Version History of Opus sorabjianum and Changes
This page chronicles the version history of Opus sorabjianum: The Life and Works of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. Only changes of some importance are listed, as there are always minor details such as typos.
2020-07-31: Release of version 2.00. The decision to move from 1.18 directly to 2.00 results from the extent of the revisions and modifications to both contents and typography (though many are not necessarily visible). This revision owes a considerable debt to the generous contribution of Jakub Eisenbruk (known as “Toccata” on the Sorabji Forum), who sent me a detailed list of typos, factual issues, questions, and suggestions. We have been in frequent contact during the last two months and discussed several points at issue, and this has led to many improvements and clarifications in the book as well as corrections of several minor points on the Sorabji Resource Site, including the creation of three new pages. Since the previous release (version 1.18, 21 October 2019), the book has grown by 4,016 words and 40 footnotes, while the number of pages is now 597 rather than 589. The most substantial changes are listed below.
- Copyright page: Provided a new, expanded notice.
- Preface: Revised section “Internet Edition and Printing Instructions”.
- Chap. 9: Revised and expanded the section about Trois poèmes du
“Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) with a presentation of the differences between the two manuscripts. Moved and expanded elements of contexts of Sorabji’s first Glasgow performance from chapter 10 to 9 and ascertained its date as 1 April 1930 and given as a “Fourth Recital of National Music” rather than organized by the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music.
- Chap. 11: Established possible publication dates for two items published in the Evening News of India; added a note about the Irish violinist, singer, and theosophist Maud MacCarthy (1882-1967) and a possible interest of Sorabji for puppets; provided data on the publisher of the book Art and Thought, to which Sorabji contributed a chapter.
- Chap. 12: Substantially revised the presentation of Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111
pp.) and revised the presentation of Bernard Bromage with the recollections of the English socialist activist, writer, and artist Robert Barltrop (1922-2009), a student at Sir George Monoux College when Bromage was teaching there.
- Chap. 16: Revised and expanded the presentation of Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae”
ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.) with additional quotations.
- Chap. 19: Added a long quotation from a letter to Erik Chisholm about the Messa grande sinfonica (1955-61; 1,001
- Added the “KSS” numbers used on the Sorabji Archive’s website for each work below the “Title” heading.
- New editions are now considered to be typeset unless otherwise mentioned.
- Revised the durations for the works still unperformed in accordance with the Sorabji Archive’s brochure.
- Added several notes in the “Comments” section to report about differences or updates to the data presented in SCC on the basis on new findings. Detailed comments are offered for Concerto [no. 1] pour piano et grand orchestre (1915-16; 177 pp.) and “Il gallo d’oro” da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93
- Discography: Added the recent recordings by Abel Sánchez-Aguilera and Jonathan Powell and provided number of pages and notes for all liner notes.
- Examples: Made minor revisions to eleven musical examples (4.1, 4.4, 6.2, 9.1, 14.2, 15.2, 15.3, 16.6, 21.4, 22.5, and 23) and updated the sound files.
- Made minor modifications to five titles to change the character used to separate title from subtitle (dash instead of colon) or the capitalization of a word or subtitle to offer closer matches to the forms used in SCC. The changes are documented on page Recent Modifications.
- Gave letter number and page to the new edition of Sorabji’s letters to Philip Heseltine for all quotations of excerpts and references.
- Updated the value of money to the latest available data (2019).
- Slightly increased the top margin and added drop folios to the initial pages of chapters; changed all running heads to have both chapter number and years discussed on each page.
- Checked all external Internet links and fixed eleven.
- Deleted the angle brackets surrounding Internet links in both notes and bibliography.
- Replaced “MIDI realizations” and similar expressions by “sound files”.
2019-10-21: Release of version 1.18. Since the previous release (version 1.17, 7 December 2018), the book has grown by 2,667 words and 21 footnotes, while the number of pages is now 589 rather than 583. It is thus one of the most substantial updates in the book’s history as a result of the discovery of a previously unknown piano part for Symphony [no. 1] for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus,
and Organ (1921-22; 300 pp.) and of Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.), long thought to have been lost. As usual, the update contains many minor modifications and improvements in most chapters. More substantial changes are:
- Introd.: Added an explanation about Sorabji’s faulty use of “punta d’organo (costanziata)” and added notes to refer to it in chapters 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, 20, and 21.
