The Rest Is Noise Series: Death Fugue: Music in Hitler’s Germany

The Rest Is Noise Series: Death Fugue: Music in Hitler’s Germany

Alex Ross

This is a chapter taken from Alex Ross’s groundbreaking history of twentieth-century classical music, The Rest is Noise.

Hitler loved and was obsessed by classical music. This is the chilling story of the manipulation of some of German music’s greatest composers and cultural icons, and the persecution of others, all in the name of the Nazi’s deathly cause.

Now a major festival running throughout 2013 at London’s Southbank, The Rest is Noise is an intricate commentary not just on the sounds that defined the century, but on art’s troublesome dance with politics, social and cultural change.

Alex Ross is the New Yorker’s music critic, and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Rest is Noise, which was also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson and Pulitzer prizes for non-fiction.

Reviews of The Rest Is Noise Series: Death Fugue: Music in Hitler’s Germany

    • ‘Alex Ross’s incredibly nourishing book will rekindle anyone’s fire for music.’ Björk
    • ‘A brilliant, bracing account of all the different kinds of “classical” music that have permeated this last dark century. Such an entertaining, accessible and enthralling book.’ Colin Greenwood, Guardian
    • ‘It’s a history of 20th-century music so vivid and original in approach that it made me listen again to many pieces I thought I knew well.’ Philip Pullman, Guardian
    • ‘Ranks as my non-fiction book of the year. Erudite and engaging, written with flair and passion.’ Boyd Tonkin, Independent
    • ‘Combines scrupulous and inventive analyses of the 20th century’s music with lavish care over that music’s improvised history.’ Adam Thirlwell, Guardian
    • ‘Magisterial.’ Telegraph
    • ‘He places the music in social and cultural context while sticking to the score and eschewing the artworld political consensus. A miracle.’ George Walden, TLS
    • ‘”The Rest is Noise” achieves the aim with bravura, hacking out a path leading from cacophonous European modernism to the white noise of The Velvet Underground.’ Ludovic Hunter-Tilroy, Financial Times
    • ‘Alex Ross breaks new ground. This is an astonishing book.’ The Times
    • ‘Just occasionally someone writes a book you’ve waited your life to read. Alex Ross’s enthralling history of 20th-century music is, for me, one of those books.’ Alan Rusbridger, Guardian
    • ‘Stunning narrative. Visionary music critic Alex Ross comes closer than anyone to describing the spellbinding sensations music provokes.’ Financial Times
    • ‘A work of immense scope and ambition … a great achievement. Rilke once wrote of how he learned to stand “more seeingly” in front of certain paintings. Ross enables us to listen more hearingly.’ New York Times
    • ‘A sound-drenched masterpiece.’ Steven Poole, Guardian

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