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New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 10th June 2024

Welcome to our latest selection of new music publications, including the memoir of conductor Antonio Pappano, biographies of composers Olivier Messiaen and Joaquín Rodrigo, companions to composition and women composers, a discussion of music documentaries and films about music, an exploration of the rise of the shellac disc in early sound reproduction, and an analysis of the role of songs in Proust’s novel, À la recherche du temps perdu.

Antonio Pappano; Faber & Faber; Hardback

In 1969, decades before he was chosen to conduct the music at the Coronation of King Charles, Antonio Pappano was a ten-year-old boy accompanying his father's singing lessons. This memoir tells the moving tale of a conductor who, nurtured in childhood by his parents and their dedicated work ethic, went on to conduct at many of the most influential opera houses of the world. Pappano skilfully evokes an extensive selection from his wide-ranging repertoire and makes a compelling case for the potential classical music has to captivate new and wider audiences.

Available Format: Book

Robert Sholl; Reaktion Books; Hardback

This biography offers fresh perspectives on the life, ideas and music of composer, organist and ornithologist Olivier Messiaen. Drawing on previously unexplored sketches and archival material, it seamlessly combines elements of biography, musicology, theology, philosophy, psychoanalysis and aesthetics to present a nuanced perspective on Messiaen’s work. Unlike previous biographies, it also considers the perspectives of Messiaen’s contemporaries and students, providing a comprehensive understanding of his life and artistic legacy.

Available Format: Book

Javier Suárez-Pajares & Walter Aaron Clark; WW Norton & Co; Hardback

Joaquín Rodrigo is best known as the composer of one of the most popular works of music in the classical repertoire - the Concierto de Aranjuez. But this biography demonstrates that his influence extends far beyond that singular work. Though firmly grounded in the traditional music of Spain, his creative reach extended to a wide variety of styles, genres and media. He was as versatile as he was prolific and, one hundred years after his first serious composition, remains a figure of global renown.

Available Format: Book

Matthew Head & Susan Wollenberg (editors); Cambridge University Press; Paperback

Moving beyond narratives of female suppression, this companion transforms received understanding of women composers. Organised thematically, and ranging beyond Western genres, it explores the work of female composers from medieval to modern times. Leading scholars trace shifting ideas about composers and compositional processes, contributing to a wider understanding of how composers have functioned in history and making this volume essential reading for all students of musical history.

Available Format: Book

Toby Young (editor); Cambridge University Press; Paperback

There are as many ways of creating music as there are composers, with a vast array of possible methods and practices. This book provides critical and practical tools for composers as they try to navigate this complex landscape, whilst also offering provocations for those discovering their own voices and solidifying their place in their musical communities. It offers support throughout the creative process and insights on technical questions for a range of compositional approaches.

Available Format: Book

This book considers a broad range of music documentaries, delving into their cinematic style, political undertones, racial dynamics, and gender representations. Combining historical and critical analyses, it situates the films within their wider cultural contexts, highlighting their formal and thematic innovations. Discussions in the book span topics from concert film-making to music production, the music industry, touring, and filmic representations of authenticity and truth.

Available Format: Book

Vicki P. Stroeher & Justin Vickers (editors); Cambridge University Press; Paperback

Now in paperback, this volume explores the contexts for Britten's career and engagement with his contemporaries, as well as his philosophical and ideological tenets. It is structured in five parts: his relationships with Peter Pears, his close friends, mentors, and colleagues; musical life in Britain; his interactions with previous and contemporary generations of composers; his work with choreographers, librettists, stage designers, and directors; and his cultural, religious, and political environment.

Available Format: Book

Carrie Churnside (editor); Boydell & Brewer; Hardback

With more than a hundred music examples, this collection focuses on the stylistic and cultural interchange that characterises the period of the mid-Baroque. Chapters examine geographical transition by tracing the exchange of regional and national styles, while considering chronological evolution from the perspective of music theory, performance practice, source studies or specific repertoires. Studies range across instrumental and vocal music, both sacred and secular, and encompass some of the main European traditions prevalent at the time.

Available Format: Book

Gavin Williams; University of Chicago Press; Paperback

With the rise of the gramophone around 1900, the shellac disc travelled the world and became the dominant sound format in the first half of the twentieth century. The very basis of this early sound reproduction technology was friction, an elemental materiality of sound shaped through cultural practice. Using friction as a lens, this book illuminates the environments plundered, the materials seized, and the ears entangled in the making of a sound format.

Available Format: Book

Jennifer Rushworth; University of Pennsylvania Press; Hardback

This book analyses the role of songs in Proust's novel À la recherche du temps perdu. Instead of focusing on instrumental music and large-scale forms such as symphonies and opera, it argues for the centrality of songs and lyrics in Proust’s opus, analysing the ways in which the author inserted songs at key turning points in his novel and how he drew inspiration from contemporary composers and theorists of song. It presents detailed readings of five moments of song in the novel, highlighting their significance by paying close attention to their lyrics, music, composers, and histories.

Available Format: Book