Friday, January 15, 2010

New Releases

Greetings from the backroom, once again. As you probably know, the backroom is where new items come to get all the trappings of the Allen Library and be released. But since you aren't waiting on the shelving carts for Jen or me to bring these new items out for your perusal, I thought you might like to know what some of them are.

I.X.1905 "Sonata" / Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) M23 J33 S1

This is a beautiful Bärenreiter Urtext edition published in 2005. It features a lengthy introduction to the piece with bibliography. The Sonata itself is a devastating work, based on the unjust murder of a university student in Brno. If you haven't heard it yet, listen to Ivan Moravec's interpretation available on Naxos.

On An Overgrown Path / Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) M25 J33 O5

This is also a Bärenreiter Urtext edition with a rich and dark purple cover. The lengthy preface contains much valuable information, and again there is suggested reading. On An Overgrown Path is in two series, with an additional set entitled "Paralipomena." The first series is a collection of short pieces with descriptive titles (e.g. Words fail!, Unutterable anguish, The barn owl has not flown away!), but the remaining compositions only have tempo indications as identifiers. Janáček's piano music is extraordinary. Piquant, nervous, innocent, delicate, quiet. Do check it out.

Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora vol. 4 M21 A378 V4
Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora vol. 5 M21 A378 V5
Senku / William Chapman Nyaho MD21 C436 S4
Asa / William Chapman Nyaho MD21 C436 A8

William H. Chapman Nyaho, from Ghana, is an active international performer, scholar, teacher, and clinician. He compiled and edited these two volumes of piano music, both of which are classified as "Advanced." Much of the music features large spans for the hands and innovative rhythmic figures. The composers come from a wide variety of places: Nigeria, Jamaica, England, Egypt, and the U.S., among others. You may listen to many of the compositions on the two CDs as well. As Maya Angelou wrote in a review of Senku, "This CD will provide moments of discovery so delicious, that the listeners will be made to laugh out loud and to compliment not just Dr. Chapman Nyaho, but themselves at their good fortune in finding these composers and this pianist."

Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 18 / Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) M1011 R11 C2
Romanian Folk Dances / Béla Bartók (1881-1945) M25 B29 R6

These two are replacement copies. Fortunately we had the funds available to buy new copies of these well worn compositions. The Rachmaninov is a Schirmer edition (apologies, but actually it doesn't have any unwanted editorializations!), and the Bartók is a Masters Music Publications edition.

If you aren't a pianist, don't worry. New items for all instruments are coming in all the time. Jen will let you know about some more of them soon...

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