Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1: Music

Posted in marketplace (goods & services), reviews by Editor on December 5, 2011

Wondering what to get the dix-huitièmiste in your life for the holidays? This year at Enfilade, we’re here to help with our first (annual?) gift guide. Before the week is over, we’ll cover food, drink, travel, and some lovely finds from museum gift shops. From the accessible to the purely aspirational, you’ll at least get a wide variety of ideas. And the postings provide a fine chance to consider some of the things the past year has brought to the marketplace. Michael Yonan brilliantly kicks off the series with his top music picks. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments sections, and enjoy! -CH

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By Michael Yonan

The classical music recording industry, we are told, is dying, but you’d never know that when looking at new releases of eighteenth-century music. There were so many new recordings issued this year that even an avid music lover couldn’t possibly keep up with them. In the realm of opera alone, 2011 saw new releases of Handel’s Agrippina, Ariodante, and Alessandro Severo; Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa, Il Farnace, and Teuzzone; Telemann’s Germanicus, and even José de Nebra’s Spanish-language Iphigenia en Tracia, first performed in Madrid in 1747.  These appeared alongside literally dozens of new instrumental music recordings. The following is, therefore, a highly personal list that reflects my fancies and predilections, but all are also critically acclaimed recordings and easy to acquire.

1. François-André-Danican Philidor, Sancho Pança (Naxos) This is an opéra comique first performed at Fontainebleau in 1762, realized by Opera Lafayette, a period-instruments group based in Washington, D.C. The story is based on Cervantes’s novel, but only loosely: here Sancho Panza is the governor of an imaginary island and suffers from delusions of grandeur not unlike those of his onetime master.

2. Gluck, Ezio (Virgin Classics) The 1750 version of Gluck’s opera, first performed in Prague in 1750. An international cast and liner notes by ASECS regular Bruce Alan Brown!

3. Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantatas BWV 82, “Ich habe genug,” and BWV 169, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben,” Andreas Scholl, countertenor, and the
Kammerorchester Basel (Decca)
Could this be the most
beautiful countertenor voice in the world? I think so.

4. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Sei concerti per il cembalo concertato, Wq43 (Harmonia Mundi) With Andreas Staier, harpsichord, and Petra Müllejans conducting the superb Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

5. Handel, Amor Oriental: Händel alla Turca (Dhm) For something completely different, an interesting attempt to program works by Handel with performances by a traditional Turkish sufti singer.

6. Handel, Streams of Pleasure, Karina Gauvin and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, with Il Complesso Barocco conducted by Alan Curtis (Naïve Classique) My top recommendation. Two extremely gifted French Canadian singers
with beautiful voices—Gauvin is a coloratura soprano, Lemieux a
true contralto—performing arias and duets from Handel’s English-
language oratorios.

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Michael Yonan is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His book, Empress Maria Theresa and the Politics of Habsburg Imperial Art, appeared earlier this year from Penn State University Press (and would itself make for a lovely gift!).

Call for Papers: Curatorial Practices and Meaning

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 5, 2011

Cultures of Curating: Curatorial Practices and the Production of Meaning c. 1650-2000
University of Lincoln, 12-13 July 2012

Proposals due by 1 February 2012

The 2012 conference of the Museums and Galleries History Group

While museum history now acknowledges the constructed nature of the museum narrative, and maintains that museum work such as cataloguing, conserving and displaying is not neutral, but actually produces meaning, relatively little work has examined the ways in which curatorial practices have developed, and the specific consequences for museums. Display has attracted most of the work that has been done, but ‘behind the scenes’ activities have not been investigated in such depth. We seek submissions which investigate any aspect of the developing work of the curator, from creating an acquisitions policy, to labelling and documentation, to publicity work, as we wish to explore curating as both craft and profession. We also invite contributors to consider how curatorial practices constituted the museum object, and attempted to produce or suppress certain meanings for museum objects; and how such practices formed particular relationships between curators and other museum figures such as donors and visitors. We are interested in submissions which consider a wide variety of periods and places, and all types of curating, from fine art to science.

Keynote speaker: Dr Sam Alberti (Director, Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons)

We invite papers on themes such as:
• How curators were trained, and how they understood their role
• Cataloguing and museum documentation
• Acquisition – the role of the curator
• Conservation and storage
• Display and interpretation
• How and why curatorial practices changed
• The role of place and space in shaping curatorial practices
• Curatorial practices, disciplines and discourses of knowledge
• Curatorial practices and relationships with the wider public

We also invite session proposals. Session proposals should include a brief outline of the session (250 words) as well as three abstracts (300 words max. each) for the proposed session. For session proposals, please indicate who will chair the session. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to chair@mghg.org or Kate Hill (khill@lincoln.ac.uk).

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