lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on Western Classical Music

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Amis, John (Laelia Goehr, illus.; Foreword by Yehudi Menuhin)
Musicians in Camera
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., London, 1987.
Square quarto; hardcover; 189pp., with monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper slightly scuffed and edgeworn; professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. A photographic portrait of almost every major figure in the world of 20th century music, from composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten to performers who include Yehudi Menuhin and Jacqueline du Pre and conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Claudio Abbado. Laelia Goehr has been photographing musicians during rehearsals since 1965 and the book includes 200 photographs. To accompany these photographs, John Amis of "My Music" has written a vignette of each musician detailing their influences and achievements, as well as giving some trade secrets. Laelia Goehr has had work published in "Picture Post" and "Lilliput" and her photographs have been exhibited in the Royal Festival Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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Auden, W.H.
Selected Songs of Thomas Campion
Godine, Boston MA, 1973.
Quarto; hardcover; 161pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; preliminaries and text block edges lightly toned and spotted. Dustwrapper lightly worn at edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. As both a celebrated poet and composer, Thomas Campion was uniquely able to combine music and verse. This volume pays tribute to the most complete lyricist in English history by presenting forty-eight poems and one complete masque for inspection. Beside twenty of these poems appear their musical settings in the calligraphy of Edith McKeon Abbott. Selected and prefaced by W.H. Auden; introduction by John Hollander. Includes 20 songs reproduced in facsimile form the original Book of Ayres.
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Auden, W.H., & Chester Kallman
The Magic Flute English version of the libretto of Mozart's opera
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 1957.
First edition: octavo; hardcover; 120pp., top edge dyed yellow. Minor wear; offset to the endpapers and preliminaries; mild scattered foxing throughout; spotting to text block edges. Minor edgewear to dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Baily, Leslie
The Gilbert & Sullivan Book
Spring Books Ltd., London, 1967.
Quarto; hardcover; 475pp., with monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; text block edges lightly toned. Slightly discoloured dustwrapper with light wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This book was published initially in 1952 to great critical and popular acclaim. The book takes the form of a triple biography of W.S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan and of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. The outlook of the author is intensely British. To Baily, the D'Oyly Carte tradition is THE tradition. Baily was much given to hand wringing about the approaching year 1961, fiftieth anniversary of the death of W.S. Gilbert and the expiration date of the British copyright, which would deliver the pure and innocent G&S operas into the hands of insidious, non-traditional producers. In point of fact, nothing much took place in 1961 except for the beginning of a series of operatically-oriented recordings led by Malcolm Sargent, an old hand at conducting for the D'Oyly Carte Company. (From that day to this, of course, those Sargent recordings have been applauded by opera fans and dissed by diehard, traditionalist G&S fanatics.) In the half century that has passed since "The Gilbert and Sullivan Book" first appeared, indefatigable scholarship has added some details to the story Baily presents: Sullivan's locked diaries, for example, were rather more lurid than Baily suggests and Richard D'Oyly Carte might have been a bit more slippery in life than he is in Baily's pages. Nevertheless, this book remains sound on all the larger matters in the lives of the two creators and unique as a history of eighty years in the life of a production company known the world over. Moreover, more than any of his successors, Baily knew that he was telling an epic. His writing style and the dramatic arch he makes of the rise and fall of a great partnership is unmatched (L E Cantrell).
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Bernstein, Leonard
Findings - signed
Simon & Schuster Inc., New York NY, 1982.
Royal octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in cloth with gilt spine titles and upper board decoration and decorative endpapers; 376pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; spine extremities softened; some light spotting to the text block edges; signed in ink with a dedication by the author to the flyleaf. Dustwrapper is lightly rubbed; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Blaukopf, Kurt, with Zoltan Roman
Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1976.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia; 280pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; toning to text block edges and spotting to the upper text block edge. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Everywhere Mahler had fervent partisans and bitter enemies; everywhere he was greatly admired, highly paid, and widely misunderstood. This unprecedented array of documents, ranging from caricatures of Mahler to the only oil portrait that met with his approval, casts light on every aspect of the man, his character, his historical setting, and the elusive nature of his work.
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Blum, David
Casals and the Art of Interpretation
Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., London, 1977.
Octavo; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine titles; 223pp., top edges dyed red, with 4pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; text block edges lightly spotted; mild offset to the endpapers; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Bonanni, Filippo, Frank L. Harrison & Joan Rimmer
Antique Musical Instruments and Their Players 152 Plates from Bonanni's 18th Century 'Gabinetto Armonico'
Dover Publications Inc., Mineola NY, 1964.
Octavo; paperback; 148pp. with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; rubbed covers with edgewear; spine faded. Very good.
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Boulez, Pierre (Jonathan Dunsby, trans.)
Music Lessons The College de France Lectures
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2018.
Octavo; hardcover; 662pp. Remainder. New. Pierre Boulez was appointed to the College de France in 1976, with the chair devoted to 'Invention, technique and language in Music', and he held his position until 1995. The publication of his extraordinary College de France lectures, his most significant writings from the 1970s to the 1990s, will make a major contribution to the discussion in English about Boulez's aesthetic legacy. His goal in Lecons de musique is to express his conception of musical language, laid out over the course of nearly twenty years of lecturing. He is thinking about the possible paths musical thought could take, as well as the musical legacy of the past.
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Burton, Humphrey
Leonard Bernstein
Doubleday, New York NY, 1994.
First US edition: octavo; hardcover; quarter bound in cloth with gilt spine-titling and decorated endpapers; 594pp., with 32pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; mild rubbing to board edges with softening at extremities; toned and spotted text block edges. Mildly rubbed dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. 'Burton's style is spare and unobtrusive: the picture he paints is a vivid one. So much energy. So much intelligence. Burton also demonstrates that behind Leonard Bernstein's flamboyance (and the increasingly embarrassing public behaviour) there remained honesty of purpose and generosity of spirit. This biography is imbued with the same virtues. It is a book of exceptional quality.' - The Times
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Campbell, Margaret
The Great Cellists
Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1988.
