In 2019, the board of the foundation started preparations for an English translation of Alphons Diepenbrock’s monograph. The intention was that the English version would be published no later than September 2021 as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Diepenbrock’s death. This resulted in an agreement with Toccata Press in London, part of Boydell & Brewer, and with Brent Annable as translator.
The translation was delivered in May 2020 in accordance with the translation agreement, after which Toccata Press could start editing. But a lot more work has been required than we initially thought. Firstly, Diepenbrock may be well-known enough in the Netherlands to publish directly with his name, but outside the Netherlands he is much less known. This relative obscurity requires a presentation as an academic title, with the full arsenal of footnotes, indexes, etc. This is a time-consuming exercise, which the author Leo Samama has carried out diligently. Unfortunately, upgrading to a scientific edition also took many months, so the deadline of September 2021 could not be met. The English version entitled “Alphons Diepenbrock, the life, times and music of a Dutch romantic composer” is expected to become available in the spring of 2022.
The publisher came through contact with Robin Holloway, a composer known and appreciated in the Anglo-Saxon world and a great Diepenbrock enthusiast. Holloway was happy to write an introduction to the book. He is also known as a good writer on music, and having his name associated with the book will be an encouragement for many to buy the book.
Distribution of the English language version is handled by Boydell & Brewer, who have moved to a policy of print-on-demand (POD) publishing. That means the initial required stock is printed as a run and then further copies are printed as the orders come in. Most importantly for the book, it never has to go out of print: instead of printing an edition of X00 copies, storing them until they’re gone and then wondering if a reprint is warranted, the book will be permanently available. And binding technology has advanced to the point where perfectly bound POD titles have spines that are as good as traditional edition books. This development is one of enormous practical benefit to the book trade in general; and authors can rest assured that their books will be available until the next ice age swallows us all.