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Kurt Cobain

In the 20 years since Kurt Cobain’s death his influence as a musician and iconoclast is still strongly felt.  Cobain is the subject of a number of biographies and several videographies; seminal albums by his band Nirvana, including Nevermind and In Utero, rank among the best of late twentieth century alternative rock.

Donald Pippin, Artistic Director of Pocket Opera

Since 1952 Donald Pippin has been a part of the musical life of San Francisco. He is best known as the founder of Pocket Opera, which started in 1977 with the purpose of making opera more accessible to the average concert goer by presenting opera in unique English language translations with a small chamber ensemble. The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin's English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files. Follow the links in the finding aid to download the files.

A new exhibition has just opened at the Stanford Music Library entitled Treasures from the Archive of Recorded Sound, on show through August 14. The exhibition was curated and installed by the Archive of Recorded Sound's Interim Operations Manager, Benjamin Bates, who describes the content and theme of the exhibit in more detail. 

2013 marked the 200th birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. The Music Library purchased a number of out-of-print and rare scores of works by both composers, and books by and about Wagner. The Wagner works include his Die Kunst und die Revolution (Leipzig, 1849) and Deutscher Kunst und deutsche Politik (Leipzig, 1868), Julius Lang’s Zur Versöhnung des Judenthums mit Richard Wagner (Berlin, 1869), and Hermann Schneider’s Richard Wagner und das germanische Altertum (Tübingen, 1939). Arrangements for piano, 2-hands including overtures to Christoph Columbus (Leipzig, 1908), Faust (Leipzig, 189?), and König Enzio (Leipzig & London, 1908), and a score of Lohengrin in French (Paris 1891) were also acquired. All of the Wagner materials are described in Significant Acquisitions 2012-2013, on the Music Library’s web page.

Fellow music librarians navigate MARTA. Pictured: Scott Stone (UC Irvine), Manuel Erviti (UC Berkeley), Janelle West and Andrew Justice (University of North Texas).

Stanford music librarians  Jerry McBride, Mimi Tashiro, Nancy Lorimer, Jon Manton, Jihong Zhang, and Ray Heigemeir (that’s me) were in attendance at the 83rd annual meeting of the Music Library Association in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of February.  A total of 403 attendees from the US, Canada and select other countries spent the better part of a week learning, discussing, debating, and celebrating the changing landscape of music librarianship.

Stanford composer Brian Ferneyhough is the subject of the first monograph from Intellect Books' Critical Guides to Contemporary Composers series. Brian Ferneyhough, by Lois Fitch, "examines the critical issues fundamental to understanding the composer as both musician and thinker"--[book cover]

Chapters include: biography; notation; the solo works: 'Black Scherzo'; chamber 'concerts'; chamber music; string quartet; Time and Motion Study Cycle; Carceri d'Invenzione: style and innovation; Shadowtime; works for orchestra and large ensemble; and aesthetics.

Recently acquired, an engraving by Jan Sadeler (1550-1600) from 1590, based on the painting of Joos van Winghe (1544-1603) depicting King David playing the harp. A group of choristers is gathered around an open choir book which contains the 5-part setting of Psalm 116 by Andreas Pevernage (1542 or 3-1591).

A full-length woodcut portrait of the composer Coclico at age 52, printed in 1552, was recently purchased. It includes music notation at upper left, with the text “Desperando spero,” and identification of the composer, “Adrian Petit Coclico Mvsico. Etat: LII,” at upper right. This inscription is the only known source that states his birth year.

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