Archive for January, 2015

Mahler Discography

Fans of Gustav Mahler may find a great deal of value in a volume such as Péter Fülöp’s extensive Mahler Discography.  Through this volume, readers may experience Mahler’s works in a way that is novel and relevant.

Fülöp describes the discography as including “all known Mahler recordings ever issued for sale or given out as complimentary or promotional copies” in disc format.  While there is an emphasis on American recordings, the discography does have an international scope.

One of the primary unique aspects of Mahler Discography is its means of presenting information with multiple approaches.  Each of Mahler’s major works has its own section within the discography.  Recordings are listed by work title, artist, label, and timings.  Fülöp’s method of organizing each individual recording involved creating unique accession numbers for every entry.  Once the reader understands the accession number (which is explained in detail in the preface), it becomes fairly easy to locate entries and derive information from them.  Several details about each recording are provided, including conductor name, major performers’ names, recording date, and matrix number are included for most entries.

Hannah Johnson, research assistant

The Encyclopedia of French Art Song

frenchIn the world of music reference, are used to seeing many books by a few giant publishers play a dominant role in the collections. There are, however, less dominant houses that continue to release excellent and highly useful reference books. Frank Daykin’s Encyclopedia of French Art Song is an example of this.

Published by Pendragon Press, this encyclopedia (which also functions as a simple dictionary for some terms) is designed to acquaint users with the meaning and cultural context of any word they will see printed on a page of French art song by any of the four cornerstone french melodists, be that word in the poetry, in a performance instruction, or elsewhere. Entries include song titles, poets, proper nouns, artistic movements, poetic terms, idioms, song dedicatees, nouns, and adjectives. The organization is alphabetical with standard, cross-referenced entries.

This encyclopedia does not include reference or biographical information on the composers themselves, as that area is throughly covered in a variety of previously published sources.

The Clarinet Quintet

ClarinetQuintetThe online catalog The Clarinet Quintet (https://clarinetquintet.web.unc.edu/) is an attempt to bring together all the repertoire of one specific chamber ensemble, the string quartet with one clarinet. The website evolved from the personal records of Donald Oehler, clarinet professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has collected information over decades of professional career in chamber music and clarinet performance and pedagogy. Graduate students and librarians at the UNC-CH library developed this idea into a WordPress website managed by Prof. Oehler.

At the time of this post, the website lists about 370 clarinet quintets, though an additional 230 have been identified and eventually will be added. Each entry includes (where this information is available) the title, composer, composer’s country of origin, year of composition, publisher(s), duration, type of clarinet, and a sample page. Users can view a list of the quintets sortable by composer, year, and duration or browse by clarinet type, range of years, duration, country of origin, female composers, and works in the International Clarinet Association’s collection. Featured works date from the late 18th century to today, beginning with the composition that inspired the genre, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A (1789). Users with additional information or corrections on compositions are welcome to comment on the individual entries, subject to moderation.

Peter Shirts, guest contributor

Dictionary of Music Education

educationIrma H. Collins’ Dictionary of Music Education is a “resource for research and a landmark of professional reference for exploring the evolution of music education through time.” (Quoted material from the foreword.) It emphasizes entries concerning people, terms, events, and organizations that have played the largest roles in influencing the course of music education throughout history, especially in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The organization is alphabetical in a fairly standard dictionary format, although entries tend to be a little longer and more detailed that one would expect in a standard dictionary. There are three appendixes of important organizations, important publications, and institutions for music. It also contains a bibliography for further reading and an eleven-page chronology.

Abraham Myler, research assistant