25 mar. 2008


Like everyone else, I suppose, I'm reading Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise, number 2 on my 99 books about music thread. Shostakovich's Stalinist ordeal is harrowing, all the more so because he was, essentially, a Stalinist. Prokofiev comes off as a naive stooge as well.

Books on music end up being books about other things. In this case, the relation of music to politics and larger historical forces.

I'm not reading this as a book about jazz so it doesn't bother me that it is shunted off to one side. There are plenty of books about jazz already. He includes some to complete the picture, but it's not his main focus. If this were your main source for jazz history, you'd be in trouble.

I'm going to have to re-evaluate my position on Sibelius now.

Apparently there were no women composing music in the 20th century. That's the conclusion I've drawn, so far at least. I wish I were in a position to disagree, but my ignorance is astounding. Maybe in the last chapter some women will show up, but that's extraordinarily late when you think that women modernists in literature made a subtantial impact--H.D., Stein, Woolf, etc...

2 comentarios:

Emily Lloyd dijo...

Meredith Monk...Laurie Anderson should at least get a mention. I'm sure there are others--my ignorance is double-astounding.

michael dijo...

Lucia Hwong