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One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011
Alex Ross's award-winning international bestseller, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, has become a contemporary classic, establishing Ross as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians. Listen to This, which takes its title from a beloved 2004 essay in which Ross describes his late-blooming discovery of pop music, showcases the best of his writing from more than a decade at The New Yorker. These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively. In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history—from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin—through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. He vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and indie-rock hipsters in Beijing.
Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely.
Listen to This
LISTEN TO THIS
CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CLASSICAL TO POP
I hate "classical music": not the thing but the name. It traps a tenaciously living art in a theme park...
Listen to an Excerpt from the AudiobookDownload MP3
Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues
Alex Ross discusses how one bass line appears throughout history as a piece of musical DNA. With Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle, and guitarist/composer Tyondai BraxtonShare This