Music Books News (September 2018)

Robert Schumann, the subject of a new book by Judith Chernaik

Music Books News (September 2018)

A round-up of new and recent books, featuring Judith Chernaik on Schumann, Heidi Waleson on the future of opera in America, a new history of European jazz, Jane Glover on Handel in London, and Lonán Ó Briain on the music of the Hmong in Vietnam.

Please send information on new music books to newreleases [at] journalofmusic.com.

Schumann: The Faces and the Masks
Judith Chernaik
Alfred A Knopf
18 September 2018

In this new biography, Judith Chernaik draws us into the milieu of the Romantic movement. She explores how Schumann embodied the contrasting themes of Romanticism – he was original and imaginative but also worshipped the past; he believed in political, personal, and artistic freedom but insisted on the need for artistic form based on the masters.

Drawing on hitherto unpublished archive material, as well as journals and letters, Judith Chernaik provides an insight into Schumann’s life and his music: his sexual escapades, his fathering of an illegitimate child, the facts behind his courtship of Clara Wieck, his passionate marriage to her despite the opposition of her manipulative father, and the ways his many crises fed into his greatest works.

Visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com

Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America
Heidi Waleson
Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Co.
2 October 2018

In 2013, New York City Opera — ‘the people’s opera’ — succumbed to financial hardship after 70 years in operation, before opening again in 2016. Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal’s opera critic, recounts the history of the company and reveals how, from the beginning, it precariously balanced an ambitious artistic programme on fragile financial supports. Mad Scenes and Exit Arias is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society and the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations.

Visit https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781627794985

Handel in London: The Making of a Genius
Jane Glover
Pegasus
20 September 2018

In 1712, a young George Freidrich Handel followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. Handel, then only twenty-seven and largely self-taught, would be at the heart of music activity in London for the next four decades, composing works such as Zadok the Priest, operas such as Rinaldo and Alcina and, of course, Messiah. In Handel in London: The Making of a Genius, conductor Jane Glover (author of Mozart’s Women) draws on her understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel’s story. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, but also of courts and cabals of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society.

Visit http://pegasusbooks.com

Musical Minorities: The Sounds of Hmong Ethnicity in Northern Vietnam
Lonán Ó Briain
Oxford University Press
April 2018

Based on three years of fieldwork, Musical Minorities by Lonán Ó Briain of the University of Nottingham is a study of the performing arts of the Hmong minority in Vietnam. Living primarily in the northern mountains, the Hmong have maintained their cultural distance from foreign invaders and encroaching state agencies for almost two centuries.  Case studies of revolutionary songs, countercultural rock, traditional vocal and instrumental styles, tourist shows, animist and Christian rituals, and light pop from the diaspora illustrate the diversity of their creative outputs.

Visit https://global.oup.com 

The History of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians and Audience in Context
Edited by Francesco Martinelli
Equinox Publishing
2018

A collection of over 40 essays, The History of European Jazz explores the music by region and country, from Iceland to Armenia. Contributors include Alyn Shipton writing on Great Britain from 1900 to 1960 and Duncan Heining on the period from 1950 to 2010, Cormac Larkin on jazz in Ireland, Andreas Felber on Austria, Cyril Moshkow on Russia, Francesco Martinelli on Italy and more. The book is co-funded by the Creative Europe Porgramme of the EU.

Visit www.equinoxpub.com

Please send information on new music books to newreleases [at] journalofmusic.com.

Published on 27 September 2018

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