In Strong on Music Vera Brodsky Lawrence uses the diaries of lawyer and music lover George Templeton Strong as a jumping-off point from which to explore every aspect of New York City's musical life in the mid-nineteenth century. This third and final volume ranges across opera, orchestral and chamber music, blackface minstrels, military bands, church choirs, and even concert saloons.
Among the many striking scenes vividly portrayed in Repercussions are the rapturous reception of Verdi's Ballo in maschera in 1861; the impact of the Civil War on New York's music scene, from theaters closing as their musicians enlisted to the performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at every possible occasion; and open-air concerts in the developing Central Park. Throughout, Lawrence mines a treasure trove of primary source materials including daily newspapers, memoirs, city directories, and architectural drawings.
Indispensable for scholars, Repercussions will also fascinate music fans with its witty writing and detailed descriptions of the cultural life of America's first metropolis.
Formerly a concert pianist, Vera Brodsky Lawrence spent the last third of her life as a historian of American music (she died in 1996). She was editor of The Piano Works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and The Complete Works of Scott Joplin.
On Volume 1: "A marvelous book. There is nothing like it in the literature of American music."—Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times Book Review
On Volume 2: "A monumental achievement."—Victor Fell Yellin, Opera Quarterly