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Hinrichsen's Musical Yearbook

(London, 1944-1961)

Prepared by Richard Kitson
Online only (2018)

Hinrichsen’s Yearbook: The Music of Our Time [HIN] was published in London by Hinrichsen Edition Limited from 1944 to 1961, under the editorship of Max Hinrichsen (1901-1965). Ralph Hill (1900-1950) was co-editor from 1944 through 1946 for Vols. I and II-III, but left the project to serve as editor of the newly-created Penguin Musical Magazine. Originally planned as an annual publication, the first four volumes of Hinrichsen’s Yearbook are organized as gigantic versions of a single issue of a periodical, consisting of articles, followed by reviews and miscellaneous materials. Each was issued somewhat irregularly: encompassing a single year, volume I, 1944; encompassing two years: volume II-III, 1945-46, volume IV-V , 1947-48; again encompassing single years, volume VI, 1949-50, and volume VII, 1950-51. After a hiatus of four years, the rather spasmodic publication was resumed under a new title, The Music Book, in which each volume is dedicated to the many facets of a single subject. Volume VIII appeared in 1956, volume IX in 1958, and volume X in 1961. For the greatest part the pages are printed in single column format, while indexes and some lists are printed in two-column format, generally in the final pages of the volumes. The number of pages in each issue varies on account of differing content, from about eighty-nine pages in volume VIII, one-hundred-eighty pages in volumes IX and X, three hundred pages in volumes I and XI, four hundred pages in volumes II-III and VI, five hundred pages in volume IV-V and seven hundred pages in volume VII. Advertisements are found at the conclusions of volumes II-III, XI and XIII, or on alternate pages in the final parts of volumes IV-V and VI-VII.

The main editor, Max Hinrichsen, was the eldest son of Henri Hinrichsen (1868-1942), managing director of the well-known C. F. Peters firm of music publishers in Leipzig. Max joined Peters’ enterprise in 1927, but left Germany for London in 1937 owing to the threat of the Nazi regime to German-Jewish citizens. In London Max founded the Hinrichsen Edition, noted for the publication of early English music, the Yearbook and Music Book, and, during wartime, reprints from the C. F. Peters catalogue. The second Hinrichsen son, Walter, left Germany in 1935 for the United States to found a branch of the Peters Edition in New York City.

An important feature of the yearbooks and music books is the extensive use of photographs and photographic reproductions of drawings and paintings of musicians both living and dead, facsimiles of letters and musical manuscripts, photographs and drawings of buildings of musical institutions, musical instruments and paraphernalia related to musical activities. In all there are 433 illustrations in the ten published volumes. In addition there are numerous musical examples illustrating technical aspects of ideas about musical composition.

Considered a unique publication in British musical literature, the single year and two-year volumes are dedicated to living or deceased persons, each of whom contributed enormously to music in Britain: Sir Henry Wood, beloved conductor of approximately 2,700 Promenade Concerts; composer Sir Arnold Bax; Welsh organist Sydney Northcote, music advisor of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust; Edward J. Dent, musicologist and founder of the International Society of Contemporary Music; prolific writer on music, Percy A. Scholes; composer Sir Arthur Bliss; Australian organist Sir William Neil McKie; and musicologist, Dr. Henry George Farmer. Volume III, 1947-48 is dedicated to “the whole world of music.”

Hinrichsen’s Year Book. The Music of Our Time is the title of the 1944 volume, prepared by two editors, Max Hinrichsen and Ralph Hill. Many articles deal with musical life the early years of the Second World War: Ralph Hill writes about orchestras in wartime; Alec Robertson reviews outstanding gramophone records of the years 1942-43; J. A. Westrup lists published musical research from the United States, 1942-43; Harvey Grace deals with choral singing in wartime; Mosco Carner studies the critical condition of opera in the contemporary wartime world and Edwin Evans discusses ballet in wartime Britain. Music reviews from specific locales, London, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Soviet Union, follow. The problems of wartime broadcasting are discussed by William McNaught, while Harold Rutland deals with the overseas services of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The celebrated violist Lionel Tertis explains his ideas on revision and reform of musical Britain after the war. The remainder of the volume is given over to the histories and pertinent information (locations, officers and purposes) of the musical institutions of Britain.

