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Notes 59.2 (2002) 330-331

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Orlando di Lasso: Seine Werke in zeitgenössischen Drucken, 1555-1687. By Horst Leuchtmann and Bernhold Schmid. (Orlando di Lasso. Sämtliche Werke. Supplement.) Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2001. [3 vols. ISBN 3-7618-1538-7. DM 398.]

This new catalog will be an essential resource for anyone interested in exploring Lasso's prodigious musical output. Compiled by Horst Leuchtmann and Bernhold Schmid, scholars whose excellent work is familiar to anyone who has read the Lasso literature, this three-volume set appears as a supplement to the important edition of Lasso's collected works issued by Bärenreiter during the past several decades. But the new inventory is not merely an index of this important project. In addition to offering a general alphabetical register of all of Lasso's compositions (along with where to find modern editions of them), it also includes an ambitious chronological inventory detailing the sequence and context in which his works appeared in publications of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as a number of other important bibliographical resources. Systematically organized to lead the user from individual works to printed sources and then to relevant secondary literature, this three-volume set will long remain an important research tool for Lasso scholars, exceeding all others in scope and thoroughness. The worklist in the second edition of New Grove (The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed. [New York: Grove, 2001], 14:306-20) with its convenient organization according to genre, will naturally be an important point of entry for those interested in Lasso's music, but Leuchtmann's and Schmid's inventory will long remain the primary authority for those who want to know such details as when a piece first appeared, how it circulated, and where to find out more about it. The catalog eclipses Wolfgang Boetticher's sometimes erroneous Lasso worklist, which appeared as a second volume to his recently reprinted 1958 study of the composer's life and works (Orlando di Lasso und seine Zeit, 1532-1594 [Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1958; reprint Wilhelmshaven: F. Noetzel, 1998-99], "Quellenkataloge zur Musikgeschichte," pp. 27-28). The new inventory also supercedes the worklist and updates the bibliography found in James Erb's Orlando di Lasso: A Guide to Research (New York: Garland, 1990), which is nevertheless a very useful tool for those interested in exploring the literature on Lasso. The Leuchtmann and Schmid listing of modern editions and secondary literature conveniently gathers together references to the many important publications of and about Lasso's music that have appeared during the last fifteen years but were not included in Erb's handbook.

Users in a hurry to find a reliable modern edition of a particular composition will want to turn to the "Gesamtregister" (3: 37-247) where all of Lasso's pieces appear in alphabetical order by incipit, along with references to the appropriate volumes of the "old" Sämtliche Werke, edited by Franz Xavier Haberl and Adolf Sandberger (Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1894-1926) and the "new series" of the Sämtliche Werke (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1956-96). The register also offers cross references to musical subsections of multipart Latin works, listings of contrafactum texts, and number of polyphonic voices, all of which are very helpful in sorting out related works or parts of compositions. But before running off to the library stacks, readers cannot help but notice how often most of Lasso's pieces were reprinted during his lifetime, and afterwards, too, for the editors also provide (impressively) a complete chronological listing of sixteenth- and seventeenth- century printed sources for each composition. Between reprints and first editions, the list frequently runs to a dozen or more entries for a single composition.

For those curious to know more about the story of Lasso's music in print, the first two volumes of the catalog provide both ample documentation and material for further research. The set opens with a pair of perceptive essays (1: 11-28) reminding us that study of Lasso's works can never stray far from...


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