Re: An Irish Idyll review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Oct14/Irish_idyll_EMRCD02
Posted by Paul Corfield Godfrey on October 26, 2014, 7:08 pm, in reply to "An Irish Idyll review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Oct14/Irish_idyll_EMRCD02"
On the matter of opus numbers the approach of a good many composers since 1900 seems to be to avoid anything that might smack of producing a "catalogue of works". Even composers that did use opus numbers throughout their careers - Britten and Mathias are two examples that spring immediately to mind - tended to abandon the practice towards the end of their lives. Britten also deliberately excluded opus numbers from works that he clearly regarded as not forming part of his major output, although here he was far from consistent. I myself as a composer have assigned opus numbers to my major works, excluding a number of pieces of lesser importance; but even so the opus number is not necessarily a very reliable guide as to when the work in question was actually written. |
This makes the provision of dates by record companies doubly important, since it really does help to know exactly when in the composer's career a particular work was written. I would not however describe as 'lazy' any record company which failed to provide such information for works that remain in manuscript, when it is often next to impossible to say exactly when the composer 'signed off' on a particular score (if indeed they ever did). I note, for example, that when I reviewed a disc from EM Records last year I was totally unable to ascertain any date for the Bantock arrangements of Farnaby that were included on the disc. However I would nevertheless suggest that the writers of booklet notes (who have after all a little more time on their hands for research) should at least try to give some indication of date where this can be ascertained with any degree of certainty. On the other hand, in days when record companies (not, I hasten to add, EM Records) so often fail to provide the most basic information such as texts and translations, or sometimes indeed notes at all, I am probably hoping for the moon.