I have a book recommendation for you all.

I just finished reading "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century," by Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker. He starts with Richard Strauss and Mahler and works his through to Ligeti, Reich, hip hop, and bebop, with plenty of 12 tone rows, polyrhythms and anecdotes along the way.

Ross is articulate and informed -- this is as much an intellectual history of the 20th century as it is a collection of essays on music and composition. His appreciations of works both well- and less well-known have had me running to my music collection (and to B and N and Amazon) to listen (and buy). The book includes a discography as well.

This book was on at least a couple of Top 10 lists last year, which was how I came across it. If you are interested in a thoughtful perspective on the trajectory of music composition in historical context, I recommend this highly.


Thanks for the recommendation. I might just have a look.
Second your recommendation. Well written and captivating book. It deepened my appreciation for some pieces of music.
Thanks for the suggestion.
thank u this will make good Borders/Barnes reading this weekend with my $5 cup of over priced coffee.
This type of recommendation is what the internet is all about (a good deal once in a while is cool, too).
Thanks for sharing your find. Will check it out.
I'm going to grab a copy of this if I see it used since I'm pretty much a classical novice. Most of the classical I enjoy or own is on the non-traditional side...Reich, Riley, Stockhausen, Part, Glass, Xenakis, Satie, Kronos, etc. so I'll see if I can stumble on to something new.

Now I'm going to hijack the thread and throw a recommendation out there :-) I read this book a few months ago and I couldn't put it down. It's titled "40 Watts From Nowhere". Enthralling true story of how a young woman gets into the whole underground (pirate) radio station scene. Nail-biting stuff because of the constant threat of being busted by the FCC. Her station ends up becoming VERY popular with huge bands & musicians dropping by for impromptu jam sessions and dj sessions. This would make a great movie.
I'm loving this book right now as well. It's a keeper. I have never really been a classical music fan at all, but Ross's writing is so vivid and fascinating that I'm starting to seek some stuff out. Ross really knows music, and much else as well--the book is a terrific cultural history of the 20th century.