Octavo; hardcover; 352pp., with monochrome plates. Minor wear; faint spotting to text block edges; previous owner's name in ink. Mildly rubbed dustwrapper with minimal edgewear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. The first comprehensive history of cello playing describes the lives and work of all important players from the emergence of the solo instrument during the sevententh cenury to the present day.
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Carpenter, Humphrey
Benjamin Britten A Biography
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 1992.
Octavo-sized large sextodecimo; hardcover; 680pp., with 48pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; some minor spotting to the text block edges; else near fine in like dustwrapper. Long-awaited full biography of one of the greatest composers and musicians of the twentieth century. Carpenter has used Britten's diaries, letters and manuscripts, as well as recollections of people who were drawn into his world, to create an enthralling narrative.
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Chiapusso, Jan
Bach's World
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1968.
Hardcover, octavo; blue boards with gilt spine titling; 338pp., monochrome illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; faint offsetting to endpapers; lightly spotted text block edges; dustwrapper slightly foxed and rubbed with wear and chipping to edges. Very good and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. The author of this searching and original biography has a dual purpose - 'to portray the mind of the master, his peculiarly anachronistic culture in an epoch of change' and 'to trace Bach's application of venerable philosophies - musical as well as theological - to a musical equipment technically so much in advance of his time'. His study shows that Bach's 'world' must accordingly be understood in two senses: as the metaphysical realm informed by Lutheran anti-rationalism in which Bach's mind dwelt, and as the intellectual milieu which brought about a painful confrontation between his religious beliefs and the new scientific and philosophic doctrines. At the dawn of the Enlightenment, when the tides of modernity were about to engulf the last areas of traditional culture in Germany, Bach moved in the essentially medieval world of Martin Luther. Although the intellectual ferment of the time produced some profound conflicts, Bach's world-view remained virtually unchanged by the currents of modern thought. Throughout his life he remained unsympathetic to the new doctrines, retaining a world-view inherited from the Middle Ages and exercising his art, he said 'for the Glory of God'. Accordingly, Jan Chiapusso examines Bach's education, the philosophers and writers available to him and the literature and science of the Reformation. The result is a vivid recreation of the intellectual life of Germany in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. An original and enlightening view of the interaction between the artist and his cultural milieu.
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Conrad, Peter
Verdi and / or Wagner Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries
Thames & Hudson, London, 2011.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; brown boards with gilt spine titling and upper board blind-stamped publisher's insignia, dark gold endpapers; 384pp., colour & monochrome illustrations, blue ribbon marker. A few faint spots on text block edges, slightly toned page edges. Otherwise near fine in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, the two greatest operatic composers of their time, had everything and nothing in common. Their achievements were comparable, but their personalities, their approaches to music and drama, and their complex legacies made them incompatible. Verdi thought of art as a comfort to mankind; it pleased Wagner to believe that the nervous intensity of his operas might drive listeners mad. Is it impossible - as Peter Conrad asks in this book, the first to investigate their affinities and explain their mutual mistrust - to love them both? These equally matched Titans offer us a choice between two kinds of art, two ways of life, two opposed philosophies of existence. During their lifetimes Verdi and Wagner helped to define the identity of their emerging nations; their music still dramatizes the light and dark sides of every human being's character and consciousness.
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Craft, Robert
Stravinsky The Chronicle of a Friendship, 1948-1971
Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1972.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 424pp., with monochrome plates. Minor wear; foxing to preliminaries; browned and densely spotted text block edges; previous owner's inscribed bookplate to the front pastedown. Dustwrapper with some light wear to edges and a few superficial scratches on rear panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Good to very good. The standard biographical source for the last decades of Stravinsky's life and a unique trove of primary material on twentieth-century cultural and intellectual history. For nearly the last twenty-five years of Igor Stravinsky's incredibly full life, the noted musician, conductor, and writer Robert Craft was his closest colleague and friend, a trusted member of his household, and an important part of all of the composer's activities. Throughout these years, Craft kept a detailed diary, impressive in its powers of observation and characterization. That diary forms the basis for Stravinsky: Chronicle of a Friendship. Anyone interested in Stravinsky and his music, in Stravinsky's relationship with Craft, and in many of the luminaries and landmarks of twentieth-century Western cultural history will find this book essential reading. Here are revealing glimpses of Stravinsky's friendships and encounters with some of the great personages of twentieth-century culture, as well as intimate portraits of Stravinsky and Craft themselves.
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Davies, Laurence
Cesar Franck and his Circle
Barrie & Jenkins Ltd., London, 1970.
Octavo; hardcover; 380pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear; spotting to text block edges particularly the top edge. Dustwrapper slightly worn along edges and corners; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. An account of the life and times of the composer, covering the whole period from his early struggles as a concert pianist to his election as President of Societe Nationale de Musique surrounded by 'la bande a Franck', that solemn and dedicated clique which did so much to enhance the glories of the Third Republic.
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Dearmer, Percy & R. Vaughn Williams & Martin Shaw
The Oxford Book of Carols
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1956.
Reprint. Hardcover, octavo; red boards with gilt spine titling and upper board blind-stamped decoration; 491pp. Owner's name. Spotting to early pages; lightly toned text block edges with some light scattered spotting. Red dustwrapper sunned along spine panel with wear and scraping to edges and corners, especially spine panel extremities; rubbing to rear panel. Very good and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. The carol arose with the ballad in the fifteenth century, as less severe than the old Latin office hymns, more vivacious than the plainsong melodies. They marked the emancipation of the people from the old puritanism of the early Middle Ages, as well as the increasing importance of the vernacular in religious feeling and ritual. In fact, "a drawing together, with a new music, in what was almost a new language, of minstrel, literary and folk poetry". The first parts of this work concern traditional carols, with modern carols in the latter half; the carols are grouped according to their seasons and there is a complete table of carols arranged for use throughout the year. The editors have kept as close as possible to the original texts, given each manuscript preserves a different form, and endeavoured to preserve the freshness and buoyancy of the true carol in the tunes and harmonies provided.
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Delbanco, Nicholas
The Countess of Stanlein Restored
Verso, London, 2001.
