John Yaffé and David Daniels’ cooperative installment in The Scarecrow Press’ Music Finders series assists orchestras, opera companies, conductors, and orchestral librarians in locating specific editions of vocal-orchestral excerpts from operas and musicals for programming purposes. It includes more than 1,750 vocal-orchestral excerpts from more than 450 operas, operettas, musicals, and oratorios written in the western hemisphere from the Baroque through the Modern eras. The editors indicate that the criteria for inclusion in this source was based on the most commonly-performed excerpts from operas and musicals.
The main body of the work is an integrated listing of arias, ensembles, and choruses, organized alphabetically by composer’s last name. Each entry includes basic historical details about the entire work, titles of the excerpts, subtitles, voice types, keys, durations, page numbers of location within the full score and piano-vocal score, score publisher information, and instrumentation. There are four appendixes. The first and second organize the excerpts by ensemble type, while the third lists major works by language, and the fourth provides contact information for all publishers cited in the main body. It is indexed by title, and the front matter provides basic guidelines for programming a performance of operatic excerpts.
Entries include a listing of any publishers that provide the orchestral material for the specific excerpt alone, allowing conductors and companies to purchase the materials to program an excerpt from a parent work without the expense of purchasing the work as a whole.
Abraham Myler, research assistant, and Hannah Christensen