Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Noise is News

A hearty congratulations to the incomparable Alex Ross, whose virtuoso musico-historical star turn The Rest is Noise made the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2007 list. And allow me to be the last to rave about this extraordinary work which should be required reading for anyone even vaguely interested in what happened to our past century as told by its music. You cannot read my review (in Symphony magazine) online, so rush out and buy a copy of that mag wherein I join the unanimous chorus of praise. And just remember, I wrote my review when this book was a slip of a review copy, now tattered, a fledgeling, not the insurmountable piece of music journalism that will have historians quaking in their boots for generations to come. It just took a while to publish. Honest.

To sum up my review: this is one amazing book, and even when I wonder why he left out certain things, this is one amazing book and since it is so amazing he is really entitled to leave out whatever he wants. Oh, and the book, it is amazing. Something along those lines--although, if it did not (probably rightfully) make the cutting room floor, I believe I referred to this as a "cultural history you can dance to." Sometimes witty bon mots such as you've come to expect from yr. composer-blogger are worth waiting for--or at least worth reading in a print edition.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, you don't think you're overstating its merits a little? I doubt any serious historian would quake in their boots over this book, as it's not a serious history.

It's a meandering pastiche of stories that Ross is fond of telling, but it's hardly a definitive or even formidable account of 20th century music.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Maybe not, but as a book that can explain what is often viewed as an enclosed--and uninviting--world so as to make it come to life, it is not only excellently done but thoroughly needed and therefore something that will no doubt get looked down upon as being less than serious. I don't equate it with, say, Taruskin's massive and daunting work, but neither would Ross I imagine. It aims to a certain place--high but within grasp--and gets there smoothly, eloquently, and drips with knowledge and understanding.

6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home