Listen to This

Listen to This One of The Telegraph s Best Music Books Alex Ross s award winning international bestseller The Rest Is Noise Listening to the Twentieth Century has become a contemporary classic establishing Ro

  • Title: Listen to This
  • Author: AlexRoss
  • ISBN: 9780374187743
  • Page: 244
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of The Telegraph s Best Music Books 2011Alex 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 disOne of The Telegraph s Best Music Books 2011Alex 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 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Yorker These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and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 Bj rk 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 closely.

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    About “AlexRoss”

    1. AlexRoss

      Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996 From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for the New York Times His first book, The Rest Is Noise Listening to the Twentieth Century, was published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus Giroux and became a national bestseller It won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Royal Philharmonic Society Creative Communication Award appeared on the New York Times s list of the ten best books of year and was a finalist for the Pulitzer and the Samuel Johnson prizes Ross has received a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center, fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin and the Banff Centre, three ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards, and an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music He has also served as a McGraw Professor in Writing at Princeton University In 2008 he was named a MacArthur Fellow His next book, an essay collection titled Listen to This, will appear in fall 2010 A native of Washington, DC, Ross now lives in Manhattan In 2005 he married the actor and filmmaker Jonathan Lisecki.

    528 thoughts on “Listen to This”

    1. This is a book that requires time, space and thought--and a large library of recordings. For, like Alex Ross's previous book "The Rest is Noise", it was impossible not to play each piece, song or artifact Ross decrypts. And, because this book is a collection of (slightly edited) New Yorker pieces (Ross has been the music critic there since 1996), his sweep -- unlike his book on 20th Century "classical" music -- covers some pop as well. Ross still writes best, I think, about the old forms of musi [...]


    2. I'm a big fan of music, which is hardly unusual, but I'm also a big fan of music criticism, which is a little less common. I've always been fascinated by how difficult it is to translate the mental impressions created by listening to music into words. It takes real talent to avoid either ascending to the impenetrable heights of formal theory analysis (tritones, parallel fifths, the Locrian mode, etc), diverting the aesthetic reactions into an emotional referendum on the songwriter or target audi [...]


    3. Music critic (The New Yorker) Alex Ross is a perceptive and articulate writer, his style perfectly attuned to what one would expect in that magazine. This present volume is a collection of his essays and addresses a wide variety of topics. Ross is usually adroit at weaving observations about musicians and their works into the cultures and artistic movements, and at his best his writing is compelling. I especially enjoyed his essays on “Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues” in which he traces a mu [...]


    4. Alex Ross is one of the best music journalist for a reason. Excellent collection of articles! One of those books that you constantly revisit to get more references. I was told that his previous book The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century is even better! Looking forward to reading it


    5. Publicado en lecturaylocura/escucha-esto/En su anterior y exitoso (en cuanto a crítica y público) ”El ruido eterno”, Alex Ross realizaba un repaso de todo la música clásica del siglo XX encadenándola a al contexto cultural e histórico consiguiendo un libro de fácil lectura y que además quitaba prejuicios y ayudaba a comprender a gente tan extraña como John Cage o Alban Berg, además lo acompañaba de un imprescindible acompañamiento musical disfrutable a través de su web que hací [...]


    6. This book is a collection of essays about music that Ross had previously had published in the last 10-15 years (mostly by The New Yorker). He's done some re-writing but hasn't bothered to assemble them into much of a meaningful order, hence the two-star rating. Don't get me wrong. Despite a bit of word salad (see, e.g the last paragraph of the inconclusive chapter on Brahms), Ross's authorial voice is engaging. Readers seeking an entree to the worlds of Mozart, Schubert, Robert Luther Adams, Bjo [...]


    7. I am a cautious, perhaps even a little suspicious explorer of the musically unfamiliar. Having a guide as assured of his ear as Alex Ross breaks down those fears. This is largely a compilation of Ross' New Yorker articles bookended with a set of pieces he wrote specifically for this publication. It is a rollicking juxtaposition of vignettes, flitting from Schubert to Radiohead, John Luther Adams (no, not THAT John Adams) to Björk, Brahms to Bob Dylan. He finds common threads, delves into their [...]


