New Wagner Book: Great Wagner Conductors A listener's companion

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 | 2:32:00 am

Looks intriguing. Alas, it has sold out on Amazon in the UK and I am thus unable to comment on it at the moment. Below is the press release


This book is a pioneering study of the great historical Wagner conductors. It opens with a chapter on Wagner, tracing his record as a conductor of his own works, and setting out what he expected of orchestras and their music directors. Thousands of reviews of performances from many countries – Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, France, England, Argentina, and the United States – have been distilled to bring us as close as we can to knowing what the conductors were really like. We learn what they had to say about Wagner, how they learnt their craft, and how they conducted his operas. Above all, it is left to those who were there to tell the stories.
Twenty-three conductors are dealt with in detail. Many others are mentioned in passing. There are over two hundred illustrations.There is a comprehensive discography for each conductor, including Wagner. Rare recordings are documented: shellac and vinyl that have never made it to compact disc, "pirate" and commercial recordings, and inauthentic recordings designed to fool the public. There is comment on or excerpts from reviews of all the major recordings, and on many of the more obscure. A section on timings of actual and recorded performances, from Wagner onwards, reveals how widely practice has varied.
The book is an essential source for opera lovers, Wagner enthusiasts, students of historical performance, conductors and their pupils, cultural historians, and buyers and collectors of recordings.

Jonathan Brown studied history, philosophy and law at the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge. He is the author of two critical discographies: Parsifal on Record (Greenwood, 1992), and Tristan und Isolde on Record (Greenwood, 2000). The latter won an Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in 2001 for Best Research in Recorded Classical Music. He is a former Australian diplomat and international lawyer, and lives in Canberra.