The following titles will shortly become available from Toccata Press…
Hans Gál: Music behind Barbed Wire
A Diary of Summer 1940
Translated by Eva Fox-Gál and Anthony Fox
English edition edited by Martin Anderson
Foreword by Sir Alan Peacock
Music and Society (non-ISSN series)
Extent: 190 pages
Size: 16 x 24 cm
Published: March 2014
Composition: Royal octavo ~ Editorial Introduction ~ Eva Fox-Gál: ‘Hans Gál: A Biographical Introduction’ ~ Richard Dove: ‘”Most Regrettable and Deplorable Things have Happened”: Britain’s Internment of Enemy Aliens in 1940’ ~ Hans Gál: Music behind Barbed Wire ~ Eva Fox-Gál: ‘Gál in Britain’ ~ Appendices – One: Personalia; Two: CD Programme; Three: Martin Anderson: Hans Gál in Conversation; Four: The Hans Gál Society; Five: The Contributors ~ Bibliography ~ Index of Gál’s Works ~ General Index
Illustrations: c. 50
The Austrian composer Hans Gál (1890–1987) was one of many Jewish refugees who fled to Britain from Hitler’s Third Reich only to find themselves interned in prison camps in Britain as ‘enemy aliens’ – the result of Churchill’s panic decision to ‘collar the lot’. Gál thus spent five months over the summer of 1940 in internment camps – first in Donaldson’s Hospital in Edinburgh, then at Huyton, near Liverpool, and finally in the Central Promenade Camp on the Isle of Man. Many of Gál’s fellow internees went on, like Gál himself, to become shaping forces in the intellectual life of Britain – but in captivity this colourful parade of characters had to put up with bureaucratic inertia and the indifference of their captors to their undeserved fate.
The diary Gál kept during his captivity vividly describes the difficulties the internees had to overcome to live as normal a life as possible. Gál’s contribution, of course, was music, and the CD with this book presents recordings of the Huyton Suite he wrote for two violins and flute (the only instruments available to him), songs from the satirical review What a Life! composed on the Isle of Man and the piano suite he drew from it. Introductory chapters by Gál’s daughter and by Richard Dove present a biographical survey of Gál’s life and career and an examination of British internment policy; the Foreword is by the distinguished economist Sir Alan Peacock, who studied composition with Gál. Together they throw light on one of the more shameful British responses to the threat of Nazi invasion.
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The Life and Music of a Norwegian Composer
Arvid O. Vollsnes
Composer Studies (non-ISSN series)
Extent: 368 pages
Size: 16.4 x 24.1 cm
Published: March 2014
Composition: Royal octavo ~ Illustrations ~ LoW ~ Irgens-Jensen as Poet ~ Bibliography ~ Discography ~ Index of Irgens-Jensen's Music ~ General Index ~ Sampler CD of Irgens-Jensen’s Music
The Norwegian composer Ludvig Irgens-Jensen (1894-1969) was one of the towering creative figures of his native land, although his dignified and powerful music does not receive the attention its quality deserves, either at home or abroad. The success of his dramatic symphony Heimferd (‘Homecoming’) in 1930 brought him national fame, but the post-War triumph of modernism, coupled with his personal modesty, pushed Irgens-Jensen's tonal music into the shadows: its contrapuntally based textures and its modally tinged harmonies were seen as things of the past. But a growing number of recordings is reminding listeners that he was one of the most distinguished and distinctive voices in twentieth-century music – a figure of international importance, writing music of striking nobility and strength of purpose with some meltingly lovely melodic lines.
Arvid O. Vollsnes' Ludvig Irgens-Jensen: The Life and Music of a Norwegian Composer is the first discussion in English of this profoundly decent man and his life-enhancing music. A review of the original Norwegian publication of this book in Aftenposten, the main Norwegian daily paper, described it as ‘a gripping biographical portrait. As well as Irgens-Jensen's life we get a broad picture of Norwegian musical life from the 1920s to his death in 1969’.
A CD of extracts from Irgens-Jensen's works has been prepared to accompany the English edition to provide readers with an introduction to his highly individual and immediately appealing sound-world.
Truth and Music
The Complete Writings from Music & Musicians, 1957-85
Edited by Mark Doran
Musicians on Music No. 11 (ISSN 0264-6889)
Extent: 300 pages
Size: 16.4 x 24.1 cm
Composition: Royal octavo
Hans Keller – born in Vienna in 1919 and a Jewish refugee from Nazism – became the most influential writer on music in Britain after George Bernard Shaw. His writings were always concerned with a search for the truth – ‘the truth about music, and the truth in music’, as he put it – and tackled the deepest musical questions head-on: why a piece of music had the effect it did; why a musician performed as he or she did; why the development of composition proceeded as it did. These issues and more were explored in a forty-year flood of writings, lectures and broadcasts.
Between 1957 and his death in 1985, Keller contributed almost sixty articles to the magazine Music and Musicians, and this book presents them all, edited and annotated by Mark Doran, from early pieces on composers he valued – Britten, Elgar, Schoenberg, Stravinsky – to ‘The Keller Column’, focussed on the vital questions of music education, and containing the last article he lived to write. At the heart of the book is the 31-part series ‘Truth and Music’, which contains the fullest and most detailed exposition Keller ever provided of his unique, music-centred aesthetics.
Hans Keller's capacity to stimulate, provoke, enlighten and inspire has never been more clearly demonstrated than in this engaging collection. Approachable in tone yet uncompromising in content, this book will cement his reputation as one of the essential musical thinkers in the English language.