- Chaps. 8, 22: Expanded the paragraphs about Sorabji’s reception of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov.
- Chap. 12: Revised the paragraph about the final movement of Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111
- Chap. 18: Revised the entire section about Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.) (moved from chapter 14) and added three paragraphs of analytical presentation (the relevant sound file has been added to the zip file). The discovery of this manuscript also entailed minor modifications in several chapters.
- Catalogue: Added a detailed description of the recently discovered piano part for Symphony [no. 1] for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus,
and Organ (1921-22; 300 pp.) and corrected the entry for Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.); added timings for the nine movements of Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111
pp.) and data for the performance by Abel Sánchez-Aguilera; added publication data for Ramer Davey Lee’s edition of Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.) and that of Symphony no. 0 for Piano Solo (1930-31; 333 pp.) by Abel Sánchez-Aguilera.
- Bibliography: Added citations for publications by Séamas de Barra (article), Fang-Yi Chu (D.M.A. dissertation), Brian Inglis (conference paper and edition of letters, the latter with Barry Smith), and Barry Smith (dissertation).
- Passim: Updated the thirty instances of current value of money to the latest available data (2018).
2018-12-07: Release of version 1.17. Since the previous release (version 1.16, 22 December 2017), the book has grown by 797 words and 5 footnotes, while the number of pages has remained the same at 583. It is thus one of the smallest update in the book’s history in terms of numbers. There are nevertheless important improvements, clarifications, and modifications in some twenty-five places in addition to the inclusion of new titles in the bibliography. Highlights are:
- Introduction: Added precisions about Busoni’s use of the Bösendorfer extended keyboard and a note about the presence of a high D lying outside the keyboard’s range in Skryabin’s Sonata no. 6.
- Chap. 2: Revised the paragraph about Sorabji’s composition teacher, whose name has been established as being Charles Abraham (rather than Arthur) Trew.
- Chap. 7: Expanded a note about Theodore Jenkins, the dedicatee of Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.).
- Chap. 8: Added a note offering other possible birth and death years for Richard Henry (Rex) Brittain, the dedicatee of Prelude, Interlude, and Fugue for Piano (1920, 1922; 17 pp.).
- Chap. 11: Expanded the presentation of the critic Robert Lorenz (1891-1945) and added details about authors represented in the collective volume Art and Thought: Issued in Honour of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, which contains a contribution by Sorabji.
- Bibliography: Added four citations and fixed minor problems in addition to rewriting the citations for the privately printed brochures containing texts by Clinton Gray-Fisk and Frank Holliday.
- Passim: Updated the instances of current value of money to the latest available data (2017).
2017-12-22: Release of version 1.16. Since the previous release (version 1.15, 31 May 2017), the book has grown by 2,087 words and 16 footnotes, and the number of pages from 577 to 583. This represents an increase of more than 24,000 words since the original publication on 14 August 2013. This is a very important update, which results from a reading of the entire book. The revision has led to some 300 substantial modifications for clarifications or addition of new findings. It includes several minor rewordings and corrections of typographical or bibliographical mistakes, and adds many years of birth and death and years of composition as well as several “see chapter x” references. More substantial additions will be found in the following chapters:
- Preface: Completely revised the section on academic writings and cited recent articles by Andrew Mead and Lukas Huisman et al.
- Chapter 7: Revised an entire paragraph to include a reference to Sir Thomas Beecham and provide the date of the Hindemith concert in Edinburgh at which Donald Francis Tovey showed him the score of Sorabji’s published concerto.
- Chapter 8: Added a substantial footnote about names with the rare preposition à, as in the name of Sorabji’s friend Christopher à Becket Williams.
