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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 8th February 2021

New Books 8th FebruaryWelcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include an examination of how Bizet's Carmen became one of the most popular operas; a companion to Schubert's song cycle, Winterreise; a new paperback edition of Stephen Johnson's recounting of the effect that Mahler's Eighth Symphony has had since its premiere in 1910; the history of theatre music in London from Purcell to Handel; an unpacking of the myths surrounding the figure of the American blues performer; a handbook exploring music and the brain; and an illustrated history of musicals from The Wizard of Oz to Hamilton.

Richard Langham Smith; Boydell & Brewer; Hardback

What were the forces that brought Carmen to the operatic stage? This book explores how Andalusian stereotypes, such as gypsy spectacle, banditry and the fiestas of the bullfight, contributed to the success of Bizet's opera. The original staging is used to examine both places and characters, in particular realities and mythologies about gypsies in the nineteenth century. It concludes with the ways in which the opera first reached the stage, both in terms of its scenography and how it was sung, played and acted.

Available Format: Book

Marjorie W. Hirsch & Lisa Feurzeig (editors); Cambridge University Press; Paperback

This companion enhances understanding of Schubert's Winterreise by approaching it from multiple angles, including the political and musical environments in which the work was created, its relation to contemporaneous understandings of psychology, the listener's identification with the cycle's protagonist, aspects of continuity among the songs, and the cycle's relation to German Romanticism.

Available Format: Book

Stephen Johnson; Faber & Faber; Paperback

The world premiere in Munich of Mahler's Eighth Symphony in the summer of 1910 was the artistic breakthrough for which the composer had yearned all his adult life, filling Munich's huge Neue Musik-Festhalle on two successive evenings, to tumultuous applause. Now available in paperback, this book recounts its far-reaching effect on composers, conductors and writers, and re-assesses Mahler's thoughts in relation to the artistic and intellectual movements of the time.

Available Format: Book

Colin Timms & Bruce Wood; Cambridge University Press; Paperback

This book is concerned with a hundred years of musical drama in England, charting the development of the genre from Henry Purcell and his contemporaries to Handel. En route it investigates the objections to all-sung drama in English that were articulated in the decades around 1700, various proposed solutions, the importation of Italian opera, and the creation of the English dramatic oratorio.

Available Format: Book

Kimberly Mack; University of Massachusetts Press; Paperback

The familiar story of Robert Johnson, who sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads in exchange for guitar virtuosity, and the violent stereotypes evoked by legendary blues "bad men" like Stagger Lee undergird the myths surrounding "authentic" blues expression. This book unpacks the figure of the American blues performer, from early singers such as Ma Rainey and Big Mama Thornton to contemporary musicians such as Amy Winehouse, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jack White.

Available Format: Book

Michael H. Thaut & Donald Hodges (editors); Oxford University Press; Paperback

This compendium of current research on music in the human brain brings together an international roster of authors. Each chapter offers a thorough review of the current status of research, as well as suggestions for future research efforts. It is of interest to a broad readership including neuroscientists, musicians, and clinicians.

Available Format: Book

Dorling Kindersley; Hardback

From Show Boat and The Wizard of Oz to Les Miserables and Hamilton, this beautifully-illustrated book covers the complete history of the genre. Discover the history, plots, and stars of musical theatre and movie musicals, go backstage to find out more about choreography and set and costume design, and delve into profiles of successful creators such as Andrew Lloyd Webber in this illustrated celebration.

Available Format: Book

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