Lisa Hirsch's Classical Music Blog.
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve. Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
Opinions expressed on this blog are mine and not my employer's.
Great looking table of contents.An entire chapter on Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil as well as a chapter on one of my favorites - John Luther Adams.
I know you're not a fan, Joe, but step back for a minute. Alex is doing a lot for classical music. His books sell; his reviews reach a huge audience. I, for one, am glad for this, besides the fact that I like most of what he writes.
The problem I had with The Rest Is Noise is that he was writing for a general audience and so much of the book seemed like Classical Music/Opera For Beginners to me. Of course, if he wrote a book in the style of, say, George Perle's two incredible books on the operas of Berg, the book would have sold 20 copies.The other part was the Grampa Simpson-esque dismissal of much of the music of the last 30 or 40 years that isn't minimalist or minimalist influenced. His mancrush on John Adams and Adams music is really embarrassing.His new book looks sorta interesting, I'll have to check it out when it shows up in the public libraries.
It's definitely for a general audience, which is not a problem for me. I liked it anyway, by and large. Yes, I wish there had been more on recent music and less on John C. Adams; women composers especially got way, way less than the attention they deserved.
And why have more than one author surveying 20th century music from on high gone out of their way to identify RVW as unworthy of their attention?
I can think of plenty of possible answers to the RVW question, but I'm guessing it's a rhetorical question.
I'll see your RVW and raise you Arnold Bax. I admit it, I have a soft spot for pre-Peter Grimes English composers, but I think Bax' symphonies and tone poems are terrific. I was just looking at his Wikipedia bio and I didn't realize until now that he wrote the score to one of my very favorite movies, David Lean's Oliver Twist with Alec Guinness as Fagin. Time to dig the ol' DVD out and give it a listen. :-)
I was sitting here thinking the only Bax I'd heard live was a piano concerto, then realized the piece I'm thinking of was by BLISS. I've heard some random Bax, I'm sure, but, adding him to the list!
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