The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

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HarperCollins Publishers, Aug 25, 2011 - Music - 640 pages
677 Reviews

Alex Ross’s sweeping history of twentieth-century classical music, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, is a gripping account of a musical revolution.

The landscape of twentieth-century classical music is a wild one: this was a period in which music fragmented into apparently divergent strands, each influenced by its own composers, performers and musical innovations. In this comprehensive tour, Alex Ross, music critic for the ‘New Yorker’, explores the people and places that shaped musical development: Adams to Zweig, Brahms to Björk, pre-First World War Vienna to ‘Nixon in China’.

Above all, this unique portrait of an exceptional era weaves together art, politics and cultural history to show how twentieth-century classical music was both a symptom and a source of immense social change.

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Review: The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Goodreads

Incredible overview of 20th century classical music, with great storytelling and connections to world politics and cultural events. Read full review

Review: The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

A wonderful book for classical music fans and historians. A pretty good book for anyone who likes music or is interested in the 20th century. As someone who is unfamiliar with a great deal of ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Alex Ross has been the music critic of the ‘New Yorker’ since 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for the ‘New York Times’. His first book, ‘The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century’, published in 2007, was awarded the Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson prizes. In 2008 he became a MacArthur Fellow. A native of Washington, DC, he now lives in Manhattan.

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