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Additional resources for Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: Aalt-Cone
And yet the program of its very first performance carried an intrusive "A," and many symphony programs repeated the error. ******* My medulla oblongata, or whatever part of the brain controls lexicographical reflexes, overflows with gratitude to many unselfish people who have helped me in putting together the 1958 edition of Baker's, its two supplements, of 1965 and 1971, and, most importantly, the present swollen edition. First to be thanked are the multitudinous registrars, clerks and keepers of city or state archives all over the habitable world who have provided me with copies of birth and death certificates that have made it possible to establish correct chronology in the lives of thousands of musicians represented in Baker's.
In some instances, a musician changes the form of his name in the middle of his career. In the earlier editions of this dictionary the main entry on Edmund Rubbra appeared under Duncan-Rubbra; Duncan was the name of his first wife, which he adopted in some of his works; later he reverted to the legal name Rubbra, which is therefore used in the present edition of Baker's. Philip Heseltine published most of his music under the witching surname Peter Warlock, but Heseltine would seem preferable for a biographical dictionary.
One thing appears certain: great musicians die young; consider Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Scriabin. It is a fascinating speculation to project Mozart's life from 1756 into 1840, and Schubert's life to an even later date! One may indulge in a revery that very great musicians are summoned to Heaven because they would be more at home there. Statistically speaking, organists live the longest lives, perhaps hecause their sedentary occupation keeps them from wasting their energy on idle pastimes.