13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Listen to This (Paperback)
Alex Ross has spent most of his life dedicated to writing about classical music and does so with such a keen ear and consummate skill with words it doesn't really matter whether you are a classical music buff or not. It is a joy to read such a passionate and knowledgable writer sharing his thoughts on the subject with such enthusiasm and erudition, each sentence resonates with a vibrancy that makes you wish you had a greater experience of the classical music tradition.
Ross explores the relevance of classical music in a post modern world, the challenges it faces to engage a new generation and the stuffy elitist image that hampers that progress. As with its economic progress, China looks set to dominate that particular music scene in the future now that it has enthusiastically embraced the tradition, with millions of young people in the country already taking up instruments it can only be a matter of time before China becomes a major player on the scene.
The writer's love of music is not limited to classical, as he writes about going on the road with Radiohead and spends time with Bjork as she creates an esoteric musical masterpiece. It doesn't matter what musical genre Ross is writing about, he always perfectly captures every tone and texture with a precision that is a masterclass in musical reportage.
All the chapters are individual so that they can be read in any order like music articles, personally my favourite is the superb piece about Marian Anderson entitled Voice of the Century, this piece encapsulates all the qualiites that make Ross such a brilliant writer. If you love music and enjoy excellent writing on the subject, then I cannot recommend this book enough.