Octavo; hardcover; 104pp. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. A fascinating study of one of the world's most extraordinary cellos, the so-called Countess of Stanlein ex-Paganini Stradivarius violoncello of 1707. The author tracks the restoration of this exquisite instrument that commenced in 1998 by the virtuoso luthier Rene Morel. Following the painstaking enterprise that took two years to complete, the study ends with the triumphant unveiling at the World Cello Congress in June 200. A sui generis gem of a book.
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Doss-Quinby, Eglal, Joan Tasker Grimbert, Wendy Pfeffer & Elizabeth Aubrey
Songs of the Women Trouveres
Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2001.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 283pp. No dustwrapper as issued. Remainder. New. This groundbreaking anthology brings together for the first time the works of women poet-composers, or trouveres, in northern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Refuting the long-held notion that there are no extant Old French lyrics by women from this period, the editors of the volume present songs attributed to eight named female trouveres along with a varied selection of anonymous compositions in the feminine voice that may have been composed by women. The book includes the Old French texts of seventy-five compositions, extant music for eighteen monophonic songs and nineteen polyphonic motets, English translations, and a substantial introduction.
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Du Pre, Hilary & Piers
A Genius in the Family: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline Du Pre
Chatto & Windus Ltd., London, 1997.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 426pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; mildly toned text block and page edges. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine.
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Dubal, David
Conversations with Menuhin - signed by the author
William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1991.
Octavo; hardcover; 179pp. Mild wear; browned and spotted text block edges. Slightly chipped dustwrapper edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Discussions ranging broadly over many subjects from music, musicians and composers, to politics, art, religion, culture and the environment.
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Farneth, David (ed.)
Lenya - The Legend A Pictorial Autobiography
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1998.
Quarto; hardcover; 254pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Scuffed dustwrapper with light wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. "Though she had a voice as distinctive as Piaf's, Mabel Mercer's or Billie Holiday's, Lotte Lenya's husky vibrato was not always pretty. However, it was consistently warm, honest and expressive, and her singing immortalized the music of her first husband, Kurt Weill. This book a combination scrapbook and memoir, has been assembled by David Farneth to celebrate Lenya's 100th birthday. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs from her shows, program and album covers, caricatures and publicity shots; the text has been culled from letters, journals, interviews and Lenya's unfinished autobiography. As she discusses her life and times, Lenya proves to be a canny and humorous observer. Following Weil's death in 1950, she declared that the 'task of my life' was to make his music better known in the United States, a task that she soon began to fulfil in a legendary long-running production of 'The Threepenny Opera.' As evidenced here, Lenya became a ferocious guardian of Weill's legacy until her own death in 1981. In her own words, Lenya comes across as an extremely shrewd if loving person. Whether singing or writing, she had a strong and appealing voice, and it is easy to see why Tennessee Williams began each morning listening to her." - David Kaufman.
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Fischer, Jens Malte (Stewart Spencer, trans.)
Gustav Mahler
Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2011.
Second impression: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 766pp., with monochrome plates. Minor wear; spotting to the text block edges and one or two small marks to the endpapers. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. A best-seller when first published in Germany in 2003, Jens Malte Fischer's Gustav Mahler has been lauded by scholars as a landmark work. He draws on important primary resources - some unavailable to previous biographers - and sets in narrative context the extensive correspondence between Mahler and his wife, Alma; Alma Mahler's diaries; and the memoirs of Natalie Bauer-Lechner, a viola player and close friend of Mahler, whose private journals provide insight into the composer's personal and professional lives and his creative process. Fischer explores Mahler's early life, his relationship to literature, his achievements as a conductor in Vienna and New York, his unhappy marriage, and his work with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in his later years. He also illustrates why Mahler is a prime example of artistic idealism worn down by Austrian anti-Semitism and American commercialism. Gustav Mahler is the best-sourced and most balanced biography available about the composer, a nuanced and intriguing portrait of his dramatic life set against the backdrop of early 20th century America and fin de siecle Europe.
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Gillies, Malcolm, & David Pear
The All-Round Man Selected Letters of Percy Grainger 1914-1961
The Clarendon Press, Oxford UK, 1994.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 301pp. Mild wear; some pencil markings and underlining. Slight rubbing and wear to dustwrapper edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Glass, Philip
Words Without Music A Memoir
Liveright Publishing Company/W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York NY, 2015.
Octavo; hardcover; 416pp., untrimmed, with monochrome plates. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. "This memoir, while hardly no-holds-barred, fills in many gaps, especially about Glass's childhood and family in postwar east coast America. His grandparents spoke Yiddish. His librarian mother was the self-improver, urging her two sons and one daughter towards fulfilment through education. His father was steady in support. Little is said about the rift between father and son in later years, but the wound remains deep. Only two of his four wives feature: JoAnne Akalaitis, mother of his first two children, and Candy Jernigan, the love of his life, who died young. Two more children, born much later, are mentioned briefly. Friendships are celebrated, losses mourned, privacies respected. Aids, Woodstock, Vietnam, the film world, the art world, the jazz era of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker: all spring to life in these pages. Philip Glass is a deft, quietly witty writer. Finding his own music - how to make it, where it comes from - is his first priority. 'What does your music sound like?' he is often asked. 'It sounds like New York City,' this generous-hearted, all-American composer replies." - Fiona Maddocks
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Hartmann, Rudolf
Richard Strauss The Staging of His Operas & Ballets
Phaidon, London, 1982
Quarto; hardcover, in slipcase; 280pp. Minor wear; inked inscription from previous owner; spotting to upper text block edges. Tiny tear on head of dustwrapper spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Slipcase with chipping to the edges and a small tear to the top edge. Very good. This magnificent volume has been written by the greatest living expert on Richard Strauss. Rudolf Hartmann, a personal friend of the composer, himself produced three first performances and was for many years the Director of the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, considered the home of Strauss opera. The volume treats all of Strauss's dramatic works - fifteen operas and two ballets - from the first performance to those of today. Some three hundred illustrations, many of them never before published, comprise a graphic survey of the development of sets at well-known international performances. A short synopsis of each work helps to make it comprehensible to the reader.
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Haruki Murakami (Jay Rubin, trans.)
