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Underscore - The AR Blog

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Förster’s “Bizarre, Humorous, and Searching” String Quartets

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

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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Hit Tunes from Restoration London, Part 1

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

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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Rosh Hashanah at a Picture Palace

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

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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A fiesta cantada for the Spanish Court . . . and Beyond

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

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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