- Chapter 13: Expanded the account of John Tobin’s 1936 concert with comments by Sorabji’s friend and dedicatee Edward Clarke Ashworth and identified three people who wrote to the New English Weekly in support of Sorabji: N. Dudley-Short, Douglas ffrench-Mullen, Cecil ffrench Salkeld. Also expanded on Sorabji’s attitude to the concert and Ernest Newman’s review of it on the basis of their correspondence.
- Catalogue: Used indentation instead of bullets in the case of complex entries to increase clarity and revised the punctuation of entries.
- Bibliography: Added several citations, bringing the total number of publications to 720. Added DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) or stable URLs for all relevant publications for which they could be found, making it possible to reach an article’s page on the publisher’s website, whence it can be downloaded (subscription required).
2017-05-31: Release of version 1.15. Since the previous release (version 1.14, 4 August 2016), the book has grown by 565 words and 3 footnotes, which is much less than any previous update. There are some twenty relatively minor changes such as typos, minute precisions, addition of a missing death year, etc. As usual, the equivalent values in modern currency of the British pound have been updated with the latest available data (2016). More substantial additions will be found in the following chapters:
- Preface: Added a note about my article “Opus sorabjianum: Les joies et les souffrances d’un biographe”, Intersections: Revue canadienne de musique, no. 35/1 (2015): 105-21, which details the history of my project of a biography of Sorabji.
- Chapter 6: Added a citation for Alastair Chisholm’s biographical article on Norman Peterkin in the booklet for the Lyrita recording of his songs. The recording and the booklet, which includes three photographs, are available on Naxos Music Library (subscription required).
- Catalogue: Expanded the list of notable performances of Opus clavicembalisticum.
- Discography: Added a citation for the recording of the Pastiche on the Hindu Merchant’s Song from
“Sadko” by Rimsky-Korsakov (1922; 4 pp.) by Eiji Nishimura.
- Bibliography: Added a few citations.
2016-08-04: Release of version 1.14. Since the previous release (version 1.13, 23 June 2015), the book has grown by 3,293 words and 19 footnotes. The present version contains several changes to, or additions of: birth and death years, bibliographical citations, as well as details of new performances, recordings, and editions. Furthermore, the equivalent values in modern currency of the British pound have been updated with the latest available data (2015). More substantial additions will be found in the following chapters:
- Chap. 1: Added newly discovered information about the singing activities of Sorabji’s mother.
- Chap. 6: Considerably revised the presentation of Sorabji’s contacts with Busoni and of the latter’s attitude to him as revealed in previously censored passages of the Italian composer’s letters to his wife.
- Chap. 7: Added a paragraph about a letter of 29 June 1920 from Sorabji to Busoni, in which he asks him to examine the piano part of Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.).
- Chap. 8: Revised the section on Emily Edroff-Smith with the help of a paper by Judith Barger on the London Organ School and a Musical Times review of 1926.
2015-06-23: Release of version 1.13. Since the previous release (version 1.12, 12 January 2015), the book has grown by 3,135 words and (again) 18 footnotes. The present version contains some 50 changes and additions, among which the following are the most significant:
- Pagination: Pagination in Adobe Acrobat now reflects the presence of preliminary pages with roman numerals. One can type “xxxiii” in the entry box at the top to go to the preliminary page so numbered, and “333” to go directly to go to that arabic-numbered page. There is no longer a need to add an offset corresponding to the number of preliminary pages (44) to reach a text page.
- Chap. 3: Added various bits of information following the publication of John Mitchell’s articles on Sorabji and Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine) in the Peter Warlock Society Newsletter and quoted from an article published in the Musical Standard for 27 February 1915 that appears to have been Sorabji’s first article on music.
- Chap. 13: Added a substantial paragraph about the relationships between Sorabji and Robert Simpson (1921-97) following the publication of Sorabji’s side of the correspondence (the only one extant) and minor updates in several chapters. Also expanded the list of people in attendance at John Tobin’s performance of pars prima of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253
pp.) in 1936 and provided some missing birth and death years.
- Catalogue and Discography: Added data about recent performances and editions and two entries to the discography (Habermann 2015, Ullén 2015).
- Bibliography: Added citations for thirteen publications cited in the notes.