Absolutely on Music Conversations with Seiji Ozawa
Harvill Secker Ltd., London, 2016.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 329pp. Mild wear; toned text block and page edges; previous owner's ink inscription. One or two tiny spots on the dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine otherwise.
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Kelly, Michael (ed. Herbert van Than & intro. J C Trewin)
Solo Recital: The Reminiscences of Michael Kelly - Folio Society edition
The Folio Society, London, 1972.
First printing. Octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in marbled boards with red cloth spine and gilt spine titling, tan endpapers; 372pp., top edges dyed dark brown, with an engraved portrait frontispiece and 11pp. of plates likewise. Light wear to spine heel and a few random spots on text block edges. Otherwise very good to near fine in moderately worn slipcase with scraping and wear to edges and spotting. Michael Kelly (1762-1826) was an Irish singer (tenor), composer and theatrical manager who made an international career of importance in musical history. One of the leading figures in British musical theatre around the turn of the nineteenth century, and a close associate of Richard Sheridan's, he had been a friend of Mozart and Paisiello, and created roles in operas of both. With his friend Nancy Storace, he was one of the first singers in that age from Britain and Ireland to make a front-rank reputation in Italy and Austria. In Italy he was also known as O'Kelly or even Signor Ochelli. Although the primary source for his life is his 'Reminiscences', it has been said "Any statement of Kelly's is immediately suspect."
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King, Robert
Henry Purcell 'A greater musical genius England never had'
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1994.
Quarto; hardcover; red boards with gilt spine-title and upper board decoration; 256pp. with many monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Slightly rolled binding and mild edgewear to dustwrapper; otherwise near fine and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Little is actually known about the composer's life and his personality has to be reconstructed through the age in which he lived, the circumstances of his professional life, the men and women who knew him, and above all through his music. The author is especially suited to this task, being a leading conductor of baroque music and with extensive experience in performing Purcell's works.
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Landon, H.C. Robbins
Mozart and Vienna Including Selections from Johann Pezzl's 'Sketch of Vienna' 1786-90
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1991.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia; 208pp., monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; toned text block edges with spotting on top edge; previous owner's ink inscription. Very mild wear to dustwrapper edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine.
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Landon, H.C. Robbins, & David Wyn Jones
Hayden His Life and Music
Indiana University Press, Bloomington IN, 1988.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 383pp. Mild wear; toning, mild spotting and a few tiny marks to the text block edges. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The long and prolific career of Joseph Haydn - spanning the entire life of Mozart and the rise to fame of the young Beethoven - marks him out as a pivotal figure in the history of western music. This book examines the musical and cultural background against which Haydn's music must be viewed, from his formative years as a choirboy in Vienna, to serving Count Morzin and then the princely Esterhazy family as Kapellmeister before becoming a truly international celebrity in the course of his visits to England in the 1790s and later as doyen of the Viennese musical scene. It surveys Haydn's life and loves, his musical genius and its impact on posterity, offering a wealth of information as well as authoritative analytical commentary.
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Lebrecht, Norman
The Maestro Myth: Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power
Simon & Schuster, London, 1991.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; black boards with gilt spine titling, yellow endpapers; 380pp., b&w plates. Spotting to endpapers and pastedowns; lightly spotted text block edges; rubbed dustwrapper with well-spotted inner flaps. Very good. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. "Here, music-journalist Lebrecht cannonades world-famous, power-hungry conductors for their facades and for placing money over the welfare of orchestras. Lebrecht bolsters his thesis with an anecdotal history of conducting since Beethoven's Ninth. The first conductor of great fame, he says, was Hans von Bulow, Wagner's protege, who was necessary for organizing Wagner's gigantic operas. Unhappily for von Bulow, Wagner stole his wife, Cosima Liszt, in the summer of 1865, following which the humiliated conductor led the four-hour premiere of Tristan und Isolde. Then Wagner cast von Bulow out of his service and von Bulow went on to become the first internationally acclaimed wandering conductor, despite bad nerves and mental problems. According to Lebrecht, von Bulow set the style that led to Leonard Bernstein, once the most traveled conductor on earth. Lebrecht sets forth the good example of Mahler, who exhausted himself trying to forge a great opera house out of Vienna Court Opera: 'He set the standard by which all operatic regimes are judged,' Lebrecht says. The early great conductors, from Arthur Nikisch up to Wilhelm Furtwangler, had a sense of family with their players and, like Mahler, focused on the growth of their home orchestra. But post-WW II conductors, Lebrecht argues, have spread themselves thin and become divorced from the players while building mythic images and raking in fees from recording companies. Lebrecht scores lacerating cuts to the reputations of Bruno Walter ('a pig'), Arturo Toscanini (the icon whose brutality became widely imitated), Herbert von Karajan (the ex-Nazi who became the richest classical musician in history), Leonard Bernstein, and many others. Vital, delicious - and dangerous to impostors behind the baton." - Kirkus
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Lockwood, Lewis
Beethoven's Symphonies An Artistic Vision
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York NY, 2015.
Octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in cloth with gilt spine titles; 285pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. 'For Beethoven, the symphony was a lifetime preoccupation,' writes Lewis Lockwood, who draws on the composer's detailed and comprehensive sketchbooks to trace the evolution of this preoccupation from the 'supremely competent' First Symphony through 'Ode to Joy,' the stunning choral finale to the Ninth. Acknowledging the profound musical influence of Haydn, Mozart, and (in later years) Bach, Lockwood also points to the wildly popular plays of Friedrich Schiller as inspirations for what Beethoven wished to achieve in his symphonies: 'the ability to stir large audiences to emotional depths they had not experienced before.' The author's technical analyses of such factors as key, tempo, and instrumentation are likely to daunt casual music lovers, but each chapter also contains eloquent summaries of each symphony's impact on listeners, both at the time of its premiere and over the centuries, and of its place within Beethoven's overall artistic development. The titanic nature of his ambitions, and the centrality of the symphony to them, is evident from the time of the Third Symphony, with which, Lockwood writes, Beethoven 'lifted the genre of the symphony onto a new plane of expression and grandeur.' While the composer is perhaps best known for that grandeur and for such forceful moments as the famous four-note opening of the Fifth Symphony (-Thus Fate knocks at the door,- Beethoven is said to have remarked), the author also evinces and elicits appreciation for the quieter pleasures of the Fourth and the Sixth, or 'Pastoral,' displaying the composer's profound love for nature. The epilogue movingly affirms Beethoven's symphonies as 'exemplars of what great music can still mean in our fragmented and pessimistic age.'" - Kirkus
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McClary, Susan
Modal Subjectivities Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal
University of California, Berkeley CA, 2004.
