Colleen Reardon’s engaging and meticulously researched study turns to Siena in the later 17th and early 18th centuries, and the complex social networks that nurtured the performance of some 30 operas presented there between 1669 and 1704 by composers such as Cesti, Scarlatti, Bononcini, and Melani.
The memoirs reveal Ralph Kirkpatrick’s keen and often scathing observations about the harpsichord world, delivered in that unique style all his students remember well.
The scholarship of Michael Marissen has always been characterized by depth of research, fearlessness, and a tendency towards considerable speculation. Those qualities are found in the work under review, a compilation of seven of his essays dealing with religious issues in the music of J. S. Bach.
In Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century, Lex Eisenhardt makes it clear that the Baroque guitar has some very attractive repertoire that should be regarded as an important piece in the puzzle of 17th-century music.
Music historians traditionally choose from three methodologies to write their books: biographical, stylistic, and chronological. David Wyn Jones, however, tells us “this history takes a different approach, a slice history focusing on three epochs, 1700, 1800 and 1900, a portrait of each period that allows contrasts to emerge and continuities to be articulated.”
Histories of keyboard music frequently bypass this large repertoire of “derived” (arranged) music, so one notes with satisfaction the very thorough coverage here, with a generous amount of illustrative material, tables of publications, music examples, and facsimiles.
What The Musical Sounds of Medieval French Cities: Players, Patrons, and Politics shows is the exquisite diversity of how public “fanfare” was sponsored by individual cities and coordinated by civic ordinances with more private musical practices.
In the second edition of Robert Green’s book, the author has set out to share “new insights” and information about the hurdy-gurdy and its music to bring what has been considered an obscure instrument into the realm of practical historical performance, as well as to underscore its value in the contemporary world of folk music and jazz.
Stanley Ritchie’s new volume, perhaps best described as a memoir of his lifelong engagement as both performer and pedagogue with these core works, offers his preferences for fingerings, bowings, dynamics, articulations, tempos, and much more.
The American Bach Society, which sponsored “Exploring the World of Bach: A Traveler’s Guide,” could not have chosen a better authorial team: Robert Marshall, whose numerous writings about Bach are infused with a rare passion, clarity, and eloquence, and Traute Marshall, a highly accomplished editor, writer, and translator.