Text extracted from opening pages of book: COMPOSERS OF YESTERDAY A Biographical and Critical Guide to the Most Important Composers of the Past Compiled and Edited by DAVID EWEN NEW YORK THE H. W. WILSON COMPANY NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN To LAZARE SAMINSKY in friendship and admiration INTRODUCTION In presenting Composers of Yesterday a companion volume to Com posers of Today, published two years ago the editor and publisher feel that a definite gap in musical literature has been filled. Both the publisher and the editor ...
Text extracted from opening pages of book: COMPOSERS OF YESTERDAY A Biographical and Critical Guide to the Most Important Composers of the Past Compiled and Edited by DAVID EWEN NEW YORK THE H. W. WILSON COMPANY NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN To LAZARE SAMINSKY in friendship and admiration INTRODUCTION In presenting Composers of Yesterday a companion volume to Com posers of Today, published two years ago the editor and publisher feel that a definite gap in musical literature has been filled. Both the publisher and the editor have felt that the musical layman ( whose number is increasing prodigiously with each year) was in need of a reference book on composers especially designed to satisfy his own par ticular needs. Composers of Yesterday has attempted to provide, in each of its sketches, such information as the average music-lover invariably de sires about composers. The average music-lover is interested in copious biographical material, generously sprinkled with the spice of anecdotes; he is avid for a glimpse at the personality of the composer the man as dis tinguished from the artist. Finally, music-lovers are eager to know what leading critics of all time have said about the composer's major works, about the nature of his style, about his contribution to musical development and about his position in musical history. To satisfy such curiosity, the editor has combed the writings of leadings critics and biographers, has tapped all sources contemporary with each composer, has referred to all available material in books, magazines and newspapers and collated the most important information into these sketches. Thus each sketch is, for the most part, a synthesis of the leading criticalthought available about each composer. It was the original intention of the editor to make this volume the last word in comprehensiveness by including some three hundred and fifty composers, including many whose significance was only transitory. As the work on this book progressed, it became appallingly evident that if the book were not to expand to prohibitive size either the space de voted to each composer must be curtailed or else a number of the com posers must be deleted from the table of contents. To abbreviate the sketches would have defeated the very purpose of this book. It would have been impossible to include all that information which musical laymen seek about an important composer, information which he is unable to find in other reference books. The editor, therefore, decided to eliminate the less significant composers from the book. None of these omissions, the editor is confident, will be seriously felt by the reader. In selecting composers for inclusion in this volume, the editor has chosen either those whose work still affords aesthetic pleasure, or else those who have played so important a part in the development of the musical art that their names live on, even though their music does not. Each sketch was prepared with the intent of giving the reader a historical perspective; in this connection, the editor urges the reader to consult frequently the synthetic historical outline in the appendix. Each sketch includes a list of the principal works of each composer, a listing of the more important phonograph recordings of his music, and a bibliography. Where more than one recording of a work existed, the editor listed the one which, in his opinion, was the best, both fromthe point of view of performance and of quality of reproduction. DAVID EWEN November 11, 1936 via CONTENTS Paye INTRODUCTION vii KEY TO PRONUNCIATIONS x BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 1 APPENDICES 1. Composers Grouped by Nationality . . . 475 2. A Synthetic Outline of Musical History 478 3. A Selected Bibliography 481 INDEX 487 Key to Pronunciations The correct pronunciation of foreign, unusual, or difficult names is indicated in footnotes to the biog raphies. The following simplified group of symbols is used: ji, as in father; a, as in at; a, as in mate; a, as in miracle, e
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