Friday, December 21, 2007

A Cellist’s Companion: A Comprehensive Catalogue of Cello Literature

More than three hundred years after the violoncello became established as a solo instrument, A Cellist’s Companion: A Comprehensive Catalogue of Cello Literature is the first comprehensive catalogue of the literature for violoncello. The hard-cover edition can be purchased with the order form on this website. A paperback edition is available from Inquiries can be made to

A Cellist’s Companion is the culmination of more than thirty-five years of meticulous compilation of cello repertoire. A catalogue of this scope has never been published. Approximately 45,000 titles written by over 15,000 composers are listed alphabetically by composer, and ordered by opus number, and alpabetically by title. This unique project to compile all music ever written for cello solo – published or unpublished – is intended to be a reference work that will quickly become every cellist’s companion.

The categories of cello repertoire include: cello solo, cello with electronics or tape, cello and piano, cello and orchestra, cello duos and ensembles, duos with other instruments, cello solo and chamber ensemble, two or more solo instruments and orchestra, cello and voice, methods and studies. With the exception of cello ensemble music, chamber music works have been excluded unless the cello has a solo function. Unlike other catalogues which list only published music available at the time of the catalogue’s publication, A Cellist’s Companion: A Comprehensive Catalogue of Cello Literature includes all known works, spanning over 300 years. Published music, out-of-print editions, unpublished manuscripts, titles mentioned only in reference books, self-published works, and works mentioned only in reviews have all been included. The formidable scope of the project, combining seemingly unimportant fragments of information from multiple sources has made it possible to piece together work-lists by famous and unknown composers, as well as cellist-composers such as Romberg, Dotzauer, Davidoff, and Fitzenhagen.

Published editons are the primary source of information. Secondary sources include reference works, such as Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Riemann’s Musik Lexicon, and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, as well as publisher’s catalogues, library catalogues, handbooks, music information services, the back covers of sheet music, announcements, magazine articles, composer’s websites, and concert reviews. Although many titles have been translated into English, whenever possible titles have been left in their original language. Multiple spellings of composer’s names are cross-referenced to the main spelling. Arrangements are cross-referenced to the original composer’s work. Many collections are also cross-referenced to the original work(s). The appendices include a list of publishers, library sigla, a bibliography with a short list of internet sites, and an index of works by instrumentation.

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