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Full description for The Rest is Noise

  • The inspiration behind the South Bank Centre's year-long festival of 20th century music, Alex Ross's masterpiece is a sweeping musical history from pre-war Vienna to the Velvet Underground. The landscape of twentieth-century classical music is a wild one: this was a period in which music fragmented into apparently divergent strands, each influenced by its own composers, performers and musical innovations. In this comprehensive tour, Alex Ross, music critic for the 'New Yorker', explores the people and places that shaped musical development: Adams to Zweig, Brahms to Bjork, pre-First World War Vienna to 'Nixon in China'. Winner of the Guardian First Book Award, this unique portrait of an exceptional era weaves together art, politics and cultural history to show how twentieth-century classical music was both a symptom and a source of immense social change.