Book Reviews

Review of Leos Faltus, Petr Oliva, eds. 1983. Leoš Janáček. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Reihe C, Band 1: Männerchöre 1. Kassel: Bärenreiter

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract The sixth volume of the Complete Critical Edition of Janacek’s works, consisting of the early unaccompanied male choruses, has recently appeared. This collection, which covers the years 1873 to 1897, takes us from the very beginning of Janacek’s compositional career up to the composition of Jenufa.These are not Janacek’s greatest works in the genre;… Read more

Review of Friederich Erhardt Niedt. 1989. The Musical Guide: Parts 1 (1700/10), 2 (1721), and 3 (1717). New York: Oxford University Press; and Susan P. Snook-Luther, ed. 1992. The Musical Dilettante: A Treatise on Composition by J. F. Daube. New York: Cambridge University Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Ever so slowly, English-speaking musicologists are bringing to light important documents of eighteenth-century musical thought in scholarly, annotated translations. Still, when we consider how long the vast corpus of ancient writings on music theory have enjoyed the attention of scholars (Meibom’s “edition” of Greek theory treatises was published, it will be recalled, in 1652),… Read more

Review of Eric Clarke and Nicholas Cook, eds. 2004. Empirical Musicology: Methods, Aims, Prospects. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Empirical Musicology is a collection of articles exploring the potential for a greater integration of empirical methods into musicology and music theory. This volume is particularly timely given the increase in available personal computer power over the past ten years and the subsequent development of software that may be used to extract, analyze, and/or… Read more

Review of Walter Frisch. 2005. German Modernism: Music and the Arts. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Long admired for judicious analysis steeped in history, from Schoenbergian Brahms to Brahmsian Schoenberg, Walter Frisch, in German Modernism: Music and the Arts, topples a historiography in place for at least sixty years. Chapters on ”Ambivalent Modernism” (Parsifal) and “Regressive Modernism” (Pfitzner’s Palestrina) serve as bookends. Reger receives twenty-three pages, Schoenberg four-and those four… Read more

Review of David Charlton. 2000. French Opera 1730-1830: Meaning and Media. Aldershot: Ashgate

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract David Charlton’s book is not a single-minded monograph but a collection of essays published in periodicals spread over the last quarter-century. This may explain its somewhat cryptic title; it must have been hard to think of anything more suitable-such as “Collected Essays on Aspects of French Opera”-that would not have been inappropriately bland. Those… Read more

Review of Hervé Lacombe. 2001. The Keys to French Opera in the Nineteenth Century. Translated by Edward Schneider. Berkeley: University of California Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Hervé Lacombe’s The Keys to French Opera in the Nineteenth Century, a revised and expanded translation of his Les voies de l’opéra français au XIXe siècle (1997), is a brilliant study that, as the title suggests, provides keys to understanding French opera. Early on, Lacombe argues that nineteenth-century French opera was “governed by a… Read more

Review of Marian Smith. 2001. Ballet and Opera in the Age of “Giselle.” Princeton: Princeton University Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Since the publication of Jane Fulcher’s The Nation’s Image in 1987, there has been growing interest in exploring the appeal of French grand opera. This has generally taken the approach of grounding the works in their political context (Fulcher) or, more recently, their social setting.! A more tentative strand of interest in situating grand… Read more

Review of Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh, eds. 2000. Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music. Berkeley: University of California Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract This is an important book, and deserves attention from ethnomusicologists, historical musicologists, and students of popular culture across the disciplines. It is the first collection I am aware of to situate issues of the politics, semiotics, and cultural dynamics of musical appropriation in a broad, interdisciplinary context attentive to the theoretical projects of postcolonial… Read more

Review of John Gennari. 2006. Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract John Gennari’s Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics is a comprehensive history of American jazz criticism since the 1930s, centered on the foremost cultural achievement of the jazz critical field: “jazz’s canonization as an art”. The conceptual and historical framework of Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics originated in Gennari’s… Read more

Review of Timothy D. Taylor. 2007. Beyond Exoticism: Western Music and the World. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract This book reminds us how the creation, sound and consumption of music-as well as the ways in which we produce located knowledge about music- are shaped by power relations with long histories. The regimes through which “the West” dominates, represents, and incorporates its “Others” lie at at the heart of Timothy D. Taylor’s intellectual… Read more

Review of Martha Feldman. 2007. Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myths in Eighteenth-Century Italy. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Feldman’s most recent publication admirably demonstrates the thoroughness and insightfulness of her work. To her masterful study of opera seria she brings not only her own encyclopedic knowledge, laborious archival work, astute evaluation of disparate materials, and imaginative presentation, but also a critical appreciation of a vast array of related scholarship. In Opera and… Read more