- Passim: Updated the current values of amounts in British pounds and American dollars to 2014 (latest available data), using the Historic Standard of Living method.
2015-01-12: Release of version 1.12. Since the previous release (version 1.11, 14 August 2014), the book has grown by 2,762 words and 18 footnotes. The present version contains some 40 changes and additions, among which the following are the most significant:
- Preface: Added information about a previously untracked dissertation by Henry Samuel Wolf discussing Sorabji’s piano sonatas.
- Chap. 6: Expanded the discussion of Sorabji’s appreciation of Lord Berners and, tangentially, referred to Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s attitude to Sorabji.
- Chaps. 9, 12: Documented the relationships between Sorabji and Constant Lambert and their attitudes to one another.
- Chap. 23: Revised and expanded the section about Villa Tasca: Mezzogiorno siciliano—Evocazione
nostalgica e memoria tanta cara e preziosa del giardino meraviglioso, splendido,
tropicale (1979-80; 47 pp.) and the “Sicilian Muleteer’s Song”; extensively revised the entire paragraph about Mera Sett (author of the earliest known dedication to Sorabji) with new findings.
- Catalogue: Added data about the first performances of the fifth movement of Toccata quarta (1964-67; 149 pp.) and of Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.); deleted the colons after the section headings in the left part of the page (e.g., “Title” instead of “Title:”).
- Bibliography: Added citations for ten new publications cited in the notes.
- Passim: Capitalized the particle in the name of Aldo Solito De Solis and changed all index entries to sort the name under the particle.
2014-08-14: Release of version 1.11 on the occasion of Sorabji’s 122nd anniversary. Since its initial release on 14 August 2013, the book has grown by 7,563 words and 55 footnotes. The present version contains approximately 30 changes and additions, among which the following are the most significant:
- Chap. 4: Quoted a paragraph from a letter to Harold Rutland on how to pronounce Sorabji’s name and added data about the Rondel chinois (1881), an early song by Debussy that shows similarities with Vocalise pour soprano fioriturata (1916; 3
- Chap. 5: Added biographical information and dates for Eric Harding Thiman and Anthony Bernard, with whom Sorabji waged a controversy in 1924.
- Chap. 8: Provided birth and death years (1876-1957) for Richard Henry Brittain.
- Chap. 9: Added information about a piano piece by Norman Peterkin dedicated to Sorabji in 1920.
- Chap. 15: Added information on works by other composers entitled Symphonic Variations and about Erik Chisholm’s two-piano arrangement of St. Bertrand de Comminges: “He was laughing
in the tower” (1941; 16 pp.).
- Chap. 20: Added a reference to a mention of Sorabji in an article by the British author Rebecca West.
- Catalogue: Added publication data for the new edition of Fourth Symphony for Piano Alone (1962-64;
- Passim: Updated various passages to take into account the published letters of Christopher Murray Grieve to Sorabji.
2014-06-04: Release of version 1.10, which is a maintenance update to offer the correct music for example 9.10. The need to fix this problem made it possible to update the current values of all amounts in British pounds to reflect the latest data available (2013) and to quote (in chapter 10) from a newly discovered review of the score of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253
pp.) in The Modern Scot.
2014-06-02: Release of version 1.09, which is a substantial update, with an increase of 867 words. Among the most significant changes and additions are:
- Preface: Added a substantial quotation from the newspaper article “Famous Composer in St. Andrews”.
- Chap. 7: Added a substantial footnote about the engraving firm of Waldheim-Eberle as well as documentation about a review, probably by César Searchinger, of the London performance of Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.).
- Chap. 9: Revised the section about Music for “Faust” (ca. 1930;
0 p.) to take into account the newly determined publication date (1937) for the newspaper article “Famous Composer in St. Andrews”.
- Chap. 11: Added material about Robert Lorenz.
- Chap. 19: Reworked and expanded the section on George Richards and Elisabeth Whitworth Scott.
- Musical Examples: Replaced examples 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 9.9, 9.10, 16.3, 17.2, 18.3, 19.2, and 22.3 with updated versions.
