Sunday, 22 February 2009

20th century composers...honest!

Finished reading the massive footnoted work that I began in early January - an education in many ways but some flaws. The Rest is Noise see blog and pic - tells the story of 20th century classical music in historical context or vice versa. Made me listen to some cracking music that I wouldnt have done otherwise. Bit musicological in places but not 2 much. Also discovered Moz and Shostakovich link!

See my review below - from Fbook.
A muscular tome - absolutely thorough in its discussion of 20th century classical music. Very enthusiastic in places which rubs off - You tube has taken a pounding with me listening to stuff . He has introduced me to material I would never have heard.
The historical context is also excellent for the most part although the write seems quite hostile to the left which means that there is a weakness to some of the analysis of the whole number of composers who were influenced in this way.
It takes a long time to get through but is a very fulfilling and worthwhile read. Criticisms would be it tends perhaps inevitably to focus on the States. British classical music which I saw 3 hours of documentary on is only told through the prism of Britten in one chapter.
I think it also gets a little rushed in the last couple of chapters - it means you dont have the luxury of examining the history or appreciating the music just a whistle stop thru a number of composers. But a good project to embark upon.

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