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The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

Hardback

By (author) Alex Ross

List price $39.17

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Format
Paperback $21.73
  • Publisher: FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • Format: Hardback | 624 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 52mm | 998g
  • Publication date: 3 March 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 184115475X
  • ISBN 13: 9781841154756
  • Sales rank: 70,402

Product description

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.

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Author information

ALEX ROSS has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for the New York Times. His first book, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, published in 2007, was awarded The Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson prizes. In 2008 he became a MacArthur Fellow. A native of Washington, DC, he now lives in Manhattan.

Review quote

'Alex Ross's incredibly nourishing book will rekindle anyone's fire for music.' Bjork 'One of the best living writers about rock .' Steven Poole, Guardian 'Picks for 2008' 'A superb and inclusive account by a champion of modern music.' Sunday Times 'Puts the history back into music and the music back into history. Alex Ross's brave avoidance of musical notation and brilliant use of metaphorical and descriptive language, means that The Rest is Noise grapples with the actual stuff of music as few other books have done. And if you want to hear the sounds themselves, you can always go to his website at www.therestisnoise.com and listen.' TLS 'Print is silent. Which is why the task of writing about music is so difficult. I should therefore probably explain that the noise you now ought to be hearing is the sound of my hands as they stop typing and start applauding this vital, engaging, happily polyphonic book.' Peter Conrad, Observer 'This is a long book and a slow read: slow not because it is especially difficult, but because it is full of material you really need to savour. It is the superb selection of image and anecdote that makes this book work so well. Best of all are the moments when Ross really strikes you dumb with wonder, moments when the author's passion for the supreme significance of music raises his erudition to a new level. Warm, joyful and unfailingly adroit in his evocation of music in words - Ross, with this book, establishes himself as the supreme champion of modern music. Read this and listen.' Sunday Times 'Ross will whisk you on to the fast-moving train that was 20th-century music; he will fascinate, challenge and delight you, but above all he will never, ever patronise you.' Stephen Pritchard, Observer Music Monthly