Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society

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Pantheon Books, 2002 - Music - 186 pages
This fascinating exchange between two of the most prominent figures in contemporary culture, Daniel Barenboim, Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and Edward W. Said, the eminent literary critic and scholar and a leading expert on the Middle East, grew out of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall Talks. A unique and impassioned discussion about politics and culture, it touches on many diverse subjects: the importance of a sense of place; the differences between writing prose and music; the conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler and Arturo Toscanini; Beethoven as the greatest sonata composer; the difficulty of playing Wagner; the sound at Bayreuth; the writers Balzac, Dickens, and Adorno; the importance of great teachers; and the power of culture to transcend all national and political differences----something they both witnessed when they brought together young Arab and Israeli musicians to play at Weimar in 1999.
Although Barenboim and Said have very different points of view, they act as catalysts for each other. The originality of their ideas makes this a book that is both accessible and compelling for anyone who is interested in the culture of the twenty-first century.

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In 1995, during a Wagner conference at Columbia University, pianist/conductor Barenboim and literary scholar Said joined in a discussion before a live audience that touched on both Wagner's anti ... Read full review


Chapter One
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About the author (2002)

Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires and grew up in Israel. He been Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin since 1992. Barenboim began conducting with the New Philharmonic Orchestra in London in 1967 and was musical director of the Orchestre de Paris.

Edward W. Said is University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism, and, most recently, Power, Politics, and Culture. His books have been published in thirty-six languages.

Ara Guzelimian, Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall since September 1998, was Artistic Administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and the Los

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