Octavo; hardcover; 374pp. Minor shelf wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. An illuminating cultural interpretation of the Italian madrigal, one of the most influential repertories of the Renaissance. A genre that sought to produce simulations in sound of complex interiorities, the madrigal introduced into music a vast range of new signifying practices; musical representations of emotions, desire, gender stereotypes, reason , madness, tensions between mind and body. In doing so, it not only greatly expanded the expressive agendas of European music but also recorded certain assumptions of the time concerning selfhood, making it an invaluable resource for understanding the history of Western Subjectivity. Includes in musical notation a 140 page appendix of examples.
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MacDonald, Malcolm
Oxford University Press, London, 2008.
Octavo; hardcover; 366pp., monochrome plates. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. Directly or indirectly (for better or for worse!) Arnold Schoenberg had a greater impact on the music of the twentieth century than any other composer. More talked about than heard - why not ... who said music was only to be listened to - he became if anything more important as a mentor and inspiration to a generation of pupils that included Berg, Webern, Eisler and Cage. As a kind of modern day Bach, he was a preserver of the ethical spirit of musical Romanticism. In this completely rewritten and enlarged study, Malcolm MacDonald takes advantage of thirty years recent scholarship to produce a powerful guide to Schoenberg's life and work. Examining all of his work, the book includes a chronology, work-list, bibliography and a much-expanded personalia. Indispensable for students of the second Viennese School.
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MacKenzie, Barbara & Findlay
Singers of Australia from Melba to Sutherland
Lansdowne Press Pty. Ltd., Melbourne Vic., 1967.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 309pp., with a tipped-in colour frontispiece and many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; mild wear to board corners; toned text block edges with spotting on upper edge. Some superficial scratches to dustwrapper; mild edgewear; tiny tear on head of spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The MacKenzies survey seventy individual biographies of Australian opera singers between the two most famous, Nellie Melba and Joan Sutherland. The biographies include the dates, the performances, the reviews and above all the human stories of men and women whose talents often took them from lonely areas of the Australian bush to the great opera houses of the world. Lavishly illustrated with valuable background information in the appendices.
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Mahler, Gustav (Henry-Louis de La Grange & Gunther Weiss with Knud Martner, eds.; Antony Beaumont, trans.)
Gustav Mahler: Letters to His Wife
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2004.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 431pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece, plates and illustrations. Minor wear; browning to text block and page edges. Illustrated dustwrapper with slightly faded spine; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Meredith, Anthony, & Paul Harris
Malcolm Williamson A Mischievous Muse
Omnibus Press, London, 2007.
Octavo; hardcover, with silver gilt spine titling; 534pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Near fine in like dustwrapper. "The biography of Malcolm Williamson by Anthony Meredith and Paul Harris tells one of the most startling, sad, funny and eventful stories of musical creation and personal dissolution involving an Australian composer and tells it well. As Williamson's music is performed rarely, many younger music-lovers will be entitled to wonder what the fuss is about. If they have heard of him it may be in relation to his failure, during his term in the antique post of Master of the Queen's Music, to deliver some big commissions on time. Yet this was a formerly prolific composer. It seems that most of the works with which he established some degree of fame were written during years of domestic stability in London with his American Jewish wife, Dolly. There were periods of genuine achievement in the composer's later years and wild escapades and disasters that make for entertaining reading but must have been painful to live through. He showed admirable fortitude at the end, robbed of his former vocal eloquence by repeated strokes. Perhaps this book will play a part in bringing his music back into the repertoire. There is a realistic opportunity for two or three of the operas, led by 'The Violins Of Saint-Jacques' and the sweet pathos of 'The Happy Prince', to find and hold a public and for some of the choral music and orchestral pieces to receive regular outings." - Roger Covell, SMH.
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Meyer, Ernst
English Chamber Music The History of a Great Art from the Middle Ages to Purcell
Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1951.
Reprint: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and decorative endpapers; 318pp. Mild wear; cocked; mild softening to the spine extremities; text block edges toned with some spotting to the top edge; offset to the preliminaries; retailer's bookplate to the verso of the flyleaf. Price-clipped dustwrapper mildly rubbed and sunned along the spine panel; chipping to the spine panel extremities and flap turns; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Mitchell, Donald
Gustav Mahler The Early Years
Rockliff, London, 1958.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and an upper board decoration; 275pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece and 10 monochrome plates. Very slightly rolled; spine extremities softened; text block edges toned and spotted; offset to the endpapers. Price-clipped dustwrapper is lightly rubbed and mildly edgeworn; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Montagu, Jeremy
The World of Baroque & Classical Musical Instruments
The Jacaranda Press, Milton Qld., 1979
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and decorative endpapers; 136pp., with a full-colour frontispiece and many monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Mild wear; rubbing with scrapes to lower board corners; text block edges lightly toned and spotted; some minor stains to the front endpapers. Dustwrapper with small missing segments on spine panel extremities and mild rubbing; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Very good.
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Morbio, Vittoria Crespi (ed.)
Karajan The Master's Style
Umberto Allemandi, Turin Italy, 2009.
Quarto; hardcover; 117pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Austrian Maestro. A mixture of professional images drawn from his long career as well as personal and family photographs.
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Nyman, Michael (Foreword by Brian Eno)
Experimental Music Cage and Beyond
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 1999.
