The five volumes of A Shakespeare Music Catalogue provide scholarship with an invaluable reference tool: a comprehensive and detailed documentation of all music - published and unpublished, from Shakespeare's day to our own - in any way related to Shakespeare's life and work. No single work has ever before attempted to draw together such a mass of information, from all countries of the world, on this neglected aspect of Shakespeare's dramatic art and cultural influence.
The music includes operas, ballets, overtures, tone-poems, songs, and various types of incidental music (for stage, radio, film, and television productions). Each composition is cited with information on its vocal and instrumental requirements, its publication history, and, when known, its first performance. The first three volumes deal with music and musical stage-directions for the plays (arranged alphabetically) and settings of the sonnets and narrative poems. The fourth volume contains indices: of Shakespeare's titles and lines, the titles of musical works, and composers, arrangers, editors, librettists, etc. The final volume provides a further, and unprecedented, research tool: a selected, annotated bibliography of writings, in all languages, on the subject of Shakespeare and music.
For the first time, readers of the Catalogue will have ready access to the broad range of musical works inspired by Shakespeare and to the diversity of critical viewpoints they have provoked. Theatrical directors will be able to consult it for appropriate music; musicologists and cultural historians study the history of taste; literary scholars examine any play or plays from a thoroughly documented musical standpoint. The Catalogue brings together the work of many scholars in the field, and goes far beyond existing available data.
`Not only will a wide body of scholars from a large number of disciplines have recourse to consult SMC; theatre producers, directors, and composers will also find it extremely user-friendly ... This magisterial work ... must rank not only among the most important contributions to literary, musical, and theatre research, but also among the greatest achievements of the twentieth-century bibliography.'
Review of English Studies
`the more than twenty-one thousand entries in this remarkable catalogue are stunning - partly for their sheer number, partly for the impressive scholarship required to collect them ... I could not begin to describe the riches found in these five volumes ... htis is a wonderful set of books. Every library should have it as a reference work; every Shakespeare aficionado should settle for an hour or two of good reading '
`The Catalogue is undoubtedly one of the most important Shakespearean reference works published in our time. ... The single most important achievement of the Shakespeare Music Catalogue, however, is to document for the first time in any form the great number of professional Shakespeare composers, who produce to order, year in year out, music for Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, Coriolanus, or whatever is on the season's programme. ...
The deliberately wide scope of the Catalogue makes it, in effect, an archive for the study of Shakespeare's reception and assimilation in many media, in many cultures. ...The effect it will have on future research will be enormous, opening up new areas, redefining old ones.'
Brian Vickers, Times Literary Supplement
`This has been a good year for scholarly compilations. A Shakespeare Music Catalogue ... presents every possible connection between the Bard and the barred, and sometimes unbarred, sounds which he has inspired.'
Anthony Burgess, The Observer
`a masterpiece of scholarship.'
Anthony Burgess, New York Times Book Review
`Shakespeare feeds us all and makes some artists unreasonably rich ... This compilation will make nobody rich, but it is a masterpice of scholarship.'
New York Times Book Review
`Undoubtedly definitive ... Beautifully printed and bound, the work is an essential purchase for all academic libraries and reference collections in all libraries serving the performing arets, despite its cost.'
L. Smith, University of Western Ontario, Choice, Mar '92
`nothing approaching the scope and scale of this catalogue has ever been attempted before ... Had the editors and their research team merely cited the titles listed in these volumes, they would have done a great service to scholars, musicians, and members of the theater community. But by providing exemplary annotations to the entries, they have made the basic information usable to those who need to go beyond the citations in search of the material. This is
an important reference work, flawlessly assembled.'
George Louis Mayer, Music, ARBA 92
`A Shakespeare Music Catalogue will enable literary historians and musicologists to gain further perspective on the history of taste, as it reveals which texts have been most popular at any given time over a period of four centuries.'
Cahiers Elisabéthains, Avril 1992, No. 41
'the latest - and by far the most serious - attempt to list and describe music related to the works of William Shakespeare ... SMC is useful in a number of ways ... Gooch and Thatcher, as well as all those concerned with the production of A Shakespeare Music Catalogue, should be commended for its overall plan, its scholarship, its thoroughness, and its accuracy. They have provided an indispensable tool to the study of Shakespeare-related music -
one which is likely to become the benchmark for future studies of this kind. A more comprehensive work on the subject of Shakespearean music is unlikely to be published within our lifetimes.'
Edward Hotaling, University of Central Florida, Notes, December 1923
'an immense source of information ... their work is of the highest standard ... the production work of Oxford University Press is at the best level'
Antony Hammond, U of T Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, Fall '92
'the catalogue should prove useful for a multiplicity of reasons, to musicologists, literary scholars, theatre historians, directors, and anyone concerned with the theatre ... The excellent indexes enable one to find one's way to any particular work with ease ... this mighty catalogue is an impressive achievement, and the authors and publishers are to be congratulated.'
David Greer, Music and Letters, Vol. 74, No. 3, August 1993
'in description and in admiration, it must be said that the five volumes ... are beautifully organized'
M.L.R. Vol. 89, Part 4
Reader's guide to the catalogue of music; Abbreviations; Catalogue of music (plays in alphabetical order)