Hinrichsen’s Musical Year Book 1945-46, again prepared by two editors, Max Hinrichsen and Ralph Hill, begins with a discussion of a path to reform in church music provided by R. Silby Lewis. Edwin H. Fellowes reviews the golden age of English Tudor music; Marion M. Scott deals with Haydn’s concerts in England; Jack Werner discusses the reception of Paganini in England; and Edward J. Dent gives a history of English opera. Contemporary matters feature M. C. Glasgow’s history of the Kurt Joos ballet, and Michael Arnton on Diaghilev’s use of contemporary painters as designers for Ballets Russes productions. Reviews of concerts and operas in major centres of the United Kingdom, and regional surveys of overseas cities follow. The rehabilitation of German music and the German music trade in the postwar period is supplied by Walter Hinrichsen. A major section deals with many aspects of broadcasting and the British Broadcasting Corporation and the organization of symphony orchestras in Great Britain. Alec Robertson reviews recordings issued by the major recording industry companies from September 1943 to September 1944; F. W Gaisberg discusses the milestones of recorded music. A number of articles deal with music education in British universities and like institutions. J. A. Westrup continues to report on musical research publications, 1943-44. Copyright, musical performing rights, royalties and phonographic rights also receive much attention.

Hinrichsen’s Musical Yearbook 1947-1948, Volume IV-V, continues the Music of Our Time concept, under one editor, Max Hinrichsen. Music teaching in English schools is an important topic; Wilfred H. Mellers discusses music and the universities; Steuart Wilson deals with music and the Arts Council of Great Britain; C. B. Rees discusses the creation of the wireless Third Programme by the B.B.C., followed by R. J. E. Silvey’s discussion of listening to broadcast music. Efforts to retain the large audiences that attended wartime concerts, municipal music making and a Gallup poll survey of municipally-sponsored concerts and dances receives considerable notice. Ralph Hill reviews outstanding recordings issued between September 1945 and November 1946. The changing circumstances of opera in England, after the war is a contribution by Desmond Shawe-Taylor; opera in the British Zone in Germany is discussed by Ludovick D. Stewart and an extensive survey of opera between the two world wars is given by Alfred Mathis. An entire section of given over to composers and performers including reports on the Bantock Society, The Composer’s Guild, the music of Inglis Gundry and the Fleet Street Choir. The survey of British musical institutions continues with studies of the reformed churches, Methodist music, the Royal School of Church Music. The occasion of the centenary of Chopin’s death featured articles about Chopin in Manchester, the assignments of Chopin’s compositions to publishers and the activities of the Chopin Institute in Warsaw. Important is Christina Thoresby’s article on the activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in music. Music overseas provides articles about postwar conditions in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China, France, Hungary, India, Turkey, Germany and the Middle East. J. A. Westrup continues his investigation of musical research, publications 1945-46. A history of the development of the Galpin Society and the Dolmetsch movement leads to the yearbook’s first major study of a particular instrument, the bassoon. Musical illustration becomes an important part of the journal in these years.

Hinrichsen’s Musical Yearbook 1949-50, Volume VI commences with Max Hinrichsen’s foreword in which attention is drawn to the British Council and the Arts Council of Britain and musicology in Britain, Germany and the United States. Hinrichsen follows with an extensive and detailed article about the musical year 1947-48 in Britain. Charles Louis Seeger explains fallacies concerning music research in the United States of America and the various republics of Latin America. W. S. A. Taylor introduces the concept of music and world federation. The history of music networks of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation continues study of the importance of the wireless medium. H. T. Jamieson reviews the problems of Canadian composers concerning copyright. Desmond Shawe-Taylor reveals the enormous post-war enthusiasm for opera performances and J. C. Hanby gives a history of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, the oldest operatic organization in Britain. Articles about musical activities in Manchester and the West-Riding of Yorkshire deal with music in educational institutions. John Lymester discusses income tax and the musician. J. A. Westrup continues his extensive overviews of music research publications with the 1949-50 period. F. E. Lowenstein recounts George Bernard Shaw’s early professional career as a music critic. Post-war developments in the competition festival movement are provided by C. Armstrong Gibbs. Robert Dalley-Scarlett gives insight into the development of European music in Australia. Music, music education and ethnomusicology in Egypt by H. Hickman features drawings of popular Egyptian instruments. Christina Thoresby provides a comprehensive survey of music in France in the postwar years 1947-48. Bjarni Gudmundsson’s history of music in Iceland describes Icelandic folk music and its importance in original Icelandic composition. A number of articles deal with matters of organs and organ music in Britain, Belgium and France.

