Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Rest Is Noise

Just finished 'The Rest Is Noise' last night. Got it for Christmas and due to my very erratic reading schedule, ie little and infrequently, it has taken me this long to get through it. But it is brilliant. As someone who was briefly introduced to contemporary classical music at college I had an idea that there was a whole world of brilliant stuff that I knew I would love if someone could give the context needed to act as a springboard into this foreign world. This book does that. The way the author manages to draw connections between composers and movements in a way that arch-modernist Austrian serialist madness can be related to far-out minimalist shamenism is fairly mind-blowing, imbuing the music with a tangible sense of accessibility. Anyway, thanks to this book I am now well into Ligeti, Messiaen, Lutosławski, Stravinsky and Feldman, as well as loving the likes of Reich, Mingus, Pärt and the Velvet Underground even more. Read this book if you're interested in classical music but are daunted by the idea of tackling the vastness of the material out there. 


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