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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 11th November 2019

New Books 11th NovemberWelcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include a collection of essays on musical and other topics by pianist Alfred Brendel; a lavishly-illustrated companion to classical music published by Dorling Kindersley; a guide to the greatest composers from the chief music critic for The New York Times; a study of Richard Wagner's time in Paris; the first-ever biography of saxophonist Johnny Hodges; and new paperback editions of books on the choir of King's College, Cambridge, acting exercises for opera singers, and the Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia.

Classical Composers & Performers

The title of this collection of essays refers to a tailor's mannequin that Brendel spotted in a shop window in Arezzo. Who is this strange lady? What is she looking at? And why is she carrying an egg on her head? The mannequin now graces a room in the attic of Brendel's house in Hampstead. Her features convey artistic seriousness in combination with absurd comedy: the epitome of his own musical and literary preferences.

Available Format: Book

Whether you already love classical music or you're just beginning to explore it, this guide will take you on a journey through more than a thousand years, charting the evolution of instruments, styles, and genres. Biographies of major and lesser-known composers offer rich insights into their music and the historical and cultural contexts that influenced their genius. Timelines, quotes, and colour photographs give a voice to this music and the exceptionally gifted individuals who created it.

Available Format: Book

Anthony Tommasini; Penguin Books

In 2011, in his role as the chief classical music critic for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini wrote a series in which he cheekily set out to determine the all-time top ten composers, with help from readers. Now he offers his own personal guide to the canon, and what greatness really means in classical music. To make his case, Tommasini draws on elements of biography, the anxiety of influence, the composer's relationships with colleagues, and shifting attitudes toward a composer's work over time.

Available Format: Book

Nicholas Vazsonyi (editor); Cambridge University Press

From 'absolute music' to 'Zurich', and from 'Adorno' to 'Zumpe', the vividly-written entries of The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia (now available in paperback) cover a comprehensive range of topics. More than eighty scholars, representing disciplines from history and philosophy to film studies and medicine, provide fascinating insights into Wagner's life, career and influence. Multiple appendices include listings of Wagner's works, historic productions, recordings and addresses where he lived.

Available Format: Book

This is the first major study to trace Wagner's relationship with Paris from his initial sojourn there in 1839 to the Paris Tannhäuser in 1861. How did his experiences influence his works and social character? How does his desire for recognition by the French cultural establishment square with his German national identity and with the related idea of a universally valid art? This book explores Wagner's perennial ambition of an operatic success in the "capital city of the nineteenth century".

Available Format: Book

Opera & Choral

This book leads the singer through the process of bringing the libretto and score to life, introducing them to the tools needed to create an interior and physical life for their character. Covering operatic repertoire including Handel, Mozart, and Britten, it presents exercises to help singers develop their own dramatic toolbox, and features interviews with conductors, directors, singers and casting agents to offer invaluable insights into the professional operatic world.

Available Format: Book

The sound of The Choir of King's College, Cambridge has become famous all over the world, especially at Christmas time with the broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Now available in paperback, this illuminating book shows how the choir's sound was transformed under two exceptional directors of music - Boris Ord from 1929 and David Willcocks from 1958.

Available Format: Book

Pop, Jazz, & World Music

Roshanak Kheshti; Continuum Publishing

So much has been written about Bob Moog, his brand-name synthesizer, and Wendy Carlos, the musician who made this instrument famous. Nobody, however, has examined the importance of spy technology, the Cold War, and Carlos's gender to this critically-important innovation. Through a post-colonial lens of feminist science and technology studies, Roshanak Kheshti engages in a reading of Carlos's music within this gendered context.

Available Format: Book

Con Chapman; Oxford University Press

Saxophonist Johnny Hodges's celebrated technique and unforgettable, silky tone resonated throughout the jazz world over the greater part of the twentieth century. In 1928 he joined Duke Ellington, beginning an association that would continue, with one interruption, until Hodges's death. This first-ever biography details his place as one of the most important and influential saxophone players in the history of jazz.

Available Format: Book

W. Anthony Sheppard; Oxford University Press

In the American imagination, Japan has represented the "most alien" nation for over 150 years. This perceived difference has inspired fantasies through which Japanese culture has profoundly impacted the arts in America. This book offers a wide-ranging investigation of music's role in shaping American perceptions of the Japanese. From the Tin Pan Alley songs of the Russo-Japanese war period to Weezer's Pinkerton album, music has continued to inscribe Japan as the land of extreme exoticism.

Available Format: Book

William Cheng & Gregory Barz (editors); Oxford University Press

Drawing on ethnographic research as well as personal experience, this volume unpacks a history of sentiment that veils the treatment of queer music and identity within the field of ethnomusicology. The first large-scale study of ethnomusicology's queer silences and queer identity politics, it addresses normativities currently at play in musical ethnography as well as in the practice of musical ethnographers.

Available Format: Book