JewRy in Music: entRy to the PRofession fRoM the enlightenMent to RichaRd wagneR David Conway. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 356 pp. David Conway offers a much needed historical account of the unexpected emergence of men and women of Jewish extraction who, independent of church and court, had careers as composers, performers, patrons, publishers, or impresarios in late-eighteenth- to mid-nineteenth-century musical Europe. His book stands as a complement to two other recent books: James Loeffler's engaging 2010 study of Jewish musicians in Russia, and Ruth HaCohen's penetrating 2011 study, which covers some of the same material as Conway's, such as Lord Byron's Hebrew Melodies set by Isaac Nathan, but in a more essayistic fashion. Together these three books stand as a corrective to other recent studies that by virtue of either their polemics or their interpretive shortcomings are unable to draw together methods of Judaic studies and musicology effectively. With three quarters of its text organized as a country-by-country exploration, covering the Netherlands, England, Austria, Germany, and France, with a brief excursion to Italy, there is the sense that one is embarking on a journey akin to the grand tour. Though discrete points of interest do crop up--did
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Dec 29, 2013
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