Musical Times

A quarterly publication that covers topics in classical music and includes an extensive archive of obituaries of leading musicians.

Articles from Vol. 139, No. 1865, Winter

A Darker Bach
A darker Bach YO TOMITA The new Bach reader: a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents Edited by Hans T. David dir Arthur Mendel Revised and Enlarged by Christoph Wolff Norton (New York & London, 1998); liv, 551pp. 25. ISBN 0 393 04558...
All That Is Past
. . . the danger is always that too many facts may prove overwhelming. In music . . . this is not the case. ALTHOUGH the cover states it boldly, the fact of our longevity is worth repeating. The Musical Times this year celebrates its 154th birthday....
Analysing Bach's Ink: Through a Glass Darkly
YO TOMITA reports on some exciting developments arising from the study of JS Bach's manuscripts FOR BACH, 'revision' was a part of his routine working procedure. In almost all of his manuscripts, one can find some traces of revisions being made. Revisions...
Any Old Music
Music: a very short introduction Nicholas Cook Oxford UP (Oxford, 1998); viii, 143pp; (L)5.99 pbk. ISBN 0 19 285340 6. As fields of study become increasingly complex and fought over by competing scholars, the more we need clear pathways cut through these...
Assessing Robert Simpson: The Perpetual Striver
A year after the death of Robert Simpson SIMON PHILLIPPO investigates the critical reception of this composer ALL COMPOSERS need to win a space in the public imagination. What a composer is, how his music is interpreted, performed, taught, and discussed,...
Beethoven's Primitive Cell Structures
REGINALD SMITH BRINDLE finds parallels between Beethoven's music and that of early man ALTHOUGH one is aware in Beethoven's music of a certain primordial quality, as if some part of it echoes the beginnings of man's existence, one would very much hesitate...
Bridging Bruckner
NICHOLAS WILLIAMS Bruckner remembered Stephen Johnson Faber & Faber (London, 1998); xxxvii, 186pp. L12.99 pbk. ISBN 0 571 17095 1. Bruckner studies Edited by Paul Hawkshaw & Timothy L. Jackson Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1997); xv, 301pp; L40. ISBN...
Carter as Symphonist: Redefining Boundaries
DAVID SCHIFF explores the symphonic oeuvre of America's greatest living composer ELLIOTT CARTER'S symphonic oeuvre is a series of paradoxes stretching over sixty years, from a Symphony no.l that would not be followed by a Symphony no.2 to his new monumental...
End of Season
It has been said that the current human population inhabiting our world is so numerous that it equals, and even may exceed, the huge congregation of the dead of all ages past. If that is so, there ought to be living a vast number of good, if not great,...
From the Musical Times 100 and 50 Years Ago
The Musical Times, December 1898 WAGNER was not the first to complain of the inanity of the libretti of Italian operas. In 1754 Lord Chesterfield, in the World, wrote as follows: "Were what is called the poetry of it (i.e., of Italian opera) intelligible...
Henry Purcell and the Charterhouse: Composer in Residence
STEPHEN PORTER reveals new evidence for a link between Purcell, the Chapel Royal and the life of the London Charterhouse AS WITH SO MUCH in Henry Purcell's life, the nature of his connections with the London Charterhouse is rather vague, although he...
Hildegard of Bingen at 900: The Eye of a Woman
To celebrate the anniversary of the influential composer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen, JUNE BOY CE-TILLMAN assesses her work from a sharply contemporary angle From women's eyes this doctrine I derive. They sparkle still the right Promethean fire. They...
In Memoriam: Herman D. Koppel
With the passing of Herman D. Koppel, Danish music has lost an important link with one of its most illustrious emblems, the composer Carl Nielsen. As a young man fresh from college, Koppel assisted Nielsen in the composition of a late cantata, and performed...
In Memoriam: Margot MacGibbon
