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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 25th November 2019

New Books 25th NovemberWelcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include a collection of letters between Leonard Bernstein and two of his Japanese fans; the history of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as it prepares to celebrate its centenary next year; correspondence between John Cage and Peter Yates; a look at how the issue of censorship affected the composition of Alban Berg's opera, Lulu; and an assessment of the impact of technology on the development of new sounds and instruments.

Mari Yoshihara; Oxford University Press; Hardback

This book reveals the emotional connections Bernstein formed with two Japanese individuals, using their personal letters that have never been seen before. The letters of Kazuko Amano (a woman who began writing fan letters to Bernstein in 1947 and became a close family friend), and Kunihiko Hashimoto (a young man who fell in love with the maestro in 1979 and later became his business representative), convey the meaning Bernstein and his music had at various stages of their lives.

Available Format: Book

Richard Bratby; Elliott & Thompson; Hardback

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has weathered war, recession and social change, evolving from a part-time municipal ensemble into an orchestra with a worldwide reputation. In its centenary year, this book celebrates a pioneering institution, from the quiet determination of Leslie Heward and the rejuvenating energy of George Weldon, to the revolutionary transformation of the Simon Rattle years, and the bold new visions of Sakari Oramo, Andris Nelsons, and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

Available Format: Book

Martin Iddon; Cambridge University Press; Hardback

The correspondence between composer John Cage and Peter Yates represents the third and final part of Cage's most significant exchanges of letters, following those with Pierre Boulez and with David Tudor. By bringing together more than 100 letters, beginning in 1940 and continuing until 1971, this book reveals the dialogue within which many of Cage's ideas were first forged and informed, with particular focus on his developing attitudes to music criticism and aesthetics.

Available Format: Book

Wolfgang Fuhrmann & Cristina Urchueguía (editors); Boydell & Brewer; Hardback

The Segovia Manuscript has puzzled musicologists ever since its rediscovery at the beginning of the twentieth century. No other manuscript of the period transmits a comparable blend of late fifteenth-century music, consisting of 204 sacred works and vernacular pieces in Flemish, French, Italian, and Spanish. The essays here aim to explore every dimension of this fascinating source.

Available Format: Book

Blake Wilson; Cambridge University Press; Hardback

A primary mode for the creation and dissemination of poetry in Renaissance Italy was the oral practice of singing and improvising verse to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. This book is the first comprehensive study of this ubiquitous practice, cultivated by performers ranging from popes, princes, and many artists, to professionals of both mercantile and humanist background.

Available Format: Book

Margaret Notley; Oxford University Press; Hardback

This book uncovers the uniquely generative role of censorship throughout the life-cycle of Berg's great opera. Placing the opera and its source material in wider cultural contexts, it provides close readings of the libretto and score to reveal techniques employed by the composer and by Wedekind before him in negotiating censorship, also exploring ways in which Berg chose to augment discrepancies between the plays rather than flatten them as in certain performances of the plays during the 1920s, adding further dimensions of interpretation to the work.

Available Format: Book

Peter Townsend; Oxford University Press; Hardback

This book aims to recognise the impact of science on music, why it occurs, how we respond, and even to tentatively see if we can predict future developments. Technology has played an immense role in the development of music, enabling the production of new sounds, introducing new instruments, and continuously improving existing ones. To appreciate the impact of technology on music does not require any prior scientific background as the concepts are invariably extremely simple and are presented here without technical detail.

Available Format: Book

Ted Gioia; Basic Books; Hardback

A revolutionary and revisionist account, this will be essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning of music. Ted Gioia tells the four-thousand-year history of music as a source of power, change, upheaval and enchantment. He shows how social outcasts have repeatedly become the great trailblazers of musical expression: slaves and their descendants, for instance, have repeatedly reinvented music in America and elsewhere, from ragtime, blues, jazz, R&B, to bossa nova, soul and hip hop.

Available Format: Book

Sean Smith; HarperCollins; Hardback

Through new research and interviews, this book reveals what life was really like for five ambitious young women who were propelled to fame in the 1990s with unstoppable momentum. Throughout the years, their lives have garnered unprecedented levels of media interest and fans have keenly followed their personal conflicts, break-ups, controversies and parenthood. In 2019, the prospect of their reunion tour has led to an outpouring of adoration and excitement, proving that they are an enduring cultural phenomenon.

Available Format: Book

Lou Reed; Faber & Faber; Hardback

Out of print for several years, this comprehensive volume presents Lou Reed's lyrics with brand new introductions, now updated in a new text design to include the lyrics from his final album with Metallica, Lulu. Containing a body of work that spans more than six decades, this is a monument to the literary qualities of an American original.

Available Format: Book