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Leaving Home: Conducted Tour of 20th Century Music [Hardcover]

Simon Rattle , Michael Hall
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 1996
Music's confrontation with modernity has been difficult, and has often involved the artist leaving his country for political and social reasons. In the company of a range of performers,this work reflects the difficulties encountered and the audiences' often reluctant attitude towards them.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st Edition edition (1 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571178774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571178773
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 19.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The title of this review comes from Simon Rattles's foreword to Michael Hall's book.

This is the book to accompany the TV series (now available on DVD). Seven of its eight chapters mirror the seven episodes, with the opening chapter providing an introductory hop, skip, and jump through the century's classical music from the Birmingham premiere of Elgar's `Dream of Gerontius' in 1900. But whereas the TV series used much of its time in providing the sound of the music that Simon Rattle discussed, Michael Hall uses this time to expand on each of the subjects. In his preface, he writes how the book "has the same form [as the TV series] and focuses largely on the music featured in the series, but introduces where possible composers and works" that failed to make it into the films, the "hard-argued choices".

Hall writes in the first chapter how, "Never before in the history of music has serious music been so estranged from popular culture, and never before has popular culture been so dominant." It's impossible, of course, to do anything over the introductory chapter's twenty-three pages other than to link in a superficial way the history of twentieth-century western music to changes in political, economic, social, and cultural climates.

Now and again Hall raises some interesting concepts, such as life in the Middle Ages being viewed in cycles, reflected in the music at that time being "underpinned by the old church modes"; with the coming of the Renaissance, "cyclic time was gradually replaced by linear time", leading to tonality: "the tonic becomes the goal towards which everything moves." Later, Hall interestingly contrasts chronometric (linear) time and psychological (circular) time, as represented in Elliott Carter's cello sonata.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 5 Dec 2013
By Wil's
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like the story. It really change the way I think of modern music. Definitely recommended. Thank you for the book.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Music lovers with curiosity about the trends and causes for these trends in the music of the twentieth century should find this approach enlightening. The seven main chapters of the book are complemented by a set of videotapes (52 minutes each at a cost of nearly a thousand dollars for the set). The book itself is a bargain ... and if one can encourage a library to purchase the videotapes, you've got something great.
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