This list of reading materials is not intended to be an exhaustive survey of the literature but to get the "unwashed" or the "somewhat washed" better acquainted with the composer and artists featured in this issue, and to provide a starting point, or some guide posts if you will, for their journey into the world of classical music.
CLICK ON AUTHOR, TITLE (where underscored), OR COVER ART TO BUY THE BOOK OR TO CHECK ON ITS AVAILABLITY
I. On Classical Music & Opera
1. Theodore Baker, ed.,Pocket Manual of Musical Terms, (5th edition); Schirmer Books, N.Y. (1995); 341pp. (Gives over 5,000 definitions of musical terms and brief biographies of over one thousand composers and performers. A pocket-handy reference for both the culturally washed and unwashed.).
2. Eric Bentley, ed.,Shaw on Music. A selection from the Music Criticism of Bernard Shaw; Doubleday and Company, Inc. Garden City, NY (1955); 307pp. (Shaw - the best music critic that ever lived; his writings are always a pleasure to read even if one does not always agree with what he has to say. Would that all music critics wrote half as well as he did. See also I.3, I.8 and II.8 below.)
3. Matthew Boyden, Opera The Rough Guide. Rough Guides Ltd., London. (1997); 672pp. Extensive coverage, includes synopses, historical notes and anecdotes, some biographies, and commentaries - subjective, of course! - on CD recordings. A handy reference.
4.Louis Crompton, ed. Bernard Shaw: The Great Composers: Reviews and Bombardments; University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles,CA (1978); 387pp.
5.Phil Goulding, Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works; Fawcett Columbine (1992); 633pp. (Goulding is living proof that it is never too late to learn and love opera and classical music. A former Assistant Secretary of Defense who claims to have been a "musical know-nothing" for most of his adult life, he embarked on a "musical journey" at age 64 and has become "addicted" ever since. He shares his knowledge, opinions and musical experiences in this and the following book , both of which are funny, entertaining and very informative.)
6. Phil Goulding, Ticket to the Opera: Discovering and Exploring 100 Famous works, History, Lore and Singers, with Recommended Recordings; Fawcett Columbine, Ballantine Books. NY. (1996); 689pp.
7.David Littlejohn, The Ultimate Art: Essays Around and About Opera; University of California Press, CA. (1992), 303 pp. (A most enjoyable book, erudite without the pomposity that usually accompanies erudition.Also available in paperback.)
8. Carol Plantamura, The Opera Lover's Guide to Europe; Carol Publishing, Citadel Press, Secaucus, NY (1996), 338pp. (Everything you wanted to know about opera is a fitting subtitle; a fun book and a must-have, even if you're not going to Europe any time soon.)
9. Fred Plotkin, Opera 101. A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera; Hyperion, NY.(1994); 494pp.
10. Bernard Shaw, How to Become a Musical Critic (Dan H. Laurence, Ed.); Hill and Wang, NY (1961); 359 pp.
11. Jack Sullivan, ed. Words on Music. From Addison to Barzun; Ohio University Press, Athens OH (1990), 438pp. (A wonderful selection of writings on music by celebrated men and women from both the past and present.)
II. On Wagner and The Ring
1. Herbert Barth, Dietrich Mack and Egon Voss. Wagner A Documentary Study; Oxford University Press, NY (1975), 256pp.
2. John Culshaw, Reflections on Wagner's Ring; Viking press, NY (1976), 105pp.
3.John Culshaw, Ring Resounding. Account of the First Recording of Wagner's Ring; Viking Press, NY (1976), 276pp.
4. J.K. Holman, Wagner's Ring: A listener's Companion and Concordance. Amadeus Press, OR. (1996), 440pp. (A MUST for Ring devotees; fans of traditional ring productions such as the MET's will love this book written by a banker who is also an ardent music lover.)
5. Joseph Horowitz, Wagner Nights.An American History; University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles (1994), 389pp.
6. Hans Meyer, Richard Wagner in Bayreuth; Rizzoli, NY(1976), 248pp.
7. Ernest Newman, The Wagner Operas; Knopf, NY (1949), 724pp. (THE book on Richard Wagner.)
8. Charles Osborne, The World Theatre of Wagner; Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc., NY (1982), 224 pp. (This book by a poet and one of the world's foremost authorities on opera celebrates 150 years of Wagner opera productions. It contains exceptional photographs and distinguished commentary.)
9. George Bernard Shaw, The Perfect Wagnerite; A Commentary on the Nibelung's Ring. (first published 1898); Dover Publications, N.Y. (1967), 136pp. (The Ring interpreted with a Socialist twist.)
10. Frederic Spotts, Bayreuth A History of the Wagner Festival; Yale University Press, New Haven & London (1994), 334pp.
III. On Hildegard Behrens
1. Alan Blyth, "Hildegard Behrens," Opera (May 1991), pp. 502-508.
2. Della Couling, "Leading Lady," Opera Now (January/February 1997).
3. Helena Matheopoulos, Diva: Great Sopranos and Mezzos Discuss Their Art; Northeastern University Press, Boston (1992), 333pp.
4.Barry Paris, "The Force: The Kinetic Art of Hildegard Behrens." Opera News, Vol.61, No.14 (April 5, 1997), pp.8-14.
IV. On Mstislav Rostropovich
1.John Allison, "Rostropovich: The Russian Muse," BBC Music Magazine (October 1996) p.28.
2. Eugene Drucker, "Recording with Rostropovich: Learning to Let the Music Speak," Strings (July/August 1993), p.56.
3. Joshua Koestenbaum, "Recording with Rostropovich: Accompanying a Musical Hero," Strings (July/August 1993), p.59.
4. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro: Encounters with Conductors of Today; Harper and Row, NY (1982), 536pp.
5. "Slava: World Ambassador of Great Music," Classic CD (June 1997), p.34.
Behrens Wagner Ring METRostropovich