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January 11, 1996

Performing Arts Book Series Publishes New Volume on Music

Musical visionaries George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Charles Mingus rub shoulders with groundbreaking opera composer Roger Sessions, opera star Mary Garden and Pulitzer Prize-winning film producer Joshua Logan in _Performing Arts--Music,_ the Library of Congress's new volume highlighting the treasures of its rare music collections.

The book's eight essays--lavishly illustrated with photographs, sheet music, film stills and correspondence from the Library's vast music collections--are written by experts in the field. Most of the authors knew their subjects personally. Composer David Raksin, for example, describes his starstruck entry into the Gershwin brothers' inner circle in 1930s Hollywood, where Raksin was a teenaged prodigy arranging Gershwin compositions, which, he writes, "settled in the very marrow of my spirit." The accolade was returned by Gershwin, who called Raksin's rendition of "I Got Rhythm" "marvelous--brilliant!" and introduced him to many of Hollywood's musical royalty.

Ross Care, a contemporary composer, has researched the Library's Music Division collections to analyze Cole Porter's lesser-known Broadway and movie productions, achieving new insights into Porter's creative genius. Opera is represented by conductor Frederik Prausnitz's tale of mounting Roger Sessions's _Montezuma_ in New York, as well as by the recollections of avid photograph collector and opera aficionado, the late Charles Jahant.

Two articles on Joshua Logan--the innovative producer behind South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, and many other musical film classics--are written by Erik Barnouw, the distinguished broadcasting pioneer, who first met Logan at Princeton, and Alice Birney of the Library's Manuscript Division, who presents a view of Logan's career as reflected in the manuscripts, letters, photographs, tapes and posters held by the Library.

Jazz archives at the Library of Congress have been impressively increased in recent years. Patricia Willard, a noted historian and a consultant to the Music Division, has worked with nearly every major jazz artist and shares her experiences here. She describes the personal library of bassist- composer Charles Mingus as well as the Library's collections of artists such as Med Flory, Louie Bellson, Gerald Wilson and Buddy Collette. Finally, the personal papers and audiovisual archives of Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein are among those featured in an article on recent acquisitions, written by Library staff.

From the cover photo of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus looking over a score together, to its detailed index, this 162- page hardcover volume will appeal to lay readers, music fans and researchers alike.

Performing Arts--Music is one of a series of volumes that will highlight the Library of Congress's holdings in film, theater, broadcasting and dance as well as additional aspects of its music collections. It is available for $29 from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, (202) 515-2250 fax. Please cite stock number 030-001-00158-0.

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PR 96-02
1/11/96
ISSN 0731-3527

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