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The Oxford History of Western Music: Music in the Early Twentieth Century (Oxford History of Western Music; V. 4) Paperback – 27 Aug 2009


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"Most of the news in classical music takes place on stage or on disc. But at the moment, one of the biggest stories (in more ways than one) is taking place on the printed page." --The New York Times"Erudite, engaging, and suffused throughout with a mixture of brilliance and delirium." --Washington Post"Readers will profit from his sharp analysis and unabashed opinions... Taruskin has succeeded in writing a stimulating overview of Western society, setting a standard that will not be surpassed for a very long time..." --Library Journal"Taruskin's chef-d'oeuvre, however, is a feast of contrarian ideas, with enough spice to sting the palate of anyone with a stake in telling the old stories in the old way. It aims for nothing less than the revaluation of practically everything you thought you knew about classical music....Taruskin's magnum opus is a must-read, and in its way, a real page-turner of detective non-fiction. It's a cinch to become the most discussed music title o

About the Author

Richard Taruskin is professor of musicology at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to this work, Taruskin is also the author of such books as Music in the Western World: A History in Documents (1985), Text & Act (OUP, 1995), and Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions (1996). He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, New Republic, and many other scholarly journals.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Worthy contribution to the entire project 30 Aug. 2014
By mjackmm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The entire series is worthy of the extravagent praise it has received. This is the volume where my personal taste differs markedly. I also have some different views of the actual history. However, I often judge the value of a book by the enthusiasm with which I disagree. There can be no argument that Taruskin's take on more "pop" forms of American music being part and parcel of the grander "history of western music" is an authentic and valid percdeption.
17 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining, but not very deep 10 Oct. 2011
By demo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scores of histories have been written about the "literate" music composed between 1900-1945 and many of them are better than this one (though few are written so engagingly). I don't believe Taruskin has a genuine interest in much of this music and I don't think he actually "gets" a lot of what was going on. To me this and the succeeding volume (even more so) are more a display of egotism than genuine scholarship.

A fascinating and dynamic period of musical development is thus reduced to diversions like silly dichotomies about Maximalism and Minimalism (to set up his championing of the latter in the subsequent volume). He covers all the bases, but without a great deal of insight. He seems to get increasingly uncomfortable as the distance from the standard practices (readily amenable to academic analyses) of the "classical" period grow.

Lightweight and more reactionary than inquisitive, but an enjoyable read nonetheless --kind of like the period covered cried out for Ulysses or In Search of Lost Time but all he was able to muster was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
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