THE REST IS NOISE: LISTENING TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY - Rare Pristine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing - ONLY COPY OF THE TRUE FIRST ONLINE

Ross, Alex

Published by New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
ISBN 10: 0374249393 / ISBN 13: 9780374249397
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1st Printing. 625 pages. Published in 2007. The author's breakthrough debut book. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Alex Ross' "The Rest Is Noise". "A whirlwind tour, from the Viennese premiere of Richard Strauss' 'Salome' in 1906 to Minimalist Steve Reich's downtown Manhattan apartment. The wide-ranging historical material is organized in thematic essays grounded in personalities and places, in a disarmingly comprehensive style. Thus, composers who led dramatic lives, such as Shostakovich's struggles under the Soviet Regime, make for gripping reading, but Ross treats each composer with equal gravitas. The real strength of this study, however, lies in his detailed musical analysis, teasing out, in precise but readily accessible language, the notes that link Leonard Bernstein's 'West Side Story' to Arnold Schoenberg's avant-garde compositions or hint at a connection between Sibelius and John Coltrane. Among the many notable passages, a close reading of Benjamin Britten's opera 'Peter Grimes' stands out for its masterful blend of artistic and biographical insight. Even avid fans will find themselves hearing familiar favorites with new ears" (Publisher's blurb). "Reads like a sprawling, intense novel, one of utopian dreams, doom, and consolation, with the most extraordinary cast of characters from music and history alike. A great, inspiring ride" (Osvaldo Golijov). Currently the Resident Music Critic of The New Yorker Magazine, Alex Ross succeeded not one but two of the greatest music critics we shall ever read: Andrew Porter and Paul Griffiths, both Brits. His essays are among the reasons The New Yorker Magazine remains not only relevant but indispensable reading, nothing less than one of contemporary life's civilized pleasures. An absolute "must-have" title for Alex Ross collectors. This title is a contemporary classic. By the time Alex Ross toured for the book, copies were already in multiple subsequent printings. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing ("First Edition" and full number line beginning with 1 on the Copyright Page) available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Almost all other copies available online are either subsequent printings or have serious flaws. A rare copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with vintage photographs. Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008. One of the finest living American writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ALEX ROSS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0374249393. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. 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 reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art.   Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

Review: 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

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Title: THE REST IS NOISE: LISTENING TO THE ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New
Edition: 1st Edition.

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