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Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music

John Michael Cooper - Assisted by Randy Kinnett

This Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music provides detailed and authoritative articles for the most important composers, concepts, genres, music educators, performers, theorists, writings, and works of cultivated music in Europe and the Americas during the period 1789-1914. The roster of biographical entries includes not only canonical composers such as Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Chopin, Fauré, Grieg, Liszt, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky, Rossini, Schubert, Robert Schumann, Sibelius, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Wagner, and Wolf, but also less-well-known distinguished contemporaries of those composers (among them George Whitefield Chadwick, Cécile Chaminade, Ernesto Elorduy, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Fanny Hensel, C. H. Parry, and Clara Schumann, to name but a few). Significant literary and cultural topics such as Goethe’s Faust and Wagner’s theoretical writings of the 1850s, as well as entries on other cultural luminaries who significantly influenced music’s Romanticisms – among them J. S. Bach, Goethe, Haydn, Handel, Heine, Mozart, Schiller, and Shakespeare – are also included. Entries on important institutions (conservatory, orphéon, Männerchor), concepts (biographical fallacy, copyright, exoticism, feminism, nationalism, performance practice), and political caesurae and movements (First and Second French Empire, First, Second, and Third French Republic, Franco-Prussian War, Revolutions of 1848, Risorgimento) round out the dictionary section.

Like other volumes in this series, this book's more than 500 entries are preceded by an introductory essay that explains the essential concepts necessary for understanding and exploring further the vast and complex musical landscape of Romanticism, plus a detailed Chronology. Concluding the volume is an extensive bibliography that lists the most important source-critical series of editions of Romantic music, important general writings on the period and its music, and composer-by-composer bibliographies.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 792Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-0-8108-7230-1 • Hardback • October 2013 • $173.00 • (£115.00)
978-0-8108-7484-8 • eBook • October 2013 • $164.00 • (£105.00)
John Michael Cooper is Professor of Music and holder of the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts at Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas). He has published articles on topics ranging from seventeenth-century performance practice to early twentieth-century aesthetics, as well as numerous editions with A-R Editions, Carus-Verlag, and Bärenreiter Urtext. His previous three books – all centering on the Mendelssohns – have been published by Routledge, Oxford University Press, and the University of Rochester Press.

Randy Kinnett has a doctorate in musicology and also focuses considerably on the Romantic period, with a particular interest in reception history.
This volume offers hundreds of entries for Romantic period composers, performers, styles, and other subjects and terms. Many appear in other reference works, most notably New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, but many are unique to this one. The major difference is that the authors here present entries in context with regard to specific styles, customs, and thinking of the Romantic period—the so called long nineteenth century. For example, entries such as String quartets are discussed in terms of their nineteenth-century form, and eighteenth-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s entry delves into how he and his music were viewed throughout the 100 years after his death. Recommended for most public and academic libraries.

Cooper offers a handy one-volume work covering composers, genres, styles, and sociopolitical activities associated with the late 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. One of some 70 titles in the 'Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts' series, it features more than 500 alphabetically arranged entries. This hefty volume includes illustrative material where pertinent, a useful list of acronyms and abbreviations, and cross-referencing in each individual entry (via terms printed in boldface the first time they appear). Prior to the introduction, readers will find a useful year-by-year chronology covering major events from the beginning of the French Revolution to the start of WW I. Entries contain brief descriptions of landmark events ranging in scope from political affairs (e.g., Washington's election as the first US president, Napoleon becoming president of the Italian Republic, and the Mexican War of Independence) to the publication and performance of major musical works (e.g., Rossini's Guillaume Tell; Haydn's Symphony no. 92; and Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, K. 581). Selected source-critical series of editions are included near the back. Primary sources (e.g., collections, anthologies, and treatises) and surveys of 19th-century music are provided, as are works on aesthetics, genre, harmony and counterpoint, and performance practice. Also included is a section pertaining to studies on individual composers. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.

Beginning in the late eighteenth century and lasting well into the 1850s, Romanticism as a philosophical and artistic movement embraced the awakening of modernism while at the same time reinterpreting the classical tradition that came before it. Many of the composers and musicians we associate with the nineteenth century find their roots in romanticism. This work, by a professor of music noted for his work in the artistic period, has a lengthy introduction discussing the roots, changes, and influences on the future that Romanticism brought to the world. The major portion of the work is an alphabetically arranged listing of composers and musicians, instrument makers, patrons and publishers, specific works and significant events associated with Romanticism. Each entry is from a half-page to one and one-half pages in length. In the case of individuals birth and death dates are given where known. Each entry discusses the importance to the Romantic idea with bold typeface referencing other topics in the dictionary. An extensive bibliography for further reading and research completes the volume. . . .This volume will find ready use in music and music history collections. Well bound in hardcover format and with its easy to use alphabetic format, the work should stand up to years of use in the library setting. Any library with collecting interests in the music, arts, philosophy, or the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will find this a useful addition.
American Reference Books Annual