In Volume VII (1950-51), the first to be entitled The Music Book, Hinrichsen introduces numbering systems for articles and plates (illustrations). The Preamble, in which he contributes twelve sections of extensive related material to each of the numbered articles that follow: these include J. S. Bach’s interest in the music of his own time, Bach’s own musical instruments; the Wesley family of musicians; Bach scholar, Albert Schweitzer; Hans von Bülow on “The Three Bs” (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms); various groups of musicians; the musical history of Malta among many topics. In The Music Book, Ernst Křenek explores new methods of teaching counterpoint; Humphry Searle discusses the route of musical composition after Schoenberg; Donald Mitchell provides a bibliography of writings in English about the emancipation of dissonance. A comprehensive report on the twenty-five musical festivals of the International society for Contemporary Music and lists of contemporary English and German composers follows. Sam Heppner and Roy Douglas discuss the use of signature tunes in radio programmes. Lindesay G. Langwill gives a short history of town waits in the seventeenth century with illustrations of their insignia; Harold C. Hind provides a history of the British wind band; R. Morley-Pegge studies the origin and evolution of the French horn; Alice Simon introduces Polish instrument constructors. Many articles are enriched with photographs. A re-examination of certain facets of musical history deals with prehistoric instruments in North America and ancient Egyptian. Fresh discoveries about Johann Sebastian Bach, the man, his family, his works and associates contains articles by many of the important scholars of the 1950s: Hermann Keller, Max Hinrichsen, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Hans F. Redlich, Albert Riemenschneider, Kurt Soldan, Frederich Schnapp, Alfred Kreutz, Stanley Goodman, Donald Francis Tovey, Henry George Farmer. Max Hinrichsen contributes several articles about Verdi on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the composer’s death, and includes reproductions of A. Hohenstein’s five sketches of the composer’s last hours, photographs of the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti and Verdi’s tomb in Milan. Percy Aldridge Grainger discusses Grieg’s last composition; Russell Grieg rectifies details of Grieg’s ancestry; selections from the composer’s forty years of correspondence with Max Abraham of Peters Edition are provided. Kenneth R. Long gives detailed analysis of the music of the Bantu tribes of South Africa.

The content of the Eighth Music Book (Volume VIII) is radically changed from earlier volumes, as the main part is given over to articles about the organ and the organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the organs built by Gottfried Silbermann for Bach’s use. William L. Sumner deals with Bach’s organs and the life and family of Gottfried Silbermann, organ builder. Albert Riemenschneider and Hermann Keller give a short history of the basic Grieperkel Urtext edition of Bach’s organ works. Griepenkerl discusses the tempo of Bach’s organ works, maintaining Bach’s works bear in themselves the tempos in which they must be played. F. F. Clough and G. J. Cumming compare the numbers assigned to Bach’s organ compositions in the Peters Edition and Schmieder’s Bach Werke Verzeichnis (BWV). Max Hinrichsen provides an extensive classified organ music guide of organ works (chorale prelude, chorale fantasia and choral fughetta) in print by composers of the 17th through 20th centuries. The volume concludes with forty-three plates of churches, organs, the cembal d’amour (a precursor of the pianoforte), and photographs of organist composers. The final plates which contain compositions by Thomas Tallis, William Croft, Bach, Thomas Sanders Depuis, Highmore Skeats, Robert Groves, Josef Weinberger, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Sigrid Karg-Elert are publications of the Hinrichsen Edition.

