Book Review: ‘Bach’s Famous Choir’

The universal interest in St. Thomas School and its famous choir derives from the fact that J.S. Bach was in charge of it from 1723 to 1750, yet Michael Maul’s treatment of the school makes clear that the most glorious days of the choir (as opposed to its repertory) were not under Bach.

Book Review: Hailing The Harpsichord

Approachable and comprehensive, “The Cambridge Companion to the Harpsichord,” edited by Mark Kroll, teaches us about the harpsichord’s history and construction, role in chamber ensembles, tuning and temperament, and repertoire from nearly every national school.

Book Review: Probing Medieval Motets

The goal of “A Critical Companion to Medieval Motets” is to define the motet genre as pluralistic and multifaceted in style, giving space to both French- and English-language motets.

Book Review: Listening to Bach

Daniel R. Melamed’s book packs quite a wallop. In fewer than 150 pages, it provides enlightening insights along with provocative, even unsettling, commentary regarding two of the most celebrated — and challenging — compositions to issue from the pen of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Book Review: Saluting Guillaume Du Fay

Alejandro Planchart’s monumental study of Du Fay is bound to have a long and fruitful reception, and stands as a testament to not one but two extraordinary sets of lives and works: its subject’s and its author’s.

Book Review: Probing Old French Music

‘The Montpellier Codex, The Final Fascicle: Contents, Contexts, Chronologies’ is an accompaniment to a manuscript containing the largest collection of Medieval motets and an important source of 13th-century polyphony.

Book Review: Bach In Berlin Salons

Rebecca Cypess and Nancy Sinkoff’s monograph, a collection of fascinating essays based on a conference they had produced at Rutgers University, provides a significant resource for reassessing the historical record.

Book Review: Splendid Couperin Edition

The volume, published by Bärenreiter, contains probing discussions about the genesis of the compositions, many having been written years before their publication, and their engraving, publication, and reception.

BOOK REVIEW: Harris Continues Purcell Journey

Ellen T. Harris’ comprehensive, concise, and well-organized volume about ‘Dido and Aeneas’ will prove a durable, invaluable guide for musicologist, conductor, singer, stage director, dramaturg, or opera fan.

BOOK REVIEW: How Leipzig Fared Post-Bach

Jeffrey S. Sposato has carefully constructed a narrative that threads together a wealth of political, social, and musical history, bringing clarity to a topic deserving of such attention.

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