Second edition. Quarto; paperback; 196pp., monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; mild rubbing to covers; previous owner's ink inscription. Very good to near fine. Michael Nyman's book is a first-hand account of experimental music from 1950 to 1970. First published in 1974, it has remained the classic text on a significant form of music making and composing that developed alongside, and partly in opposition to, the postwar modernist tradition of composers such as Boulez, Berio, or Stockhausen. The experimentalist par excellence was John Cage whose legendary 4' 33'' consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence to be performed on any instrument. Such pieces have a conceptual rather than purely musical starting point and radically challenge conventional notions of the musical work. Nyman's book traces the revolutionary attitudes that were developed toward concepts of time, space, sound, and composer/performer responsibility. It was within the experimental tradition that the seeds of musical minimalism were sown and the book contains reference to the early works of Reich, Riley, Young, and Glass. This second edition contains a new Foreword, an updated discography, and a historical overview by the author.
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Ord-Hume, Arthur W.J.G.
Joseph Haydn and the Mechanical Organ
University College Cardiff Press, Cardiff Wales UK, 1982.
Quarto; hardcover; 185pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; text block top edge spotted; binding slightly rolled. Dustwrapper with minor wear and some tarnishing to the margins. Very good. This book, written by a world authority on mechanical music and mechanical musical instruments, charts the origins of Father Primitivus Niemecz, the organ-building priest for whom Haydn wrote his set of thirty-two pieces for mechanical organs. The author describes his meeting and close friendship with Haydn, how the music came to be written and then goes on to describe in great detail the first and the third of the three instruments used. In uniting the skills of the historian in horology, Central European organ-building, and musicology, the author presents a book of interest to collectors and musicians alike.
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Owens, Tom C. (ed.)
Selected Correspondence of Charles Ives
University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 2007.
Octavo; hardcover; 400pp. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. This authoritative volume of 453 letters written by and to composer Charles Ives (1874-1954) provides unparalleled insight into one of the most extraordinary and paradoxical careers in American music history. The most comprehensive collection of Ives's correspondence in print, this book opens a direct window on Ives's complex personality and his creative process. Though Ives spent much of his career out of the mainstream of professional music-making, he corresponded with a surprisingly large group of musicians and critics, including John J. Becker, Henry Bellamann, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, Ingolf Dahl, Walter Damrosch, Lehman Engel, Clifton J. Furness, Lou Harrison, Bernard Herrmann, John Kirkpatrick, Serge Koussevitzky, John Lomax, Francesco Malipiero, Radiana Pazmor, Paul Rosenfeld, Carl Ruggles, E. Robert Schmitz, Nicolas Slonimsky, and Peter Yates. One of the genuinely great eccentrics.
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Oxenbould, Moffatt
Joan Sutherland - signed limited edition A Tribute
Art Gallery of New South Wales & Honeysett Publications, Leichhardt NSW, 1990.
Second impression: quarto; hardcover, full-leather, with gilt spine and upper board titling and colour image tipped onto the upper board; 128pp., with many colour illustrations. Minor wear; signed in ink by Joan Sutherland on the title page; light scattered spotting to the title page. Near fine in a folding leather case with some minor wear. No. 340 of 500
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Peyser, Joan
Boulez Composer, Conductor, Enigma
Cassell & Company Ltd., London, 1977.
Octavo; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine titles; 303pp., with 16pp. of monochrome photographic plates. Minor wear; mild softening to the spine extremities; light offset to the endpapers; spotting to the text block edges; some tarnishing of the plates. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed with some creasing to the top edges; small tear to the spine panel head; spine panel sunned; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "The composing, conducting apostle of the new music ('Schoenberg is dead!') would boggle a conventional biographer with his all-work/no-life regimen, but Peyser is content to wrap her chronicle of the musical avant garde's last thirty years around a profile in the New Yorker manner. Morsels of life style and a handful of tight-lipped quotes from the subject and his sister ('Women are not important to him') have to make do in the personal department. But the byzantine network of composer rivalries, betrayed loyalties, stolen thunder, and dogmatic choosing-upsides more than compensates for the dearth of Boulezian romance, with Stravinsky, Cage, and Stockhausen, among others, filling the vacant roles of father, brother, and son. Unfortunately, the intricacies of these scenarios can't quite be appreciated without ingestion of strong doses of theory and analysis. Serial? Aleatory? Music of chance? Peyser handles technical discussion as humanely as anyone; nonetheless, laymen will occasionally be stymied. But they should return for the book's final movement: Boulez's just-completed, controversial occupancy of the New York Philharmonic podium. Here the paradoxes explode - the elitist longing for full houses, the ascetic reveling in hero-worship, the fanatical anti-traditionalist conducting Mendelssohn. Peyser's round-the-clock surveillance of the maestro during the New York years pays off, as do her canny marshaling of extracts from Boulez writings, and even her Freudian could-be's. Half hatchet-job and half canonization, Boulez is dense, thorny, required reading for aficionados - and off-limits for almost everybody else." - Kirkus
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Price, David C
Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance: Cambridge Studies in Music series
Cambridge University Press, 1981.
Hardcover, octavo; dark blue cloth boards with gilt spine titling; 250pp., monochrome illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; offsetting to endpapers; spotting to text block edges; dustwrapper slightly worn along edges. Very good to near fine otherwise. The Renaissance was a period of burgeoning musical activity in the great houses of England. Music was no longer heard only when minstrels visited on special occasions but became a prerequisite of the 'gentleman' often requiring him to employ a resident teacher and musical servants within his own household. The author has made household music the focus of his study but in so doing is also able to shed new light on the roles of the Church and the Court in musical development. He has examined in detail household accounts, dedications to musical manuscripts and publications, and contemporary literature and a fascinating picture of a complicated network of relationships between different families and the musicians they employed in various capacities emerges. The effects of the Reformation and the complementary influences of Catholic and Protestant patronage are assessed, as well as the growth and subsequent decline of music publishing in the period.
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Prokofiev, Sergey
Prodigious Youth Diaries 1907-1914
Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY, 2006.