For Margot MacGibbon, versatility was both a professional strength and source of personal pride; but perfectionism of craft was no less central to her approach to music. Her career as a violinist, pianist, coach and adjudicator spanned seven decades....
In Memoriam: Peter Pettinger
Peter Pettinger will be remembered for a variety of achievements by those who knew him: as a founder member of the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cover, in 1972; as a jazz enthusiast whose lifelong interest led him to write a biography of one...
In Memoriam: Sergio Fiorentino
The name of Sergio Fiorentino does not appear in Philips's ongoing `Great pianists of the 20th century' collection. This omission occurs not through any shortcomings of his own, his admirers might say, but through his failure to leave a substantial recorded...
In Your Own Words
In your own words JULIAN RUSHTON Verdi: Don Carlos Mozart: The shepherd king Smetana: The bartered bride Opera North Grand Theatre Leeds, Autumn Difficulties at the Royal Opera deprive us of first-rate opera in the original; but in the theatre we may...
Letters
Well chosen Having recently been introduced to your excellent Musical Times, I am now an avid reader of most of the articles; but there are those contributors who seem intent on using words and phrases, mostly invented by modem musicologists, I suspect,...
New Light on Telemann and Bach: Double Measures
IAN PAYNE tracks down a well-used phrase by Bach to its source in a Telemann concerto THE EARLY acquaintance of JS Bach with the concertos of his famous and prolific contemporary, GP Telemann, is firmly on record. It is well known to devotees of Bach...
Orpheus-And After
ARNOLD WHITTALL finds some absorbing contrasts in the musico-dramatic strategies of five recent operas Harrison Birtwistle: The mask of Orpheus BBC/Andrew Davis dir Martin Brabbins NMC D050 Alexander Goehr: Arianna Arianna Ensemble/ William Lacey NMC...
Rough Justice
Rough justice JOHN STEANE Musorgsky: Boris Godunov English National Opera London Coliseum, 10 November First thing and last in this production is the tolling of a bell. Its solemn resonance links past and present. Inexorable and cheerless, it reduces...
Self-Reliance
NICHOLAS WILLIAMS A guide to the harpsichord Ann Bond Amdaeus Press (Portland, 1997); 267pp; 22.SO.ISBN 1557467 0271. Since the time of Gutenberg's printing press, the price of self-help books has included the cost of a dream. Ann Bond's A guide to the...
Spirits of England
ANDREW THOMSON SWEB Festival of Elgar Brunel Ensemble/Christopher Austin Bristol, 2-24 October The Bristol-based Brunel Ensemble, under its inspirational conductor and artistic director Christopher Austin, has rapidly acquired a national reputation for...
The Perils of Pluralism
Uncommon ground: the music of Michael Finnissy Edited by Henrietta Brougham, Christopher Fox & Ian Pace Ashgate (Aldershot, 1998); ix, 436pp. 45. ISBN 185928 356 x. The most distinctive characteristic of the age we live in may be its extreme pluralism,...
The Vanishing Anorak
As a new millennium beckons, CHRISTOPHER FOX explores the cleft between thinking about culture and writing about music THE ENDS of centuries are supposed to be transitional times, as the old century tries both to anticipate new directions and to celebrate...
The Voyage Out
The voyage out ARNOLD WHITTALL Britten and the Far East Mervyn Cooke The Boydell Press/The Britten-Pears Library (Woodbridge, 1998); xx, 279pp; 45. ISBN 0 85115 5790. There's not much point in asking how different Britten's musical development might...
Vital Impressions
ANDREW THOMSON The life of Debussy Roger Nichols Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1998); vii, 184pp; 27.95 / 9.95 pbk. ISBN 0 521 570263 / 0 521 578876. A short but searching new biography of Debussy by Roger Nichols is one of an admirable CUP series `Musical...
Well Flirted
ROBERT ANDERSON Frederick Delius: music, art and literature Edited by Lionel Carley Ashgate (Aldershot, 1998); xviii, 337pp; L55. ISBN 185928 222 9. Cast a book of this title into the Delian pool, and the ripples will spread towards an index longer than...