- Música basada en la vida y obra de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Catálogo anotado con discografía, filmografía e información sobre material audiovisualby Roger Tinnell
Sancho Panza, after several moments of considerable personal distress, expressed his relief (on hearing some agreeable tunes) in a comment he made to the Duchess to the effect that “Donde hay música, no puede haber cosa mala.” ( Don Quijote2.34:920). 1By following his wise statement, I can assure the prospective reader of Roger Tinnell’s impressive volume that here there is, indeed, very much music and so there cannot be anything bad.
The book opens with a two-page Presentaciónauthored by Begoña Lolo, herself a respected author of numerous studies on musical settings of Cervantes. Tinnell’s own eleven-page Prólogofollows, in which he explains in detail his method of compilation, the kinds of musical versions he encountered, and his expression of gratitude to those who assisted him. After three pages of keys to the abbreviations used, the Catálogo anotadobegins in earnest, occupying pages 1-206 and alphabetically listing well over 1,500 individual items of all kinds—classical (symphonic, operatic), popular (musical drama, rock-and-roll), etc. The fullest possible entry offers seven elements: Name of composer; Title of composition; Date of composition; Premiere (date and place); Recordings; Score (publisher and date); and Notes (with supplemental information). There follow two Anexos, the first (comprising pages 207-13) catalogues sixty miscellaneous works, many of them (33 by my count) based on H. W. Longfellow’s The Spanish Student; the second Anexo(comprising pages 215-18) lists 21 corrections and additions to the main Catálogo anotado, thereby furnishing ten additional entries that surfaced only after compilation of the main catalogue was complete. Four pages list the [End Page 181]Cervantine holdings in the Filmoteca Española(219-22). An extensive list of Obras consultadasfills pages 223-35, including articles, books, and websites, containing an impressive 201 sources in all. The final 75 pages of the book contain an amazingly useful and helpful series of six indexes (237-311). The first of these lists Composers, Authors, etc. (237-64); the second lists Theater Directors (265-66); the third lists Directors and Script Writers from Film and Television (267-70); the fourth catalogues Choreographers (271-72); the fifth furnishes an alphabetical list of Titles (273-301); the sixth—and last—alphabetically lists Musical Forms used in the various entries. Clearly, Tinnell has designed his work to be useful above all.
The book is attractively designed and printed, bound in hardcover to ensure durability, while the typeface and consistent double-column format make for comfortable reading. Tinnell and the Cuesta press both deserve our collective praise for an admirable and impressive job. Without wishing to undercut or foreshorten the applause, however, my duty as reviewer obligates me to remark that this work amounts to pioneering research covering more than four centuries and involving numerous languages and cultures: Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. As such, there must necessarily be shortcomings, since all pioneers, no matter how capable and persistent, inevitably and understandably overlook things. Tinnell himself recognizes this reality when he ends his prologue with the following request: “Y les pido a todos los lectores su ayuda en la tarea de ampliar y corregir el catálogo.” (xvi).
The only really serious defect that I noticed is Tinnell’s omission of a reference in his list of Obras consultadas(on page 225b) to the pioneering ten-page article by Charles Haywood, “Musical Settings to Cervantes Texts.” 2Haywood lists a total of only ninety-three works versus the more than a thousand and a half in Tinnell. But twenty-three (or one-fourth) of Haywood’s listings either do not...