From Library Journal This latest effort by Kuhn (Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians, LJ 8/97) offers 1000 alphabetical entries on opera singers, composers, and selected related artists (e.g., conductors, impresarios, and musicologists). Similar to The Oxford Dictionary of Opera (1992) in coverage, it supplements and updates entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992). The entries are highly current, reflecting activities and obituaries up to mid-1999 and including extensive bibliographies and worklists on composers and shorter citations on others. Appendixes include opera character names, terms, chronology, synopses, and descriptions of selected world opera houses. Satisfactory illustrations of singers in costume, composers, and opera house buildings abound, but many photographs of living musicians are outdated. The treatment of operetta and musicals is haphazard, with the inclusion of Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as Oscar Hammerstein but not Jerome Kern or Richard Rodgers. Unfortunately, the welcome inclusion of many lesser-known composers coincides with the omission of soprano Marcella Sembrich and a lack of separate entries for librettists like Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Because of its currency and cost, and because the information is generally helpful and accurate, this book is recommended (with the above reservations) as a complement to The New Grove or as a one-volume reference for libraries not owning The New Grove. -Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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