An Edited Collection of the Theatre Music of John Abraham Fisher: The Druids and Witches Scenes From Macbeth

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John Abraham Fisher (1744-1806) was one of the most important English musicians and composers of his generation. The range of his compositional activities demonstrates the diversity of his interests. In addition to playing in theatres, he performed his own works at the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall and Marylebone, and also composed cantatas, anthems, an oratorio, symphonies, and chamber music. The present volume gives evidence of his contributions to the musical life of not only the Covent Garden theatre, but British musical life in general.


"Paul Rice traces the provenance of the manuscript [Music for the Opening of 'Macbeth'], which possibly represents a performance at Covent Garden on 10 April 1780. . . . Because of the inclusion of the chorus and the full instrumental score, the new edition of this work is of particular interest and serves as a useful guide for amplifying the reduced format of some of Fisher's other works. Paul Rice has presented a well-edited, very clear score in which he has corrected errors and inconsistencies (with appropriate mention in the critical commentary).He also includes the important stage directions preserved on the original manuscript. These are of considerable interest for the information they provide about coordination of movement and scenery with the music. Fisher's stage music holds considerable historical interest for its contribution to the repertoire of one of London's most important theatres. Since none of his theatre music exists in modern editions, the present edition offers scholars an opportunity to assess the composer's contribution to the genre and to trace the development of English music in the last quarter of the 18th century. It also offers attractive, well-crafted vocal and instrumental music that is worthy of being revived today on the concert stage." - Mary Cyr

"This compact, hardbound volume consists in a useful, if brief, introduction ... is clear readable, and presents new research." -- Wendy Hancock

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