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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 14th October 2019

New Books 14th OctoberWelcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include an extensive collection of letters by Cole Porter; guides to the American musical on both stage and screen; a new English translation of Wagner's libretto for his epic series of music dramas, Der Ring des Nibelungen; analyses of the music of Luigi Dallapiccola and Mieczysław Weinberg; an exploration of Debussy's piano music; the story of how the final album by The Beatles was recorded at Abbey Road in 1969; and autobiographies by popular singers including Elton John, Julie Andrews, and Tony Christie.

Classical Composers & Performers

Simon P. Keefe (editor); Cambridge University Press

Now available in paperback, this book focuses on Mozart the man and musician as he responds to different aspects of the vibrant intellectual, social and political climate of mid-eighteenth-century Europe. It reveals his views on music and aesthetics; on places that shaped his life; on engaging with performers; and also discusses reception and his legacy from his own time through to the present day.

Available Format: Book

Overture Opera Guide in association with English National Opera

This guide contains essays placing the opera in the context of emerging German Romanticism, highlighting the musical riches of the score, and exploring the importance of myth to Wagner and his contemporaries. It also includes a detailed performance history, illustrations, a thematic guide, and the full libretto with an English translation.

Available Format: Book

John Deathridge (translator); Penguin Books

Wagner's epic cycle of four musical dramas about primal envy, cosmic conflict, spectacular self-sacrifice, redeeming human love and the downfall of gods revolutionised the nature of opera and conjured up an entire mythological world. John Deathridge's new facing-page translation of the libretto conveys the pungency and vitality of Wagner's words, reflecting the work's literary power while retaining its sense and dramatic energy.

Available Format: Book

Catherine Kautsky; Rowman & Littlefield

Debussy's piano works reflect not only the most appealing and innocent aspects of Paris but also more disquieting attitudes of the time such as racism, colonial domination, and nationalistic hostility. Pianist Catherine Kautsky reveals little-known elements of Parisian culture and weaves the music, the man, the city, and the era into an indissoluble whole.

Available Format: Book

Ben Earle; Cambridge University Press

Luigi Dallapiccola is widely considered a defining figure in twentieth-century Italian musical modernism. Ben Earle focuses on three of his major works, setting them in the context of contemporary politics to trace their complex path from fascism to resistance. He also considers the wider relationship between musical modernism and Italian fascism.

Available Format: Book

Mieczysław Weinberg left his family behind and fled his native Poland in September 1939 to reach the Soviet Union. This book examines how the works he wrote in Russia compare with those of his Polish contemporaries, providing an overview of his music through his string quartets.

Available Format: Book

William Brooks, Christina Bashford, & Gayle Magee (editors); University of Illinois Press

This book examines how composition, performance, publication, recording, censorship, and policy shaped the Atlantic allies' musical response to the war, with essay topics ranging from the sinking of the Lusitania, transformations of the entertainment industry, and the influenza pandemic.

Available Format: Book

Pianist James Rhodes introduces you to some of the most breathtaking and magnificent pieces of music ever created, meeting the rebels and revolutionaries who wrote them, and finding out why they're responsible for every track on your phone today. This visually exquisite celebration of music comes in a slipcase and features a large fold-out poster.

Available Format: Book

Do you know a cappella from zarzuela, or your major from your minor? Can you distinguish between a serenade and a symphony? If you only have thirty seconds, this book will help you to understand the creative journey taken by classical music from the Middle Ages to the modern era.

Available Format: Book

Film Music & Musicals

Dominic McHugh & Cliff Eisen (editors); Yale University Press

This extensive collection of letters (most of which are published here for the first time) features correspondence with stars such as Orson Welles, Ethel Merman, and Irving Berlin, as well as Porter's friends and lovers. They highlight the distinction between his public and private existence, revealing surprising insights into his attitudes toward Hollywood, Broadway, money, love, and success.

Available Format: Book

Michael Kantor & Laurence Maslon; Applause Books

This comprehensive companion to the six-part Emmy-winning PBS documentary series traces the history of the American musical from its roots through to recent hits such as The Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and more. The text is lavishly illustrated with a treasure trove of photographs, scenic renderings, production stills, and rehearsal shots, many previously unpublished.

Available Format: Book

Daniel Goldmark (editor); Oxford University Press

This book documents the life and works of many of the individuals responsible for writing music for some of the most popular films, television shows, video games, and music videos ever created. Its 150 articles, updated and expanded from The Grove Dictionary of American Music, cover key composers, sound engineers, and other figures in American film music history

Available Format: Book

Dominic McHugh (editor); Oxford University Press

This handbook traces the evolution of the stage-to-screen musical, examining screen adaptations of operettas such as The Desert Song, favourites such as Annie and Kiss Me, Kate, lesser-known titles like Li'l Abner and Roberta, as well as more problematic adaptations such as Carousel and Paint Your Wagon.

Available Format: Book

Popular Music

Elton John; Macmillan

In his first official autobiography, Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life in this funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time. He writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, finding love with David Furnish, and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes.

Available Format: Book

Julie Andrews; Weidenfeld & Nicolson

In this follow-up to her memoir Home, Julie Andrews picks up her story with her arrival in Hollywood, sharing personal experiences and reflections on her career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Victor/Victoria, and many others. Told with her trademark charm and candour, she takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an astonishing life that is funny, heartbreaking and inspiring.

Available Format: Book

In February 1969, The Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack focuses on the dynamics between them and producer George Martin, who set aside (for the most part) the tensions that had arisen on previous albums to create a work with an innovative and controversial sound that prominently included the new Moog synthesizer, among other novelties.

Available Format: Book

Ray Connolly; Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Chronicling a famously troubled life, Being John Lennon analyses the contradictions in the singer-songwriter's creative and destructive personality. Drawing on many interviews and conversations with Lennon, his first wife Cynthia and second Yoko Ono, as well as his girlfriend May Pang and song-writing partner Paul McCartney, Ray Connolly reassesses the chameleonic nature of the star.

Available Format: Book

Tony Christie; Great Northern Books

Tony Christie has topped the charts in countries all around the world. For the first time he tells of his illustrious career that started in the small South Yorkshire town of Conisbrough and today sees him as a singing legend with fans around the globe. It is a story packed with emotional and financial highs and lows, fantastic characters and Tony's deep-rooted love of family.

Available Format: Book

Andrew Ridgeley; Michael Joseph Publishers

Andrew Ridgeley tells the inside story of Wham! and his life-long friendship with George Michael, from the day they met in Watford in 1975 to their iconic final concert in front of tens of thousands of tearful fans at Wembley Stadium in 1986. He reveals what it was like being at the centre of a pop hurricane and talks of his love for and friendship with George.

Available Format: Book