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Listen to This

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Description

In Listen to This, the award-winning music critic and author of The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross looks forward and backward in musical culture: capturing essential figures in classical music history, as well as giving an alternative view of recent pop music.

From his own first encounter with classical music to vibrant sketches of Schubert, Verdi and Brahms; from in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead to the lives of a high school’s music students, Ross shows how music can express the full complexity of human experience. He explains how pop music can achieve the status of high art and how classical music can become a vital part of wider contemporary culture.

Witty, passionate and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us to listen more closely.

Reviews

‘A magical mystery tour. The literary equivalent of an iPod on shuffle’ Guardian

‘Intensely illuminating. He wants to show you what is important about music, how it connects to the world and why you should care’ Observer

‘Dazzling. No one writing about classical music today has Ross’s gift for lateral thinking, for pinning down references and cues and scraps of sound that elude the rest of us’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Ross can stride nimbly over the keyboard of time and style without losing his ear for the feeling behind the form’ Independent

About the author

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, published in 2007, was awarded The Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson prizes. In 2008 he became a MacArthur Fellow. A native of Washington, DC, he now lives in Manhattan.

From Publishers Weekly

30 August 2010 – In this brilliant collection, music critic Ross (The Rest Is Noise) utilizes a wide musical scale—classical music in China; opera as popular art; sketches of Schubert, Bjork, Kiki and Herb—as a way of understanding the world. Featuring mostly revised essays published in the span of his 12-year career at the New Yorker, Ross offers timeless portraits that probe the ways that the powerful personalities of composers and musicians stamp an inherently abstract medium so that certain notes, songs, or choruses become instantly recognizable as the work of a certain artist. The virtuoso performance comes in the one previously unpublished essay, “Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues,” where Ross isolates three different bass lines as they wind through music history from the 16th-century chacona, a dance that promised the upending of the social order, through the laments of Bach, opera, and finally the blues. Ross nimbly finds the common ground on which 16th-century Spanish musicians, Bach, players from Ellington’s 1940 band and Led Zeppelin’s bassist John Paul Jones can stand, at least momentarily.
Listen to This
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  • £7.49
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 25 November 2010
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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