Hummel, a pianist and composer steeped in the Viennese classical tradition, was a somewhat younger contemporary of Beethoven, student of Mozart, and successor to Haydn in service to the Esterhazy family. This sonata was composed and published alongside two violin sonatas in 1798, and, though lighter and far less inventive, is a fine counterpart for violists, both in style and in difficulty, to the early Beethoven sonatas for cello or violin. Like Beethoven, Hummel worked in the tradition of the accompanied keyboard sonata, and the instrumentation is for piano first and viola second. The new Henle edition contains the clean engraving, legible spacing, and critical report expected of urtext editions. In addition to the unmarked viola part, a special bonus is a second copy with fingerings and bowings by Tabea Zimmerman (pianists are not given the same choice, as the score is fingered by Klaus Schilde). This edition is a welcome addition to Henle’s growing catalog of standard viola repertoire.
This collection includes sixteen short arrangements of themes from well-known classical pieces. The pieces are in easy-to-read keys ranging from a maximum of three sharps to one flat, and are appropriate as supplemental pieces for students in late Suzuki Book 3 or above. Most of the pieces can be played entirely in first position, although several, such as the “Toreador Song” from Carmen and the Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto require the use of third position. While the collection is not necessarily arranged in order of difficulty, the final three pieces are the most challenging, in terms of rhythmic freedom (“Toreador Song” and “O Sole Mio”) and articulation (“William Tell Overture”). In addition to the piano accompaniments, each piece is provided with an optional duet part, making this collection useful for ensemble playing in lessons and group classes.
Girsberger (Librarian, United States Navy and Marine Corps School of Music) and Lake (Reference Librarian, Cleveland Institute of Music) offer a concise yet comprehensive overview of the important, yet often-misunderstood work of the performance librarian. In this volume, leading figures in the profession contribute articles covering all aspects of the performance librarian’s work, ranging from types of work (symphonic, band, opera, ballet, festival, publisher, choral, film, etc.), to skills needed (score reading, desktop publishing, archiving, budgeting, etc.), to librarian interactions with various constituencies (musicians, conductors, managers, composers, publishers, dealers). This book is required reading for any musician considering a career as a performance librarian. Several of the articles deal with how to become a performance librarian. There is no such thing as a degree in performance librarianship; aspiring librarians must find a mentor and serve an apprenticeship, learning every aspect of their trade through hands-on immersion. The most insightful contribution to the volume is the final article, “The Art of the Retouche (Does Beethoven Know What We’re doing?)” by Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal Librarian Marshall Burlingame. The article highlights numerous passages in the standard orchestral literature that are often rewritten or reorchestrated, and how the librarian must possess the knowledge and agility to anticipate the wishes of different conductors. Burlingame’s sample of the artistic decisions made by performance librarians on a daily basis exemplifies just how much more there is to working in the library than passing out parts and marking bowings.