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A Pair of Oratorios by Benedetto Marcello

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 10:38:26 AM America/Chicago

A Pair of Oratorios by Benedetto Marcello: Il pianto e il riso delle quattro stagioni and Il trionfo della Poesia, e della Musica

By Michael Burden

Benedetto MarcelloMusical works rarely come in pairs—at least in genuine ones, that is. But the two oratorios written to mark the feast of the Assumption by the Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello (1688–1739)—Il pianto e il riso delle quattro stagioni (1731) and Il trionfo della Poesia, e della Musica (1733)—are exceptional in this regard. They were both written by the same composer for the same feast day, the same venue, and the same series of oratorio performances; and both texts, though unconnected, are highly allegorical in nature. In both works, the story is carried forward by a small number of characters, with little or no involvement of a chorus, and both are characteristic examples of the oratorio volgare genre—the dominant oratorio genre of early eighteenth-century Italy.

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Featured Publication: Mlada (1872)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 10:38:26 AM America/Chicago

Mlada (1872): Scenes from a Collaborative Opera-Ballet by César Cui, Modest Musorgskii, Nikolai Rimskii-Korsakov, and Aleksandr Borodin

By Albrecht Gaub

Mlada (1872)

Within the annals of Russian opera, the collaborative opera-ballet Mlada (1872), with music by four members of the group of composers known as the Mighty Handful, is a case sui generis. The four-act spectacle was originally devised by Stepan Gedeonov, the director of the imperial theaters, who combined a scenario borrowed from an 1839 ballet with his own historical theories concerning the Western Slavs and their role in founding the first Russian empire. The music was divided act by act among the members of the Handful, with Cui taking the first act, Borodin the fourth, and Musorgskii and Rimskii-Korsakov sharing the two middle acts scene by scene. The surviving music for Mlada is now available in its entirety for the first time, and with this edition all surviving operas by major Russian composers of the nineteenth century have been published.

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Featured Collection: Emanuel Aloys Förster's String Quartets

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 12:56:20 PM America/Chicago

Emanuel Aloys Förster: String Quartets, Opp. 7, 16, and 21

By Nancy November

The name of Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748–1823) comes up with some frequency when one researches Beethoven’s string quartets, yet Förster’s own quartets are no longer part of the standard chamber music repertoire, nor are they much discussed by musicologists. This neglect stems partly from the fact that only three of Förster’s string quartets were available in score until recently. But it also reflects the fact that his works have invariably been considered solely in comparison with Beethoven’s string quartets. These three editions, comprising the eighteen quartets published during Förster’s lifetime (opp. 7, 16, and 21, featuring six quartets each), aim to bring this important composer back to the notice of performers and scholars.

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Featured Publication: Incidental Music by John Eccles

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:58:46 PM America/Chicago

John Eccles: Incidental Music, Part 1: Plays A–F

By Amanda Eubanks Winkler

B190 CoverJohn Eccles was one of the most popular composers working for the Restoration-era London stage, second only to Henry Purcell, with whom he briefly worked in 1693–95. Judging from contemporary reports, Eccles’s music often surpassed Purcell’s in terms of its crowd-pleasing qualities. Although he did write for professionals, Eccles spent most of his time composing for actor-singers, expertly devising music that suited their talents. Eccles gave his collaborators the space to add their own expression, which made his songs tremendously effective in the theater—even if they do not always reward modern musicologists keen on analysis.

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Featured Publication: Palestina by Leo Zeitlin

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 4:14:04 PM America/Chicago

Leo Zeitlin: Palestina

By Paula Eisenstein Baker

It is two weeks before Rosh Hashanah 1929, the Jewish New Year, and the movie show is about to start at the Capitol, one of New York’s huge “picture palaces.” Over the decade, the more than 5,000-seat Broadway theater has often programmed a minor work on Jewish motives to acknowledge the Jewish holidays, but this year, their choice is more ambitious: conductor Yasha Bunchuk raises his baton, and the eighty-man Capitol Grand Orchestra opens the program with Leo Zeitlin’s Palestina. The piece received both critical and popular acclaim, hailed by reviewers as “exotically descriptive” and “a new number . . . that is appreciated”: “once more,” one wrote, “[conductor] Yascha [Bunchuk] overworks the traps and the brass to the delight of Capitol payees.” The theater repeated Palestina in November 1929, in April of the following year (in honor of Passover), and again for the High Holy Days in September 1930 and September 1931.

