The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Alex Ross)

The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Alex Ross) lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Music section. priced at just £4.00!

London: Fourth Estate, 2008, Hardback in dust wrapper.

2nd impression. [First Edition: 2008] Contains: Black & white photographs; Discography;

>From the cover: In the twentieth century, music ceased to be one thing. It became a congregation of distinct musical cultures, speaking all at once in mutually alien tongues. In The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, gives us a riveting tour of the wild landscape of twentieth century classical music, with portraits of individuals, cultures and nations that reveal the predicament of the individual composer in a century of noise.

Taking as its starting point a May 1906 performance of Richard Strausss ultra-decadent opera Salome, with the composer himself conducting and Puccini, Schoenberg, Berg and (rumour has it) Adolf Hitler seated in the stalls, Ross explains how this one evening can be considered the centurys true musical watershed, rather than the riotous premiere of Stravinskys The Rite of Spring seven years later.

The drama radiates outward from turn-of-the-century Europe, taking us from pre-First World War Vienna to Paris in the twenties, from Benjamin Brittens Aldeburgh to downtown New York in the sixties. Ross weaves together art, politics and cultural history to tell the story of the entire twentieth century in sound.

In the crashing finale, Ross combines his themes of musical politics, political music and the predicament of the solitary voice with an examination of progressive pop artists such as the Velvet Underground and Brian Eno, demonstrating how classical and modern traditions have been re-invented in the digital era, and showing what the future holds for music and its relationship to a chaotic world.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Edges of the text block lightly age-toned. Text complete, clean and tight.

Black boards with Silver titling to the Spine. [XIV] 624 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.

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