Octavo; hardcover; 835pp., with monochrome plates. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. "When Sergey Prokofiev fled Soviet Russia for the United States in 1918, among the other papers, manuscripts, and scores he left behind in Petrograd were the diaries he had kept for the past eleven years. The young composer was a seasoned diarist. As Anthony Phillips writes in the introduction to his new translation of the early diaries, on his twelfth birthday, in 1903, his mother had presented him with a thick, handsomely bound notebook, telling him to 'write down in this everything that comes into your head'; for the next thirty years Prokofiev complied, filling his notebooks with vivid observations, musical reflections, and insights into personalities, often all the better for being trivial. He stopped writing diaries in 1933, when he began to prepare for his permanent return to Stalin's Russia, where such records could be dangerous. Prokofiev's earliest diaries have been lost. But those from 1907 on were miraculously saved, some by the composer's mother, who brought them out of Russia when she fled to France in 1920; others were hidden in Petrograd by his friends, including the conductor Sergey Koussevitzky and the composer Nikolay Myaskovsky. Prokofiev first returned to the Soviet Union on a concert tour in 1927, at which point he retrieved the diaries that were still there and took them to the United States. When he returned to Russia in the 1930s he put all his diaries in a US safe, where they remained until his death in 1953. In 1955, they were transferred, with his family's consent, to the Central (Russian) State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow, with access denied to all but the composer's direct heirs for the next fifty years. But as his son Sviatoslav Prokofiev explains in his foreword to the diaries, after 1991 the family decided to publish them. Preparing the text for publication was a painstaking task of deciphering, according to Sviatoslav Prokofiev, because from 1914 onward, the composer started to employ 'a system of writing down words with the vowels eliminated ...Our most difficult task was to decipher unfamiliar names, and this often entailed exhaustive researches.' The diaries are a revelation. No other composer wrote so much about himself. In 1,700 densely printed pages they provide an intimate and candid portrait of the artist as a young man that is radically different from the public image he presented in his autobiography, written at the height of Stalin's terror in 1937. The hero of Prokofiev's autobiography is passionate and serious, full of confidence in his talent, even arrogant; but in the diaries he comes across as awkward, shy, and insecure, despite his frequent boasting of his success.'' - New York Review of Books
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Rosenthal, Albi, and Alan Tyson (eds.)
Mozart's Thematic Catalogue - a facsimile British Library Stefan Zweig MS 63
Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY, 1990.
Octavo; hardcover; 57pp. plus the photographically reproduced original pages. Original slightly worn transparent mylar wrapper. Near fine. In a notebook that Mozart started keeping in 1784 and to which he referred to as a "catalogue of all my works", the composer tracked the themes that appeared in his later compositions. The original manuscript, one of the British Museum's most cherished treasures, is faithfully reproduced in its entirity in two-colour facsimile.
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Sadie, Stanley
Mozart The Early Years 1756-1781
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York NY, 2006.
Octavo; hardcover; 644pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper a little rubbed; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Remainder. New. Sadie, editor of that Everest of musical scholarship, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, died on March 21, 2005, leaving incomplete a massive biography of Mozart. He had finished the first volume, whose 2005 publication made it the first splash in what would become a tidal wave of Mozart tomes in response to the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. It is elegant, precise, and highly readable. Each chapter first reports the events of Mozart's life, then analytically reviews his compositions during the period covered. Sadie quotes extensively from father Leopold's letters written while the family toured its two astonishing children (Mozart's sister, Nannerl, was a precocious keyboard player) as well as from eyewitnesses of their performances and Nannerl's much later recollections - all of this is delicious reading in itself. Sadie's music discussions use only commonly defined terms, and his tracing of borrowings and influences is gratifyingly diligent. In short, this is the rare scholarly work fully accessible by the interested common reader.
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Samson, Jim
Music in Transition A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900-1920
J.M. Dent, London, 1977.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 242pp. Mild wear; upper board slightly fanned; toned and spotted text block edges; very mild offsetting to endpapers. Dustwrapper chipped at the spine panel head; a few scrapes, chipping at the flap-turns now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The decades from 1900 to 1920 saw important changes in the very language of music. Traditional tonal organization gave way to new forms of musical expression and many of the foundations of modern music were laid. Samson first explores tonal expansion in the music of such nineteenth-century composers as Liszt and Wagner and its reinterpretation in the music of Debussy, Busoni, Bartok, and Stravinsky. He then traces the atonal revolution, revealing the various paths taken by Schoenberg and his followers and describing their very different stylistic development.
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Schweitzer, Albert (Ernest Newman, trans.; Preface by C.M. Widor)
J.S. Bach - Two Volumes
Adam and Charles Black, London, 1952.
Reprint: two volumes, octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 428pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece. Mild wear; Volume One slightly rolled; retailer's bookplates to the front pastedowns; previous owner's ink inscriptions to the flyleaves; text block edges toned; some spotting to the text block top edges; two dark marks to the fore-edge of Volume Two; mild offset to the endpapers. Dustwrappers are mildly rubbed and sunned along the spines with some minor edgewear; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Selby, Agnes
Constanze, Mozart's Beloved
Turton & Armstrong, Sydney NSW, 1999.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 238pp., with monochrome plates. Minor wear; mild wear to lower board edges and corners. Slight wear to dustwrapper edges and very mild sunning to spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Constanze, the wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was not the foolish and self-interested individual of popular opinion, much of which is based on the views of Mozart's father, who believed that his son had chosen an inappropriate partner. This strong-minded woman was, however, to be of critical support to her beloved husband. From a family of accomplished musicians, she was possessed of a fine voice and sang in public performances a number of Mozart's works, both before and after his death. She bore him six children, of whom two survived childhood. Her business acumen was such that after his death she was largely responsible for keeping his music before the public, organising concerts, securing the accurate publication of many of his works including the Requiem, and acquiring patronage from the aristocracy. Her second marriage to the Dane, Georg Nikolaus Nissen, continued a life story which is a rich example of self-sufficiency and competence in an era when a woman in business was a rarity. Importantly, this book restores the reputation of a figure much maligned by history.
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Shostakovitch, Dmitry, and Isaak Glikman (Anthony Phillips, trans.)
Story of a Friendship The Letters of Dmitry Shostakovitch to Isaak Glikman with a commentary by Isaak Glikman
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, USA, 2001.