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Featured Publication: Celos aun del aire matan

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 1:03:25 PM America/Chicago

Juan Hidalgo: Celos aun del aire matan

By Louise K. Stein

Celos aun del aire matan (Jealousy, even of the air, kills), by the composer Juan Hidalgo (1614–85) and the dramatist Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–1681), is the first extant opera in Spanish and the most significant musical-theatrical work to survive from the vibrant culture of the Spanish siglo de oro. Written to commemorate the marriage of the Infanta María Teresa to Louis XIV of France, Celos transformed the ancient myth of Cephalus and Procris so that chastity is dethroned by the power of womanly desire, while tragic consequences unfold when marital harmony is disturbed by neglect and jealousy.

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Announcing Greenway Music Press

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 10:57:24 AM America/Chicago

logoA-R Editions is pleased to announce Greenway Music Press, its new sheet music imprint that will enrich and extend the classical music repertoire.

This new venture will allow A-R Editions to bring important but under-appreciated compositions to a larger audience.

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Featured Publication: Jewish Folk Songs from the Baltics

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 3:33:08 PM America/Chicago

Jewish Folk Songs from the Baltics
By Kevin C. Karnes

In a magazine essay of 1933, the Latvian folk music collector Emilis Melngailis writes of a remarkable collection of over 120 Jewish folk songs, in Yiddish and Hebrew, that he and helpers transcribed in and around the Kovno town of Keidan. Adorning his transcriptions with photographs, he explained, he donated the collection to the Imperial Geographical Society in St. Petersburg when he returned to that city in the fall.

Although the collection subsequently disappeared from the society’s archives amidst the chaos of the October Revolution, more recent research in the Archives of Latvian Folklore and in Riga’s Museum of Literature and Music has brought to light a wealth of material related to Melngailis’s collecting projects, from field notes and photographs to transcriptions of songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and Latvian. This music is published for the first time in Jewish Folk Songs from the Baltics, enabling us to study and sound anew songs and dances performed in the historical Jewish communities of this region.

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Featured Publication: Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets with Trombones

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 1:07:57 PM America/Chicago

Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets with Trombone

By D. Linda Pearse

The exact specification of instruments gained momentum in the final decades of the sixteenth century in Italy and early decades of the seventeenth. Trombones, in particular, were increasingly specified and were often used interchangeably with voices. The early Italian motets in this edition contain parts explicitly designated for trombones and document this tendency toward naming particular instruments and composing idiomatic parts for them. Of the more than hundred works that were identified, the nineteen works in this edition were chosen for the variety of textures and compositional styles represented, as well as for their inherent beauty.

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Anthology Board Announcement

Friday, January 22, 2016 10:23:28 AM America/Chicago

A-R Editions Announces Its New Editorial Board for the
Online Music Anthology Text Component

A-R Editions announces the formation of its new editorial board for the A-R Online Music Anthology. The Editorial Board will focus on texts that will augment the music already available digitally and which will differ from conventional surveys as a customizable, multi-author resource that instructors can use to build coursepacks for music history and theory classes.

The editorial board includes the following musicologists and music librarians:

James P. Cassaro (University of Pittsburgh)
Jane Gottlieb (The Juilliard School)
L. Michael Griffel (The Juilliard School)
Mark McKnight (University of North Texas)
James Parsons (Missouri State University)
Jennifer Thomas (University of Florida)
Marian Wilson Kimber (University of Iowa)

James L. Zychowicz, director of the Special Projects Division of A-R Editions, leads the editorial board. A-R is pleased to work with the outstanding individuals on this Board.

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