Solo Vocal Works on Jewish Themes. A Bibliography of Jewish Composers

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Kenneth Jaffe, Solo Vocal Works on Jewish Themes. A Bibliography of Jewish Composers. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2011. Cloth, xx, 436 pp., $85.00. ISBN 978-0-8108-6235-0 www.scarecrowpress.com

This compilation grew out of lists of works on Jewish themes that Kenneth Jaffe made for his own voice type. As the inventory grew, Jaffe decided to expand his investigation to encompass music for all voices. Solo Vocal Works on Jewish Themes represents more than a decade of research and includes nearly 3,000 large-scale works. The works are catalogued in four different ways: by composer, theme, voice type, and alphabetically. The directory is comprised of a wide variety of music: opera, operettas, music drama, musicals, cantatas, multimedia works, chamber works, and symphonic and sacred service music. Composers range from Aaron Copland to Cy Coleman, and from Darius Milhaud to Barry Manilow.

An index by composer is annotated with information about each piece, including genre, voice type, instrumentation, text source, commission, year and location of first performance, year of publication, language, duration of the work, and contact information for the composer and/or publisher. The index by theme covers the gamut from works of the Holocaust to wedding music.

The challenge in amassing a bibliography lies not in what to include, but what to omit. Jaffe describes the volume as a comprehensive resource for large works with solo voice-except in regard to music from Israel. The expense of first-hand research at Jerusalem University and Tel Aviv University prevented the inclusion of Israeli music. …