It’s the annual Reading Festival this weekend, and as a bunch of bookworms we at 4th Estate are very excited to… sorry, what? Oh, it’s Reading as in Reading, the town in Berkshire? Right. So there are no author panels? No writing seminars? Just a ‘limp bizkit’? Hmm. Well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack a book or two alongside the tent and wellies…
As Festival Season reaches its peak, we have reams of musically minded material on our bookshelves just waiting for you to discover. Just promise not to read our books on the campsite toilets. And keep them away from the mud:
In The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker, gives us a riveting tour of the wild landscape of twentieth-century classical music: portraits of individuals, cultures, and nations reveal the predicament of the composer in a noisy, chaotic century.
Here, as part of our music-themed month on the blog, we present an abridged version of the chapter-by-chapter Listening Guide that can be found in the back of the book, complete with corresponding Spotify playlists. Alex has also kindly updated his recommendations to accommodate the first years of the 21st Century.
A tip-of-the-iceberg introduction to a century of classical music, we recommend you immerse yourself in these recordings right away (and immerse yourself in the book immediately afterward!).
In one of the most ambitious music projects in recent years, Southbank Centre will chart the history of 20th century classical music in a year-long festival of concerts, talks, films, performances and participation events throughout 2013 inspired by Alex Ross’ seminal book The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.