    8. Full of surprises and sharp observations, this "absorbing, illuminating, exciting collection" (San Francisco Chronicle) gives equal billing to pop stars and classical composers, crossing musical margins with remarkable fluidity. Though they bear the New YorkerÕs signature style, most critics upheld Ross's writing as eloquent and thoughtful, in language accessible to both laypersons and connoisseurs (although aficionados may have an easier time with the details). The Washington Post complained t [...]


    9. This is a great book. It gave me a much greater understanding and appreciation for classical music through explorations of the life and works of Mozart, Schubert, Verdi and Brahms as well as modern day composers and performers like John Luther Adams and The St. Lawrence String Quartet. The book also explores the lives, music and methods of some of todays most inventive musicians like Radiohead, Bjork and Bob Dylan. Ross also introduces the reader to music students and a Newark high school and in [...]


    10. "Escribir sobre música es como bailar sobre arquitectura"; sin embargo, esta recopilación de artículos de Alex Ross consigue 1) descripciones precisas y certeras, y 2) transmitir el respeto, la amplia cultura y, sobre todo, el amor del autor por la música como expresión artística y popular. Eso sí, coscorrón a Seix Barral (Planeta) por la nula corrección de la traducción; ese estilo tosco no corresponde al autor, sino a un traductor bien ducho en música pero que no tiene por qué ser [...]


    11. Some of the best writing about music that I've ever read. My review can simply be thisIt made me want to listen to more classical music and learn more about music in general. He hits that "golden mean" of being accessible to me (quite ignorant in composition or theory) and yet getting into some of the higher level discussion that would appeal to any musicologist. Very impressed and look forward to reading more of his work.


    12. What a disappointment. I had high expectations for this book and found it annoying in every way. Some of the writing about classical music was interesting but mostly it went on too long with nothing really to say. The discussions of "popular" music was just ridiculous. Don't waste your time. Is it possible to give a book zero stars?


    13. Excellent book, truly inspiring however without listening to the pieces being discussed, it can be hard work at times. Will be buying some of this music when I can.


    14. "Listen to This" opened up new worlds of music for me, and had me listening afresh to music I studied years ago. Wonderful essays.


    15. A collection of the author's pieces on music for The New Yorker magazine, this has all the qualities of reading someone who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his field. There's real breadth here, too - from Mozart to Radiohead, equally comfortable and informative on all of them. I love music but I'm a non-musician, and as such found some of it slightly too technical, but it's never less than readable and engaging. I'm also still fairly new to classical music, and as such I learned a l [...]


    16. I think the only way to enjoy this book is to listen to the audio version with fragments of music author's talking about (if this version ever exists). So I gave up on text version after the second chapter ('Chacona' melody was great, I listened to it on YouTube after reading that passage about 'dance given by devil')


    17. Not an entirely easy read because I wasn't interested in all the music or musicians covered in this collection of essays. I did enjoy parts of it, like the first few essays, the sections on Bjork, Mozart, Radiohead, Bob Dylan and classical music in China. Thanks to an internet-linked guide of music referenced in this collection I also found some new pieces to check out and follow up.


    18. Awesome read. Reads like a series of essays that could all be read individually, but it even better when read in conjunction and sequence. Would recommend taking chapter by chapter, with time in between to read the article, biographical information, other major articles and listen to works by each highlighted artist. Overall, great stuff. Very interesting and entertaining.


    19. Dense and masterful. Ross's musical breadth is staggering and you're always huffing and puffing to keep up as he strides across genres, centuries, and thoughts. But it's a good workout, and your motivating tunes are built in. For someone who loves music and wants more reasons for doing so.



