At 11:32 AM 2/18/2004 -0500, David Lewis wrote:
>Hi all, I am new to reading discographies and was wondering if there are
>certain discographical "standards" for notation and structure of an
>entry.  For example a title  entry such as:
>LA TRAVIATA (Giuseppe Verdi / Francesco M. Piave), II/ 5: Duetto (Germont)
>"Pura siccome un angelo" <1>
>I can figure a few things out "La Traviata" is the title, Verdi wrote the
>music, Piave wrote the (words?) what does II/5 mean and the rest? what
>does <1> mean?
>"Generally accepted" standards do not exist yet for discography. Many may
>disagree with this statement, but the wide variety of approaches to
>discographical data seen everywhere bears this out. Most discographers
>prefer to have the method fit the means depending on what they are working
>with. For now, that is probably still neccessary to some degree, due to
>the variant types of information that individual reserachers have access to
>given the project under consideration.

The cited entry is for a defined item in the score - Act II, number 5
(hence, II/5) - but not for a particular recording. It would be likely that
a discography would have a number of specific recordings, naming artists,
dates, accompaniment, release numbers, matrix numbers and so on.

However, David's point is well taken. The opera was composed in three acts,
but many scores split it into four. (There are worse instances. Verdi's
"Don Carlos" was composed in French in five acts but is published in
markedly different French and Italian versions in three and four acts.
Numbers may be omitted or moved from one act to another. The best known
opera of Gluck was originally composed in Italian for castrato. The
composer rewrote it in French for tenor. That version was then translated
back to Italian for Vienna with the prime role modified for mezzo soprano.
That version was later translated back to French. There are also operas
with alternate arias, in some cases written by composers other than the one
whose name appears on the score.

A discographer must define his way through that morass. The notation he
chooses for it will be his own just as he must select the edition(s) used
and define how to deal with abridged and extended selections. (For example,
in the 'Traviata' citation, the preceding recitative and following duet may
be included as part of a single item.)

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