Books to look out for in February 2024

It’s that time of month again – welcome to our February releases! Continue reading to discover just a few of our new publications. From Medieval Arms and Armour to Migrants and Masculinity in High Rise Nairobi…we have a diverse selection for you. Also, don’t forget to claim your 35% off discount (displayed at the end of this blog post).

Edited by Ralph Moffat

Medieval arms and armour are intrinsically fascinating. From the smoke and noise of the armourer’s forge to the bloody violence of the battlefield or the silken panoply of the tournament, weapons and armour – and those who made and bore them – are woven into the fabric of medieval society. This sourcebook will aid anyone who seeks to develop a deeper understanding by introducing and presenting the primary sources in which these artefacts are first mentioned. This book will therefore be of interest to a wide audience, from the living history practitioner, crafter, and martial artist, to students of literature, military history, art, and material culture.

Book jacket image: Medieval Arms and Armour: A Sourcebook. Volume II: 1400–1450

The Creation of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies

by Barry A.R. Cooper

Beethoven’s nine symphonies are a cornerstone of Western classical music and have revolutionised it. Composers succeeding Beethoven found their output measured against this master’s work. But how did his symphonies come into being and how did they reach their final form? These are the questions this book seeks to answer. Barry Cooper has been one of the leading advocates of the need for extensive studies of Beethoven’s sketches, and we see him here applying his usual investigative rigour to the study of the symphonies.

Book jacket image: The Creation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies

Rehearsing and Performing its 1824 Premiere
by Theodore Albrecht

The Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven with its final choral movement is one of the iconic works of Western classical music. And yet, the story never fully told concerns the months leading to the symphony’s world premiere in Vienna on 7 May and repeat performance on 23 May 1824. In his new book, Theodore Albrecht brings to life the day-to-day details that it took to stage that premiere. It’s a story of negotiating for performance halls and performers’ payments, of hand-copying legible scores and individual parts for over 120 performers, of finding financiers, as well as space and time for rehearsals. Importantly, it is also a story of the relationship between Beethoven and the musicians who performed this symphonic masterpiece. In fact, as the maddening rehearsal schedule towards the symphony’s premiere shows, it transpires that many passages of the Ninth have been tailored to specific orchestral players.

Book jacket image: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

by Naomi J. Barker

The volume discusses the hospital’s foundation, architecture and links with the papacy. It also reflects on the then acceptable “ways of knowing” informed by religious concerns and medical traditions. The tripartite relationship between religion, medicine and music within the institution was complex. At times they existed side-by-side, at others they intersected. Drawing on extensive archival research such as financial records, decrees, records of apostolic visits and inventories as well as surviving musical sources (printed and manuscript), the book makes connections between intellectual beliefs about music and actual musical practices. It explores the early use of music as therapy and investigates the musical ideals and practices of the monastic regime which ran the hospital.

Book jacket image: Music, Medicine and Religion at the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Rome

The Pressure of being a Man in an African City by Mario Schmidt

Pipeline is a low-income, high-rise-tenement settlement in Nairobi’s marginalized East and one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most densely populated estates. An aspirational place where fleeting forms of capitalist consumption reassure migrants of an upward trajectory, it is also a place where their ambitions of long-term economic success and stable romantic relationships are routinely thwarted. This book explores how men who migrate to Nairobi from Western Kenya navigate this tension that is generated by the contrast between their view of Pipeline as a launching pad for their personal and professional careers and the fact that they face constant economic, romantic, and personal backlashes.

Book jacket image: Migrants and Masculinity in High-Rise Nairobi

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