Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Alex Ross

Histories of classical music of whatever epoch – medieval, baroque, twentieth-century – tend to be written by university professors writing for a university readership. That being the case, they are issued by academic textbook publishers and are unlikely to pop up in your local bookstore. Chances are they won’t appear on best-seller and ‘pick of the critics’ lists.

... (read more)

Graz, 16 May 1906. Richard Strauss is conducting his scandalous, recently premièred opera, Salome. The expectant audience includes Giacomo Puccini, Arnold Schoenberg, Gustav and Alma Mahler, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Alban Berg, and, slipping surreptitiously into a cheap seat, possibly a certain Adolf Hitler, having borrowed money from relatives for the trip from Vienna. So begins Alex Ross’s exploration of the kaleidoscopic twentieth-century musical world in The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the twentieth century (2007), his now classic study. Ross is well known as the chief music critic of The New Yorker.

... (read more)