The Ninth Music Book deals exclusively with John Gay’s ballad opera The Beggar’s Opera. Beginning with A. P. Hartley’s prologue written for the 1,685th performance at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 5 June 1930. Max Hinrichsen’s Preamble discusses the ballad opera through research by Geoffrey Handley-Taylor and Frank Granville Barker, A. P. Herbert and John Drinkwater, Percy Scholes, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, among the many. Geoffrey Handley-Taylor and Frank Granville Barker’s study of Gay’s masterpiece includes the plot, Gay’s motive in writing the opera and cast lists of major productions. Handley-Taylor provides a detailed bibliography on the ballad opera. Pepusch’s Overture is provided in score. The extensive series of illustrative plates contains portraits of Gay, Pepusch, memorabilia surrounding the first and later performances and caricatures of the leading characters in various situations. Fifty-two airs of The Beggar’s Opera, printed on playing cards giving the air number, the song title and text, the music and the face value of the card are reproduced. Playbills, portraits and paintings show paintings and photographs of famous performers of the characters of the ballad opera in costumes of various periods.

Volume X of The Music Book (1958) is given over to the organ and choral aspects and prospects, and to Henry Purcell. Max Hinrichsen’s Preamble gives a postlude and overview of the first International Organ Congress in London, 1957. Forty-five plates feature twenty-seven photographs of organists and eighteen portraits of Henry Purcell. George Dyson’s “The Place of the Organist in British Musical Life” is an autobiographical sketch. Leo Sowerby discusses church compositions in relation to allied fields in the United States. Wilfred Greenhouse Alt deals with organ composition in the changing styles of the twentieth century. Teaching methods and materials for the organ art studied by Leslie P. Spelman, while Max Heinrichsen investigates music for the student of the organ. William L. Sumner examines the electric organ installed in the Royal Festival Hall in London, with additional comments by Felix Aprahamian and Max Hinrichsen. Thomas Armstrong Investigates the accumulation of musical talent in the Wesley family. Purcell’s organ and organ music is dealt with by Gordon Phillips, while Purcell portraiture is represented by a commentary by Franklin B. Zimmerman on thirty-seven paintings, drawings and engravings identified as the composer, of which eighteen are reproduced in the journal.

Hinrichsen’s Eleventh Music Book (1961) deals almost exclusively with the papers read at the Joint Congress of the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) and the Galpin Society held at the University of Cambridge in 1959. Forty-five papers and the valedictory address of the Vice-Provost of King’s College, Cambridge, are reproduced with 179 plates associated with the papers. Max Hinrichsen’s Preamble deals with the history, officers, current membership and publications of the International Association of Music Libraries, the Galpin Society, and the Joint Organising Committee of the Congress. J. A. Westrup writes about the role of musicologists in the recording and preservation of old music. Roberto Gerhard explains concrete and electronic sound composition. A. Hyatt King discusses the foundation and aims of the International Association of Music Libraries and the role of UNESCO. Vincent Duckles deals with the growth of music research libraries in the Western United States. Music collections in British libraries in Manchester, Liverpool and London are described, as are similar institutions in Germany, Scandinavia, Italy and Scotland. Considerable interest is shown in articles about the preservation and reference services of sound recordings in research libraries and the preservation of recorded sound itself. Collections of musical instruments in Antwerp are discussed by Jeannine Douillez and the history of collections of musical instruments is reviewed by G. Thibault. Cecil Hopkinson reports on a discussion panel about a definition of musical terms in musical bibliography. E. J. Coates reports on another working party of musicians and librarians focused on a methodology of library classification. Papers on musical instruments feature Susi Jeans on water organs, Rita Benton on the earliest reports of pianofortes in the United States and Noel Boston on the barrel organ. Anthony Baines explains the nomenclature of folk instruments; Emanuel Winternitz deals with the survival of the kithara and the evolution of the cittern. Each of the ten volumes concludes with a detailed index.