- Catalogue of Works: Added data for the new editions of the Three Pastiches for Piano (1922; 17 pp.), Opusculum for Orchestra (1923; 36 pp.), and the three organ symphonies; updated the page references in the discussions of these works.
- Bibliography: Added citations for six new publications mentioned in the text.
2014-03-31: Release of version 1.08, which fixes various problems in the Catalogue of Works as well as various minor problems elsewhere. It is thus a maintenance release that reflects what version 1.07 should have been.
2014-03-26: Release of version 1.07, which represents the most substantial update since the first publication on 14 August 2013. There are more than eighty changes, some of them quite important, resulting in an increase of 3,729 words and 27 footnotes. Among the most significant changes and additions are:
- Sources and Abbreviations: Updated the current values of all amounts in British pounds to reflect the latest data available (2012).
- Introduction: Expanded the section about the look of Sorabji’s manuscripts; revised the section about Sorabji’s use of notes not available on the standard keyboard; expanded the discussion of the fugue subjects.
- Chap. 3: Added a paragraph about Rosa Newmarch being instrumental in Sorabji’s discovery of Skryabin.
- Chap. 11: Added a paragraph about Sorabji’s use of numbered ideas in Symphony no. 0 for Piano Solo (1930-31; 333 pp.).
- Chap. 14: Added explanations resulting from correcting the title of var. 27 of the Symphonic Variations for Piano (1935-37; 484 pp.) from “The Garden of Irān” to “The Garden of Iram”.
- Chap. 19: Revised the analysis of the Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144
pp.) to take into account the discovery of a soggetto cavato referring to the dedicatee, George Richards.
- Chap. 20: Expanded the section about Sorabji’s attitude to Mahler; added several lines about his appreciation of Medtner and his contribution to the collective book edited by Richard Holt; substantially revised the analysis of Toccata quarta (1964-67; 149 pp.).
- Catalogue of Works: Added data about a recent first performance (Etude no. 69 by Florian Steininger) and three new editions (two by Jonathan Powell, one by Alberto Vignani); added the recently discovered date for the first performance of the incomplete song Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.), given as part of Kent R. Conrad’s doctoral recital (2011).
- Bibliography: Added several citations.
- Passim: Added or revised birth and death years for George Bethell Datch, Terence White Gervais, Theodore Jenkins, Harold Vincent Marrot, and Harry Winstanley.
2013-12-18: Release of version 1.06, updating the Catalogue of Works with data about the first performances of no. 38 of Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44;
456 pp.) and Sixth Symphony for Piano (Symphonia
claviensis) (1975-76; 270 pp.) as well as about the new edition of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81
pp.). New data has been added about the London Organ School (chapter 2) and W. E. Ottaway (chapter 17), and the section about Emily Edroff-Smith (chapter 8) has been extensively revised on the basis of the documentation assembled by the Sophie Drinker Institut.
2013-10-15: Release of version 1.05, incorporating a few minor changes.
2013-10-04: Release of version 1.01 of the sound files.
2013-10-03: Release of version 1.04, incorporating corrections offered by Kenneth Derus and Douglas Taylor. The latter brought to my attention a hitherto unknown contribution about “Hindoo Music” by Sorabji to Ralph Dunstan’s Cyclopædic Dictionary of Music (see chapter 11). The file now loads with the bookmarks panel displayed on the left side, with top-level bookmarks expanded. Two new pages have been added to the “Opus sorabjianum” menu entry of the Sorabji Resource Site:
2013-09-10: Release of version 1.03, incorporating corrections kindly suggested by Marc-André Hamelin, Poom Pipatjarasgit, and Douglas Taylor.
2013-08-29: Release of version 1.02, which benefits from corrections kindly suggested by Kenneth Derus, Donald Manildi, and André Papillon.
2013-08-14: Release of version 1.01 to delete a stray marker at the beginning of line 2 of p. 185.
2013-08-14: Publication of version 1.00 of Opus sorabjianum: The Life and Works of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji on the occasion of Sorabji’s 121st anniversary and announcement on the Sorabji Forum.