    20. Not too many young people are raised on "classical" music onto to encounter pop music the way Ross was. He claims to not have listened to pop until his college years, and slowly tear apart his musicial elitism with Bob Dylan and Sonic Youth. Most inspiring, he imbues the pop music he loves with the adult feeling that we too often look back to with adolescent wistfulness. Ross's collection of New Yorker essays have such a comfort ability with the pop world, and such a unique perspective on modern [...]


    21. Después de leer "El Ruido Eterno", el anterior libro de Alex Ross, uno ya sabe más o menos qué es lo que se va a encontrar en esta colección de ensayos sueltos, dado que las obsesiones de Alex Ross quedaron muy claras en aquél y se repiten en éste: una especie de musicología de género obsesionada con los homosexuales y todo lo que tenga que ver con ellos (compositores abierta o no tan abiertamente homosexuales) o la querencia por los músicos negros y su (mala) suerte en el elitista pano [...]


    22. "The best music is the music that persuades us that there is no other music in the world."I am not sure why I have this book, especially since non-fiction is not a usual indulgence. I think a compelling review must have been responsible. Anyway, its size kept it on my TBR list for quite some time. I am glad I read it, but, to be honest, this is not really my cup of tea. The author is a music critic for The New Yorker and the book is a history (not comprehensive, I think, but near enough) of musi [...]


    23. A hit and miss collection, which isn't too surprising, given the range and my own peculiarities as a reader. The first, manifesto-like piece is very entertaining: say no to Classical Music, yes to demanding music, which is what a bunch of boring people call Classical Music! Then a piece on a short sequence which is used across all genres and throughout the musical hierarchy, deftly showing that our separations of popular from classical are more or less nonsense which is also tremendously boring [...]


    24. As a musician and music critic myself, I have admired Alex Ross and his work since I first read The Rest is Noise in 2008.Listen to This is a collection of essays originally published in The New Yorker, for which Ross is the music critic. The essays range broadly across centuries, from the classical to pop genres, from investigative reporting to academic criticism, and with some artist profiles thrown in for good measure.Ross's enthusiasm for his subject matter is undeniably apparent and makes e [...]


    25. Exiles, wanderers, restless searchers. That’s who many musically possessed men and women are according to Alex Ross. I can’t guarantee on that, but I can say that sharing those traits helped me get closer to music.Listen To This is a collection of essays that spans across several different topics concerning music: from Mozart to Radiohead, from the Marlboro Retreat to the evolution of classical music in China. Education, profiles, means of communication. Ross didn’t leave anything out. One [...]


    26. A collection of essays, with chapters alternating between classical and pop music. Other than this order, the essays don't appear to be arranged in any order, so the book lacks cohesion and any sort of common narrative thread. Well, the concept of basso lamento was somewhat recurrent, but he always just mentioned it as an aside.Ross is the music critic for the New Yorker and primarily writes about classical music. I am what he calls a "culturally aware non-attender", in that I know about and lis [...]


    27. After reading The Rest Is Noise, Ross' surprisingly entertaining book about 20th century classical music, I was eager to look into this collection of his essays that includes some topics I was more personally familiar with, particularly the articles on Radiohead, Bjork, and Bob Dylan. The Bjork article is fantastic, exhibiting a depth to her character and her artistic style that go a long way to convince the reader that she is indeed from this planet. The other two are both engaging as well, but [...]


    28. The book is a collection of articles written by the author for the New Yorker, with some revisions and expansions. They cover a larger chunk of the music scene than just classical music, which has become somewhat of a niche culture by the end of the 20th century. Read in this way, it can be thought of as a crash course in musical erudition. It covers music history, composition, the recording industry, experimental classical music, current trends in classical music, key figures in classical compo [...]


    29. This book was very high and low for me, although part of that had to do with the fact that I've never studied music academically nor do I have any knowledge of music history prior to the 1960s. Listen To This is a collection of Alex Ross's pieces for The New Yorker, all of which are well written but many were out of my reach. I enjoyed the essays about Bjork, Bob Dylan, music education and a few others because I was able to relate to them, but the very technical analyses of classic compositions [...]


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