The scandal over modern music has not died down. While modern paintings by Picasso and Pollock sell for a hundred million or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. Yet the influence of modern sound can be felt everywhere. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for the New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life.
The Rest Is Noise takes the listener inside the labyrinth of modern sound, from turn-of-the-century Vienna to bohemian Paris, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We meet the maverick personalities who have defied the classical past, and we follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics on this sweeping tour of twentieth century history through its music.
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Anyone who has ever gamely tried and failed to absorb, enjoy, and--especially--understand the complex works of Schoenberg, Mahler, Strauss, or even Philip Glass will allow themselves a wry smile reading New Yorker music critic Alex Ross's outstanding The Rest Is Noise. Not only does Ross manage to give historical, biographical, and social context to 20th-century pieces both major and minor, he brings the scores alive in language that's accessible and dramatic.Take Ross's description of Schoenberg's Second Quartet, "in which he hesitates at a crossroads, contemplating various paths forming in front of him. The first movement, written the previous year, still uses a fairly conventional late-Romantic language. The second movement, by contrast, is a hallucinatory Scherzo, unlike any other music at the time. It contains fragments of the folk song 'Ach, du lieber Augustin'--the same tune that held Freudian significance for Mahler. For Schoenberg, the song seems to represent a bygone world disintegrating; the crucial line is 'Alles ist hin' (all is lost). The movement ends in a fearsome sequence of four-note figures, which are made up of fourths separated by a tritone. In them may be discerned traces of the bifurcated scale that begins Salome. But there is no longer a sense of tonalities colliding. Instead, the very concept of a chord is dissolving into a matrix of intervals." Armed with such a detailed aural roadmap, even a troglodyte--or a heavy metal fan--can explore these pivotal works anew. But it's not all crashing cymbals, honking tubas, and somber Germans stroking their chins. Ross also presents the human dramas (affairs, wars, etc.) behind these sweeping compositions while managing, against the odds, to discuss C-major triads, pentatonic scales, and B-flat dominant sevenths without making our eyes glaze over. And he draws a direct link between the Beatles and Sibelius. It's no surprise that the New York Times named The Rest Is Noise one of the 10 Best Books of 2007. Music nerds have found their most articulate valedictorian. --Kim Hughes About the Author:
Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker, is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for music criticism. In 2008 he was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, given for achievements in creativity and potential for making important future cultural contributions.
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex Library Book with usual stamps and stickers. A few small marks to the page edges. Tan to the page edges. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0008282806
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Book Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP16144963
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002888795
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # 1206036
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Just a little shelf wear on the DJ. Otherwise a superb copy. Bookseller Inventory # 033325
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. 1st Edition. xiv, 624 pages; index. Black cloth with white lettering. Small tears to the jacket. The music critic of "The New Yorker" tours the world of twentieth century classical music including portraits of individuals and cultures. NB all proceeds to the work of the OXFAM charity. This is a heavy item and may require extra postage. Bookseller Inventory # 025064
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2008. Cloth Covered Hardback. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Fifth Impression. In black cloth with silver titles on spine. In an unclipped black dust jacket with white titles. 624 pages. Book is near fine, clean and unmarked except for a very very small hole, possibly made by a pencil point, on the title page. Dust jacket is very good, with a tiny amount of shelf-wear to extremities. Size: 9 1/2 " x 6 1/4". Bookseller Inventory # 905692
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2008. Cloth. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Fifth Impression. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 037108
Book Description 4th Estate, London, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Size: 9"-10" Tall. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Music; ISBN: 184115475X. ISBN/EAN: 9781841154756. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 30292. Bookseller Inventory # 30292