Kirsti Grinde, and Øyvind Norheim. Frankfurt am Main [et al.]: Litolff/Peters, 2008. xxxvi, 591 p. ill. music. 28 cm. ISBN 978-3-87626- 990-0: EUR 159
Typically, complete catalogs of a composer‘s work are compiled before the definitive edition of the works themselves. In the case of Grieg, however, it has been the other way around (the Complete Works—Samlede Verker in Norwegian—were published from 1977 to 1995). The catalog is organized by opus numbers, numbered from 1 to 74, and supplemented by works without opus number (collections, lost and spurious works). The addition of a chronological listing would have been helpful, since without it the chronology has to be worked out. Otherwise, the catalog is amply indexed, with listings by genre, title, first words, textual sources, dedicatees, publishers, etc. The selected bibliography includes 547 titles. The descriptions of the works are as thorough, instructive, and well documented as one could wish. The provision of their detailed publishing history is an especially noteworthy achievement. Additional cross-references would have been helpful. The quality of the printing and binding is very high. This is an indispensable tool for Grieg scholarship. [ar/sl]
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: thematisch-systematischesVerzeichnis der musikalischen Werke (MWV) [Felix Mandelsson Bartholdy: Thematic-Classified Catalog of the Musical Works (MWV)]. Ralf Wehner for the Forschungsstelle bei der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig. Study edition. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 2009. lxxxviii, 595 p. music. 28 cm. (Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Serie 13, Werkverzeichnis, 1A). EUR 128
The designation „study edition“ of this catalog of Mendelssohn‘s works implies the eventual publication of a „non-study“ edition, presumably one that will also include his non-musical (literary, pictorial) efforts.
Mendelssohn's compositions are listed not by opus number (authorized by the composer) but in chronological order, based on the date of the autograph score. In addition, they are listed by genre/sub-genre (e.g., Vocal music/sacred), under which they are again ordered chronologically. A short introduction (in English and German) precedes each of the major sections. In spite of numerous minor editorial problems (primarily involving insufficient bibliographic detail), this publication is a milestone and an absolutely necessary acquisition for any library with an interest in Mendelssohn's work. [ar/sl]
Enciclopedia da música em Portugal no século XX [Encyclopedia of Music in Portugal in the 20th Century]. Ed. Salwa Castelo-Branco. 4 vols. + CD. Lisboa: Temas e Debates: Círculo de Leitores, 2010. xxxiv, 1456 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-989-644-091-6 (vol. 1): EUR 155 (set)
An RREA Original Review by David Oberhelman (Oklahoma State University)
The four-volume Enciclopédia da música em Portugal no século XX (EMPXX) fills an important gap in collections for the history of music in different genres in Portugal and its dependencies during the last century. It complements the two-volume Dicionário de música by Tomás Borba and Fernando Lopes-Garça (Lisboa, 1956; 2d ed. 1962), the standard musical reference work for Portuguese music in the 1900s, but this work offers more comprehensive coverage of the second half of the century and includes many more artists, composers, and topical entries even for the first half. General editor Salwa Castelo-Branco and the others on the editorial staff have brought together a wide array of musicologists, ethnomusicologists, historians, anthropologists, and other academic contributors from various countries to provide a comprehensive, encyclopedic overview of the multiple domínios [domains] of 20th-century Portuguese music. Domains covered include classical, traditional, and folk music; „pop-rock“; jazz; the canção de Coimbra (a distinctive song style associated with the city and university of Coimbra); and other popular musical forms.
The entries, arranged alphabetically, are quite concise, with some photographic illustrations. Most are biographical entries on various Portuguese musicians, singers, songwriters, composers, and conductors, as well as musicologists and other notable figures in the musical fields. The biographical entries include bibliographies, discographies, and listings of various musical compositions and other creative works. Symphonies, bands, ensembles, musical institutes and other schools, recording labels, and organizations— both in the Portuguese government, particularly the arts ministries, and in the private sector—also have succinct but very detailed entries, making this set a valuable historical resource on the artistic and cultural heritage of Portugal, particularly during the era of Anto´nio de Oliveira Salazar‘s authoritarian Estado Novo [„New State“] and beyond. The topical entries are most useful for students and researchers on Portuguese culture. As examples, the entry on Carnaval covers musical traditions associated with the pre- Lenten celebration (focusing on the traditions of the Iberian peninsula), and the entry on fado, arguably the best known traditional musical form to emerge in 19th- and 20th-century Portugal, provides an excellent introduction to the history of the song style and the artists associated with it. The encyclopedia also touches upon musical topics related to other Lusophone countries, most notably Brazil, although the emphasis is upon music produced in Portugal and the impact of the Brazilian and other overseas musical industries upon the musical scene in the Iberian Peninsula. The final volume concludes with a useful historical essay surveying the many facets of Portuguese music in the 20th century, followed by a well-organized thematic-onomastic index to help readers locate related entries on musical styles, artists, and topics throughout the four volumes.
The EMPXX should appeal to research libraries with strong European and world music collections or collections focusing on Portuguese language, history, and culture.
Rock-Lexikon [Encyclopedia of Rock]. Siegfried Schmidt-Joos and Wolf Kampmann. Rev. and expanded ed. 2 vols. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 2009. 2,189 p. 22 cm. (rororo, 62132, 62133; Sachbuch). ISBN 978-3-499-62132-1 (vol. 1): EUR 16.95, ISBN 978-3-499-62133-8 (vol. 2): EUR 16.95
Since its genesis in 1973, Rock-Lexikon has been expanded and revised several times. The first edition was a mere 350 pages in length; this was expanded to 445 pages in 1975, and has through multiple, subsequent iterations since grown to a two-volume reference tome—hardly the small paperback the publisher‘s statement leads readers to presume! Originally, the editorial staff consisted only of co-founders Schmidt-Joos and Graves, but since then it has grown to include many talented, international employees.
Notable additions to this volume include coverage of jazz, including biographies for greats like John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, lengthy articles including one entitled „What is Rock Music,“ and a chapter devoted to the problematic nature of music labels whose roles have changed dramatically in recent years with the influence of the Internet on music. Many criticisms of the earlier edition, reviewed in 1998 (see IFB 99-1/4-321) have been redressed in this edition, including the previous omission of influential bands and musicians, such as Prodigy, Manic Street Preachers, and Tortoise, though others, including Hubert von Goisern and Saxon remain omitted. The current coverage of Metal/Hard Rock leaves something to be desired, as bands such as Manowar, Venom, and Voivod are missing. At least Napalm Death and Sepultura have finally been included alongside entries for Metallica, Mötorhead, and Rammstein. Similarly, whereas the 1998 edition included entries for John Cage, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich, this edition only includes an entry for Steve Reich. This exemplifies just how hazy are the criteria for inclusion!
A noteworthy criticism of this edition concerns the depth of coverage in several genres. For example, blues and jazz are barely represented, and pop music from the Third World is given short shrift. Because the editors of Rock Lexikon endeavor to keep the size under control, the length of entries is inconsistent, and many are underdeveloped. For example, while the entry for Bob Dylan is 17 columns long, Jimi Hendrix commands only five columns of attention. As with every encyclopedia in book form, the copy deadline is problematic, as so many changes are likely to occur between the writing of the articles and the publishing of the encyclopedia. The entry for Michael Jackson illustrates this point well.
These criticisms aside, Rock Lexikon has set a new standard and should be a part of every private, research, or public library’s collections. [beh/jmw]
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Last update: January 2013 [LC]
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