Remainder, hardcover, octavo, 340pp. New in dustwrapper. A selection of 288 letters written from 1941 until 1974. Glickman was a Leningrad theatre critic and historian. Taken together, the letters and Glickman's commentary, form a portrait of a complex and acutely sensitive personality endowed with enormous moral integrity, humanity, compassion, and a sharp, often self-deprecating, sense of humour. The book recounts some of the most pivotal episodes of the composer's life, including the long withdrawal of the Symphony no. 4, the regime's 1948 attacks on him, his subsequent trips to the United States and other western countries. Also revealed are his reactions to the music of his contemporaries and the circumstances of his composition of the devastating late symphonies and the final string quartets.
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Skinner, Graeme
Peter Sculthorpe The Making of an Australian Composer
UNSW Press, Kensington NSW, 2007.
Octavo; hardcover, with upper board titling; 693pp, with many illustrations. Minor wear; a few scuff marks on lower text block edges. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Beautifully written and fastidiously researched, this authorised biography provides an insight into the composer's formative years: his quest for a personal voice, and his arrival - through many creative friendships and collaborations - at a place in the collective heart of the nation.
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Smith, Ronald
Alkan - Volume One The Enigma
Kahn & Averill, Amersham Bucks. UK, 1976.
First UK edition: octavo; hardcover; 119pp., with monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; inked marginalia to the index; browned and lightly spotted text block edges. Rubbed dustwrapper with chipping at the corners and upper spine panel head; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Ronald Smith, one of the finest of Alkan's champions, has written a biography of one of the music world's more enigmatic characters. A pianist of astonishing virtuosity, and a composer of eccentric and haunting music, Alkan's life has gained a mysterious reputation, and here, Smith attempts to reconstruct as much as he can from the scant sources a semblance of a life study. As much a forensic search as a critical study, Smith unravels the disguises that have forever surrounded this reclusive man.
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Stravinsky, Vera & Igor (Robert Craft, ed.)
Dearest Bubushkin Selected Letters and Diaries of Vera and Igor Stravinsky
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1985.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia and decorative endpapers; 239pp., with monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; spotting to upper text block edges and a few marks otherwise. Illustrated dustwrapper with mild wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Bubushkin was Vera Stravinsky's pet name during their fifty years together - from 1921 when Diaghilev first introduced them in Paris, to Igor's death in 1971. Robert Craft is able to explain cryptic private references, identify almost all the names and offer background information about the people and situations discussed. Vera's diaries present a scarcely credible schedule of journeys, dinners, concerts, movies, parties and theatre going and a sparkling array of famous names and glamorous places. In spite of this, she was not at all star-struck, being in awe only of her husband. The Stravinskys' witty and wry comments on contemporaries are thought-provoking and sometimes hilarious. While the letters represent the entire surviving correspondence between the couple during their periods of separation, Vera's diaries document the time they spent together, and are the only record of Stravinsky's life in Hollywood. A comprehensive and revealing picture of these two extraordinary characters and their powerful relationship.
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Stravinsky, Very, & Robert Craft
Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents
Simon and Schuster Inc., New York NY, 1979.
Octavo; hardcover; 688pp., many monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Minor wear; board edges and corners lightly worn; toned and spotted text block edges; spine and rear panel of dustwrapper lightly browned. Edges and corners of dustwrapper worn with small tear on upper mid spine; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The definitive record of Stravinsky's personal life, based on illustrations and letters selected by Vera Stravinsky, his second wife, and Robert Craft, his friend and close associate for twenty years.
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Tyrrell, John
Janacek: Years of a Life - Volume 1 (1854-1914) The Lonely Blackbird
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2006.
Octavo; hardcover; 971pp., with monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. John Tyrrell's biography of the Czech composer Leos Janacek is the culmination of a life's work in the field. It stands upon his existing documentary studies of Janacek's operas and translations of other key sources and his examination of thousands of still unpublished letters and other documents in the Janacek archive in Brno. Altogether it provides the most detailed account of Janacek's life in any language and offers new views of Janacek as composer, writer, thinker and human being. This volume, which goes up to the outbreak of the First World War and Janacek's sixtieth birthday in the summer of 1914, consists of twenty-nine chapters providing a straightforward chronological account of Janacek's life, and forty contextual chapters. These include chapters on Janacek as a teacher, theorist and ethnographer, and on his knowledge of opera and his relationship to influential works such as Charpentier's Louise and Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.
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Volta, Ornella (Simon Pleasance, trans.)
Erik Satie Pocket Archives series
Hazan, Paris, 1997.
Small octavo paperback; 197pp., colour & monochrome plates. Very slight rippling to page edges; creased lower front corner tip. Else very good.
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Watkins, Glenn
The Gesualdo Hex Music, Myth, and Memory
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York NY, 2010.
Octavo; hardcover; 384pp., with a colour frontispiece, and monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. In this vivid tale of adultery and intrigue, witchcraft and murder, Glenn Watkins explores the fascinating life of the Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo - a life suffused with scandal and bordering on the fantastical. An isolated prince, Gesualdo had a personal life that was no less eccentric and bewildering than the music he composed; his biography has often clouded our perception of his oeuvre, which music scholars have periodically dismissed as a late Renaissance deformation of little consequence. Today, however, Gesualdo's music, once deemed so strange as to be unperformable, stands as one of the most vibrant legacies of the late Italian Renaissance with an undeniable impact on a host of Twentieth-Century musicians and artists. The incendiary details of Gesualdo's life recede, and his grip on our musical imagination comes to the fore. Watkins challenges our preconceptions of what has become a nearly mythic persona, weaving together the cumulative experience of some of the most vibrant artists of the past century from Stravinsky and Schoenberg to Abbado and Herzog.
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Weaver, William, & Martin Chusid (eds)
The Verdi Companion
Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1980.
Octavo; hardcover; 366pp. Minor wear; spotting to text block edges; boards sunned at spine, rubbed at edges, especially around spine; previous owner's name in ink. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. A handbook and critical study of Verdi's achievement and genius. As a composer only recently elevated by the critics into the pantheon of musical greats, this collection of essays re-evaluates Verdi's life and his struggles during the Risorgimento. The facts of his life are set out in clear chronology, as well as commentary on his use of the voice, his insight into operatic characters, and his relationship with librettists. Included is an essay by the contemporary Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola.
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