Parallels and Paradoxes

Parallels and Paradoxes : Explorations in Music and Society

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Israeli Daniel Barenboim, one of the finest musicians of our times, and Palestinian Edward Said, eminent literary critic and leading expert on the Middle East, have been close friends for years. "Parallels and Paradoxes" is a series of discussions between the two friends about music, politics, literature and society, Barenboim and Said talk about, among other subjects, the differences between writing prose and music; the compromising politician versus the uncompromising artist; Beethoven as the ultimate sonata composer; Wagner (Barenboim is considered by many to be the greatest living conductor of his work); great teachers; and the power of culture to transcend national differences. Illuminating and deeply moving, "Parallels and Paradoxes" is an affectionate and impassioned exchange of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 16mm | 158.76g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747563853
  • 9780747563853
  • 167,138

Review quote

'A beautifully poised series of dialogues about literature, music and politics, and they're a testimony to the enormous gifts and courage of both men' Tom Paulin, Guardian 'Without question, the most original book of the year. A marvellous eavesdrop on the discourse of exchange between two great intellects' Nadine Gordimer, TLS 'A fascinating exchange of ideas on music, politics and literature' Classic FM Magazine 'An extraordinary meeting of minds in troubled times' Financial Timesshow more

Review Text

Daniel Barenboim, concert pianist and Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Edward W Said, essayist and literary critic, have nurtured an 'unlikely' friendship since a chance meeting in a hotel lobby in the early 1990s. Unlikely, in that they are, respectively, Israeli and Palestinian and hence expected in the eyes of their own troubled geography to meet on terms of mutual suspicion: it is, then, a pleasant surprise to find not only that this is patently not true (they are, after all, friends), but that the suggestion that it might be so is given cursory treatment in the pages of this book. The two are not suggesting that their brand of tripartite intellectualism (they range, broadly, over three subjects: music, literature and the ways in which the creation and performance of these arts can apply to an understanding of society) is some kind of mystic solution to the world's ills; they are simply demonstrating that humanity and intellect can meet for the sake of a passionate indulgence in art and thought. The performance of this mental consortium blurs the demarcation of race and politics; what remains is pure ideology, lyrically espoused by two confident, eloquent and successful men. An understanding of the situation in the Middle East is unnecessary; what is required to really enjoy this book is an enthusiasm for music. This is basically an extended meditation on the ways in which music and musicians contain some kinds of essential paradoxes that illuminate the spheres of art and life in general; a convincing dialogue, ably edited by Ara Guzelimian, and placed firmly (and entertainingly) in the landscape and texture of sound and performance. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Edward W. Said

Edward W. Said was University Professor of English and Comparitive Literature at Columbia University and the author of twenty-one books including Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism and The End of the Peace Process. His books have been published in thirty-six languages. He died in 2003. Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires and grew up in Israel. He has been Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin since 1992. Barenboim began conducting with the New Philharmonic Orchestra in London in 1967 and was musical director of the Orchestre de Paris. He lives in more

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245 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 33% (81)
4 44% (107)
3 17% (41)
2 4% (11)
1 2% (5)
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